The Telangana Science Journal

Health and Nutrition

(An International Electronic Science Digest Published from the United States of America)
(Dedicated to one of the most backward regions in India, "Telangana," My Fatherland )

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Issue 142

5111 Kali Era, Virodhi Year, Aswayuja month
2066 Vikramarka Era, Virodhi Year,  Aswayuja month
1930 Salivahana Era,
Virodhi Year, Aswayuja month
 2009 AD, October





Vegetarian Links





More Links


Diet and Exercise

High Protein Diet
Exercise and Healthy Diet


Living longer
Nearly 10% of World's Babies Premature
Yoga in the US
Pumpkin Skin
Air Pollution
Your Destiny
Let Gravity Help


Vegan Pumpkin Risotto
Vegan Chocolate brands
Vegetarian Bean Soups
Vegetarian Bean Salads

Diet and Exercise
High Protein Diet
One of the many reasons to pick a low-calorie, low-fat diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and nuts is that a host of epidemiological studies have suggested that such a diet may delay the onset or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Now a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Molecular Neurodegeneration tests the effects of several diets, head-to-head, for their effects on AD pathology in a mouse model of the disease. Although the researchers were focused on triggers for brain plaque formation, they also found that, unexpectedly, a high protein diet apparently led to a smaller brain.
A research team from the US, Canada, and the UK tested four differing menus on transgenic mouse model of AD, which express a mutant form of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP). APP's role in the brain is not fully understood; however it is of great interest to AD researchers because the body uses it to generate the amyloid plaques typical of Alzheimer's. These mice were fed either
1. a regular diet,
2. a high fat/low carbohydrate custom diet,
3. a high protein/low carb version or
4. a high carbohydrate/low fat option.
The researchers then looked at the brain and body weight of the mice, as well as plaque build up and differences in the structure of several brain regions that are involved in the memory defect underlying AD.

Unexpectedly, mice fed a high protein/low carbohydrate diet had brains five percent lighter that all the others, and regions of their hippocampus were less developed. This result was a surprise, and, until researchers test this effect on non-transgenic mice, it is unclear whether the loss of brain mass is associated with AD-type plaque. But some studies in the published literature led the authors to put forward a tentative theory that a high protein diet may leave neurones more vulnerable to AD plaque. Mice on a high fat diet had raised levels of plaque proteins, but this had no effect on plaque burden. Molecular Neurodegeneration (in press)

Coffee has more than a thousand different chemicals. In addition to that familiar ingredient, caffeine, coffee contains: potassium, magnesium (in small amounts), and antioxidants. Portion for portion, many other healthful foods have as much or more antioxidants, and are rich with other nutrients that coffee doesn't have. For example, strawberries have twice as much antioxidants, and walnuts have about 13 times as much! If you are looking to maximize the antioxidants and others nutrients in your diet, don't drink more coffee. Your antioxidant intake will skyrocket if you include more fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains.

Drinking three or more cups of coffee daily lowers the risk of liver disease progression for patients with chronic hepatitis C, researchers say.  Black tea or green tea, however, had no effect on liver disease, the investigators reported.  Those who so indulged had a 53% decreased risk of disease progression, compared with patients who didn't drink coffee, reported in the November issue of Hepatology.

Exercise and Healthy Diet
A landmark study, results of which are published in The Lancet medical journal, found that people at high risk for diabetes cut their chance of developing the disease by 34 percent through weight loss, exercising five days a week and reducing fat intake. People age 60 and older cut their risk by almost 50 percent.  The impact of weight loss and exercise was more profound than the most commonly prescribed drug for diabetics, which reduced the risk of the disease by 18 percent during the 10-year study.  The study also found that people who lost weight and ate less fat had healthier blood pressure and triglyceride levels.

The American study included a more diverse group of patients, including races disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes -- African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.  About 24 million Americans have diabetes, most of them type 2 -- which is linked to obesity, inactivity and family history. The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes has more than doubled in the last 30 years.  Another group that is predisposed to get diabetes is Indians.

Courtesy of the fitness-extolling efforts of first lady Michelle Obama, plus the endorsements of various A-listers, this basic, no-frills childhood toy is making a comeback in the ever-changing world of fitness.  Last week during a White House event promoting healthful living, Obama showed off her hula hooping skills. "We don't just want our kids to exercise because we tell them to. We want them to exercise because it's fun and they enjoy it. And we want them to learn now how to lead good, healthy lifestyles so that they're not struggling to figure out how to do that when they're older," she told parents and kids.

Being fat in middle age may slash women's chances of making it to their golden years in good health by almost 80 percent, a new study says. American researchers observed more than 17,000 female nurses with an average age of 50 in the U.S. All of the women were healthy when the study began in 1976. Researchers then monitored the women's weight, along with other health changes, every two years until 2000.  For every one-point increase in their Body Mass Index, women had a 12 percent lower chance of surviving to age 70 in good health when compared to thin women. Researchers defined "healthy survival" as not only being free of chronic disease, but having enough mental and physical ability to perform daily tasks like grocery shopping, vacuuming or walking up a flight of stairs. Experts consider people with a BMI between 19-25 to be healthy, while those from 25 to 30 are considered overweight and those over 30 are obese. For every 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) gained since age 18, women's odds of surviving past 70 dropped 5 percent, researchers found. Women who were already overweight at age 18 and then gained more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) later in life only had about a 20 percent chance of surviving to age 70 in good health. The most commonly reported diseases were cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The study was published online in the medical journal, BMJ. While average life spans have increased in recent years (see below) with scientific advances in treating illness, experts warned the obesity epidemic could ultimately undo those gains.

To lose weight you need to increase activity and decrease calories. Theoretical equations sound so easy, don't they? But if losing weight really were this simple, why does the collective girth of the United States continue to grow?  What's behind this growth? Two societal shifts — one in employment and one in eating habits — appear to hold the answer. Today, more people than ever work at sedentary jobs. Rows of office cubicles filled with immobile bodies have replaced rows of soil with people digging and planting and fertilizing as they till the fields. Even activity-intense manufacturing jobs, which once amounted to veritable eight-hour workouts, have largely left our shores.  These employment shifts are great for business, but the downside to performing mental work rather than physical work is that our national body has turned flabby. Staying in shape used to be a no-brainer, the happy byproduct of a working life. Now it requires a commitment to an after-hours exercise program, one that steals time away from family and leisure. Shift No. 2 is the country's ever-increasing reliance on fatty convenience foods, which have all but swept traditional well-balanced meals off the family dinner table. The healthful shape of the Food Pyramid has been replaced by the unhealthful shapes of buckets (from take-out chicken), boxes (from Happy Meals) and bags (from drive-thru windows). Even dinners prepared at home can contain high amounts of fat when folks rely on prepared packaged foods, such as vegetables in cheese sauces and meal-in-a-boil-bag entrees.

Less than 10 percent of U.S. high school students are eating the combined recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, a finding that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called "poor" in a report released in September.  The report based on 2007 data found that only 13 percent of U.S. high school students get at least three servings of vegetables a day and just 32 percent get two servings of fruit. Less than 1 in 10 get enough of both combined.  Some states -- including Arkansas and North Carolina -- were significantly below those averages. But some New England states, particularly Vermont, were notably better.  The CDC said the report was the first to give such detailed information on adolescents' fruit and vegetable consumption. The information comes from a national survey of about 100,000 high school students in 2007.  CDC officials said the findings indicate a disheartening gap between how people should be eating and what they're actually doing in an era of rampant obesity.  The CDC also released data on a survey of adults. It found fruit and vegetable consumption was basically unchanged from when a similar survey was done in 2005: About 27 percent got at least three servings of vegetables a day, and 33 percent got two servings of fruit.  Federal nutrition goals for 2010 call for at least 75 percent of Americans to eat two servings of fruit each day and at least 50 percent to eat three vegetable servings.  This is a call for states, communities, schools and families to support increased fruit and vegetable consumption.

The risk of life-threatening blood clots increases with obesity, but may also depend on the location of excess body fat and gender. Women are at higher risk when they carry extra pounds on their hips, while men are at elevated risk when fat is around the waist. The results challenge research that has suggested increased hip circumference is protective against blood clots.  The location of extra pounds appears to affect the risk of blood clots in middle-aged people, but affects men and women differently, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Thromboembolism, an important cause of disease and death in adults, results when a clot breaks free from one blood vessel and blocks another -- typically from the legs to the lungs.  The researchers observed a direct relationship between VTE and weight distribution in both genders. When adjusted for waist and hip circumference, hip circumference was positively associated with VTE in women but not men, while waist circumference was positively associated with VTE in men but not women. The results, which should help physicians improve risk evaluation, challenge previous research suggesting that large hip circumference might be protective against arterial thrombosis.


Living longer
Despite all the above, most babies born in rich countries this century will eventually make it to their 100th birthday, new research says. Danish experts say that since the 20th century, people in developed countries are living about three decades longer than in the past. Surprisingly, the trend shows little sign of slowing down.  In an article published in the medical journal Lancet, the researchers write that the process of aging may be "modifiable."

We need a plan to provide pensioners with own-grown tissues and durable implants. New hips, knees and heart valves are the starting points, but eventually they envisage most of the body parts that flounder with age could be upgraded.

Nearly 10% of World's Babies Premature
Nearly 1 out of 10 babies in the world is born too early, according to a new report released in October. The report is the first attempt to measure premature births worldwide.  The March of Dimes produced the report with help from the World Health Organization. A baby is considered premature if born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Nearly 1 million premature babies die each year. The vast majority of premature births occur in Africa, Asia and India. Experts said some of the deaths can be prevented in poor countries using "kangaroo care." This means that the mother carries the baby next to her skin to preserve body warmth.

Yoga in the US
Rooted in Indian philosophy, yoga is an ancient method of relaxation, regarded by many as a spiritual experience. However, in the last five years yoga has become ubiquitous, with independent studios sprouting everywhere and fitness centers incorporating yoga classes into their group instruction curriculum. Although some people still view yoga as a practice reserved for spiritual seekers looking for inner peace, yoga is rapidly being embraced by many Americans as an alternative or additional way to increase strength, endurance and body tone.
In fact, today many fitness experts recognize yoga as a valuable part of functional training. Functional training (also called functional exercise) has become a buzz word in the fitness industry, used in programs for competitive athletes as well as recreational exercisers. Functional training focuses on endurance, strength and coordination to allow individuals to maximize performance of everyday tasks.
1. Ashtanga and power yoga — Ashtanga is a fast-flowing vinyasa-based (connecting movement with breath) practice with a set sequence of postures. Depending on the teacher, Ashtanga can be a rigorous workout, so be prepared to sweat. Power yoga is a generalized term that emerged in the mid-'90s to make yoga more accepted by western culture. Like Ashtanga, which is considered a "power yoga," the focus is on moving energy and creating heat within the body.
2. Jivamukti — Jivamukti originated out of a studio in New York City. A challenging class with a fast-flowing pace, Jivamukti utilizes the ashtanga-style, but incorporates chanting, singing, readings and meditation.
3. Iyengar — The Iyengar flow is generally a much slower practice, emphasizing stillness and form of each posture. Iyengar focuses on the body's imbalances and promotes physical alignment and mental serenity. Iyengar practice often incorporates props, such as straps, blocks and bolsters, to help a person unable to perform a posture independently and obtain the full benefit of the asana.
4. Bikram — Bikram, also called "hot" yoga, aims to make you sweat profusely. Bikram classes are held in heated rooms of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal is to heat the body from the outside in and the inside out. The Bikram practice is a series of 26 ordered postures.
5. Kundalini — The Kundalini practice consists of rapid breathing, postures, chanting and meditation. Using slow and deliberate movements, Kundalini focuses on "moving energy through the body to enhance consciousness." The term Kundalini is also used to describe an energy of awareness. The theory is that through yoga and meditation one awakens his or her kundalini to discover inner awareness.
6. Kripalu — Also called "gentle" yoga, Kripalu integrates mind, body and spirit in three stages — willful practice, willful surrender and meditation in motion. It claims to promote spiritual healing by evoking awareness of your physical, mental and emotional experience. The class consists of postures that tone muscles, improve blood flow and energize the mind and body.

For men coping with painful erections lasting for long periods of time, or priapism, new research published online in The FASEB Journal offers hope. Researchers from the United States and China show that the enzyme adenosine deaminase may prevent priapism from progressing to penile fibrosis, a condition associated with the build up of scar tissue and eventual impotence. As penile fibrosis is a complication of priapism, so priapism is a complication of sickle cell disease. Adenosine deaminase, which breaks down adenosine, is already used in humans as a treatment for a rare immune disorder.

Pumpkin Skin
Scientists extracted proteins from pumpkin rinds to see if the proteins inhibit the growth of microbes, including Candida albicans (C. albicans) that causes vaginal yeast infections, diaper rash in infants, and other health problems. One protein had powerful effects in inhibiting the growth of C. albicans, in cell culture experiments, with no obvious toxic effects. The pumpkin protein could be developed into a natural medicine for fighting yeast infections in humans, the report suggests in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The protein also blocked the growth of several fungi that attack important plant crops and could be useful as an agricultural fungicide.

Air Pollution
A new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) suggests that air pollution may trigger appendicitis in adults. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, University of Toronto and Health Canada, looked at 5191 adults admitted to hospital in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Fifty-two per cent of admissions occurred between April and September, the warmest months of the year in Canada during which people are more likely to be outside. The dominant theory of the cause of appendicitis has been obstruction of the appendix opening, but this theory does not explain the trends of appendicitis in developed and developing countries. Appendicitis cases increased dramatically in industrialized countries in the 19th and early 20th centuries, then decreased in the middle and late 20th century, coinciding with legislation to improve air quality. The incidence of appendicitis has been growing in developing countries as they become more industrialized.

Your Destiny
Sounds like superstition.  However, nowadays, this old superstition is taking over the scientific community in a new form – genetics.  Are you a criminal? Are you a pathological liar? Are you an abuser? Do you have cancer? Are you Obese? Are you slim? Are you poor and wretched? Are you a bad driver? Maybe you can blame it on your genes.  In a small study, researchers found that people with a gene variation performed 20 percent worse on simulated driving tests and did as poorly a few days later. Almost one in three Americans have the variation, the team said. These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away. But don't be alarmed if you think you have this gene variation -- it has it's good side. The researcher say the gene also slows mental decline for people with conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease or multiple sclerosis.  The study was published recently in the journal Cerebral Cortex, in a statement.  Can you change your destiny? Pharmaceutical industry thinks so.  You may be able to fix your genes in the future.

Now, a collaborative effort at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to examine protein-DNA interactions across the whole genome has uncovered more than 300 proteins that appear to control genes, a newly discovered function for all of these proteins previously known to play other roles in cells. The results, which appear in the October 30 issue of Cell, provide a partial explanation for human complexity over yeast but also throw a curve ball in what we previously understood about protein functions. A central question in understanding how genes are controlled is hich of the 20,000 proteins encoded by our genome act on which segments of DNA.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered what leads to two genes fusing together, a phenomenon that has been shown to cause prostate cancer to develop.  By understanding how gene fusions occur, the researchers suggest that screening tools or prevention strategies could potentially be developed. The University of Michigan has filed for a patent on the detection of gene fusions in prostate cancer. 

Although the human genome sequence faithfully lists (almost) every single DNA base of the roughly 3 billion bases that make up a human genome, it doesn't tell biologists much about how its function is regulated. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute provide the first detailed map of the human epigenome, the layer of genetic control beyond the regulation inherent in the sequence of the genes themselves.

Let Gravity Help
The old wives' tale turns out to be true: lying with your feet up after sex improves your chances of having a baby.  How about a headstand for 20 minutes after sex? True, at least, for a specialized kind of sex – that involving artificial insemination, where the sperm is directly inserted into the womb using the medical equivalent of a turkey baster.  Researchers from the Netherlands, who followed 400 couples who had the treatment, found that those who lay on their backs for 15 minutes afterwards were 50 per cent more likely to conceive than those who got up and walked about immediately. The pregnancy rate was 27 per cent among those who "lay back and thought of babies" but only 18 per cent among those who moved around.  Lying still after intercourse was advocated in the US many years ago, but apparently it did not seem to improve conception rates after sex.


Vegan Pumpkin Risotto
Ingredients: 1 onion. Diced; 1 tbsp olive oil; 2 cups arborio (risotto) rice; 1 cup white wine; 4 cups vegetable broth; 1 cup canned pumpkin; 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced; 1 tsp nutmeg; 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil; 1 tbsp margarine; salt and pepper to taste
Preparation: Sautee the onion in olive oil over medium heat for three to five minutes, or until soft. Add the rice. Allow to cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Slowly add the wine.  Start to add the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the moisture to cook off before adding the next 1/2 cup. Stir frequently.  Add remaining ingredients, stirring well, and cook for just a few minutes, until heated through.

Vegan Chocolate brands:
Chocolove Dark Chocolate and Orange Peel
Newman’s Own Chocolate Bars: Sweet Dark Espresso and Sweet Dark Orange, regular and organic)
Ritter Sport - Chocolate Mint (the light blue ones) and Marzipan (the red one)
Green and Blacks Organic Chocolate – Dark Chocolate
Organic Equal Exchange Chocolate All flavors except for milk chocolate

More Vegan Chocolate Brands
Here are a few brands of vegan chocolate that are specifically made to be vegan and are marketed and labeled as such. Most of these vegan chocolate brands are organic and fair-trade as well.
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate (most, but not all flavors)
Sunspire and Tropical Source (chocolate chips and chocolate bars)
Whole Foods Brand Chocolate Chips
Whole Foods Brand Dark Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate with Almonds
Plamil Organic Vegan Chocolate (fair trade)
Terra Nostra Rice Milk Vegan Choco Bars
Bug Bites

Confections (low-calorie and low glycemic for diabetics too)
If it’s not just chocolate chips and chocolate bars that you love, try some of these other vegan chocolate treats to satisfy even the most ardent of vegan chocoholics:
Chocolate Creme flavoured Oreo cookies
Vegan Ice Cream (I like Purely Decadent brand Chocolate Peanut Butter Zig-Zag and Temptation Brand Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavour)
Peanut Chews candy
Wax Orchards brand Fat Free Fudge Sauces (these are seriously good – and guilt-free!)
Luna Bars (I like the chocolate peppermint flavor-yum!)
Reese's Cereal
Cocoa powder, any brand, as long as its 100% cocoa
Chocolatey Chip and Chocolate flavor Teddy Grahams
Trader Joe’s brand vegan chocolate chip cookies

Vegetarian Bean Soups

Vegetarian Bean Salads

Notice: This material contains only general descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, nor is it intended as any financial, tax, medical or health care advice. For information about specific needs or situations, contact your financial, tax agent or physician.
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Source: The primary sources cited above,  New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury News,, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Intellihealthnews, Deccan Chronicle (DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters, AFP,, etc.

Copyright ©1998-2009
Vepachedu Educational Foundation, Inc
Copyright Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., 2009.  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. Please read disclaimer.

Om! Asatoma Sadgamaya, Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, Mrityorma Amritamgamaya, Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih!
(Om! Lead the world from wrong path to the right path, from ignorance to knowledge, from mortality to immortality and peace!)
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