Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Daytime napping may lead to early death

For all those who doze off during the day to catch some 'missed' night sleep, beware! You maybe harming yourself. According to an alarming research, middle-age and older adults who take daytime naps at office or home may be at increased risk of dying.

In particular, naps were linked with an increased risk of dying from respiratory diseases. Those between ages 40 and 65 were nearly twice as likely to die during the study period if they napped for an hour or more, compared to those who did not nap, the researchers from University of Cambridge said.

“Excessive daytime napping might be a useful marker of underlying health risks, particularly respiratory problems, especially among those 65 years of age or younger.

It may not actually be napping that is unhealthy, but rather, that those who tend to nap also have undiagnosed medical conditions that affect their risk of dying. The study involved more than 16,000 people in Britain who answered questions about their napping habits between 1998 and 2000, and were followed for 13 years.

People aged 40 to 79 who napped daily, for less than an hour, were 14 percent more likely to die over a 13-year period, compared to those who did not nap. People whose daily naps lasted an hour or more were 32 percent more likely to die over the study period, the research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, added.

The researchers took into account many factors that could affect people's risk of death, such as their age, gender, body mass index (BMI), smoking, exercise, and whether they had certain pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer or asthma.

"Further studies are needed before any recommendations can be made," the researchers concluded.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coming soon: Powdered Alcohol to give you a high

Frustrated with carrying wine or vodka bottles? Just sprinkle this powder over food, or mix it with plain water or juice and get a high! How kool is that.

The US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved the sale of powdered alcohol in tiny pouches. Named Palcohol, it could be available as early as this fall.

“Palcohol is a great convenience for the person on the go. One package weighs about an ounce and is small enough to fit into any pocket,” said its Phoenix-based developer Mark Phillips on his website. The firm proposes two formulas - V (made from vodka) and R (a rum-based powder).

Consumers would also be able to buy powdered versions of popular cocktails such as the mojito, the lemon drop and “powderita”, a powdered margarita.

According to the website, “Palcohol can be transported in your luggage without the fear of bottles breaking. In any situation where weight and breakage is an issue, Palcohol provides the answer.” But a section of the society has criticised the move as the product seems highly likely to raise a large number of legal issues and controversies.

I just wonder if they can make something like this for the beer drinkers. I know its a wild thought and next to impossible. No one likes their beers flat. But the thought of having a drink of beer anytime anywhere is enough for me to droll on!

Watch this space for more.

This Summer Fruits and Veggies to the rescue to keep you active

Summers are synonyms with laziness. The Soaring temperatures make people lazy, so it's time to make some dietary changes to stay fit during summer. Experts suggest that adding selective fruits and vegetables to everyday diet can show up great results.

Let me list some of those vital summer foods that will work wonders for your body. It took me sometime to research these, but I manage to put up an impressive list here:

* Strawberries: Strawberries are packed full of health benefits. Compared to other fruits such as apples and bananas, strawberries have more nutrients, and are known to burn stores fat (the anthocyanins stimulate the burning of stored fat), and are good for weight loss.

Spring onions: Spring onions contain allicin, which may keep you from overeating by stimulating satiety in the brain. Spring onion has a milder, sweeter taste than the dried white bulbs you buy later in the season. Enjoy it diced on a salad for a fat-fighting side or lunch.

* Asparagus: One of the first foods that signals the start of spring is the appearance of fresh asparagus at local farmers’ markets. Asparagus is a good source of fibre and protein, both essential for good digestion and immunity. It also contains a unique carb called inulin, which remains undigested until it raches the large intestine, where it helps to absorb nutrients better.

* Fennel: Most often associated with Italian cooking, be sure to add fennel to your selection of fresh vegetables in early spring when it is readily available and at its best. Just an ounce of the bulb in your salads adds a gram of fibre for only nine calories. Fennel bulb is also a very good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium.

Lettuce: Lettuce has been called ‘the perfect weight loss food’ because it contains fibre and cellulose. Besides filling up, fibre improves your digestion. Improving your digestion is important for long-term weight control. Fibre also helps remove bile salts from the body. When the body replaces these salts it breaks down cholesterol to do so.

Broccoli: Love it or hate it, broccoli is great for you! It is known as a smart carb and is high in fibre, which aids digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.

No proof yet that mobile radiation leads to CANCER

All the researched evidence shows that there is no link between cell phone radiation and cancer, said oncologist and renowned author Siddhartha Mukherjee.

"I would have suggested to WHO to downgrade cell phones in the list of carcinogens (cancer causing substances) but there is a process to that," Mukherjee said in a media interaction at the India International Centre (IIC) here Monday.

"There are large studies which are pending, but we have to be scientifically accurate. There is no direct evidence but that does not mean that we stop investigating," he added. The status of radiation from mobiles should be "pending further investigation", he said.

Mukherjee is the author of famous book on cancer "The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer", which won the Pulitzer prize in 2010. The author further said that the landscape of cancer treatment has transformed over the years, and that there would be a transformation in all cancers and their treatments.

Mukherjee, here to receive the prestigious Padma Shri award from the Indian government, said that the extent to which carcinogens can trigger cancer depends on the amount or dose to which a person has been exposed to.

"We need to educate people on the appropriate doses of carcinogens to which they can expose themselves to within the safety net," he said. Awareness, said the expert, who specializes in blood cancer or leukaemia, is the key to prevention and control of the disease.

"Cancer is like a detective story. You cannot solve it using only one evidence," he added. At a separate lecture on "Emerging Carcinogens in an Emerging World" also at the IIC, Mukherjee said: "The world has to understand exposure to carcinogens with respect to changes and age profile of the population."

Tracing the history of cancer in medical literature, he said that it is the environment which mutates genes to cause cancer. "The levels of diversity which cancer cells exhibit is unique in nature," he added.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fingernails glowing when you make a call

You will soon have fingernails that would glow as you call someone. Unlike "E.T." in the 1982 Steven Spielberg film, modern-day Japanese fashionistas need only pick up their Android-powered smartphone to set their finger glowing.

A Japanese firm has unveiled fingernails that light up when you make a call. Building on the immense popularity of manicure art - where small gem-like stones are stuck on the nail - a Japanese toy firm Takara Tomy ARTS has developed a micro-thin LED sticker.

The "LumiDecoNail" uses a technology called Near Field Communication.
In this, small amounts of power are transferred very short distances to communicate with a smart phone.

It also flashes whenever the wearer uses an electronic money card.
The product would go on sale in Japan next week, with a set of 16 nail stickers, one of which contains the LED.

“I am now wearing it on the middle finger of my right hand. It blinks whenever I pass through train gates, which lifts my heart a bit,” a company press release said.
The company would consider marketing the cosmetic product overseas after seeing how consumers in Japan react.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to sleep sweat-free during summer nights

Now this is one topic, I was so relieved to read about. getting that sweet sound and specially sweat-free sleep during summer is a head-ache for most. Getting a good night's sleep can get tough in summer due to overheating and sweat. So try using curtains smartly or wash your feet before slipping into bed for a sound nap.

Sleep expert Nerina Ramlakhan says "there needs to be a fractional temperature difference between our body and our brain - a warm body and a cool head."
"When the outdoor temperature rises this becomes more difficult but there are plenty of things you can do to beat the heat," Ramlakhan as says.

Here are some tips:
* Keep a plant mister containing water by your bed to spray on your face during the night.
* Stop your bedroom overheating during the day by keeping curtains and blinds closed.
* Wash your feet with cold water before getting into bed, and/or run your wrists under cold water.
* Place a wet flannel in the fridge for an hour or so before getting into bed and lay it on your forehead to help you drift off to sleep.
* Sleep in cool wet socks or even a damp T-shirt.
* Use light bed sheets.
* Finally, and most importantly stay well hydrated during the day and don't fret too much if you can't sleep. Use the time to rest and think positive thoughts, then you will be extra productive the day after

All you beautiful people have a good nights sleep here onwards. Cheers to all!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The shocking cost of Food Waste

30 percent of the global food supply is wasted – the retail equivalent of $1 trillion of food each year.
In addition to the retail cost of food lost, another $700 billion is wasted in natural resources, including $172 billion in wasted water, $42 billion in cleared forest and $429 billion in greenhouse gas costs.
But what is most shocking to me are the social costs that are also linked to the food wasted in storage, in transit and rotting on store and home shelves.  Wasted food also means $150 billion in human health costs because of pesticides (implying that the 70% of food not wasted also costs us $350 billion a year in health costs because of chemical use in the fields).  $280 billion in loss of livelihoods (as natural resources become more scarce) is also tossed out the window when we throw away food.
Lets also not forget the costs we have not yet calculated.  Loss of wetlands used to purify local water supplies or even the cost of scarce agricultural inputs such as phosphorus are costs we currently do not understand.
And another point to make is not only not to purchase only what you can consume.  It is also critical we find better means of storing food – especially in places with little electricity – and of transporting it without massive loss.  Food waste is the low hanging fruit, ready to be used to feed the world’s hungry and to ensure food security for all.
I came across this video from Food and Agriculture Origanization that asks us to wake up and take notice of this global increasing problem of Food wastage. All of us would not want mankind to face a day of food shortage and starvation all around the world. And these problems are already faced in many differrent parts of the world.