’10min of intensive exercise as good as hours of training’

The common excuse that there is not enough time to exercise effectively is now wearing thin as scientists have claimed that short but intensive bursts of workout are as effective as hours of moderate training.

The study into the benefits of “high intensity interval training”, known as HIT, by McMaster University, Canada, suggested that staying in shape is not at all a time-consuming affair.

The researchers found that HIT is “a time-efficient but safe alternative to traditional types of moderate long term exercise”.

HIT involves running or cycling at almost maximum effort for a minute and then resting for a minute before repeating the process around 10 times, The Telegraph reported.

For their study, volunteers rode an exercise bike in stints lasting just 60 seconds while peddling hard enough to get close to their maximum heart rate.

Tests afterwards showed that their muscles had improved as much as if they had been involved in endurance training.

Prof. Martin Gibala, who led the research, said the study “proved that it was possible to get more by doing less”.

His report, published in the Journal of Physiology, said it was not clear why HIT was so effective but it appeared to “stimulate many of the same cellular pathways” as traditional training regimes.

“The findings also meant that a lack of free time was no longer an excuse for refusing to exercise,” Prof. Gibala said.

The perfect exam diet for students

IPL fever has gripped the nation, but unfortunately, students have to grapple with the exam fever. The exam season is back, it’s that time of the year when one can feel the anxiety in every inch of one’s body! So, what’s a student to do? Most starve because they are busy cramming or lose their appetites. Adults often advise children that one needs to fuel the body with foods that energise during the exam phase.

It’s similar to preparing for a long marathon. It’s also time to pamper oneself a bit with comfort food. Bananas are said to be excellent before an exam because they release their energy slowly. Even an orange, carrot sticks or a sweet fruit work in the same way.

It’s also recommended that one has a light and balanced meal a couple of hours before an exam. Not eating is the worst things! Manjeet Kaur, a housewife with an 18-year-old son, says, “I make sure my son eats light, has plenty of juices and fruits during his study break. I don’t prepare deep-fried snacks and rice because they make one drowsy. I also insist that he eats every two hours.” Dr Nalini Karukaran advises oats for breakfast.

She says, “A light meal comprising meat, eggs or fish and vegetables is okay. Avoid brinjals, very sour and salty food. For dinner, one can have Rice and Moong Dal Khichdi made with pure ghee.” Nutritionist Dr Harshada Rajadjyaksha says that students require food that increase concentration, enhance memory, boost energy, calm the mind and reduce stress and fatigue. She regards coffee, tea, colas and sugar as energy-fakers.

She recommends a balanced combination of nutrients for sustained energy. She says, “Combine vegetables, whole grain cereals or pasta, fresh fruits, dry fruits and nuts. Drink enough water. Almonds, apples, walnuts along with raisins, grapes, oranges, dates and figs and eggs, milk, soybeans and fish are memory-enhancing food. Calm the mind with honey, milk, oats, wholegrain cereals, nuts and pulses.”

–Hindustan Times

Convincing kids to eat healthy food

A file photo of “NUTRI FEST” organised by Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Children on the topic ‘Breakfast for Children’.

Parents should pay attention to colour, appearance and texture when trying to make healthy food appealing to their children’s tastes.

“Colourful, crunchy pieces of fruit go quicker into a child’s mouth than colourless fruit,” said Monika Niehaus, a paediatrician in Germany.

Brown spots on fruit and vegetables, or a slimy texture, such as that of some types of mushrooms, cause most children to reject the piece of food, said Niehaus, spokeswoman for Germany’s professional association of paediatricians, citing the results of studies conducted by the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands.

Parents should take advantage of the fact that children are creatures of habit.

“If they always eat fruit or vegetables at a certain time, as dessert, for example, they reach for it more frequently,” Niehaus said.

Vegetables typically are not popular with most children. But when parents give their children a choice of several types of vegetables, they tend to start helping themselves, said Niehaus. Every child likes at least one type of vegetable. Tomatoes or cucumbers are often their choice. Strawberries and apples are typically favourite fruits among children

Stay fit, not thin…

Fitness and nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar talks about her weight loss methods, her bestselling book and, of course, Kareena Kapoor and size zero. An exclusive interview.

She is the brain and inspiration behind Kareena Kapoor’s size-zero figure, the svelte frames of Preity Zinta and Konkona Sen-Sharma and the fit physiques of actor Saif Ali Khan and corporate honcho Anil Ambani. Not just that, sports science and nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar is also credited for magically transforming hundreds of others’ lives by teaching them how to lose weight without losing their minds! In an exclusive chat, Rujuta opens up about her magic mantras of eating, “not less but right”, even as she talks about her bestselling book Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight completing a very successful one year.

To begin with, tell us about your journey before you came into the limelight as the person behind Kareena’s enviable frame.

After my post-graduation in Sports Science and Nutrition from SNDT College, Mumbai, I started counselling people about nutrition and lifestyle. This was in 1999 when celebs were the only ones aware of the benefits of eating right. I began with actor Farah and director David Dhawan’s wife Laali. After that, there was no looking back. Today, I have hundreds of clients ranging from teenagers to senior citizens, and celebrities like Anil Ambani, Saif Ali Khan, Konkona Sen-Sharma, Preity Zinta and, of course, Kareena Kapoor (Bebo).

You are among the pioneers of advocating eating all you want and yet staying fit! Doesn’t this seem contradictory?

I advocate a common-sense approach to eating. First, never forget that our bodies need all nutrients; be it vitamins, protein, minerals and, yes, carbohydrates and fats! Depriving the body of any of these will create major physiological imbalances. On the flip side, stuffing yourself with any kind of food will also lead to imbalances: drastic increase in weight, increase in cholesterol levels, sugar levels, indigestion… The secret lies in eating not less, not more, but just right! So I say you can stay fit, despite having samosas and gulab jamuns; as long as you have them in moderation and at correct times. I advocate staying fit, not thin.

What is your take on diets and people resorting to extreme dieting?

A diet is a lifelong commitment to maintaining balanced eating habits. What we see are abused versions of the word, which obviously lead to disastrous results! I always maintain that choosing a diet is like choosing one’s life-partner! What works for you may not work for me! By opting for fads like liquid diet, low carb diet and others, you harm the body by depriving it of essential nutrients. You may lose weight, but at what cost? An ideal diet is one that is tailor-made for you. If you follow such a diet plan with commitment and without succumbing to contradictory fads, nothing can stop you from staying your fittest best always!

Tell us a bit about your Mitahar nutrition plan.

My Mitahar nutrition plan essentially advocates ‘eating food that makes you feel sweet (mita+ aahar) i.e. good about oneself’. The concept behind this is to evolve an eating pattern that fits into your work schedule and lifestyle so that there is no question of going “on” or “off” the diet.

Does one need to supplement a correct diet with correct exercise to gain optimum results?

Definitely! Both go hand in hand. Again, there is no ‘perfect’ exercise for everybody at large. Opt for whatever works best for you; be it cardio, yoga, kickboxing or Pilates. As long as your body is happy with what you’re doing to it and not rebelling. At our URJA gym, which works on the concept of ‘Use It or Lose It’, we focus on imparting the right training to each individual by offering tailor-made fitness advice and plans depending on a person’s current fitness levels, body composition, specific conditions and fitness goals.

You also provide Marathon training sessions. Now, that’s a novel concept…

The idea generated after I trained Anil Ambani for the 2005 Mumbai marathon. I realised that there are many enthusiastic marathon-aspirants who could do with professional training to build up fitness levels. My sports science background and a training stint in New York enabled me draw up a technically superior running programme, which is run in two stages: a year-long programme and the 14-week training programme just before the Marathon. It includes easy runs, long runs, breathing and relaxation techniques, suryanamaskars and so on.

I also believe that fitness can and should be practised beyond the four walls of a gymnasium. Trekking in the Himalayas has been an integral part of my life from childhood. I’m also actively involved with Gaurav Punj’s venture, “Connect with Himalaya”, which takes out interesting treks to these mountains.

Your book, Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, has had a superb innings since its release last year.

I’m thrilled about Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight becoming the national No.1 bestseller and selling over 1,00,000 copies! The translated Marathi version too has been doing well. To put in a nutshell, the book is about what ‘ diet’ is and should be all about, the four principles of eating right, a relearn and rethink about eating, inculcating awareness and fundamental steps to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

No conversation with you can be complete without asking about Kareena’s transformation.

Bebo came to me in 2007 after she was dubbed ‘overweight’ in the Yeh Mera Dil number from “Don”. The first thing she told me was, “Rujuta, I’m a hardcore Kapoor who loves to eat! Don’t expect me to give up my pizzas and pastas! Tell me if you can help me on that condition!” Much to her relief, I told her she would not be put on ‘a lettuce a day’ sort of diet. She is a very dedicated person. Even in the most gruelling schedules, she takes a quick break every two hours to chomp on some peanuts. While travelling, she religiously follows the food-chart I give her that allows her to sample all the local cuisine while retaining her fitness. A lot of noise was made about her ‘size zero’ figure; but she was not toothpick thin and unhealthy or weak! That enviable figure is a combination of a correct diet of home-made food, no pre-cooked foods, fresh local cuisine (when shooting outdoors) and doing 100 suryanamaskars daily! Behind Kareena’s transformation lies discipline, dedication and a completely holistic diet plan.

Lastly, tell us about your future plan.

For starters, I’ve just launched the ‘Fettle Club’, an initiative to keep my clients focussed and informed about their food, lifestyle and fitness. I’m also working on a new book for women and the diet they should follow in the various stages of their life; teenage, pregnancy, motherhood, hormonal upheavals, a busy lifestyle…

Rujuta’s mantras

Start your day by eating and not by drinking tea/ coffee. Fruits, nuts, milk or hot homemade breakfasts are great options.

Never leave home without carrying at least one dabba of a nutritious meal.

Grabbing lunch is an offence. Eat at leisure; it keeps you smart at work.

Exercise is something that you owe your body. Cull out time to work out at least three hours a week.

Restful sleep is non-negotiable and an integral part of staying fit.

Take a break from work, home and your “responsibilities”. Go trekking in the Himalayas. Check out my trips on http://www.connectwithhimalaya.com

Remember to eat when you are busy; it’s the smartest thing you could ever do.

Throw off those weighing scales; focus on feeling and looking better, not on losing kilos.

To know more visit, http://www.rujutadiwekar.com

Kareena Kapoor

“I met Rujuta Diwekar in 2007 when my friend Shaira introduced me to her. The first thing I told her was that I would NOT give up my pizzas, pastas and Christmas puddings for anything; glossies who termed me overweight, be damned! To my utter relief, she said I could have all that and still become healthily lean. I learnt some very imperative things about healthy eating from Rujuta: Eat something every two hours; or eat fresh food as far as possible. She made me chuck out all my pre-processed soups, soy chaklis, nachni crackers the first time she came home! They were my survival mechanisms but she made me see the logic behind eating freshly cooked food as opposed to the pre-packaged one. Rujuta has not just changed my physique; but has also changed my mind and soul. She is the best thing to have happened to me!”

Four basic principles

Never wake up to tea or coffee. First eat something that’ll help increase blood sugar levels that are always low in the morning, and then have your cuppa.

Eat every two hours; it actually creates a conducive environment in the body to burn fat!

Eat more when you’re active (working, travelling) and less when you’re inactive.

Try to wind up your last meal at least two hours before bedtime so that the body gets ample time to repair wear and tear and rejuvenate while you sleep.

Now, a device that can stop you grinding your teeth

Are you among those who grind their teeth at night? Don’t worry, scientists have now devised a novel way to treat the condition – bruxism – using an iPod-sized device that delivers an electric shock to the temples.

Clinical studies have also shown that the device, developed by Danish scientists, reduces teeth-grinding by more than 50 per cent within just three weeks and 80 per cent after six to eight weeks.

The new therapy called ‘Grindcare’ consists of a small electrode that is attached to the skin of the temple with sticky gel pads. The other end of the electrode is connected to a matchbox-sized unit on a bedside table.

While on sleep, the device monitors the movement of facial muscles, reading the electrical signals that cause the muscles to contract.

When it detects this is about to happen, it delivers a small electrical impulse to relax the muscle instead, in turn relaxing the jaw muscles. This impulse is not usually felt by the wearer.

The device also records how many times this occurs in a night, the Daily Mail reported.

“Grindcare works by retraining the muscles to relax. In effect, it teaches someone to stop grinding their teeth, so it can reduce or even cure the problem,” says Dr Oulton, one of the first dentists in Britain to use the device.

According to scientists, bruxism is a common problem and affects one in four adults. It’s the most frequent sleep disorder after insomnia and snoring.

Bruxism often occurs as a result of changes in the normal structure of the mouth such as missing teeth, a new filling or an abnormal bite known as malocclusion (where the upper and lower teeth do not sit together properly).

But more commonly, it is related to anxiety and smokers are five times more likely to have episodes of bruxism. The disorder is also associated with pregnancy and menopause.

Whether the cause is physiological or psychological, the effect is the same: tension in the temple muscles, leading to teeth grinding and clenching.

“It’s vastly stress related,” says Dr. Barry Oulton, of Haslemere Dental Centre in Surrey.

“If someone comes to me about teeth grinding, the first thing I do is check around their temples for the temporalis muscles to assess their tension levels.”

Traditional treatments for bruxism include sedatives, hypnosis, herbal remedies and, more recently, Botox; these all aim to relax the jaw by releasing tension.

Another option is to wear a mouth guard to act as a buffer between the teeth.

Desi swine flu vaccine ready for commercial use by April-May


NEW DELHI: Pune-based Serum India’s swine flu vaccine ‘Fluvac’ will be ready for commercial use by April-May, subject to all regulatory clearances. The Pune-based company received the drug regulators go-ahead on March 5 to carry out advanced safety tests on the vaccine —Phase II/III clinical trials crucial for its introduction in the market.

On Monday, it started clinical trials of nasal form of vaccine on 300 subjects at different locations around the country. After Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila, Serum Institute becomes the second company to have started Phase II/III trials, pushing it closer to the finishing line.

“The single dose vaccine will be available in two forms —nasal spray and as an injectable. The inhalation vaccine uses a live virus, which will be administered to three age groups. Further trials will be carried out later to test safety of the injectable vaccine on another set of people”, Serum Institute of India’s executive director S Jadhav told TOI.

The age group on which these trials will be administered is 9-19 years, 20-48 years and 48 and above. A single dose of the vaccine developed with egg-based technology will be initially tested in four cities across the country. The vaccine developed by indigenous players will most likely be administered as a single dose, and priced around Rs 150-200, sources close to the development said. (H1N1 vaccine globally cost between $9-15)

‘India needs more healthcare professionals’

A leading Indian-American cardiac surgeon suggests a “lean healthcare” system model for India to attract larger private investments and widen its reach and says the country needs more trained healthcare executives to manage the growing industry.

“The best implementation of lean principles is optimising of available resources directly reflected by visible increased productivity,” says Dr. Mukesh Hariawala, 50, who has just completed a “Physician Executive Healthcare MBA” programme at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“This methodology, if implemented correctly, makes most hospital systems viable with augmented profitability,” the Boston-based doctor told IANS. “This in India will attract and increase private sector participation including larger investments in the healthcare space.”

“My dream is to see a vibrant Indian healthcare industry managed by trained educated professionals who can navigate India to the path of prosperity.”

Hariawala, who did his MD from Topiwala National Medical School, Mumbai, said doctors in India too could do a better job of managing hospitals with a specialised management course like the one offered at Tennessee.

“Predominantly the culture of hiring CEOs in Indian hospitals is to seek retired defence personnel,” he said. “The attraction is not experience or good finance acumen but simply their ability to bring in higher standards of discipline in the organization.”

“Some excel with experience gained on the job,” Hariawala said, but “it would be more desirable if healthcare executives go through a formal business education and the results would be exponentially greater.”

Doctors in India particularly those in the pre-retirement age group phasing out from active clinical practice should consider an MBA programme especially since there are US programmes that are available which offer full internet distant e-learning, he said.

“This will lead to heightened career fulfilment and could open new revenue streams. This will also keep MBA graduate doctors actively engaged and productive longer in the Indian healthcare industry” Hariawala said.

Many medical colleges in India, including D.Y.Patil College in Navi Mumbai, had expressed interest in running combined MD/MBA programmes to make the Indian healthcare system more efficient.

India has a dual track healthcare system with government-funded hospitals catering to lower income group and the private sector geared to the affluent and upper middle class. As both are integral parts of the larger Indian healthcare community, Hariawala said, mandatory basic management education to all levels of providers of service would help them understand the values of conservation of available resources and run them more efficiently.

A doctor with an Executive Healthcare MBA with a better understanding of corporate governance and strong clinical knowledge offers a perfect combination of talent to steer Healthcare corporations to a position of strength as they develop new products or educate other doctors about their products.

Turning to the hot button issue of healthcare reform in the US, Hariawala said President Barack Obama had rightly given it top priority during his election campaign. But the timing of its push is not the best due to the current economic turndown which dilutes the attention it deserves, he said, as American citizens want all energies to be focused on job creation and address other urgent matters.

Healthcare reform must also be accompanied by insurance reform for it to be a meaningful long-term solution, Hariawala said.

Live telecast of heart surgeries to stop

The live telecast of heart surgeries for publicity is likely to end as the Asian Society for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons came up on Friday with guidelines recommending end to such practice.

“Live telecast of heart surgeries for the purposes of publicity is certainly not acceptable. I am confident that a strict implementation of these guidelines will go a long way in curbing practices that enhance the risk component in complicated heart and vascular surgeries,” said Sampath Kumar, one of the authors of the guidelines.

Hundreds of heart surgeons from India and abroad are in Delhi currently for the four-day combined annual meeting of the Asian Society for Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery and the Indian Association of Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeons, that began Feb 26.

They are to deliberate on the several issues related to heart surgeries across the world and devise a plan for effective implementation of the guidelines.

‘Chocolates help keep strokes at bay’

Eating chocolate every day can protect against strokes and may lower the risk of death after suffering a stroke

 There is no need to feel guilty the next time you gorge on chocolate, for researchers claim that eating a few squares daily is good for your heart.

An international team, led by McMaster University in Ontario, has carried out two studies and found that eating chocolate every day can protect against strokes and may also lower the risk of death after suffering a stroke.

The first study looked at 45,000 men and women and found that among those who ate a small bar a week the risk of stroke was down by 22 per cent compared with those who ate no chocolate.

The second study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46 per cent less likely to die following a stroke than people who did not eat chocolate.

Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a protective effect against stroke, but more research is needed, say the researchers.

“More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others,” Sarah Sahib, who led the team, was quoted by the media as saying.

Last year, an international study in the U.S. found that chocolate may ease emotional stress.

In the study, the scientists identified reductions in stress hormones and other stress-related biochemical changes in volunteers who rated themselves as highly stressed and ate dark chocolate for two weeks.

“The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams during a period of around two weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers,” the scientists had claimed.

Swine flu hits 57 million Americans, kills 17,000

IT STINGS: A toddler gets a swine flu vaccine injection at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The infection proved virulent in America

The deadly H1N1 influenza virus, also known as swine flu, may have affected more than 57 million Americans and killed as many as 17,000 of them, according to new official estimates.

Though 2,498 confirmed deaths linked to the H1N1 virus had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta as of January 30, the agency estimates that between 8,330 and 17,160 people actually have died from H1N1.

The overwhelming majority of the people who died – between 6,390 and 13,170 – were 18 to 64 years old, according to the CDC estimates released Friday. Between 880 and 1,810 children 17 years old and younger also died from this flu, it estimated.

In comparison, the CDC says that in a regular flu season, about 36,000 people in the United States die from seasonal flu, with 90 percent of the deaths usually occurring in people age 65 and older.

While the new figures show the H1N1 pandemic virus is still spreading, they also reflect a slowdown in the transmission of the illnesses since last October. The CDC had last estimated about 55 million Americans had been sickened, 246,000 were hospitalised and about 11,100 had died through mid-December.

While health officials have yet to declare the end of the influenza pandemic, a new round of widespread illness is increasingly unlikely now that a substantial portion of the American population has been either sickened by or vaccinated against the H1N1 pandemic virus. About 70 million people have been vaccinated.

In a separate weekly report of H1N1 influenza activity, the CDC said most influenza strains circulating as of Feb 6 are the H1N1 strain and not strains that cause seasonal influenza.

As of Feb 6, the majority of states reported “sporadic” transmission of the H1N1 virus, the CDC said. However, the CDC said doctor visits for influenza-like illnesses increased slightly over the previous week but “remain low overall.”

Here’s how to stop snoring!

For people who want to stop snoring, it often helps if they sleep on their side or with their upper body in a slightly raised position, the German Otolaryngologists Association noted. Losing weight can also help and snorers should refrain from a nightcap before going to bed, it said.

If these measures prove ineffective, the snorer may be suffering from sleep apnoea, a disorder marked by dangerous pauses in breathing. Should this be the case, a doctor can prescribe nighttime use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which comes with a special mask.

Sometimes a minor operation is advisable to stiffen soft palatal tissue. The German ear, nose and throat doctors said the procedures significantly increased the quality of patients’ sleep — they wake up rested again and are no longer so tired during the day.

Nasa detects Earth-like planet

Nasa astronomers have successfully demonstrated that little ground-based telescopes can also detect Earth-like planets around other stars.

 The scientists developed the new technique by using NASA’s relatively small Earth-based infrared telescope to identify an organic molecule in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet nearly 63 light-years away.

 Using a novel calibration method to remove systematic observation errors, they obtained a measurement revealing details of the exoplanet’s atmospheric composition and conditions, an unprecedented achievement from an Earth-based observatory.

 The surprising new finding comes from a venerable 30-year-old, 3-meter-diameter (10-foot) telescope that ranks 40th among ground-based telescopes – NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

 According to John Rayner, the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility support scientist who built the SpeX spectrograph used for these measurements, “On some days, we can’t even see the Sun with the telescope, and the fact that on other days we can now obtain a spectrum of an exoplanet 63 light-years away is astonishing.”

 Using the new technique, the astronomers successfully detected carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere of HD 189733b with a spectrograph, which splits light into its components to reveal the distinctive spectral signatures of different chemicals.

 In the course of their observations, the team found unexpected bright infrared emission from methane that stands out on the day side of HD 189733b.

 This could indicate some kind of activity in the planet’s atmosphere which could be related to the effect of ultraviolet radiation from the planet’s parent star hitting the planet’s upper atmosphere, but more detailed study is needed.

 “An immediate goal for using this technique is to more fully characterize the atmosphere of this and other exoplanets, including detection of organic and possibly prebiotic molecules like those that preceded the evolution of life on Earth,” said Swain.

 The new technique promises to further speed the work of studying planet atmospheres by enabling studies from the ground that were previously possible only through a few very high-performance space telescopes.

 “Given favorable observing conditions, this work suggests we may be able to detect organic molecules in the atmospheres of terrestrial planets with existing instruments,” said lead author Mark Swain, an astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

 This can allow fast and economical advances in focused studies of exoplanet atmospheres, accelerating our understanding of the growing stable of exoplanets.

Tips to minimise risk of cancer

  VISAKHAPATNAM: The risk of developing cancer can significantly be reduced through simple measures like stopping tobacco use and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding excessive sun exposure, maintaining a healthy weight through eating healthily and exercising regularly. Informing this in a statement on the eve of World Cancer Day on Thursday, surgical oncologist and managing director of Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital and Research Institute in the city V. Murali Krishna said that 40 per cent of cancers were potentially preventable. Early detection of cancer by cancer screening methods could lead to complete cure of the disease.

‘80,000 new cancer cases every year in the State’


The Hindu, Manipal Hospital join hands to create awareness

Cancer is curable if detected early, says expert

There are 7 symptoms which can be a sign of cancer, he says

VIJAYAWADA: As part of fulfilment of its corporate social responsibility, The Hindu in association with Manipal Hospitals is organising an awareness campaign on Thursday on the occasion of World Cancer Day.

Vice-Chancellor of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences A.V. Krishnam Raju will flag off the awareness rally at 8.15 a.m. at Benz circle from where the participants will march through the areas of Pinnamaneni Polyclinic road, Mother Teresa junction, Red circle, Swaraj Maidan and reach Hotel Fortune Murali Park, where a meeting will be held at 9.30 a.m.

Dr. Krishnam Raju, the chief guest of the function, and medical oncologists of the Manipal Hospital will highlight the significance of the day in reference to this year’s theme “Cancer Can Be Prevented Too”.

Preventive measure

The World Cancer Day is being observed every year on February 4 mainly to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.

G. Krishna Reddy, consultant medical oncologist, Manipal Super Specialty Hospital, Vijayawada, says that at least 7.6 million of the over 12 million people diagnosed with cancer globally each year, die.

In India, 50 per cent of the approximately 12 lakh people diagnosed to have cancer succumb to the disease every year. Closer home in Andhra Pradesh, nearly 80,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in a year.

Stating that cancers are curable if detected early, he says there are seven symptoms identified which could be a sign of cancer.


These symptoms include a change in bowel or bladder habits, a sore that does not heal, unusual bleeding or discharge from any place, a lump in the breast or other parts of the body, chronic indigestion or difficulty in swallowing, obvious changes in a wart or mole and persistent cough or hoarseness of voice.

40-kg tumour removed from woman’s body

A bulky 40-kg tumour was removed from the ovary of a 55-year-old woman by doctors in a government hospital in Tripura who said this was “not a rare case” in India.

 The doctors removed the large sized tumour from Nilapati Debbarma’s body Tuesday in a two-hour long operation in Udaipur district hospital in south Tripura, 55-km south of here.

 “The poor tribal woman has been carrying the ovarian tumour for the past two years. She was admitted to the district hospital two days back,” said renowned gynaecologist Salilbindu Chakraborty.

 Chakraborty led the team of doctors who operated on the tribal woman.

 “Though removal of such type of large-sized tumour from a human body is not a rare case in India, it is very risky job,” Chakraborty said.

Eat healthy, snack on some ‘skinny nut’

One of the highest fibre nuts with the lowest calorie and fat content, pistachios or ‘skinny nut’ as it’s often called, has been recommended by the 2009 Dietary Guidelines for a Healthy Living to cut the risk of chronic diseases.

Released by the department of Science and Technology, the Diabetes Foundation of India and National Foundation of Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Disorders, the study said 30 pistachios make a satisfying, delicious, healthy snack for about 100 calories.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, these nuts offer important nutrients and can curb appetite while providing satisfaction between meals. Thus, they help maintain ideal weight and health in Indian adults.

Anoop Misra, Director of the Diabetes Foundation of India, said, “India is undergoing a rapid shift in diet and lifestyle with a rapid rise of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Proper dietary management remains the cornerstone for the prevention and management of these diseases.”

“Based on evidence, if a part of visible and invisible fats from animal foods should be substituted with whole nuts such as pistachios and almonds, it leads to metabolic benefits,” he added.

Naini Setalvad, a nutritionist, added, “One of the reasons why pistachio is called the skinny nut is because they are a good source of fibre and protein. You are likely to eat less but feel fuller, longer. A 25 gram serving of pistachios has 2.6 gram of fibre, more than most other snack nuts and more than many pieces of whole fruit.”

Naturally sodium free, pistachios contain more than 260 milligram of potassium per 25 gram serving, along with other minerals that help maintain blood pressure, the study said.

A pill that cuts as many calories as 80-minute walk

Scientists claimed to have developed a slimming pill that can burn off as many calories as 80 minutes of walk or a 25-minute jog, while you sit.

The pill — Capsiplex — which is made from hot peppers and capsicum, utilises the weight-loss potential of red-hot peppers.

Chilli and capsicum help speed up the metabolism, thus, helping people lose weight more rapidly. However, consuming these chillies or their extract in large quantities causes irritation as these are unbearably hot.

The scientists overcame this problem while developing the capsule. The pill eats up the calories without causing any irritation, the Daily Mail reported.

“For decades, scientists have known about the weight-loss potential of red-hot peppers. The problem has been the ability to consume such a highly concentrated amount, but we have overcome this by putting a protective coating on the ingredients which stops any gastric irritation,” a spokesman for Capsiplex said.

“At last we have a safe and healthy supplement to help weight loss,” the spokesman added.

Trials of the pill conducted at University of Oklahoma in US showed adults taking Capsiplex burned off 278 more calories before, during and after a bout of exercise than those on placebos.

The pill is already in use in the US. Hollywood stars like Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt and Britney Spears are known to have used the pill.

Eating less no guarantee of weight loss

Simply eating less is no guarantee of weight loss, nutritional medicine specialists from Munich have found while treating seriously overweight people.

Writing in the bimonthly German medical journal Aktuelle Ernaehrungsmedizin (Current Nutritional Medicine), the specialists said that dieters who were not sated might break off their diet. They therefore advised changing eating habits drastically.

General rules for dieting are not helpful, the authors said. What, how much and how often a dieter eats is an individual matter. Some dieters prefer to reduce the number of days on which they eat a particular food but not the amount, others the amount but not the frequency. It is important in any case to keep calorie counts in mind.

Obesity in 20s cause heart attack in 40s

Obese people who have type 2 diabetes in their 20s are likely to be at higher risk of a heart attack or stroke in their 40s, if they do not change their lifestyle, warn health experts.

“If your blood pressure (BP) is 136/88 and you’re a man with a waist over 40 (inches) or a woman with a waist over 35 (inches), it spells trouble,” said Dale J. Hamilton, diabetes clinical services chief at The Methodist Hospital in Houston.

“These are two of the five symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a problem that can lead to type 2 diabetes. All you need is three to begin seeing increased atherosclerosis.”

High triglyceride levels over 150, insulin resistance and a low LDL (good cholesterol) are factors of metabolic syndrome, along with high BP and central obesity. This condition afflicts 47 million Americans, says American Heart Association.

Many of them will end up with type 2 diabetes, which can eventually lead to coronary artery disease and stroke. “Small changes every day can help curb big problems later on,” said Hamilton.

“Losing five to 10 pounds will help lower blood pressure. Reducing saturated fats, carbohydrates, and eating about two-thirds the amount you eat now will help you lose weight around the middle. Walk 45 minutes a day instead of 30,” added Hamilton.

Some experts believe replacing sugar with high fructose corn syrup in processed foods in the US and Canada in the 1990s has played a role in the rise of type 2 diabetes cases.

High fructose corn syrup is made by changing the sugar in corn starch to fructose, another form of sugar. It has become popular because it extends the shelf life of processed foods and is cheaper than sugar. It has also become a popular ingredient in many sodas and fruit-flavoured drinks.

“The problem with high fructose corn syrup is that it promotes central obesity,” Hamilton said, according to a Methodist Hospital release.

“Another problem with it is that it fools your body into thinking you are hungry. I don’t think you need to eliminate it from your diet, you just need to be aware of how much of it you are consuming on a daily basis because too much can lead to serious weight gain.”

Keep in mind, he said, type 2 diabetes symptoms often go untreated because there are few or no symptoms until it is too late.

Laugh heartily for good health

As a therapy has been hailed for long and SUKANYA CHELLAPPA can no longer hold herself from it

I was amused at myself for choosing “laughter meditation” as this week’s workout. Along with the students of Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College, I hit the campus hoping to ring out my frustration and clang in the much needed perkiness with this quaint therapy.

Yoga instructor P.Vijay Kumar took off with a brief on initiating laughter as a therapy and meditation. The simple philosophy behind it is that when one learns to laugh without being dependent on a stack of reasons, he or she could well be assured of a blissful life.

Since the therapy is not premised on any reason, it does not jostle one into a world of storms arising from disappointment, failure or frustration.

“It was started by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Worldwide Laughter Yoga, with the aim to take it up as a movement,” shares Mr.Kumar while citing the benefits of laughing.

In present times when life has become complex and stressful, laughter as meditation is highly therapeutic. It soothes an individual and is a universal language that transcends all boundaries and barriers. It creates a positive eco-system not only outside but also within as the health benefits are immense.

It is said that 40 per cent of heart ailments can be prevented with laughter therapy. When one laughs, it encourages deep breathing and detoxifies the body because with each deep breath, the stale oxygen from one’s lungs comes out.

Laughter is also known to reduce body pain and mental stress. It is rejuvenating and gives one a sense of well-being.

After the talk, I merged with the students at the ground. The cacophonic crowd was soon drawn into rapt attention as Mr. Vijay Kumar took centre stage explaining how laughter was the secret to good health.

He asked all the students to lift their hands up and laugh continually for no rhyme or reason. I admit, I was a trifle conscious in doing so and became uptight. But I heard students all around bursting out laughing and guffawing as the instructor goaded them on to laugh.

My initial reluctance to join the group soon ebbed away as I too got into the groove, enjoying the session. I got so deeply engrossed that a fellow student had to remind me that the session was winding up. Now, it was my turn to laugh at myself!

Initial embarrassment to ultimate enjoyment, the experience was enriching enough and I would surely recommend such a session to all. Leave behind your mundane worries and go for it.