Cancer Treatment coming soon ! Thanks to Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy has given a hope to millions of cancer patients as clinical trial for cancer treatment done on 90 mice was made public a few days ago. Such research might sound cruel for these mice but it can give humans a good cancer treatment. This successful clinical trial has attracted the attention of both doctors and cancer patients around the world. Now the pharma companies and scientific community are looking towards immunotherapy as a medical revolution of the 21st century.

According to Ronald Levy, MD, professor of oncology at Stanford School of Medicine, they run the trial on 90 mice after transplanting lymphoma tumors on two sites on their body. Then they injected two agents into one of the tumor. The results were surprising as it cured 87 mice. It not only regressed the tumor injected with agents, but also the other tumor. Remaining three mice, which were not cured, went through the same procedure again and got cured.

How does our immune system struggles with cancer normally ?
Our body have T-Cells which are part of out immune system. As soon as T-cells recognize the proteins present on cancer cells, it tries to attack them and kill them. But as the cancer tumor grows the activity of T-cells is suppressed, which leads to further development of cancer.

How does immunotherapy cures cancer ?
Some agents are injected into the cancerous tumor, which activates the suppressed T-cells again and they start killing cancer cells.

How does Professor Levy's method Work ?
He and his team has developed two immunotherapy agents for this approach. Both of these agents are injected into cancerous tumor in micogram amount, which is one-millionth of a gram. A short stretch of DNA called a CpG oligonucleotide, finds the T-cells already present in the tumor and amplifies the expression of OX40 (its activating receptor). The other agent, which is an antibody, binds itself to OX40 and activates the T-cell for fight against cancer cells. As those T-cells were already inside the tumor and sent by body to destroy cancer-specific protein, they act as a better destroyer of cancer cells, just by improving their expression and activation.
This approach not only treated the tumor injected with agents, but also the second one in those 90 mice. These results made this immunotherapy approach more interesting. However the above approach was initially used to treat lymphoma tumors, but the researchers witnessed similar results in breast, colon and melanoma (skin cancer) tumors.

Now as the world is waiting for human trials to be completed successfully, some lymphoma patients are already enrolling themselves for the clinical trials. We hope that all those who enroll themselves in this trial get cured successfully and open the gates to cancer treatment.

Reference:
https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2018/01/cancer-vaccine-eliminates-tumors-in-mice.html

Immunotherapy : An approach to treat Cancer

Immunotherapy is getting popular now-a-days as it is a promising future treatment for cancer. Experts and pharma companies believe that within a few years a reliable cancer treatment will be available due to immunotherapy. Lack of side effects is also making it popular for clinical trials.

What is Immunotherapy ?

Immunotherapy is a way to empower our own immune system to detect and fight against a disease, which is normally ignored by our body due to some hiding techniques used by some virus, bacteria and cancer cells. Immunotherapy is treating a disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing the immune system response of a disease. Those diseases which threatened the man kind till now, might get a treatment in near future due to immunotherapy.

Most of us are familiar with vaccination that kids get during childhood. But what most of us don't know it that it is a type of immunotherapy which activates our immune system (by injecting some dead virus/bacteria) to develop antibodies which can fight against the actual virus/bacteria and sometimes give us a lifelong protection.

Types of Immunotherapy

Activation immunotherapies : Designed to elicit or amplify an immune response.
Suppression immunotherapies :  Reduce or suppress immune response.

Auto Immune Diseases, in which our body don't recognizes a body part and our immune system starts to destroy it, were one of the biggest challenges. Suppression immunotherapy can successfully deal with such situation. Around 7% US population is affected by at least one of the 80 types of auto-immune diseases. Women are more prone to such diseases.

When cancer starts developing in body, our immune system tries to kill those cancerous cells but gradually stops that procedure as cancerous cells imitate to be a part of body. Activation Immunotherapy stimulates and activates our immune response for those cancerous cells again and destroys cancerous tumors. Currently trials are being done on lab rats for success of this technique.
An example of cancer immunotherapy is the use of BCG vaccine for treating bladder cancer. Originally BCG vaccine was developed to fight against tuberculosis, but later researchers found that the same vaccine activates our immune response for bladder cancer.
When it comes to organ transplant, doctors often fear that the recipients immune system might reject the received organ, taking it as a foreign object. Usually immunosuppressant drugs are given in such cases, but now suppression immunotherapy can also be used  as it has comparatively lesser side effects.

Reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunotherapy

Are Soybean chunks Harmful for Health

While researching on this topic we came across a number of article claiming merit and demerits of soybean chunks. Some claim it as a good source of protein, while some claim it as a cancer causing food. Some people say that they have eaten soya chunks all of their life and nothing bad has happened, while some presented links to studies that claim that soy oil contain pseudo-estrogen and isoflavones which are bad for health. Betterhealthfacts.com tried to understand and bring the truth of such claims for our readers.

We found that there are some researches done on soybean oil and soy products and most of them claim it to be unhealthy especially for men. But companies manufacturing the soy products advertise it as the vegetarian food with more protein than a non-veg diet, but they don't tell about the other unhealthy factors.

Facts about Soy foods and your Health


  • According to Wikipedia, "N‐Nitrosodi-n-butylamine" is a carcinogen found in Soybean oil. [5]
  • Pseudo-estrogen present in soy products imitates natural estrogen hormone in our body and interfere with breast development. It even causes male breast formation. [1]
  • Consuming more soy products by men may result in reduced interest in sexual activity. [1]
  • According to NCBI, soybean and soy products (the richest sources of isoflavones in the human diet) can cause infertility in men by decreasing sperm count drastically. [2]  
  • Another fact published on NCBI tells that isoflavones found in soy products delay the menopause in women and relieve its consequences. [3]
  • Soy consumption increases the risk of prostate cancer in men. [4]
  • Soybean oil is linked to increasing obesity . Read More
  • Some nutritionists advise people to avoid soy foods if they are struggling with low thyroid problems.

Most of the researches claim soy food to be bad for men and good for women. Consuming it in a controlled way may save you from any adverse effects. Especially men should not eat it too much to gain some protein.

Reference:
[1] https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19539170/soys-negative-effects/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18650557
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
[4] https://archive.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/soysum.pdf
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean_oil

Valerian Root Benefits and Side Effects

Valerian is a flowering plant mostly found in Europe and Asia. It may grow up to a height of 5 ft and bears pink or white flowers. Valerian was used as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece and Rome. It was used as sedative, antiseptic, anticonvulsant, pain reliever and to treat sleep disorders. Now Valerian root is sold as capsules and used as dietary supplement. Some researches were done on Valerian plant and found that it contain some chemicals that interact with our central nervous system, which might be responsible for its medicinal properties.

Benefits of Valerian Root

Valerian Root is herbal medicine used for treatment of following medical conditions

  • sleep disorders like insomnia
  • improving sleep
  • prevents dizziness
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • improves heart rate
  • cures restless leg syndrome
  • effective in cancer therapy
  • used to treat drug addiction and alcoholism
  • helpful in controlling hyperactivity
  • decreases menopausal symptoms

Precaution: Above listed benefits are not proved by any research and might not be accurate.
According to some reports, Valerian Root is the number one non-prescription sedative in Europe.
Valerian Root Oil
Valerian root oil is used by some people to treat disease. If the plant is grown in stony-dry soil then it contains more oil compared to wet-fertile soil. Some people find its smell bad and compare it with smell of unwashed foot due to its pungent and earthy scent.

Valerian Root Tea
Usage of Valerian Root Tea started in 16th century when the Anabaptist reformer Pilgram Marpeck prescribed valerian tea for a sick woman and it worked. Users of Valerian tea suggest that this special should not be prepared with boiling water, as it may evaporate the lighter oil which is its important ingredient. Now a days Valerian Root Tea is available in market as tea bags.

Government Regulations on Valerian


  • The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Valerian as a traditional herbal medicine, which can be used to relieve mild nervous tension and aid sleep. EMA also states that there are insufficient evidences about its medicinal use as per clinical studies.
  • Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act allows Valerian extracts to be sold as a nutritional supplement in United States.

Valerian Root Side Effects

Valerian root is not a clinically tested medicine, so it should be used with precaution as it deals with central nervous system. Following precautions should be taken to save yourself from any possible side effects.

  • Valerian should not be taken with any other depressants or antihistamine drugs.
  • Pregnant women should never use Valerian.
  • Even short term usage of Valerian is associated with liver injury which is known as hepatotoxicity in medical terms.
  • Long term usage may result in withdrawal symptoms such as cardiac complications.
  • Over dosage of Valerian can be dangerous.

Nanorobots will be new Terminators to Defend your Body

Most of us have seen robots like Terminator in Hollywood movies, which are unrealistic and will take hundreds of years in development. But very soon nanotechnology will deliver nano-robots, which will be future of medicine. Development and testing of nano-robots is going on and very soon it will be released in market to cure some fatal diseases. Nano-robots are sometimes also called as nano-medicine or nano-particles. It will revolutionize the way we detect and treat diseases, as it will do detection and treatment at cellular level.

There are one millon nanometer (nm) is one millimeter (mm). Nanotechnology deals with objects in size range of 0.1 nm to 100 nm. Such small size gives nanotechnology the ability to enter into human body and travel through blood vessels to reach a target site easily. Size of RBC (Red Blood Cells) vary from 6200 nm to 8200 nm, which is far more than size of objects made through nanotechnology. Very small size of nano-robots will provide it freedom to penetrate anywhere in body, just like blood can go anywhere in body. It will work at cellular level to treat diseases.

Nanotechnology will revolutionize Medical Science


  • Nanoparticles are being developed at Georgia State University, which will target influenza viruses and will be an effective treatment of the disease. Usually medical science don't have any effective treatment against viral disease (they just treat symptoms) , but if this nano-medicine succeeds then it will be a major breakthrough. 
  • Some labs are designing and testing nanoparticles that can deliver drugs, heat and light to specific cells in human body. This technology can be used for chemotherapy of cancer cell without disturbing other healthy cells. It will greatly reduce side effects of cancer treatment and will be effective to fight against cancer. 
  • Researchers at the Wyss Institue are testing nano particles that can act according to pressure inside a blood vessel. At the site of blockage inside blood vessel, the pressure is increased, which can make a nanoparticle release the medicine at the site and dissolve the blockage / clot.
  • Researchers at the University of Illinois are using gelatin nanoparticles to target brain injuries and deliver drug directly to damages brain tissues. It will be most effective treatment for brain injuries.
  • Houston Methodist Research Institute is conducting a research using silicon nanoparticles to target cancerous tumors and deliver drugs directly inside them.
  • Good news for those who are fearful of injections. Such nanoparticles are being tested on mice which can be taken orally and then they will pass through lining of intestine into the blood stream and then deliver the medicine there. Successful testing of this technique will help you in taking vaccinations orally.
  • Nano-capsules are being designed to carry insulin and then release it only when blood sugar level rises.

Why Nanomedicines are better than traditional medicine ?
The good thing about nono-medicine is that it is actually nano-particles that carry traditional medicines. Old traditional medicine approach targets a wide part of body with the medicine, while it is necessary to target only a specific area suffering with disease. In nano-medicine approach, the nano particles first find the target area inside the body and then release the medicine at that particular place, which treats the medical condition effectively. It also saves our body from side effects that traditional medicine causes by approaching healthy cells of body.

Thus nano robots will not only treat diseases easily, but will also reduce side effect. Medical science is going to revolutionize is a few decades and a number of fatal diseases will be cured soon.

Do You Find it Difficult to Recognize Someone ! Face Blindness

Just like color blindness, where one can't distinguish colors correctly, face blindness is a condition where one can't distinguish between faces. It is a type of autism known as Prosopagnosia or facial agnosia. There is no defect in the eyes of people suffering from this disease as they can see objects perfectly, but just can't recognize faces. To understand this fact, just ask yourself if you can distinguish between faces of two monkeys of similar stature. Most probably the answer will be no, as your brain is not designed to distinguish their faces. Similarly some people can't distinguish between human faces as some part of their brain don't process that information.

How do our brain recognize faces ?

Our brain analyses and stores the information about different facial features, such as nose, eyes, color of eyes, cheeks, skin color, hair style, color of hair and then store all of that information as set to recognize a face. Even voice of a person is stored with its face in our brain to recognize him / her. Even if some features don't match next time due to makeup, haircut or hair color then our brain use remaining features to match the face with stored faces in its database. We even use this feature to recognize blood relatives of a person. For example sometimes you can easily distinguish if a kid is son/daughter of a particular person just by looking at his/her facial features.
Some people come to know that they are suffering from Face Blindness only when they read about it in any science journal. Suddenly they realize that they can't recognize faces of characters in a movie or faces of their co-workers.
Do people suffering from Face Blindness, use voice to recognize people ?
However you may find it possible, but people suffering from Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness) find it difficult to recognize voices. Inability to recognize voices is called phonagnosia, where one person can't distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar voices. It is because the portion of our brain which recognizes our faces is also responsible for voice recognition.
According to a study one in every 50 is suffering from Prosopagnosia. The severity of condition may vary. Most of them remain unaware that it is a medical condition and feel that their memory is getting weak.
How does Prosopagnosia occur in some people ?
The problem of face blindness either occurs in the childhood or occur as a result of brain injury or trauma. Sometime an unrelated brain surgery can also also result in prosopagnosia. Researches are still going on to find if face blindness is due to lack of some connections or due to inability to use connections that are available. Fusiform gyrus is a part of brain held responsible for face blindness. Clotting of blood in this area of brain during a stroke can also result in face blindness.
People suffering from Face Blindness often live in fear that some important person in their life might feel unimportant, if he/she don't get recognized by him/her. Several other social consequences can occur as result of non-recognition or mis-recognition.
How do people suffering from Prosopagnosia distinguish people ?
People suffering from Prosopagnosia use alternative ways to recognize people. The take help of hair style, walking style, body language, height and clothes to identify a person.
Worst part of Prosopagnosia is when you mistake yourself as someone else in mirror, and then realize after sometime that its really you.
When it comes to treatment, sometimes it may get resolved on its own but sometimes don't. If it doesn't then you may need to find some alternative ways to recognize a person.
Note: Prosopagnosia in kids often results in shy behavior as they find themselves unable to recognize people.

Worms in your Gut causing Digestive Problems

Our gut is gateway to our health. If you are suffering from some digestive problems and no medical approach is able to cure you, then it might be a parasite. According to WHO, 10% population of developing countries is infected with intestinal worms, and contaminated water is the primary reason for that. If you have returned from a tour of any developing nation and not feeling well since then, then it might be due to a parasite residing in your gut. Several unexplained and unresolved digestive disorders are often diagnosed as parasites (worms) in gut.

When we refer to intestinal parasites or worms in your gut, then it means tiny organisms that feed on your nutrition. These worms often enter your body as larvae and then grow in your gut. They come in different sizes and shapes and cause a wide variety of symptoms. Usually these worms feed on your nutrition and your blood, which sometimes causes anemia. Most of these worms ever start reproducing  there.

Symptoms of Intestinal Worms

Common Symptoms

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Gas / Bloating
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes or Itching around rectum

Severe symptoms

  • Diarrhea with blood and mucus in the stool
  • Blood or pus in your stool
  • Vomiting daily or frequently
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Extremely fatigued and dehydrated

Following symptoms can also be considered as suspected Intestinal Worms

  • Unexplained constipation, diarrhea, gas, or other symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • History of food poisoning and you are having digestive problems since then.
  • If you suffered from diarrhea while abroad
  • Diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia
  • Never feeling full after your meals
  • Grinding your teeth in your sleep



Toxins released by worms in your body can go into your blood stream and cause very different symptoms such as joint pain, muscle pain, skin irritations. These toxins can interact with your neurotransmitters and blood cells and then cause depression, frequent feelings of apathy, mood swings, anxiety, trouble falling asleep, wake up multiple times during the night and even insomnia.

Never fall prey to myth that intestinal parasites are not found in developed countries. They are found everywhere but the count may vary. Sometimes intestinal worms can survive in your body for years without showing any symptoms. 

How does intestinal worms enter your body ?

  • Contaminated food and water.
  • Undercooked meat.
  • Poor hygiene
  • While swimming in lakes, ponds, or creeks.
  • Unclean or contaminated fruits and vegetables.
  • Some parasites enter the body through foot and then travel upwards into the body.
  • Contact a parasite when handling animals.

Treatment of Intestinal Worms

Once presence of Intestinal Worms is confirmed after stool test and blood test, anti-parasitic medication is prescribed by doctors.
Oral medication like praziquantel (Biltricide) is used for Tapeworm infections.
Mebendazole (Vermox, Emverm) and albendazole (Albenza) are used for roundworm infection.

Does Health Insurance Improve your Health and Lifespan

All of us know that Health Insurance can save us financially, when we need it the most. But does health insurance also affect our health ? After-all the main motive of health insurance should be insuring the health of a person, not the money. When betterhealthfacts.com tried to know if there is any effect of health insurance of overall well being of the insured person or family, some interesting facts were revealed. We were not the only one trying to connect health insurance with health of the insured, but a number of researchers were conducting studies to know the impact.

As we came across a number of studies, one thing was sure that health insurance affects the health and lifespan of insured person in a positive way. We don't know the magnitude of effect, but life expectancy is increased and improved health is the basic reason behind that. Those studies also take into account other factors that affect health and lifespan, such as obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse,  gun violence, environmental hazards and occupational safety, but still the positive impact of health insurance was clearly visible.

Studies supporting the fact:

  • A study done by Harvard School of Public Health found a significant decrease in all-cause mortality and increases life expectancy.
  • Institute of Medicine conducted a study in 2002 and estimated that death rate (mortality) of uninsured is 25% more that insured people of similar group. According to that estimate 18000 excess deaths occurred per year during those years as 40 million Americans lacked health insurance at that time.
  • Medicaid expanded its insurance coverage for pregnant women during 1980s and 90s. It resulted in decreased infant and child mortality.

How does Health Insurance make people healthy ?


  • It gives people an emotional support and they know that they won't be under debt if something goes wrong with their health. This emotional support saves them from any psychological disorders.
  • Routine medical checkup and screenings that come with Health Insurance make people aware about their increasing weight and blood pressure which may result in diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. People take their health seriously and timely react to keep themselves healthy.
  • Routine medical checkup and screenings also help is diagnosing some diseases at early stages, where they can be treated easily and chances of early death are greatly reduced.
  • Uninsured people comparatively don't get their disease timely diagnosed, which results in more expenditure and financial dis-balance of whole family and chances of psychological disorders of other family members. During such times other family members also don't take good care of their health. All these factors affect the health of whole family, which starts from a single person.

 While studying the effect of health insurance on health of a person, we found that most studies don't take into account the health of others who are closely related to an insured person. Its obvious that health insurance affects health of an insured person in positive way, but it also positively affects the health of other family members. If your mother or father are in good health, then you can take better care of your own health as well. And if something goes wrong with their health, then your workout schedule and diet pattern gets disturbed and thus affects the whole family's health.

When we ask about health of an insured person then most expected answer is "good" while it is not so in case of an uninsured person. Several factors work behind as mentioned earlier. Getting Health Insurance also means that you are aware about your health and take steps to keep it in good state.

So investing in health insurance policy not only saves tax and financial stability but also saves your health, increases your lifespan and also improves health of your whole family.

Reference: 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/12/stateline-health-insurance-death-rates/8999769/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/09/08/what-we-know-about-how-health-insurance-affects-health/?utm_term=.6e54e03a10d5

Touch Screen deteriorating Handwriting skill of Kids

Some reports published in early 2018 claimed that touch screen usage by kids is making them unable to write with hand. Lack of finger skills necessary to hold a pencil properly is found responsible for that. Pediatricians claim that over usage of touchscreen phones and tablets by kids and lack of playing with toys, blocks, clay and colors is responsible for this effect. Researchers believe that if we don't understand the severity of these reports then it might have some very bad results in future.

How Touch Screen deteriorating Handwriting skill of Kids ?

Now a days parents find an unused smartphone as a good toy for their kids or ever toddlers. These devices turn out to be addictive for kids and they don't find any thing else interesting. Instead of doing some physical activity, playing with toys or holding colors to draw something on paper, they find smartphone more useful. Now kids play music on phone, scroll through pics, click pics and play games (most addictive) and don't want anybody to stop them from doing that. All these touch screen skills require just a touch by fingertip. It does not provide enough opportunity to muscles in fingers to develop the skill of very fine movements which is required in writing.

According to Sally Payne, a head pediatric therapist, 10 years ago kids have better strength in their hands and fingers to hold and write with a pencil.

Whom to blame ?
Parents ! Yes it is the fault of parents who find their unused smartphones or ipads, a better toy for their kids, instead of making them play with actual toys, taking them for a walk or playing with them. Parents have less time for such necessary activities as they spend that precious time in their own phones. To don't get disturbed they give a far more addictive toy in hands of their kids which puts their all-around-development at risk.

Some of the modern kids don't know how to hold pencil. When the pencil is given to them for the first time in school, they hold it totally wrong and can't control it as they should. Teach your kid to hold pencil yourself at home and it it goes wrong then try to correct them. Your timely intervention can help your child.

Evolution going backwards
Once i heard that technology is making human evolution go backwards. The skills that once developed in our body during evolution are now deteriorating. It is because we are no longer using those skills. One such skill is handwriting, if we don't teach our young generation the art of writing then a number of other arts like painting and sculpturing will be extinct soon.

Some talents are becoming rare in modern kids like making sketches, painting and calligraphy which require very fine control over your fingers. We need to spend some time on proper development of kids and keep in mind the importance of actual world, instead of the virtual world that we see in our smartphones.

Reference:
https://nypost.com/2018/03/01/smartphone-addicted-kids-cant-hold-pencils-anymore/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5435015/Touchscreen-happy-children-weak-hold-pencil.html
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/25/children-struggle-to-hold-pencils-due-to-too-much-tech-doctors-say

Parasites that can live in Human Body

Recently a Russian women reported shifting bumps on her face which was diagnosed as a parasitic worm. Doctors removed that parasite but it made people aware of several parasites that can survive in human body. The motive of this article is to make you aware of such parasitic creatures that can use your body as a host.

  • Naegleria Fowleri :  This bug has infected 35 people in US during past 10 years. Its infection is fatal as it infects the brain and thus named “brain-eating amoeba”. This bug is found in warm lakes and rivers and infects the swimmers through nose. It causes stiff neck, seizures, and hallucinations before the person dies due to infection.
  • Lice: They commonly stick themselves on hair and then suck blood from skin to survive. Over the counter medication can help you to get rid of them.
  • Acanthamoeba : This bug is common among contact lens wearers if they don't wash their lenses regularly in tap water. This parasite is found in lakes, oceans, soil and air, which makes is easily available if you don't take proper precautions. It cases sensitivity to light, redness in eye and feeling of something inside your eye. If it remains untreated then it can cause vision loss.
  • Whipworm or Trichuris Trichiura: Children are most prone to these parasites as they tend to crawl and put their fingers in mouth afterwards. It causes diarrhea, anemia and weight loss. Whipworm can grow up to two inches in length.
  • Gnathostoma Spinigerum: This parasite is common in cat, but enters humans through undercooked fresh-water fish. Its larvae infects your stomach and lever in the beginning and then reaches your skin. If it infects your nervous system then it can be fatal.
  • Loa Loa : This parasite can infect you through deer-fly bites if you have spent some time in African rain forests. It causes itching sensation around joints and can also infect the surface of eye, where it is easily visible.
  • Ticks : These pests can dig itself into your skin and cause lyme disease and create a bulls-eye rash on skin.
  • Chigoe Fleas : This parasite is found in sandy or tropical areas and it digs itself into the feet and can grow up to 2000 times bigger once inside. It cause itchy sensation, ulcers, gangrene or tetanus.
  • Scabies : These scary mites can dig tunnels under skin and then lay eggs there. They survive in the skin folds between fingers, arms, legs and other body parts. Close skin contact between people can transfer them.
  • Guinea worms: These worms are ingested as larvae through drinking water and then enters into body tissues through intestine. Within a year blisters start forming in legs and worm emerges out of it to lay eggs. 
  • Sparganum: It is a tapeworm and can live up to 20 years without showing any symptoms. Usually it survives inside intestine and can grow one feet long. It can be fatal if it reaches brain. These worms are ingested alive with under cooked or raw pork.
  • Liver Fluke: It also spreads through contaminated drinking water. As they reach intestine they latch onto the bile ducts of the liver and cause liver infections, severe stomach aches and jaundice. They can survive for 20 to 30 years inside human body and may cause bile duct cancer.
  • Filarial Worms: These microscopic parasites are carried through mosquito and infects lymph system and causes a disease named lymphatic filariasis. Most of the infected people don't show any symptom but it can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes and a buildup of fluid in the body.
  • Screwworm: It is actually larvae of a fly which lays its eggs on cuts or wounds and then larvae survives can causes infection.
  • Chiggers: They don't enter your body, but connects themselves to outer skin and feed themselves for at least 3 days before letting themselves away. Waistbands or sock cuffs are their favorite part to stick and they itch a lot.
  • Dirofilaria repens : It is the parasitic worm that infected a Russian women recently. It is found in cats and dogs and goes into mosquitos to lay its eggs. Then as the mosquito bites other mammals, the larvae is transferred. This parasite can cause blindness if not treated on time.
  • Hookworm: This worm can survive in human intestine for years and suck blood, cause inflammation and anemia. 
  • Botfly (Dermatobia hominis) : It infects humans in form of a larvae which tries to get into human body with through its barbed skin. It is found in South America and Africa.

These are a few parasites that can live inside human body and cause infection. The best way to keep yourself away from them is proper hygiene and taking good care of your body when you visit an area that is prone to such parasites.

Are Yoga Pants really useful for Yoga

Yoga is a good lifestyle practice and should be followed to earn good health and peace of mind, but a number of people are following it to click selfies and then upload their best pics on social networks to get some likes and comments. Yoga pants are one of such accessories that may make your pics look better and your yoga mat will make others aware that you do yoga. Yoga is the latest fashion for some people and some marketing companies are utilizing this opportunity by making people feel that their yoga pants will give them look of a model. Once you fall prey to such tricks, the probability of forgetting the real objective of yoga is quiet high.

Are Yoga Pants really useful ?
Yes, they are useful. Yoga Pants are the latest skinny jeans that you can use with various forms of dresses. They take lesser space in your wardrobe, easier to wash, easier to dry and no hassle of buttoning-unbuttoning. These features really make them easier to wear at work, home and workout.

Are Yoga Pants also helpful in Yoga ?

If you have noticed the structure of yoga pants, then you must have noticed that they stick to skin and stretch easily. You may feel that it won't tear when you stretch, but the truth is that even your old sweatpants can do the same job. The real fact is that the new yoga pants don't let your legs breathe and makes the yoga less effective. Most of us don't do as much stretching as yoga pants can support.

Some negative facts about Yoga Pants


  • Our skin is our largest organ, which removes a number of toxins out of our body. Wearing skin tight clothes disturbs this process.
  • Yoga Pants are usually made of wrinkle-free fabrics, which is treated with chemicals that release formaldehyde (a toxic cancer-causing chemical).
  • Wrinkle-free clothes cause dermatitis, a skin condition that causes itchiness, rashes and blisters. 
  • Toxic chemicals like Triclosan are used in Yoga Pants to prevent odor.
  • Additives like PFAS/Teflon are used to make yoga pants stain repellent.
  • Fabrics like nylon and polyester are used in yoga pants, and these fabrics generate nitrous oxide during their production, which is 300 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.
  • Dyes used to color the fabric of Yoga Pants use heavy metals, which pollute water and wildlife.
  • Short term wearing of such fabric might not produce and harmful effect, but long term may do.

Recently an article was published in NewYork Times claiming that Yoga Pants are bad for women. That article attracted a lot of controversy and several women claimed that yoga pants are good and that thinking of writer was a bit mean. But here the actual concern is yoga, not the pants or freedom of women. Some people blamed the writer to be closed-minded while the writer was just telling that the society is becoming cloth-minded.

Yoga Pants are more about

  • letting your curves be visible to others, especially men (nothing bad in it).
  • spending more money on fashion, instead of the yoga class itself.
  • making your pics tell others that you do yoga, even if you don't.

The name "Yoga Pants" don't justify the product as it is widely used for all other purposes but yoga. Any other name would have done the job, such as skinny pants, stretch pants or rubber pants.

Now a days fitness studios are taking place of traditional gym, where the looks matter more than what you are really doing to improve your health. Truth is that women are spending more on fitness accessories, instead of real fitness. The count of women joining fitness studios is twice more than men and it has really boosted the sale.

The truth is that most of us wear yoga pants because they are sexy, otherwise their is nothing special about them for yoga. Some feminist may say that women have every right to look sexy, but the truth is that yoga is meant for health and peace of mind. Women may wear anything they like, but purchasing them in name yoga and gym is totally wrong.

Reference:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/opinion/sunday/yoga-pants-sweatpants-women.html
https://branchbasics.com/blog/detox-your-wardrobe/

Does Positive Attitude affect your Health

Being Optimistic or Pessimistic is a natural human trait that develops either through our upbringing and our genes. It is a well known fact believed by medical practitioners that positive attitude affects your health in a positive way. Usually we care only about our diet, exercise and sleep to live a healthy life, but positive attitude in our lifestyle also plays a major role for betterment of our health. This article will explain how our optimistic approach towards various aspects of life improves our health.

During past century our society has accepted the importance of psychological health. Prior to that people used to believe that psychological treatments are only meant for mentally sick or lunatic people. But now people know that diseases like depression and anxiety are common and every person faces it at least once in their life. Apart from medicines, counselling plays an important role in psychological treatments. Most of these counselings revolve around our thinking and attitude towards life. A counselor always try to make us think positive and being optimistic. The truth is that people with positive attitude are very less prone to any psychological disorder.

According to a study the chances of heart related issues are lesser in optimistic people. Even if there is some heart disease, optimistic people recover easily after hospitalization and require 50% less re-hospitalization. [1]

Optimism improves our immune system response. Even when a person with pessimistic approach is provided some counselling to think positive, the immune system response improves with behavior. [2]

A research done in Finland concluded that optimistic people are three times lesser prone to hypertension, even when risk factors like smoking, obesity, alcohol abuse, physical inactivity and family history are also taken into account. [1]

According to American Journal of Cardiology, apart from food positive behavior can also keep your cholesterol level low, thus improving your cardiovascular health. [3]

An American research concluded that people with most positive attitude are likely to have least blood pressure. [1]

A 2006 study found that optimistic people are least affected with viral infections, even if they are living in an area where the virus has spread. [1]

Several studies done in different parts of world concluded that optimistic people live longer as they have overall better health. [1]

Some researchers believe that a healthy and disease free body is most likely to be optimistic an hence optimistic people face lesser health issues. But once more fact is that so called optimistic people usually follow a healthy lifestyle, which might be responsible for better health. Whatever the matter is, either optimism results in healthy lifestyle or vice-versa, the fact is that positive attitude improves health.


Positive emotions that result from positive attitude last for a long time and help us in developing skills that help us further in life. Positive emotions help us in exploring possibilities. When a kid goes out to play with a happy mood, he/she learns physical skills by playing sports, learns social skills by making new friends and communicating with them and also develops creative approach. These positive skills developed by positive attitude help that child for all of his/her life. So positive approach towards life not only makes us healthy but also makes our life better.

A pessimist might live a long life sometimes, but chances of it being happy and healthy are very less. So be positive and make others too.

References:
[1] http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/optimism-and-your-health
[2] https://www.livescience.com/8158-optimism-boosts-immune-system.html
[3] https://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149%2813%2900388-3/abstract

What makes you Fat ? Carbs, Fat or Calories !

Obesity is the latest epidemic and threatening US population with side effects like heart diseases and diabetes. People take it as a lifestyle disease and think that lack of physical work is responsible for that. But the truth is that our diet is also a major factor, which is making us fat. Those who are aware about diet have got various views. Some think that excess fat in diet makes us fat, while some think that excess carbs do it. One more group of people think that it is all due to excess calories. Here we are more concerned about diet, and will try to find which factor (fat, carbs or calories) is to be blamed for making us fat.

What made people believe that Fat in diet is real culprit ?

There were some widely spread myths that even educated people believed in and thought that dietary fat makes us fat.
Myth 1 : Dietary fat directly get deposited in body and make us obese.
Truth : Our body can't do that. First is digests the dietary fat like any other food item. Our stomach only absorbs water and glucose for instant energy (that is why we give glucose to drink, if someone faints). Infact dietary fat takes more time to get digested and make us feel full for longer duration.

Myth 2: Fat contain more calories that makes us fat.
Truth: Yes, dietary fat contain 9 calories per gram, while carbs and protein contain just 4 calories per gram. But the truth is that this property of fat makes us feel full on lesser consumption. As we told earlier that digestion of fat takes longer and makes us feel full for longer duration as well. Both of these facts automatically balances the correct amount of calorie consumption. Here you should know one more thing that digestion of fat consumes far more number of calories compared to carbs and proteins.

If you want to know more about Fat Myth then read Does eating Fat make you Fat .

Are Carbs responsible for Body Fat ?

Carbohydrates are more easily convertible to body fat compared to dietary fat. Carbohydrates can be more easily converted to glucose and increase blood sugar level and insulin level. The excess glucose which is not absorbed by muscles and other cells of body are converted into fat and deposited in different parts of body as a stored energy which can be used by body while is shortage of food. So the real fat deposited in body is made from carbohydrates.
Bread, potatoes, cookies, sugar and rice are some major sources of carbohydrates that you should control in your diet.
Now people are turning towards Ketogenic Diet , which is a low carb diet, to loose the excess fat and being slim.

Can you blame calories for Body Fat ?

Yes, but only if you are consuming more than the expenditure. In the end it doesn't matter what you are eating, what matters in the amount of calories. If you are consuming excess calories then in the end they will get deposited as fat in body. Physical activities are the best way to consume calories. You may choose any one that you like such as cycling, jogging, swimming or workout in a gym. Staying away from more carbs is better as they contain instant calories and it also makes us addict.

A balanced diet and active lifestyle that includes some daily workout is the best way to stay fit.  

Mineral Oil is Cancerous (used in Baby Oils and Beauty Products)

What is Mineral Oil ?

Mineral oil (also known as White Oil) is a liquid byproduct of refining crude oil which is used to make gasoline and some other petroleum products. It mainly contain alkane and cycloalkanes. Its density is around 0.8 g/cm3. Term "Paraffinum perliquidum" is used for light mineral oil and "Paraffinum liquidum" or "Paraffinum subliquidum" for thicker varieties of mineral oil.
It is a transparent, colorless and tasteless oil. It best property is that it is inexpensive, which made it widely popular among a number of industries.

Mineral Oil Usage


  • Veterinarian use it as a mild laxative for pets.
  • Mineral Oil is a common ingredient in baby lotions, cold creams, ointments and cosmetics.
  • It is used as a lubricant in enema, as most of it comes out as the stool rather than being absorbed by the body.
  • Mineral oil is rubbed on wooden kitchen items in hotels and restaurants, as it reduces the absorption of food liquids into them and thus making them easy to clean and no food odors. 
  • It is used as non-conductive coolant in electrical components such as transformers. So transformer oil is actually mineral oil.
  • Mineral oil and detergent are mixed to make Horticultural oil, which is sprayed on plants to suffocate pests and reduce their population.
  • In textile industry light mineral oil is used as spindle oil (a lubricant).
  • It is also used as brake fluid in disc brakes of some bikes and cars.

Mineral Oil's effect on Health


  • Mineral oil is extracted from crude oil, which itself contain various toxins and some carcinogens.
  • Mineral oil is considered as comedogenic (which clogs pores on skin) and may result in acne. However cosmetic companies claim that they used highly purified form of mineral oil, which is non-comedogenic.
  • According to WHO (World Health Organization) untreated or mildly treated mineral oil comes in Group 1 carcinogen.
  • Due to its laxative effect, usage of mineral oil in children's foods is discouraged.
  • Maximum permissible limit of consuming mineral oil is 100 mg per day, but our baking industry alone is responsible for making us ingest 80 mg per day, as mineral oil is widely used there. 
  • Mineral oil as an ingredient of hair oil to act as a cheap lubricant. Some studies have found that usage of mineral oil in hair oil may impair the healthy growth of hair.
  • Mineral oil-based moisturizers can increase the growth rate of tumours. 

Mineral Oil is a Carcinogen

According to cancer.gov mineral oil exposure increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, particularly of the scrotum.
22% of all petroleum based cosmetics contain "1,4 dioxane" which is an animal carcinogen and a possible human carcinogen as well.

According to a study published in Women's Health in 2011, 142 women who were undergoing C-sections were tested for body fat and post-delivery milk samples. Researchers found that both fat and milk were contaminated with MOSH (mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons).

Mineral Oil is ingredient of a number of cosmetics and comes with different label names, so that it gets harder for you to distinguish them. Some of those names are:

  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Liquid paraffin
  • Paraffin oil
  • Paraffinum
So next time you read these labels, decide it yourself either you want to use that product or not. Some experts say that only unpurified mineral oil is harmful and carcinogen, while purest form of mineral oil is OK for health. But why should we use it when we already know that it was derived from a harmful substance. 


Reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_oil
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/mineral-oils
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21970597
https://beautyeditor.ca/2014/10/16/petroleum-mineral-oil-skin-products

Flat Shoes may be damaging your Feet

If you are facing foot pain, heel pain or back pain from past few months or years, then it might be due to your footwear. Usually people ignore the fact and blame their sitting posture or physical work for foot pain or back pain. Arch support and cushioning is the basic necessity of a good footwear. Flat shoes or slippers lack these features and result in health consequences. Some of the flat footwear look cheerful and also cost less, which attract people to use them. Here our ignorance about footwear costs us.

Before you know about damaging effect of flat footwear, you must know some facts about feet to make you aware of their importance.

  • Our feet has got more that 25% of bones in our body, 52 to be precise.
  • During the whole day our feet bear the weight equivalent to the weight of a truck loaded with cement.
  • The arch of the foot distributes the weight to the complete foot and give us proper push to walk and run as well.
  • Muscles and tissues in our feet act as a shock absorber and help us in walking on any type of surface.
  • It is a brilliant example of natural engineering as these bones are put into perfect alignment to bear our weight and make us walk, run, jump and climb.
  • You may feel that climbing upstairs and coming downstairs is an easy task, but most of the animals can't do that perfectly. We the humans are only being that can do it perfectly with two legs without worrying about balance.

How does flat shoes damage your feet ?


  • Flat shoes, sandals and flip flips usually don't provide appropriate support to sole of feet, especially the arch.
  • Lack of shock absorption is another basic reason behind the damage to feet.
  • Flat shoes are not bad, if they have cushioned base and shaped to support the arches of your feet.
  • Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation and tear in the tissues at the base of feet, is a common health issue related to bad or flat footwear.
  • If your flats are tight at toes, then they don't let your foot distribute your weight equally and make your foot bones out of alignment, which results in interior foot injury and nerve inflammation. 

30% people have flat feet due to genetic reasons, but the condition can get worse by wearing bad footwear.
Sudden increase in weight may also contribute to feet and back problems. 

Health of our legs and our overall health are heavily interconnected. Know More about this interconnection. High heels are also equally damaging for your feet. An appropriate height of heel is recommended for comfortable and healthy footwear.
No arch support, no fastening strap or laces and no shock-absorbing material are the basic reason developing feet and back problems. 
Your shoes play an important role in your life, but we ignore their importance and don't even provide proper footwear to bear our own weight. Ignorance is the basic reason behind a number of health conditions. Be aware and never wear flat shoes.

Are Refined Vegetable Oils Unhealthy

Half a century ago soy, safflower and linseed oils were used to make paint and varnishes, but then chemists discovered technique to make it from petroleum oil, which was cheaper. At that time due to lack of any merchant to purchase their crops, farmers fed the soy and safflower to their pigs. As a result the pigs got fat. Then scientists developed a technique to purify the vegetable oils and remove their paint-like bad smell, and that process was used to manufacture refined oils. Now these vegetable oil became taste less and odor-less and widely accepted by society, as even doctors of that time preferred it over animal fat (such as butter). Refined vegetable oils were also cheaper than other traditional animal fat derived from cow milk.

The oil once used for making paints and later used to fed pigs is now being used in our kitchen. So the question is if the refined vegetable oil is healthy or not ? 

What is a refined vegetable oil ?

Refined vegetable oil means vegetable oil that has been "purified". Here purification may mean a number of treatments, such as filtered, deodorized, neutralized, treated with acid, purified with alkali or bleached. Natural antioxidants and nutrients are also removed from vegetable oil in the process of purification. Such treatment of any food product can make it unhealthy.

Some refined vegetables oils also undergo hydrogenation, which turns oil into solid state and increases its shelf life. Such hydrogenated oil contains a large percentage of trans-fat, which is considered very unhealthy. According to an estimate by FDA more than 90% of prepared cookies, crackers and frozen breakfast contain trans fats. Such readily available food items and food served in restaurants usually contain hydrogenated vegetable oil, which increases the profit but degrades the health. Next time when you purchase any packed food, check its ingredients if it contain trans fat.
Do you known that New York became the largest city in US, where restaurants are asked to go trans-fat free. 

Refined Vegetable Oil may cause Cancer

Some recent researches have found that animal fats don't contribute to heart diseases while vegetable oils do. According to a research consumption of butter has decreased from 18 lbs per person per year to just 4 during past century. Refined Vegetable oil has taken place of butter, and researchers fear that it might be a reason behind increased heart diseases and cancer cases. [1]
N‐Nitrosodi-n-butylamine is a carcinogen found in Soybean oil, one of the mostly used refined vegetable oil. Concentration of this carcinogen in Soybean oil is 290 μg/kg. Same carcinogen is also found in cheese at 20 to 30 μg/kg , in smoked meat at 3.9 μg/kg and at 0.003 μg  per cigarette. [2]

Health Facts about Refined Vegetable Oil


  • Soybean oil (used in 75% of American Kitchens) increases obesity, which is directly linked to heart diseases and diabetes.
  • Since introduction or refined vegetable oils in 1960s , the reported cases of heart diseases and cancer has increased tremendously.
  • Soybean oil creates imbalance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 in body. Each table spoon of soybean oil contain 6807mg Omega-6 and 917mg Omega-3, while it should be in our body in equal amounts.
  • Omega-6 creates inflammation, which is sometime necessary to heal cuts and wounds. But overdose of omega-6 creates unnecessary inflammation, which can cause a number of health issues.[3]  

Note: Before starting to use any new vegetable oil, make sure that you know how it is made and what are its effect on health. Your awareness can save your health and also your medical expenses.

Reference:
[1] http://www.happilyunprocessed.com/the-basics/refined-oils-and-why-you-should-never-eat-them/
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean_oil
[3] https://www.nutritionadvance.com/harmful-effects-of-soybean-oil/

Importance of Warm up before Workout or Sports


It is a common fact that you must do warm up exercises before doing any workout or sporting event. But why do we need to do it ? Is there any scientific reason behind that or it is just a way to put your body in slight motion before going for actual pace. Does warm up increase your performance afterwards or decreases it by consuming some amount of muscular energy. You will get answers to such common questions in this article.

Scientific Explanation of Warm up

Warm up is low level activity done prior to more strenuous exercise. It rises body temperature and muscle temperature and alerts it to be ready for more physical activity. Blood starts flowing towards muscular areas to provide more energy to them. It prepares cardiovascular system, respiratory system and nervous system by gradually increasing their activity and demand. Sometime a sports specific workout is done by athletes to make some particular muscles more alert for the upcoming event. Warm up reduces the chances of muscle damage.

What are negative effects of avoiding Warm up ?
Some people think that their body is better than others and they don't need a warm up before workout. Implementation of such thoughts can lead to physical side effects on their body. Some of those negative side effects are described here.
  • Muscle Damage: Muscle damage may occur as a result of avoiding warm up. Especially if you are going for very tough workouts, such as weight lifting. Muscles at low temperature can't bear as much weight and may get damaged as a result of bearing excess pressure.
  • Capacity reduced: As a result of lesser blood supply to the muscles (due to avoiding warm up), the muscles can't work to their full potential and you will feel reduction in your capacity.
  • Muscle Soreness: Muscle soreness may occur due to lack of warm up, as lesser amount of oxygen would be reaching muscles, when they are in need of more.
  • Lack of elasticity: Warm up increases elasticity of muscles. Avoiding warm up results in lesser elasticity, which means lesser strength and more chances of muscle pull.
  • Reaction time: Warm up reduces reaction time, thus increasing performance. But lack of warm up results in more reaction time which can result in bad performance for athletes.
How much warm up is OK ?
There is no specific time limit for warm up. It depends on what you are going to do next. If your task only involves a particular muscle set, then warm up of only those muscles is necessary. Your trainer or coach can give you the correct suggestion about it. Main motive of warm up is to increase body/muscle temperature and increase blood flow. Rising your body temperature by 2 degrees is considered sufficient. However some coaches expect you to sweat before going for actual workout.

Warm up is must during winters
Yes, you heard it right. Cold weather makes our muscles stiff and directly involving them in some strenuous exercise can cause muscle damage. So warm up is must during winters.

Never mix up Warm up with Stretching
Warm up and stretching are two different activities. Stretching can't be considered as warm up. If you directly involve in stretching without any warm up, then it may result is muscle injury. Muscle tear or strain may occur to cold muscles if you directly go for stretching.

Some common warm up exercises are:
  • Jogging
  • Static Running
  • Jump Rope
  • Free Squats
  • Forward and Backward run
  • High knee run
  • Stretching without holding a posture

Note: Never do static stretching before a workout session, as it tells your body to relax and cool down, instead of warming up. So static stretching can cause negative side effects. You may do it after a workout session to relax your body and muscles.

Warm up is a way to tell your heart and body to be ready for some physical activity. Your muscles may mind it, if you don't convey this message. So never forget a warm up before actual workout.

Health Benefits of Banana Flower

Banana Flower, also known as Banana Blossom or Banana Heart, is highly nutritious and often eaten as a vegetable and salad in some Asian countries. It is a maroon or purplish flower, that hangs at the end of banana clusters. They taste starchy and bitter. It has got various health benefits, which are described here.

Nutritional Value of Banana Flower (100 g)

  • 51 kcal
  • 1.6g Protein
  • 0.6g Fat
  • 9.9g Carb
  • 5.7g Fiber
Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Copper, Potassium and Magnesium are the minerals that are found in Banana Flower.
Vitamin A, C, and E are also present in banana flower which increases its nutritional value.

Health Benefits of Banana Flower

  • Prevent the pathogenic bacterial growth, thus preventing any suspected infection.
  • Cures Ulcer
  • Cures Anemia
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Best food for diabetics
  • It is a good anti-depressant
  • Reduce Free Radical Activity
  • Anti-ageing effect
  • Provides effective function of Kidneys
  • Relieves you from constipation

Health Benefits for Women

  • Regulates Menstrual Cycle
  • A good food for lactating mother
  • Strengthens Uterus

Banana Flower Recipe 

This banana recipe is made in some parts of India and considered very healthy, especially for diabetic patients.
  • Put some oil in pan and heat it.
  • Put some mustard seeds in it till it crackles.
  • Add ½ tsp. of urad dal (split mungo bean or black gram) and channa dal (split black chickpeas) to it till it becomes brown.
  • Add 1/8 cup of cut shallots (or onion) and curry leaves
  • Add the chopped banana flowers.
  • Now add a tsp. of sambar powder, ¼ tsp. of turmeric powder and salt
  • Set the flame to low and cover the pan for few minutes.
  • Keep checking till all water get evaporated and then switch off the flame. 
  • Now the recipe is ready to be served. 
Save this image and share it to make your family and friends aware of the benefits of banana flower.

Lyme Disease Symptoms and Treatment (Bullseye Rash)

Lyme Disease is mostly known for the bulls-eye rash, which indicates that the infection is spreading.  It is a common tick-borne illness transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, known as a deer tick. It is a bacterial infection and symptoms appear after 3 to 30 days of deer tick bite. If you have spend some time in grassy or forest area then you are more prone to such bite and infection. Timely recognition of symptoms,  appear in stages and grow severe with time, can get you an early treatment.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is spread by an infected deer tick, which are usually very small in size. They must remain attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours to transmit the bacteria into your body through the bite. If you find an attached tick in swollen condition, then most probably it has done its job and transmitted the bacteria into your body. The bacteria then enters your blood stream. There are four main species of bacteria responsible for lyme disease.

  • Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii (in United States)
  • Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii (in Europe and Asia)

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

As we have told earlier that it takes 3 to 30 days for infection to spread its symptoms, which occur in stages. So if you have noticed a tick bite then keep examining yourself for symptoms mentioned below. If you find even a few of them, then contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Early Symptoms

  • Rash: It usually appears at the site of bite in the shape of a bulls-eye. Usually it neither pains nor itches, so you need to examine it yourself. The bulls-eye can expand over days may enlarge upto 12 inches.
  • Fever, headache, tiredness, body ache and chills. These symptoms are common in other diseases like flu, so people often ignore them if they have not noticed any tick bite or rash (at an invisible part of body)

Later Symptoms

  • Joint pain and swelling can occur in knees and then spread to other joints.
  • Other red rashes, known as Erythema migrans can also appear at other parts of body. Multiple bulls-eye rashes diffusing together.  
  • Vomiting

Severe Symptoms

  • Neurological problems like temporary paralysis, Numbness or weakness in limbs, neuropathy and impaired memory.
  • Meningitis : Inflammation of membranes surrounding your brain.
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Liver inflammation
  • Eye inflammation
  • arthritis and nervous system problems

Severe symptoms may take months to years to develop. It is advised to begin the treatment as soon as you notice any early symptom.

Lyme Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosis of lyme disease is hard as its symptoms are also found in some other common diseases.

  • ELISA Test: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test detects the antibodies to B. burgdorferi. It is a blood test which works only few weeks after infection.
  • Western blot test: If ELISA Test comes positive then Western blot test is done to find other antibodies to several proteins of B. burgdorferi.

Lyme Disease Treatment


  • Oral antibiotics can be used to treat early symptoms of lyme disease. Amoxicillin, doxycycline and cefuroxime are usually prescribed as 14 to 21 day course.
  • Intravenous antibiotics are recommended if the disease is spread to central nervous system, but this treatment is also known for side effects.
  • Beware : Some alternative treatment practitioners use bismacine injection, which is not permissible according to FDA, as it can lead to heart and kidney failure.

Prevention from Lyme Disease


  • If you are spending time in woods then it better to keep your full body covered.
  • Keep checking your arms and legs for any possible tick bite.
  • If you find any tick attached to skin, remove it as soon as possible to prevent the infection.
  • Use insect repellent, if you are 
  • Never think that you are immune, as you can get lyme disease more than once.

How to remove the tick ?
Removing the tick with right technique can also save you from possible infection. Grasp the tick gently at its head or mouth and try not to crush or squeeze it. Then pull it carefully to remove the entire tick and then dispose it of. Apply some antiseptic at the site of bite to save yourself from possible infection.

Does eating Fat make you Fat !

Are you fed up of sacrificing your favorite dishes, just because they contain fat. Now the time has come to debunk the low-fat diet myth and let you eat your favorite butter and cheese. Harvard School of Public Health published an article named "It’s Time to End the Low-Fat Myth" to let people know about the unhealthy diet schedule that some health conscious people were following to save themselves from obesity and heart diseases. Some recent researches have found that instead of having any positive effect on health, low-fat diet was actually degrading the health.

Does eating Fat make you Fat ?

Fat has got more calories per gram, i.e. 9 calories, while carbohydrate and proteins have just 4 calories per gram. It made some old researchers think that eating the similar weighing diets with more dietary fat will put more calories into your body, but if you go for low fat diet then you will get benefit of lesser amount of calories and feeling of full tummy. For past few decades a number of doctors continued to recommend low fat diet to save their patient from obesity, diabetes and health problems. But this misconception was proved totally wrong in some of the recent researches.

A large study which included results of 21 different studies done in 2010 and involved 347,747 human subjects concluded that saturated fat consumption is not linked to the risk of heart disease. [2]


Don't be surprised by the fact that low-fat diet makes negative effect on your body by reducing HDL, the good cholesterol. Eating saturated fat increases the HDL and also increases the size of small-dense LDL (which is bad for health) to large LDL (which is comparatively better). [1]

Do you know that a healthy women should have 27% body fat and a man should have 15% body fat. Why do women have higher body fat ?

So adding some saturated fat to your diet won't harm at all. Instead you will find that your lipid profile reports are improving, especially if your were on a low-fat diet earlier. If you were on a low-fat diet to reduce weight then you must know that low-fat diet has no connection with reducing weight and it can't make you slim.

If it is not Fat, then what makes you Obese ?

Why does Fat don't make you Fat ?

Usually people think that dietary fat directly get deposited as fat in your body, but this is a misconception, as our body can't absorb fat directly from the stomach and deposit the same in different parts of body. Dietary fat slows down the secretion of insulin, a hormone responsible for deposition of extra calories as fat in different parts of body. So instead of increasing body fat, dietary fat reduces deposition of body fat. [3]
When we eat fat, it consumes more calories in digestion and takes more time to digest. So eating fat consumes calories and also keeps your tummy full for longer duration. So fat-rich diet ends up in eating less due to feeling of satiation. It helps in consuming a calorie restricted diet.

Note: While deciding your diet plan, make sure not to end up consuming excess calories. In the end it is the excess calories that can cause weight gain. Consuming a balanced diet can help you in maintaining a good height to weight ration. 

Reference:
[1] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/it-aint-the-fat-people
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20071648
[3] http://www.eatnakednow.com/the-fat-question-why-fat-doesnt-make-you-fat/

Humans are Evolved to Eat Cooked Food - Fire is the Key

"Controlling the Fire" is one of the most important discoveries that evolved us to be Homo sapiens, the latest and best species on earth. The best proof of the above fact is that no other species eat cooked food, as they tend to run away from fire. Even the strongest wild animals run away from fire as they are fearful of it. But human ancestors learned the art to control fire and that fear was long gone. This art helped us in roasting the meat and then cooking the food. But how does cooking helped us in evolving as humans ? You will get an answer to this question in this article.

The Calories

Our ancestors like monkey, chimpanzee and apes used to eat raw veg food gathered from plants and tree. Their body used to struggle hard to extract sufficient energy from that type of food. If you have studied biology then you must be aware of the fact that plant cells have cell wall, known as cellulose, which hard to digest. That raw veg food made our ancestors eat more and increased their gut size. Chimpanzee and apes have got 60% bigger gut then humans only due to this fact.

Importance of Time

As our ancestors were eating more so they need to keep searching for food, which was not only time consuming by also making them deficient of calories. As their brain was not getting sufficient calories, it was not developing as much as it should. A developing brain also needs some time, that it can spend in some creative activities, but it was impossible to get due to their always searching and eating schedule. Do you know that gorillas and orangutans keep eating for nine hours per day.

In the beginning our ancestors diverted from veg to non-veg diet as it was richer in calories and kept them full for longer duration. It made them indulge in other creative activities and during that time we learned to control fire. It was a milestone in human evolution.

How Fire helped us in evolution ?


  • As the time progressed we learned to eat roasted food, which made both veg and non-veg food easily digestible. Heat made the food softer and lesser time was spent in chewing.
  • We started to extract more calories from same food and got more time to explore more and develop our brain. Our brain also started to get sufficient calories and nutrients to develop itself.
  • Heat treated food was also safer, as a number of pathogens were killed by heat and there was lesser chance of food poisoning. It must have given our ancestors relief from some diseases.
  • Fire also acted as a tool to save ourselves from wild animals and our ancestors started to live on land.
  • Fire also helped in making tools, that were later used to cut woods and make a good habitat on land.
  • Fire was also used to make utensils of soil and mud, which were used for cooking and storing purpose.
  • Evolution of Agriculture made humans store grain and provided them a food security. It gave them relief from hunting schedule and they reverted back to a mixed diet of both veg and non-veg.
  • Fire helped them in cooking the cultivated food and made stay at a single location. It also made them using some cattle as their pet, and utilizing their milk.
  • Cooked food reduced the size of our gut by 60%, when compared with our ancestors of similar stature.
  • Even the size of our intestine has reduced. It is because of the fact that cooked food is easily digestible and consumes lesser time and lesser calories for digestion.
  • Our smaller teeth and jaw tell about the same evolution attributed to cooked food. 
Today we have evolved so much that we can't survive on raw food alone, as we don't have bigger jaws, teeth and intestine to extract sufficient energy from it. Now our digestive system and enzymes is designed to eat cooked food. Some uncooked salad won't hurt.
Sometime people tend to go towards completely uncooked food, with no salt and sugar, to be slim and get more near nature and live a disease free life. Such steps can sometimes have a negative effect on your body. So don't be your own doctor and always consult a good dietitian before making any drastic changes in your diet.

Note: Today we have become so good at processing food, that we are eating more calories than needed. It is affecting the whole humanity with a disease named Obesity. 

Epstein Barr Virus Infection - The Kissing Disease

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) was discovery in 1964 by Sir Michael Anthony Epstein and Ms. Yvonne Barr. Acute infectious mononucleosis (AIM), also known as mono or the "kissing disease" is caused by this virus. This virus spreads through body fluids, such as saliva, which makes it getting transmitted easily through kiss, and got the disease named "kissing disease". EBV affects 90% American population at some point in life.

Epstein Barr Virus

Scientifically it is human herpesvirus 4 and belongs to herpes virus family. It is a common virus that affects humans and found all over the world. The bad news about this virus is that it is associated with various types of cancer and also connected to some medical conditions related to HIV infection.
Important :

  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) can survive on an object (such as toothbrush or drinking glass) as long as the surface remains moist.
  • Sometime symptoms may take weeks to appear after the infection.
  • A person infected with EBV can pass on the virus to others even before showing any visible symptoms.
  • Even when the symptoms are gone the person can spread the virus for next 18 months.
  • Many people infected with EBV don't develop any symptom as the virus become latent (inactive) after entering the body.
  • People with weaker immune system are more prone to showing symptoms as virus can reactivate after sometime.
  • Once a person is recovered after developing the symptoms, he / she will never suffer from it again as the immunity get developed.

Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Causes

  • Infection through Saliva : Kissing, sharing utensils for eating or drinking
  • Infection through sexual contact and genital fluids
  • Infection through blood transfusion
  • Infection through organ transplant
First two causes of infection are most common and responsible for most of the spread of EBV virus.

Epstein Barr Virus Infection Symptoms

Epstein Barr Virus can infect a wide range of cells in human body including B cells and epithelial cells. It gives rise to various symptoms. Some of them are listed below.
  • Feeling of Low Energy Level and tiredness.
  • Fever
  • Inflamed / swollen throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Swollen liver

Epstein Barr Virus Infection Diagnosis

EBV infection is hard to be diagnosed as the symptoms are similar to some other common diseases. However antibodies can be detected through blood test. Nine out of every ten blood tests will show positive result of these antibodies, which indicates that either the person is currently infected or recovered from a EPV infection in past. If the blood test remains positive for antibodies and the person is showing symptoms then it means that he/she is currently infected.

Epstein Barr Virus Infection Treatment and Cure

There is no vaccine or medicine to save to from EBV infection. If you are infected with EBV then treating the symptoms is the only way to treat it. Your doctor may recommend some pain relievers and anti inflammatory medicines for such symptoms along with adequate rest. If you want to save yourself from Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) then don't share drinks or food, never indulge in unprotected sexual activity and avoid kissing (as there is nothing like protected kissing). But the truth is that it is nearly impossible to save yourself from EBV as this virus is already spread across the globe. So improve your immune system to always be ready to combat this virus.