What makes us forget ? Brain Science

Everybody want to have a good memory and we often try to find out how much we can store in our brain memory. Nobody want to forget anything, but our brain is not a hard-disk (as most of the people think about it). Brain is a biologically evolved very advanced supercomputer that remembers a lot of things, but also keeps forgetting somethings, which are considered useless by it. Sometimes we feel that our memory is not performing well only when our brain considers some important things as useless, while those things were actually important. It does not mean that there is some problem with your brain, almost everybody tend to forget where he/she left the keys.

What makes us forget ?

Forgetting is an equally important part of our life, just like remembering. Our sleep plays an important role in our brain functioning. Especially the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep, when we see dreams and nightmares, is the time when this erasing of unnecessary memory happens. During a good night sleep we enter REM phase of 10-20 minutes around 6 to 8 times. During all those REM phases we see a number of dreams, but we rarely remember even one of them. It is because during that REM sleep our brain keep erasing the memories of those unnecessary dreams / nightmares, so that they don't interfere with real life memory. While erasing those dream memories, our brain also erases some real life memories that are considered useless or unnecessary by it.

In depth about erasing memory

Our dreams are actually screensavers that are played to entertain us while real task of erasing memory is being done. During REM Sleep, hypothalamus releases MCH (Melanin concentrating hormone). Previously researchers thought that MCH helps in building memory but now they have found that during REM sleep MCH erases the dream's memory and also the short term memory that is considered not-important. What makes it categorize the information as important and not-important is also being researched.
Most of us think that neurons store memory, but its not true. Memory storage occurs in the connections between neurons, known as synapses. Each neuron have thousands of synaptic connections with other neurons. During daytime several synapses are created to store new memories, while during REM sleep MCH erases/destroys the unnecessary synapses. One more event occurs during REM sleep, which changes important short-term memory into long-term memory. Some researches suggest that those synapses grew stronger which were accessed again and again, while those remain weak which are never accessed after creation. MCH probably destroys/erases the weaker synapses.
Now if your teacher asks you to revise the lesson, then understand the fact that accessing the same content stored in your memory makes the synapses stronger and don't let your REM sleep erase that important topic that will be asked in exams.
Same thing happens with us when we leave the keys in our jeans pocket, and next morning we shuffle the whole house searching for them. Actually leaving the keys in your pocket usually happens due to a reflex action, but you don't access that memory again and go to sleep, which erases that never accessed memory.

Sleeping is not just a resting process that eases or our muscles, but it is a maintenance phase of our brain. If you don't sleep for days then your brain chemical start to act weird that affects your mental balance and memory. Mankind is discovering the whole universe without even knowing how our brains are storing/retrieving that information and erasing the useless information without even asking us. There is still a lot more to know about our brain to better understand ourselves.

What causes Headache ? Reasons Explained

Everybody experiences headache multiple times in a lifetime, sometimes mild and sometimes severe. But what exactly causes headache ? Is it some indication of some over-activity in brain, some problem with brain/body, or a way to distract us from something ? Our body is a puzzle and nobody has completely understood it yet. But here we will try to bring some facts about headache that are discovered by researchers till now.

Classification of Headaches

Primary Headache: These headache are caused by over-activity or problem with brain structure such as blood vessels, muscles and nerves of head and neck. Its examples are migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.
Secondary Headache: These headache are caused by some other underlying medical condition in our body. For example :  hangover, influenza, dehydration, ice-cream headaches, brain tumor, stroke etc. Any pain in our body indicates some problem in that particular body part, except secondary headache. Secondary headache is not usually generated due to some problem in head, but may be due to problem in some other part. Treating that medical condition cures our headache as well. 

Understanding Primary Headache

There are three types of primary Headache :
  • Migraine Headache
  • Tension Headache
  • Cluster headache
Reason behind migraine headache is not completely understood, however it affects more than 12% of the population and women are 4 times more prone to it. There are different types of migraine depending on the severity of symptoms, which are discussed in other article. Read More about Migraine.

Cluster headaches are very rare and affect just 0.1% of population. Men in their late 20s are usually affected by it, but women and children can also get affected by it. Those affected by cluster headache often wake up at the same time every night due to headache on same side of head or over the eyebrow.

Tension Headache is the most common primary headache that is faced by more than 90% of population in their lifetime. The real reason is unknown behind this pain, but most of the medical practitioners agree on the fact that physical or emotions stress makes our skull muscles to contract, which cause pain sensation in head. Women are more prone to tension headaches. Tension headache usually feels like a tight band around your head and it is usually mild and steady. It usually occurs without any pattern.

Here we will discuss tension headache in detail, as it is the most occurring headache among humans.

Common reasons behind tension headache

Muscle tension or contraction in face, temple, neck or shoulder is generally the primary reason behind tension headache, but what causes such muscle tension is probably the accurate reason behind tension headache. 

  • Holding your head in same position for too long : It often occurs when you are sitting in front of a screen while typing, reading or watching something.
  • Sleeping with neck in a wrong position : It can also trigger headache along with muscle strain on your shoulder or neck.
  • Stress or Depression: Mental Stress or depression can cause skeletal muscle contractions that can cause headache.
  • Head injury can also cause muscle tension or contraction in the skull region.
  • Jaw clenching or teeth grinding also puts your face muscles under stress.
  • Eye Strain is directly connected to our facial muscles. Those jobs that need high level of visual concentration can cause headache. Some times headache is also a signal of eyesight problems.

Treating Tension Headache

Massaging the scalp is the best way to treat tension headache, but it the intensity of pain is not getting controlled then you may use some over-the-counter pain killer. If headache occurs more than 15 days in a month then you should consult a medical practitioner or take a look at your lifestyle to check if you are actually putting yourself under too much stress.
If you feel that you are getting headache more than 15 days in a month, then its better to keep a record of them and the medication used by you, which may help your doctor in diagnosing your condition.  

Migraine: Just Headache or Something else

Migraine is often known for frequent headache, but it is a neurological disorder which causes headache and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Autonomic activities like digestion and breathing also get disturbed due to recurrent attacks of migraine.

In the beginning most of the migraine sufferers wrongly assume that they can deal with their headache on their own and use over-the counter drugs, which is generally overused. Most of the sufferers keep denying themselves and think that its just a headache which will go away on its own, and thus they wait too long to initiate the correct treatment and make it worst. During the migraine pain our brain amplifies the pain signals and other sensory stimulus. It creates  body-wide effects. For example the sound and light signals are amplified, and the sufferer find hard to tolerate smells, noise, light or even touch.
Women are three times more prone to migraine and your genes play an important role as a risk factor for migraine.
People often take leave from work due to migraine pain , but condition become more unproductive when a person with migraine pain comes to work and can't concentrate or work properly. In a survey Japanese Headache Society found that productivity of one in every five employee is decreased due to migraine, which costs Fujitsu, an IT company, $350 million per year.

Stages of Migraine

Migraine often starts in early childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. There are four stages of migraine, but not everyone goes through all of them. These stages are prodrome, aura, attack and post-drome.
  • Prodrome: This stage occurs two day before actual migraine and often not realized as symptom of migraine. The symptoms of this stage are mood changes (or depression), food cravings, neck stiffness, constipation, increased thirst/urination and frequent yawning.
  • Aura: It occurs only in some migraine patients where some reversible symptoms occur for 20 to 60 minutes that are related to our nervous system. Some of such symptoms are pins/needles sensation in arms/legs, numbness in face or one side of body, difficulty in speaking, hearing amplified noise, bright flashes of light, vision loss, uncontrollable jerking and hallucinations.
  • Attack: Migraine Attack can occur rarely or even a few time per month and can't be predicted. Duration of this attack can last from 4 to 72 hour if remains untreated. Symptoms of migraine attack are pain on one side of head (both sides in some cases), pain that pulses, sensitivity to light, sound, smell and touch and feeling of vomiting.
  • Post-drome: It is the post attack stage which may last up to 24 hours, during which you feel drained and confused. Sudden head movement can trigger pain for few minutes. 

Causes of Migraine

Causes of Migraine are not fully understood but researchers believe that genetics and environmental factors play an important role in it. Some recently understood causes of migraine which are being researched more are listed here.
  • Some researchers believe that when major changes occur in our pain pathway which includes brainstem and trigeminal nerve interaction, then it triggers migraine.
  • Some believe that imbalances in brain chemicals, such as serotonin, that regulate pain in our nervous system, is responsible for migraine pain.
  • Neurotransmitters, including calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) may also be responsible for migraine.
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart which is present in more than 20% population. These people are four times more prone to migraine. Researches are being conducted to know if closure of this hole can help in getting rid of migraine.

Triggers of Migraine

  • Hormonal Medication, such as oral contraceptives, can make migraine worse. However in some cases reverse happens, where frequency of migraine attacks decrease are using such medication. 
  • Hormonal changes in women during pregnancy, menopause and periods can trigger headaches.
  • Sensory stimulus such as bright lights, loud noise and strong smell can trigger migraine.
  • Too much caffeine, alcohol or wine.
  • Stress at work or home
  • Physical exertion
  • Lack of sleep, jet lag or too much sleep
  • Change of weather or barometric pressure
  • Skipping meals, fasting or eating processed foods

Migraine in USA

  • 47 million people in US are suffering from migraine.
  • Out of them 6 million are chronic migraine patients, which means more than 15 headaches per month.
  • Direct medical expenses on migraine medication amounts to $11 billion per year.
  • Other indirect costs and disability expenses also cost around $11 billion per year.

Medication of Migraine

According to an estimate 40% of migraine patients should be on preventive medicine while just 13% get it. 4 oral drugs are approved by FDA, two anti-seizure drugs and two beta-blockers. Patients of chronic migraine can get injections of Botox.

Note : If you have frequent headaches then you should keep a record of its duration and medication used to get it analysed by a medical practitioner. 

Heart Attack among Healthy Young Adults Explained

Hypertension and Cardiovascular diseases are usually considered as old age disease, but now a days some cases of severe hear diseases are reported among people in their 20s or 30s. Usually people find it hard to believe that heart problems can occur among these age groups even with good BMI. Sometime just good weight and workout routine is not enough, if their are some loopholes in your lifestyle. Reading this article will definitely improve your knowledge and will make you understand how your body works. 

Lets begin with some common issues that are often ignored but can lead to heart problems.

Loud snoring : Loud snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring happens when your throat relaxes and blocks your airway. As soon as your brain feels lack of breathing it signals your throat muscles to contract and make way for air. It can happen from tens to hundred of times in a single night, which disturbs your sleep and each such instance releases stress hormones. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure several times during a single night and increases the chances of developing heart diseases.

Lack of Sleep : Either its due to insomnia or any other reason, it triggers your body's stress response and puts excess workload on your heart. If lack of sleep is a regular pattern of your lifestyle then in long run it can easily make you a heart patient.
According to some researches now people are sleeping 6.8 hr per night which is 1.5 hr less than a century ago, which may be a major reason behind increased cardiovascular diseases.
Disturbed Sleep : Anti-inflammatory mechanism of our body is regulated by our sleep. Disturbed sleep or poor quality sleep disrupts this mechanism. Researchers have found that disturbed sleep lowers the amount of  hypocretin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake states, and increases the amount of white blood cells in circulation. Loss of hypocretin makes white blood cells collect at the plaque build up inside your arteries, leading to inflammation and atherosclerosis.

Tight Clothes : Tight clothes (especially tight jeans which is popular among youngsters) can lead to disturbance in blood circulation, which may lead to excess workload on your heart. Recently some cases were reported where young healthy adults faced severe heart problems due to tight jeans. To know more you may read another article Your Jeans putting you at health risk.

Calcification : 99% of calcium in our body is in form of bones and teeth, and most of us get calcium through dietary intake to keep our bones healthy. 1% of calcium usually remains in our blood, but in some circumstances it starts to get deposited inside arteries just like cholesterol. The bitter fact is that this calcium blockage is usually so hard that it can't be dissolved or penetrated by stent. There are several cases where calcification occurred in healthy adults and caused conditions like heart attack without any previous history of heart problem. To understand calcification better you must read Calcium deposits in Arteries causing Heart Problems

Bacteria inside arteries : Yes ! human body is home for several good and bad bacteria. Here an important fact is that even a bacteria which is good in one part of body, might be bad in another part. Now researchers have found some bacterial lipids inside our arteries, which are found responsible for building deposition. Our body considers these deposition as foreign material, and our immune response creates inflammation, thus making the blockage worse. Read More about bacteria blocking your arteries.

Stress : You must have seen scenes in movies where a bad news caused heart attack, but did you ever think how it happens. One possible explanation is that our body works through electrical impulses that are carried by nerves, and some sudden stress disrupts that electrical impulse function and heart attack happens. But another explanation found by researchers is that some bacteria residing inside our arteries and some plaque deposition in different arteries are responsible for that. When we are in deep stress, certain chemical changes occur in our blood, which makes these bacteria release some lipids. This lipid ruptures the non-fatal plaque in different arteries and later if that plaque reaches heart and get stuck there then it causes heart attack.

Dehydration : Last but not the least is Water. Lack of water in your body decreases the blood volume, which makes it thicker and decreases the blood pressure. To compensate it, our body constricts the blood vessels and our pulse rate increases. If you are habitual of drinking less water, then your are putting yourself at risk of CHD (coronary heart disease).

Everybody that looks healthy from outside might not be so, if he/she is following a bad lifestyle. So upgrade your lifestyle with good diet, good workout, better sleep, better hydration, better clothes and lower stress level to keep your heart healthy. Your heart works non-stop for your whole life, so its your responsibility to understand its needs. Stay healthy !

Reference:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2845795/
  • https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/155/9/827/58224

Your Jeans putting you at Health Risk

Jeans are quiet popular among all age groups due to their good looks and low maintenance. Some of the brands even claim that you will save water by wearing their jeans. But here we are more concerned about your health rather than looks or saving water. Wearing jeans has increased the occurrence of some diseases among both genders.

Warning : Reading this article further might change your views about wearing jeans.

Lets begin with some incidents of severe medical conditions where doctors believe that tight jeans were the main culprit.

A 30-year-old man of Delhi was found unconscious on his office stairs with no-BP and a pulse rate of just 10-12 per minute. He survived after 5 crucial days in hospital. As the doctors researched more, they found that this guy drove a car on last weekend for more than 250 km without any break while wearing a tight jeans, which resulted in some strain and uneasiness in his leg. After complete analysis doctors told that a clot formed in his leg arteries due to improper blood flow during his driving spree, and later that clot traveled up to his heart and caused massive pulmonary embolism, which could have resulted in death. Even after he revived in hospital, his vital organs like kidney were not working as they stopped working due to very low BP.

Lesson : Never wear a tight jeans while driving and always take some breaks on long run, as it is important for your leg's blood circulation.

In another incident a lady started feeling some pins and needles sensation in her calf , but she became concerned about it where this sensation increased and started to hinder her movement. Initially doctors diagnosed it as sciatica, but as some questions were asked it was revealed that she was wearing her old tight jeans even after gaining some weight. She even told that she chopped the knees of her skinny jeans with a cheese grater, just to keep wearing them.

Lesson : Now you know that sciatica symptoms are possible due to tight fitting trousers or jeans, if they are hindering your blood flow or muscle movement.

According to an incident published in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, a 35-year-old woman's calves ballooned in size as she was squatting for hours to empty the cupboards for a house move. She was rushed to hospital as she was unable to walk and her feet were numb. Doctors diagnosed that condition as compartment syndrome which was caused by bleeding and swelling within muscles. She reached this state because she was wearing a tight pair of jeans while doing this intense workout, which made her calf muscles to swell inwards rather than outwards.

Lesson : Never workout while wearing a tight pair of jeans or trousers.

Some of you might think that the cases discussed here were the extreme circumstances, but there are some more day-to-day facts about wearing tight jeans for both men and women.
  • Wearing tight jeans or underwear can result in low sperm count, as it make it too out there and don't allow the sperms to mature. Read More
  • Tightness of clothes near the testicles can also result in twisted testicles, which is a severe medical condition. If it remains untreated then it might result in death of testicle and its surrounding tissues.
  • If your jeans or pants are too tight then it may result in skin friction and excess moisture down there, which gives perfect environment for fungus and bacteria to grow. Conditions like jock itch, yeast infection or UTI can occur due to it.
  • Women wearing skinny jeans or pants are twice more prone to vulvodynia, a pain disorder of vulva, often experience as stinging, burning, or itching sensation. 
  • Risk of Bacterial vaginitis, a vaginal infection among women aged 15 to 44 years, can increase up to 2 times by wearing tight jeans just once a week.

We are not asking you to ditch your jeans altogether, just follow some tips.
  • Don't prefer it too tight. There is a simple test to check if your jeans are too tight. When you take off your jeans at night, if you can easily check if there are marks imprinted on your skin. It it imprints its design on your skin then its too tight.
  • If you are wearing some skinny jeans then avoid staying in same position for too long, just to keep the blood flowing in your legs.  
Reference:
  • https://journals.lww.com/jlgtd/Citation/2019/07000/Exploring_Hygienic_Behaviors_and_Vulvodynia.8.aspx
  • https://www.ejog.org/article/S0301-2115(04)00285-4/fulltext
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/health-33223045
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/33245474/my-skinny-jeans-caused-me-nerve-pain
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33238110

Human Brain memory capacity in Gigabytes (GB)

When it comes to measuring memory capacity of human brain, we tend to think in terms of digital memory. The most popular term to measure memory is GB (Gigabyte), which is comparatively very less when it comes to measuring memory capacity of brain. A number of researches have tried to measure this capacity and have given various estimates which differ a lot from each other. Usually researches say that our brain can store petabytes of data.

There are different estimates about size of human brain when in comes to counting neurons. Some researchers say that only 10% of or brain are neurons, rest are the cells protecting them or the connections between neurons. One neuron can make around 1000 connections (known as synapses) with other neurons, which generates a complex net of neurons and synapses. Each of these connections can also store a memory.
According to present estimates each synapse can store 4.7 bits of information. Cerebral cortex alone has 125 trillion synapses.
According to scientificamerican.com our brain can store upto 2.5 petabyte (i.e around 2621440 GB). This might seem lesser to some people but this much storage can store up to 300 years of continuous video.

Some Neuroscientists believe that this estimate might be too low or too high, because while doing this simple math we assume that each synapse can hold 1 byte of information. This assumption of 1 byte equals 1 synapse might not be correct. Apart from that all synapses are not used for storage purpose, as some are also used for processing that memory.

One more interesting fact is that, no matter how much the age is, a human never feels out of space to save newer memories. Some researchers feel that it is because our storage capacity is more than required, while some feel that it is because our brain keep erasing those memories which are not of much importance.

Our brain is not just a Hardisk

When we talk about brain and memory, most of us think as if it is a digital pen-drive or a hardisk, while it is not so. Our brain does not learn a thing completely unless that thing is paid attention to or if we don't revise it. You can't learn names of 100 people in a single day, but you may learn it in a few days/weeks if they are your co-workers in your office. A computer can do this thing in a few minutes if it is programmed to do so by a human. Here you might think that your brain is less smart than a computer, but wait a second ! Do you know how much time a computer will take to search for name of a person by matching its face in a 2.5 petabyte hardisk. Probably it might take days, but your brain can instantly tell you if he/she is someone familiar or not, even if you have met that person years ago, you will remember the name if you had met that person a few times. Our brain is a biologically evolved storage and processing device which is way smarter than we think.

Our Consciousness and Memory are outside !

There are some people who think that human consciousness is not something inside our brain. According to them our brain is just a communicating device. We know that we can communicate with other people through talking, but we can also read their expressions, their body language, or their behavior. We are not connected through wires but we communicate better than any wired medium. When it comes to computers we know that they communicate through cables, wifi, bluetooth or other radio frequencies, but we don't know how our brain communicates with our own consciousness. If this theory is true, then our brain is just a processing and communicating device which is always connected to some outer consciousness (like cloud computing), from where you can access unlimited amount of data. At present not much people believe in this theory but who knows what we may come to know in future.

Are you wrapping your Chapatis in Paper or Aluminium Foil ? Which one is safer ?

Over past few years people are blaming aluminium foil as an unhealthy alternative to wrap chapatis (Indian flatbread). Most of such educational sermons are spreading through social networks with no research behind them. In our last article we discussed the usage of aluminium foil and found it safe for wrapping purpose if the food being wrapped is not acidic. But here we are comparing paper with foil ! Some of you might think that paper is more natural and must be better to remain on safer side, but your knowledge bout paper will be improved after reading this article.

Paper is a cheaper than aluminium foil and if you are using old newspaper for wrapping food then you must be saving a lot. Yes, people use old newspaper instead of paper napkin to save some money. If we talk about paper napkin then there are different qualities in it. Some paper napkins have printed designs to make them look better and people often prefer them.

Instead of making you read whole article, let me make it clear that aluminium foil is much better than any kind of paper to wrap your roti / chapati / bread. If you are interested in improving you knowledge with the facts behind this statement then you must read this full article.

If you are using newspaper for wrapping your food then here are some facts for you .

  • Recycled paper, which is usually used in newspaper production may be contaminated with chemicals like diisobutyl phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate which are harmful for our digestive system. These recycled paper also contain printing-ink residues from previous prints, which may contain hormone disruptors like benzophenones and mineral oils.
  • Eating newsprint can also lead to lead poisoning. However modern laws don't allow usage of lead in ink, but only god knows how many newspapers are following all rules and regulation, especially when it comes to local newspapers.
  • Organic chemicals such as arylamines, such as benzidine, 2-Naphthylamine and 4-Aminobiphenyl, are found to increase the risk of bladder and lung cancer. Printing inks also contain colorants, pigments, binders, additives and photo-initiators which are harmful for human health.

According to sciencing.com you can test it yourself if your newspaper is using harmful ink or the safer soy-based ink. Just rub your finger on the black text of the newspaper. If you find a lot of deep inky black residue stuck on your finger tip, then it mean that it could be harmful petroleum based ink.

According to hindustantimes.com, a few years ago FSSAI published an advisory to warn citizens of India about printing-ink being used in newspapers. According to that advisory that ink may contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, preservatives, chemical contaminants and pathogenic micro organisms. Older people and kids with weaker immune system are at greater risk if the consume that ink through the food wrapped in newspaper. That advisory also warned about cancer-related health and urged public to stay away from wrapping or serving food in newspaper as mostly done by road side vendors. 

If you are thinking that plain paper might be safe for food wrapping usage, then you are wrong. Microbial contamination can easily occur in paper wraps. As far as our research is concerned aluminium foil is better than any kind of paper to wrap your food. To know more about aluminium foil used in food wrapping, you may read our last article : Using Aluminium Foil to wrap your food ! Is it Healthy ?

Here let me tell you one thing ! Bacteria can't cross the layer of aluminium foil, but paper can be easily breached. Even paper can be a playground for various types of bacteria.

Reference :

  • http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/eating-food-wrapped-in-newspapers-can-cause-cancer/
  • https://www.dawn.com/news/1107947
  • https://sciencing.com/test-ink-newspapers-see-toxic-7699090.html
  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/health-and-fitness/bad-news-don-t-wrap-food-in-newspapers-printing-ink-contains-harmful-colours/story-LpcVR0iOcHnNrzUSuGbVmO.html
  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331834585_Bacteriological_Load_in_Traditional_Food_Packaging_Paper

Using Aluminium Foil to wrap your food ! Is it Healthy ?

8.23% of Earth crust is Aluminium. It is the third most abundant element after Oxygen and Silicon. Usage of Aluminum foil in cooking is being done from a long time. Some use it just to wrap the food, while some use it for cooking and serving purpose. Some people believe that aluminium in food can cause Alzheimer's disease, and this myth/fact is spreading widely on social networking sites. Here i will try to gather some facts to know the truth.

The word "leaching" gained popularity in past few decades and people came to know that food contained in plastic containers is not healthy anymore, due to the chemicals that leach from plastic to the hot/cold food. Thanks to crazy brain of some people, they developed a self proved theory with no studies behind them that leaching can also occur from aluminium foil and it is also a leading cause of brain diseases.
According to World Health Organisation daily intake of 40mg per kilogram of body weight per day is safe. So a 60kg person is allowed to intake 2400 mg.
Aluminum is found in a number of consumer products including
  • food additives
  • antacids
  • astringents
  • cosmetics
  • buffered aspirin
  • antiperspirants / deodorants
If we talk about  just foods, then aluminum compounds may be added during processing of some foods, such as:
  • baking powder
  • flour
  • anticaking agents
  • coloring agents
A healthy human body contains much less aluminium than an antacid tablet. 
Lets talk about how much aluminium we consume through different intake methods. An average american adult consumes about 7–9 mg of aluminum per day.
  • Aluminum in the air range from 0.005 to 0.18 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Aluminum in natural waters is below 0.1 milligrams per liter.
  • Antacids have the highest concentration of aluminium among the items listed here. 300–600 mg aluminum hydroxide (i.e around 104–208 mg of aluminum) in every antacid tablet/capsule/or a 5 mL liquid dose.
  • Buffered aspirin may also contain 10–20 mg of aluminum per tablet.
  • Vaccines may contain upto .85 mg of aluminum compounds per dose.
  • If you are using cooking products such as baking powder, coloring agents, anticaking agents or some some other food additives then you might be consuming up to 94 mg of aluminium per day. In North America an average adult is eating up to 24 mg aluminium daily through food products.
  • Dietary intake of aluminium is just 1% of total intake.  
If you use Aluminium as saucepans, cooking utensils, cans and foil then it increases you daily intake of aluminium by less than 0.1 mg.
What does our body do with Aluminium ?
Our healthy body can filter out a lot of aluminium through feces and urine. If you are taking antacids for longer duration then some amount of aluminium may reach your bloodstream, but that too can be filtered by kidneys. But if you are suffering from some kidney disease then you may need to tell your doctor before taking such medicines.
In case of some kidney disease the aluminium is deposited in your bones and may also also cause neurological damage.
There is no proof of dietary aluminum toxicity to healthy individuals in medical literature.
Aluminium and Alzheimer's disease
Some researchers believe that aluminium can damage neurological functions and it may be a reason behind Alzheimer's disease, but it is not proved yet. Here the interesting fact is that dietary aluminium can't reach the brain if the kidneys are working fine. So the real danger of side effects of aluminium increases only in case of kidney disease.

Aluminium Foil to wrap the food
According to researches done so far, there is no harm in wrapping your food in aluminium foil unless the food items are not too acidic, like thick tomato sauce or salad with vinegar dressing. How cooking with aluminium foil not suggested as may increase the aluminium content of food.

Do you think that Paper is a good alternative for Aluminium foil ?

Conclusion : The real danger of aluminium intoxication is not from food, but from over usage of aluminium based medicines and air pollution containing aluminium dust. Just like PM10 and PM2.5 pollutants aluminium dust can harm our body. Humans are evolved in aluminium rich environment, so a healthy body know how to deal with it, but industrial pollution is quiet new. So instead of thinking about aluminium utensils and aluminum foil, we must think about air pollution hazards.

Reference:

How to get rid of Bad Body Odor Naturally and Permanently


Bad body odor is something that can irritate you and the people who interact with you. People often try perfumes and deodorants to get rid of body odor but sometimes even this technique don't work, especially when you sweat a lot due to adverse climatic conditions. Here we will tell you some natural and permanent techniques to get rid of bad body odor. Some of them are some really very simple tips that people often ignore.

What causes Body Odor ?

Usually body is caused by sweating. The sweat is made up of water, electrolytes i.e different salts and left over of proteins such as ammonia and urea. It can itself cause some body odor, but the real smell is produced by colonies of bacteria on our skin and these bacteria are primarily feeding on our sweat. Most of these bacteria are good bacteria that save us from bad bacteria by fighting them off. But when the count of good bacteria increases too much then it can cause really bad odor. Different people smell differently because of different composition of sweat and different types of bacteria surviving on their skin.

How to get rid of Bad Body Odor Naturally and Permanently

Drink More Water : People often ignore this tip which works best. Drinking lots of water helps in removal of toxins and the sweat gets diluted which results in lesser body odor.
Hygiene: Personal hygiene should be taken more carefully if you feel that you have a bad body odor. Washing and cleaning those regions where sweating occurs more often (such as armpits) should be taken more seriously. Proper cleaning of these regions rinse the bacteria and oils off the skin which usually creates bad odor. Getting rid of hairs in those regions through shaving can also help as hairs trap the sweat in that region for longer duration.
Try to keep yourself dry: Properly dry yourself after bathing and try to stay away from more humid atmosphere which causes more sweating.
Clothing: Wear such clothes that allow your skin to breath. Pure cotton clothes are best in such case. If you can't do that then wearing cotton under wears can help.
Peppermint oil: This oil can be applied on heavy sweating regions to get rid of body odor. Peppermint soaps can also be used.
Proper Footwear: If people get irritated by your smelling feet then you should avoid wearing closed shoes with socks for longer duration. You may wear sandals and flip flops that allow your feet to breath and don't trap sweat inside it.
Quit Smoking and Chewing Tobacco: Smoking and tobacco makes our sweat smell more, so getting rid of these bad habits can also save you from bad smell.
Bad Digestion: If your digestive system don't work up to the mark and you often suffer from digestive problems then it might be the reason behind bad body odor. In such case taking a course of probiotics that improve digestive system after consulting a doctor can help a lot. As the digestive system comes back to track, the body odor might get away.
Some food items cause body odor: Yes you read it right ! Some food items can cause body odor. You may try to stay away from those for a few weeks to check if it improves your body odor. Some of those food items are spices (like onion, garlic, curry), fatty foods, alcohol, coffee and caffeinated soft drinks.

DIY(Do-it-yourself) tricks for Body Odor

There are some DIY(Do-it-yourself) tricks to save you from bad body odor. Some of them are:
Hydrogen Peroxide Solution: Mix 1 spoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a cup of water and apply it on your heavy sweating areas using a cotton cloth.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix apple cider vinegar with thrice amount of water and fill it in a spray bottle. Use it like a deodorant and you will feel the difference within few days. Before using it, do a patch test to check it it suits your skin.
Tea tree oil: Similarly you can use a solution made of 8 to 10 drops of tea tree oil and 1 cup of witch hazel and use it as a deodorant. It acts as astringent and reduces sweating.

Note: Before treating your bad body odor, it is important to analyse from where you are smelling most and what are the actual reasons behind. Most important is to drink lots of water and bath properly.

How do you get a UTI Infection | How To Prevent

UTI often referred as short form of Urinary Tract Infection, is more common in females compared to males. Usually the bacteria named E.coli is attributed for this infection. But how does this bacteria reach the urinary tract and infects it, is a common question asked by several patients of this medical condition. Those who have faced it know how it feels during infection when you can't even urinate properly and the pain and blood in urine even makes you cry. The very first question of patients is to know how they can prevent themselves from UTI Infection in future and how do you get a UTI infection. Most of the people think that it comes through food, which is not true.

How do you get a UTI Infection ?

E.coli is the bacteria responsible for UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). This bacteria resides in our gut and helps in digestion of food. So it is not necessary for it to come from anywhere else. It can sometimes travel with digested food and may come out in stool and traces of this bacteria can travel through outer skin to the urinary tract. It starts showing symptoms when it has reached urinary bladder. Females are more prone to UTI due to shorter urethra which makes it easier for bacteria to reach urinary bladder.

How you get UTI Infection is necessary to understand because it is itself enough to tell you how you can save yourself from this medical condition. Here we are providing some tips to save yourself from a UTI infection and females need to implement those tips with more caution. Even if you have recovered from a UTI infection, you must know that this infection can reoccur if you don't take proper precautions.

How to prevent yourself from a UTI Infection ?

  • Better Hygiene: It is the most important thing to take care of. Especially if you share your bathroom or toilet with other people. Proper cleaning of these places is necessary. After usage the toilet seat should be properly washed using jet, so that no traces of bacteria remains on it. Even bacteria left by someone else may infect you if you use the same unclean toilet seat. You should wipe from front to back so that you don't take bacteria from stool to urethra unintentionally. 
  • Bath Properly: Proper bathing and cleaning of your genitals is necessary, so that even if bacteria is trying to travel through outer skin, then it can be washed off.
  • Drink plenty of water: Drinking plenty of water is the last step to save yourself from UTI infection. If you are lucky then the bacteria might get washed away from urinary tract with urine flow.
  • During Intimacy: Unhygienic ways of getting intimate can also shift the bacteria directly from intestine to opening of urethra, which can cause UTI in both males and females. To remain on safer side both partners should wash themselves before getting intimate and also urinate soon after everything is done. Urination can washout any possible transmission of bacteria.
  • Clothes: Some doctors recommend to wear cotton underwears and not wearing tight clothes that can trap the bacteria near urethra. However these recommendations are not supported by any scientific studies.
If you feel symptoms of UTI then you must get medical care, as untreated UTI can affect kidneys and may cause severe sepsis and then septic shock. It can be a life threatening condition, so treatment is must for UTI.