Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fish Oil Supplements Good for Type 2 Diabetes

Widely-used fish oil supplements modestly increase amounts of a hormone that is associated with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Fish oil supplements, also called omega 3 fatty acid capsules, raise levels of adiponectin in the bloodstream. Adiponectin is an important hormone that has beneficial effects on metabolic processes like glucose regulation and the modulation of inflammation. In long-term human studies, higher levels of adiponectin are associated with lower risks of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

"While prior animal studies found fish oil increased circulating adiponectin, whether similar effects apply in humans is not established," said the study's lead author, Jason Wu, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health. "By reviewing evidence from existing randomized clinical trials, we found that fish oil supplementation caused modest increases in adiponectin in the blood of humans."

The meta-analysis reviewed and analyzed results from 14 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. In total, 682 subjects were treated with fish oil, and 641 were given placebos -- most commonly olive and sunflower oils. In those taking fish oil, adiponectin levels increased by 0.37 ug/mL. The results also suggested the effect of fish oil on adiponectin differed substantially across the trials, suggesting that fish oil supplementation may have stronger influence on adiponectin in some populations and weaker effects in others.

This is the first study to pool data from previous trials to suggest that fish oil consumption increases adiponectin in humans. The findings quantify the potential impact of fish oil on adiponectin level, and highlight the need to further investigate populations that may particularly benefit from fish oil supplementation.

"Although higher levels of adiponectin in the bloodstream have been linked to lower risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease, whether fish oil influences glucose metabolism and development of type 2 diabetes remains unclear," said Wu. "However, results from our study suggest that higher intake of fish oil may moderately increase blood level of adiponectin, and these results support potential benefits of fish oil consumption on glucose control and fat cell metabolism."

Despite the uncertainty about the effectiveness of fish oil on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, about 37 percent of adults and 31 percent of children nationwide use omega-3 supplements, according to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey from the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Other researchers working on the study include: L. Cahill and D. Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA. The National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provided grants to support this work.


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Monday, May 27, 2013

Home remedies to tackle indigestion

Your stomach is the most dependable and agreeable organ, if you treat it right. A healthy stomach is an exceptionally tough organ. Rarely will it give serious trouble if you are leading a happy, peaceful life. But it can give a hard time, if you are emotionally upset and tense. A balanced digestive system can boost your immunity and help stave off disease. Does your stomach feel heavy? Do you burp frequently, or suffer from acidity and heartburn? Most of us know that these symptoms are related to indigestion but before we swallow a pill, we may try any of the following remedies.
Lime and ginger : These simple ingredients are easily available in everyone’s kitchen. All you need is two spoons of lime and ginger juice, and honey mixed in a glass of warm water. This can be taken after a heavy meal.
Oranges : Try eating an orange after every meal and it will keep indigestion at bay. Experts opine that eating oranges gives rest to the digestive organs and supplies adequate nutrition.
Grapes : Experts claim that there is a connection between grapes and a healthy stomach. This juicy fruit is known to eliminate indigestion and tummy irritation.
Lemon : If looking for prevention, then it is best to drink hot lemon water —- one teaspoon of lemon juice in a cup of hot water—- before your meal. It is known to prevent acid indigestion. Lemon juice also helps by fighting bacteria.
Garlic and soya : Whenever you suffer from stomach pain, mix equal amounts of garlic and soya oil and massage over your stomach. Allow the oil to be absorbed by the skin. It also gives instant relief from indigestion.
Soda : Take one spoonful of baking soda mix it in a glass of water and gulp it. It will give you instant relief from stomach pain and reduce indigestion.
Coriander cure : Mix some cumin seeds and coriander leaf juice with a glass of water and add a pinch of salt. Drink to get rid of pain in the stomach. One can also try mixing two teaspoons of coriander, one teaspoon of ginger, three cloves of cardamom, in a glass of water to relieve gas trouble.
Wonders of water and ice :Doctors in the US, recommend placing an ice bag on your stomach for atleast half an hour after meals to ease the pain. Or you could even try taking a cold bath or alternative hot and cold hip baths at night for a stress-free stomach. Drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help you practice portion control. This is a great tip to avoid overeating that may lead to obesity.
Digestive drinks : Drinking buttermilk after every meal is an effective way to prevent indigestion, as it speeds up the digestive process. Mint tea and blackberry tea are two other concoctions that can be taken to cope with stomach problems.
Carom seeds (Ajwain) Mixed with a little rock salt is yet another cure for stomach troubles.
Peppermint oil : The essential oil of the peppermint plant has anti-spasmodic properties which help relax the digestive system’s muscles, that ultimately can prevent the onset of bloating and gas.
Triphala : This classic Ayurvedic remedy helps with digestion, absorption and elimination.It’s also a prebiotic, which helps the good flora in the body to flourish, protect the intestines against inflammation due to toxin damage.
Vinegar : For thousands of years, ancient healers trusted apple cider vinegar as a wonder cure. From Bible to Cleopatra to the fierce Samurai warriors of Japan, vinegar has been documented as a powerful tonic to ensure strength, power and long life. There are recipesthat mix vinegar with other common household items to help calm an upset stomach and aid digestion.
Wine therapy : The Apostle Paul once advised Timothy : ” Use a little wine for sake of your stomach and your frequent cases of sickness.”
Emotions : Fear, wrath, anger, anxiety or constant tension and stress, can disturb your digestive system. Practicing of qualities such as love, compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind and mildness, can eventually produce healing in the human body. Rejoice in the lord.

By Dr Tej K Munshi


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Vegetable Juices Better Than Whole Veggies

One is always confused about eating vegetables raw or in the form of a juice. And rightly so, juicing vegetables is a much harder task than juicing vegetables.

For one, we need to add a lot more flavor to vegetable juices to make them drinkable. But even if you are inclined toward drinking a tasteless vegetable juice for health reasons, how effective will it be? Well, we all have doubts, so let's figure out which one is better: Vegetable juice or whole vegetables.

Most health guidelines recommend that one must consume two to three cups of vegetables every day. This requirement may go up or down, based on your activity level and physical characteristics. Vegetable juices are seen as an easy way out of the monotonous vegetable cooking and chewing process through the day. A juice entails juicing a vegetable, therefore removing pulp and roughage.

Both eating your vegetables and juicing your vegetables will give you essential nutrients needed by the body to help fight disease. But juicing will give you more of those nutrients than just eating your vegetables. Intrigued? Here's why...

Now solid food takes several hours to break down, decompose and provide nutrition, in case of juices, it's much easier and quick.

No fiber
Now juicing primarily gets rid of the fiber in the vegetable that is drained out and what you drink gets easily absorbed in the body. They get assimilated very easily with minimal effort, and the nourishment is available almost instantly to the whole array of cells in the body. The exertion on the part of the digestive system is also very fast.

But should you quit whole vegetables completely?
No! You can still munch on carrots and other vegetable side dishes during meals. Your body does need dietary fiber, which might not carry nutritional value but acts as a cleaner for the digestive tract and intestines.

A cup of unprocessed carrots contains roughly 7 grams of fiber. On the other hand, a cup of carrot juice is almost totally devoid of fiber.

Therefore, get that fiber from your meals, but make up for any vegetable shortfalls and extra requirements in the day with vegetable juices.

Nutritional vs bodily enzymes
Our body possesses countless cells and tissues that have their own enzymes requirements and production to perform a whole range of tasks. The ones that are made available from eating raw vegetables or juices work in conjunction with the already present ones. So one need not cut off raw vegetables completely. Striking the right balance is essential.


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