Do you need Selenium supplements ?

Selenium deficiency can impair immune function, increase incidence of cancer, cardiovascular and other degenerative diseases as well as overall mortality.

Selenium in human Health and Disease

Selenium is an essential micronutrient found in Brazil nuts, chicken, fish, turkey, crab, nuts, cereal and eggs. Selenium is an “essential nutrient”, meaning our bodies cannot make it, and so we have to get it from our diet. Without it the heart, joints, eyes, immune system and reproductive system can suffer.  We require 55 micrograms of selenium to maintain proper health and this selenium we must obtain through dietary sources.

What is Selenium

Selenium is a non-metal element that occurs in the earth’s crust. Selenium is necessary in the body’s production of selenoproteins.  There are around 25 selenoproteins in humans and many of these are enzymes that act to protect the body against oxidative damage. Since the ageing process, as well as certain diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, is associated with an increase in oxidative damage, maintaining adequate selenium intakes may provide some protection against these processes.

Where is Selenium found

Seafood and organ meats are rich in selenium.

Plants pick up selenium from soil. The selenium content in plant foods depends on the concentration of selenium in the soil where the plants grow.  Seafood and organ meats are rich in selenium. Other foods that have selenium include muscle meats, grains and dairy products. It can also be found in drinking water in some places.

Why selenium levels are low in some people

People living in places where the soil is selenium deficient have low selenium levels. People who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol often are more likely to have selenium deficiency. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other conditions that interfere with how the body absorbs selenium can lead to low selenium levels. Kidney dialysis patients may also become low in selenium. The chemotherapy drug cisplatin can lower selenium levels in the blood, but it is not known if cisplatin can lead to a significant deficiencies.

Read more

10 Nightmares New age Mom faces

Our minds are filled with images of happy pregnant and new moms we see on billboards, ads and pinterest. But truth may not be always this…..

Becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a strange new room in the house where you already live –  Sarah Walker

Are you pregnant, Are you going to start this journey or are you already a new mom. This post is for you all. The true fact is however well you prepare mentally and physically and how much ever you read about motherhood, the moment the little one is born, a mother feels as if she is on a roller coaster ride.

The lifestyle and parenting magazines have created a false image that journey of being pregnant and motherhood is something one should for sure enjoy and it only has happiness. Our minds are filled with images of happy pregnant and new moms we see on billboards, ads and pinterest. But truth may not be always this…..

1.For most new moms, breast-feeding doesn’t come easily

Though breastfeeding is a natural process, it need not be easy. Less than 50% moms manage to breast-feed exclusively for the six months that are recommended for a baby’s health. The moms who quit mostly are those who have faced trouble with breast-feeding in the first week with a new baby.

  • Sore or Burning nipples
  • Poor or Excess milk supply
  • Plugged milk ducts
  • Flat or inverted nipples
  • Breast infection
  • Breast engorgement
  • Latching problem

2.Hate every minute of pregnancy

Half the female population hate being pregnant. Many a times people around and society are only happy about the pregnancy news and mother to be is left to bear all the pain and trauma associated with pregnancy by themselves. The process of carrying fetus for 40+ weeks is a tough job and for large number of women the journey becomes tougher with accounts of morning sickness, constipation, fatigue, body ache, swollen ankles and sore breasts.

Journey becomes tougher with accounts of morning sickness, constipation, fatigue, body ache, swollen ankles and sore breasts

Many people assume that if you hate being pregnant, you’ll hate being a mother.The fact is to hate ‘pregnancy’ is normal. Not liking pregnancy has no correlation with not liking the ‘Baby’.

3.Some moms don’t bond with their baby instantly

Read more

Did you know that blue light from ‘Digital Screens’ negatively affects health

We all take special care to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays; but what about the harmful effects of blue light rays?
Usage of blue light emitting gadgets before bedtime prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the “darkness hormone” melatonin.

Sources of blue light include the sun, digital screens (TVs, computers, laptops, smart phones and tablets), electronic devices, and fluorescent and LED lighting.

As the day progresses, we actually move closer to the back lit devices

 

Impact on Sleep:

Digital Screens emit blue light which are so bright that at night, brain gets confused by that light.  Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. This causes the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives body the “time to sleep” commands. Because of this, digital screen light can disrupt sleep cycle, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Changes in sleep patterns can in turn shift the body’s natural clock, known as its circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that shifts in this clock can have devastating health effects because it controls not only our wakefulness but also individual clocks that dictate function in the body’s organs. Research also shows that it may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even obesity. 

Eyes and Blue Light:

Read more

Fad diets which you have never heard off

‘Quick Fix Diet Plans’ promises weight loss in few weeks or even few days

Half the world’s population is overweight and among them a large number is always working towards losing weight. Most of us would have engaged in weight loss program, but then lack of persistence, continuity and willingness would have made us to leave the program half way. So it’s quiet natural that we get attracted towards ‘Quick Fix Diet Plans’ which promises weight loss in few weeks or even few days. The trick works when celebrity like Kim Kardashian endorses it.

Here are some popular ‘Quick Fix Diet Plans’, in case you have not heard off

Clean Eating Diet:

Clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods that are minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.

That means corns are in, popcorns are out.

Foods allowed include a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nonfat dairy, and healthy fats. This diet recommends avoiding all saturated fat, trans fats, overprocessed, refined foods — especially white flour, sugar, sugar-loaded colas, juices, and alcohol.

Loss of water weight is the sole reason for rapid results in the beginning of any crash diet

The 6:1 Diet:

6:1 diet involves eating normally for six days and completely fasting on final day. On seventh day drink water alone or combine with herbal or fruit teas.

Sounds great ! fast for one day a week and see your weight crashing!

Read more

Probiotic, Prebiotic and Synbiotics. Do we know what exactly are they?

Try out Probiotic, Prebiotic  and Synbiotics for good Gut Health

My previous post was all about ‘Good Bacteria‘ and the role they play in maintaining a healthy life. Some researchers believe that up to 90 percent of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of the microbiome. Poor gut health can contribute to leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases and disorders like arthritis, dementia, heart disease, and cancer.
So it’s understood that good health begins in the gut while poor gut function, due to an imbalance of gut bacteria, can lay us open to digestive disorders and a host of other health problems.

So how can we make our Gut to stay healthy ?

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

Answer is Try out Probiotic, Prebiotic  and Synbiotics

The health benefits imparted by probiotics and prebiotics as well as synbiotics have been the subject of extensive research in the past few decades. These food supplements termed as functional foods have been demonstrated to alter, modify and reinstate the pre-existing intestinal flora. Functional foods also provide the body with required amount of vitamins, fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Probiotics:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

The term Probiotics is derived from a Greek word meaning “for life”. Probiotics have been defined as live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. The concept of probiotics evolved at the turn of the 20th century from a hypothesis first proposed by Nobel Prize winning Russian scientist Elie Metchnikoff.

Benefits of Probiotics:

  • Provide a natural defense or immune system for body
  • Prevent growth of harmful bacteria
  • Strengthen immune system towards allergies and other autoimmune diseases
  • Help body to produce vitamins
  • Support healthy digestion
  • Increase defecation and reduce constipation
  • Help control the illness-causing bacteria in intestinal tract
  • Reduce cholesterol level
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Improve body’s absorption of minerals, especially calcium
  • Decrease dental-caries-causing microbes in mouth
  • Prevent diarrhea after having treatment with certain antibiotics
  • Prevent diarrhea caused by virus or Salmonella
  • Manage the signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Reduce amounts of cancer-causing substances in your intestine

Probiotics food

Yogurt is the most common source of probiotics

Miso, Cheese, Kefir , Sauerkraut, Pickles, Chocolate, Tofu, Tempeh

Prebiotics:

Read more

Friends who live in our Gut: Gut Microbiota

Healthy adult humans each typically harbor more than 1000 species of bacteria

Most people consider microbes as germs, but truth is trillions of microbes that live in our gut execute many functional roles – aid in digestion, keep  a check on infectious agents,  boost immunity, synthesize many vitamins, play a key role in maintaining Hormone balance and Brain function.

So they are for sure our ‘Friends’

“Taking into account the major role gut microbiota plays in the normal functioning of the body and the different functions it accomplishes, experts nowadays consider it as an “organ

Quick facts about our ‘Friends’ Microbiota

  • Healthy adult humans each typically harbor more than 1000 species of bacteria 
  • Microbiota can, in total, weigh up to 2 kg
  • ‘Gut feelings’ indeed seems to be a true phrase as researchers have found connection between gut microbiome and human behavior and emotion
  • Two thirds of the gut microbiome is unique to each person, and what makes this unique is the food we eat, the air we breathe and other environmental factors.
  •  The initial composition of the gut microbiota depends on the mode of delivery: babies delivered vaginally harbour gut microbiota resembling microbial communities found in their mothers’ vaginas, whereas those born via Cesarean section apparently acquire microbes from the skin, dominated by taxa such as Propionibacterium and Staphylococcus
  • Formula fed babies have less of good microbes compared to breast fed babies, giving them a healthier edge over the other.  Gut of breastfed babies primarily consists of Bifidobacteria – considered a “friendly” bacteria that benefits the gut
  •  Infants with less diverse gut bacteria at the age of 3 months were more likely to be prone to food allergies
  • By the age of 3, microbiota becomes stable and similar to that of adults, continuing its evolution at a steadier rate throughout life
  • Researchers have found a certain strain of bacteria – Christensenellaceae minuta – that cause the animals to gain less weight, indicating the bacteria could be used to reduce or prevent obesity 
  • The predominant bacterial groups in the microbiome are gram positive Firmicutes and gram negative Bacteroidetes
  • People treated with prolonged courses of antibiotics that kill a wide spectrum of bacteria can develop life-threatening diarrhoea due to an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile

Microbiome and Disease state

Some researchers believe that up to 90 percent of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of the microbiome : image

Each of us have a complex ecosystem of bacteria located within our gut and we call them microbiome or gut microbiota. The vast majority of the bacterial species that make up our microbiome live in our digestive systems. Some researchers believe that up to 90 percent of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of the microbiome.  Poor gut health can contribute to leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases and disorders like arthritis, dementia, heart disease, and cancer.

Read more

Did you know that what’s going on in your Gut could affect your Brain

“Brain that stays in Gut” is giving a new dimension to our understanding of digestion, mood, health and disease onset.

Why do we stop eating food when we are full ?

Why do we feel sick or get vomiting sensation on the morning of an important exam ?

Stressed or Anxious, one feel butterflies in stomach. Feeling nervous or going through nerve wrenching moment, stomach growls and rumbles. Well – thoughts happen in brain, but stomach acts. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion.  Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings  can trigger symptoms in the gut. It’s  just not the troubled brain can send signals to the gut, but gut too sends signal back to brain. Scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. Vagus nerve, originates with the dorsal motor nucleus in the medulla and extends through the abdomen to the viscera.

Gut Our Second Brain

Gut Our Second Brain

Our Gut has its own branch of the nervous system called the enteric nervous system that can function on its own, even if it is disconnected from the brain. The enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut.  The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. It actually arises from the same tissues as our central nervous system (CNS) during fetal development.  The ENS supervises the processes of digestion and stays in close contact with, and is heavily influenced by, the central nervous system (the CNS) which comprises the brain and spinal cord. The ENS and CNS also use many of the same chemical messengers or neurotransmitters including acetylcholine and serotonin.

 “Brain that stays in Gut” is giving a new dimension to our understanding of digestion, mood, health and disease onset. 

” Our two brains — the one in our head and the one in our bowel — must cooperate. If they do not, then there is chaos in the gut and misery in the head — everything from “butterflies” to cramps, from diarrhea to constipation.”–  Dr. Michael Gershon

Read more

Parents take a note: FairyTale Stories are not that good for Kids

Read out to your kids stories related to their passion. Fill your child’s mind with good thoughts before they go to bed. Help them to achieve their DREAMS

Read out to your kids stories related to their passion. Fill your child’s mind with good thoughts before they go to bed. Help them to achieve their DREAMS

Majority of us parents have grown up reading Fairy tales and we truly loved it and at times imagined if we could be one of them…Cindrella, Snowwhite, Rapunzel. Which boy hasn’t imagined himself being the handsome and brave Prince Charming or the handsome hero with supernatural powers  constantly saving the world from disasters and villains.  But then truly speaking have we ever met a Prince charming riding on a horse or a Frog prince. Have we seen witches (leaving aside tele-serials), monsters. Also most stories ended this way -‘And they lived Happily Ever after’- but as parents we very well know that life is not all about happiness, but it’s more of a roller coaster ride. So why are we reading out these stories, which do not have any connection with ‘Present World’. Why are we censoring from children’s stories things like sadness, anger, jealousy, hard work and failure.

Are Fairy Tales the best option for young Minds

Children’s minds are like sponges and whatever you show them, tell them, it will leave an impression  in their mind forever. This is the age when they need to be introduced to the world of possibilities. Speak to them about astronauts, writers, scientists, leaders, artists and musicians. Introduce them to the great musician Beethoven who was deaf or dyslexic student Thomas Edison or Anne Frank, Jewish victim of the Holocaust. Take your child through real men’s life, their struggles, failures and funny moments. Gauge your child’s interest early on and tell them stories about great achievers from that field more. Let them go to sleep dreaming about becoming a pilot, soldier, computer whizz or even a business man.

Long, Long Long Ago…..Fairy Tale belongs to history

Read more

Sunshine Blogger Award goes to ScienceandSamosa…WoW

Sunshine Blogger award goes to ScienceandSamosa

Sunshine Blogger Award winner, an award given by a blogger  to another  blogger , Oscar of Blogging world !!!.  Thrilled and Ecstatic. Thank you very much Hannah Shipley of TheMessyMom for nominating me. It feels good to be recognized. 

Here are the answers to 11 Questions that was asked to me:

What is the goal for your blog?

Science is always treated as a boring or dreadful subject, but science is involved in everything we do in our day to day life. My aim is to bring to my readers the science behind everything that happens around us in a simplified way. I want to reignite the curiosity in my reader.

What or who inspires you?

Who other can Inspire one, other than the Mighty Lord, who created this universe. The more I learn science, the more I adore him.

What does a day in your life look like?

Image: One Person, Many Jobs

How did you find or decide on your niche?

I always loved science. So there was no doubt on deciding my niche.

Read more

What more Men need to get Screened for to lead a Healthy and Happy life

Like any machine, our body requires regular maintenance to make it last a long time and run well till end meets

Like any machine, our body requires regular maintenance to make it last a long time and run well till end meets.

The problem with most men is that they will not head to hospital, unless there is some discomfort or pain and by then disease would have worsened. Most of the common diseases that affect men are potentially preventable, but one needs to undergo screening. Heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and dementia all share the same risk factors: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and family history.

Leaving aside the basic set of tests like PSA, Blood sugar, Cholesterol, let’s explore what more men need to get screened for to lead a healthy and happy life.

Low Testosterone in Men

In men Testosterone production increases during puberty and starts to decrease after age 30. For each year over age 30, the level of testosterone in men starts to slowly dip at a rate of around 1 percent per year. Testosterone helps to maintain number of important bodily functions in men including sex drive, sperm production, muscle mass/strength, fat distribution, bone density and red blood cell production. So it’s decrease can bring about both physical and emotional changes. Depression also has been linked to men with low testosterone.

The low limit of testosterone levels in men is about 300 nanograms per deciliter and the upper normal limit is approximately 1000-1200 ng/dl.

Men still perceive seeking healthcare as a link to their vulnerability, with which they’re very uncomfortable.

Symptoms of low Testosterone  include

Change in sleep patterns, Reduced sex drive (low libido), Sexual dysfunction, Infertility, Emotional changes, Decreased strength and Weight gain

A blood test for testosterone can reveal the amount of testosterone circulating in blood.

Testosterone Therapy

Read more