Circadian rhythms or Body clock…there is more to it than just SLEEP

The clock was first identified in Fruit flies. No doubt why Nobel prize winner Michael Rosbash said “I am very pleased for the fruit fly”.

As humans, we prefer to sleep at night and feel fresh during the day. But this is not due to habit we inculcate or based on any  work schedules or convenience. It is driven by our own body clock. Circadian rhythm is just not about sleep, it regulates many physiological functions including Blood pressure, Body temperature, Hormone secretion, Sleep-wake cycle, Heart beat, Metabolism, Cell cycle, Response to drugs and many more.

Where is the clock?

The clock was first identified in Fruit flies. No doubt why Nobel prize winner Michael Rosbash said  “I am very pleased for the fruit fly”.

Biological clocks are not made of cogs and wheels, but the area of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus is body’s master clock

A group of nerve cells in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN,  situated right above the point in the brain where the optic nerve fibers cross, controls circadian rhythm. The SCN controls the body’s temperature, and small fluctuations in temperature throughout the day trigger various cells in different organ systems in the body to be sleepy or active. This is how the SCN controls the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes one sleepy. Genes are also involved in regulating body’s clock and circadian rhythms.

What Melatonin does

Durinh night more melatonin gets secreted. This hormone signals the brain to go into sleep mode. When the sun rises, melatonin secretion hits low, and the brain’s awake circuits restarts.

Is light important for Body clock?

Every day between 2 and 4 PM, the majority of the human race enters a lull, complete with sudden sleepiness and a lack of focus Image

Light is the signal based on which body clock functions. When the eye senses light, it sends signals to the SCN. This resets the clock every day. Our body does this to make sure rhythms do not drift out of line with the environment. Although our rhythms cycle happens about once every 24 hours, if we opt for total blindness, humans actually tick a little more slowly ie, about 24.1 hours. Thus, if we didn’t have daylight we would get out of synchrony with night and day.  Precisely the reason because of which people in captive lose on day and night.

Things you did not know about Circadian rhythm

Do you feel sleepy post lunch. Blame it on circadian rhythm. Every day between 2 and 4 PM, the majority of the human race feels sudden sleepiness and a lack of focus. That’s because circadian rhythm goes down about 8 hours after wake up time. Some experts suggest taking a short power nap to get over this lull.

Teenager son or daughter suddenly behave like owls. Do not scream at them. Blame it again on circadian rhythm. As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Studies of teenagers around the globe have found that adolescent brains do not start releasing melatonin until around eleven o’clock at night and keep pumping out the hormone well past sunrise.

It’s Circadian Rhythm that make you gain weight if you Snack at Midnight

It’s Circadian Rhythm  that make you gain weight if you Snack at Midnight.

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Plump your Pout : How to get fuller Lips Like Angelina Jolie

Scientists in Scotland have given credibility to the long-held belief that a woman’s lips are a highly visible expression of her fertility and sexuality

Every women wants full, plump and sensual lips like Angelina Jolie. The lips are in trend from the time of Marilyn Monroe. As lips give the face the youthful look, plumper lips are one of the most sought after facial assets. Some women are gifted with fuller lips, but majority are not.

Scientists in Scotland have given credibility to the long-held belief that a woman’s lips are a highly visible expression of her fertility and sexuality.

Above all, the properties of the lips change with age, resulting in lengthening of the cutaneous portion of the upper lip. The upper lip vermillion gradually lose volume and become thinner. Aging, sun exposure, smoking, and exposure to air pollutants adds to lip woes.

So…what’s the solution ?

Many products are available in market to correct the shape of the lips. This includes permanent and nonpermanent dermal fillers, implants, neurotoxins, lasers, and micropigmentation.

Understand little bit about Lip anatomy

Three aspects of the lips vary in men and women and by geographic population:

  • Size (full or thin)
  • Curvature (sinuous or straight)
  • Eversion (turning out or in)

All three can be modified through lip enhancement surgery.

little bit about Lip anatomy

Lips are made up of skin, muscle and mucosa. The most cosmetically apparent portion of the lip is the vermilion border. This colored border between the lips and the surrounding skin exists only in humans. The skin of the lip is very thin compared to the skin on the rest of the face, which typically runs up to 16 layers deep.

Temporary Lip Fillers

Many substances are used to temporarily enlarge the lips. They are made up of either natural or synthetic materials.  They are also known as soft tissue fillers. Hyaluronic acid fillers are most frequently used for this procedure. They come in prepackaged vials that are ready to inject and are approved by the FDA for lip augmentation in adults 21 years old and older. The effect can last upto six months. Collagen is also used at times, but can cause allergic reaction. Fat transfer is another option and may last longer than hyaluronic acid or collagen, but requires the surgeon to take a small amount of fat from another area of own body.

Lip implants

Lip implants last longer than fillers and can give perfect look. Implants are normally performed under local anesthesia. Widely used lip implant is made from a substance called ‘expanded polytetrafluoroethylene’ (ePTFE) a sterile, rubber-like material. Silicone lip implants are also available. They are like small silicone tubes and are inserted into the lip with the help of a minor surgical procedure. Silicone lip implants offer a long term solution to lip enhancement, but throws up side effects.

Lip Plumper Pump

Lip Plumper is an ingenious, hand-operated lip enhancer. It is powered by an ancient Chinese Cupping suction technique . Without using chemicals or needles it enlarges the lips . The stunning shaping and contouring of the lips are made possible by a Lip-Shaper system. It’s easy to use anytime and anywhere. Reports prove that lip volume increased by 36% from their original sizes after using lip plumper for just two minutes twice daily over a period of 60 days. One can easily buy this product from online portals like Amazon.

Lip Plumper is an ingenious, hand-operated lip enhancer. It is powered by an ancient Chinese Cupping suction technique that enlarges the lips without using chemicals or needles.

Bee Venom based Lip enhancer creams

Bee Venom based Lip Plumper works by tricking the lip area into thinking it’s been lightly stung by a bee. As a result collagen production and blood circulation increases. This leave the lips plumper. These Lip enhancer creams are cheap and give instant fuller lips. This product is touted as “natural Botox” by many brands.

 The natural way

Many women won’t have the money or inclination to go for costly procedures.  Don’t worry…you can go the natural way

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Here are 20 remarkable Brain facts not known by many people

But how much do we know about our own BRAIN : Image

The brain is the crown gem of the human body. It is the seat of intelligence, interpreter of the senses, initiator of body movement, and controller of behavior. The human brain is the most complex organ of the body, and arguably the most complex thing on earth. But how much do we know about our own BRAIN

How many brain cells are in your brain?

The average adult human brain has about 100 billion cells.  It’s still a mystery exactly how these connections work together to create all the marvels of our brains.

Longest living cells in the body

The longest living cells in the body prize goes to brain cells. Most of our brain cells stay  from birth to death. The wiring of these cells changes constantly through our lives.

Water, Water everywhere

Brain is made up of 73% water. 2% dehydration is enough to affect attention, memory and other cognitive skills

Brain feels no PAIN

Brain  do not have any pain receptors. Hence surgeons can perform brain surgery while you are awake. The pain experienced with headache/migraine is because of  the pain receptors present in  layers of coverings, blood vessels, the scalp and some muscles that surrounds the brain.

Brain Loves Cholesterol

Twenty-five percent of the body’s cholesterol resides within the brain. Without proper supply of cholesterol, brain cells die.

Brain is always THINKING

The brain on an average is believed to generate around 50,000 thoughts per day. Sad part is that, in most people 70% of these thoughts are negative. 

Human brain is not SOLID

The human brain is neither solid, nor liquid. It’s soft and squishy similar to the consistency of soft tofu or soft gelatin. And it’s very fragile.

We have a second brain too

The human brain is the most complex organ of the body, and arguably the most complex thing on earth

The brain in your head is not the only brain. There’s a second brain” that lies in intestines that contains around 100 million neurons

Brain generates enough electricity to power a 25-watt light bulb

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Black Garlic: Garlic Just Got Better

Fresh white garlic changes its white color to black by undergoing fermentation process in a temperature and humidity controlled room for one month. Image

Black garlic  – You read it correct.  This aged version of garlic has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic. Black garlic exhibits several advantages, when compared to fresh garlic. The taste of black garlic has been compared to that of a dried fruit.

Black garlic  is simply fresh garlic  that has been fermented for a period of time at a high temperature under high humidity. No additives, preservatives, or burning is involved in making it. The process turns garlic cloves dark, gives them a sweet taste, and alters their consistency to chewy and jelly-like.

Origin:

Black Garlic has long been consumed in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand for centuries, and was introduced around 10 years ago into other countries

Compared to fresh garlic, Black Garlic does not release an awful flavor. This is because allicin gets converted into antioxidant compounds such as bioactive alkaloids and flavonoid compounds during the aging process.

Fresh white garlic changes its white color to black by undergoing fermentation process in a temperature and humidity controlled room for one month.

Why should we eat Black garlic:

Black Garlic Has More Than Double the Powerful S-Allyl-Cysteine (SAC), an Antioxidant compared to raw garlic. Black garlic contains vitamin C and B6, manganese and selenium. Black Garlic contains 18 Amino Acids, which are very important for our body.  Research have found that extracts found in black garlic are able to inhibit the growth of certain cancers such as stomach and colon, by triggering their natural destruct mechanism known as apoptosis.

1 – Decreases cholesterol rate

2 – Regulates sugar in blood

3 – Protects the liver

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Bake like a Pro: Make ‘Lip smacking’ cake with science

If cooking is an Art, Baking is Science

If you look at a cake, it can be made with just five ingredients – self raising flour, sugar, butter/oil, egg and your favorite flavor. But to dish out a lip smacking dessert, you need to be an expert. Expertise means having the know how about how each ingredient would behave, what’s the ratio to be used, how quantity can be altered without losing cakes softness and texture etc.….. If you ask a chef….they will say it can only be gained by experience.

 But then here I differ….Making a cake is all about science…precisely speaking…chemistry. Let me detail out the chemistry behind making a cake, so that you could bake like a pro from your first attempt.

It’s said, If cooking is an Art, Baking is Science

Let’s start with the Flour

First lesson don’t mix up flours

Maida or white flour is similar to cake flour sold in the United States . Like cake flour, white flour is finely milled. It has less protein than all purpose flour. White flour is produced from soft wheat and is low in gluten content (8-10%).

All purpose flour is different from white flour. It is made from a mixture of hard and soft wheat. It has a gluten content of 9-12%. This can be used to make both cakes and breads. However cakes won’t be very soft.

Self-raising flour is a mix of all purpose flour, raising agent, and salt. The most commonly used raising agent is baking powder, but some brands also use bicarbonate of soda. Self-raising flour is many a times used as a short cut in baking (no need to add soda), or by vegans who do not eat eggs, as the extra raising agent in the flour mimics the role of egg..

Note: Weighing is the only accurate way to measure flour, as flour amount would vary depending on how tightly flour is packed into a measuring cup

Cake becomes dense and fails to rise….understand Gluten

Flours are mainly made up of starch and protein. When water is added to the flour, chemistry develops between them…. proteins glutenin and gliadin combine and form gluten.   Stirring, kneading, folding, and mixing causes gluten to stretch and organize itself into a network. Overmixing the cake batter, leads to thick, cohesive and elastic gluten resulting in a more dense, chewy texture.  This is beneficial in case of cookies, but it harms the cake.

Note:  Overmixing the cake batter, leads to thick, cohesive and elastic gluten resulting in a more dense, tough texture.  

Fluff up your Batter with Butter and Oil

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Apple Cider Vinegar Diet Help You Lose Weight…it’s True

Research study proves that drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for just three months can cause significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides

Apple Cider Vinegar is an effective weight loss aid. Apple cider vinegar is considered as a super food due its numerous health boosting benefits. It is packed with enzymes, probiotics, and trace minerals has been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and can also serve as an antibacterial when treating wounds. It can also be used as a “cure” for hiccups, acne, heartburn, a sore throat, and bad breath, among countless other ailments.

The Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry journal published a study in 2009 stating that drinking Apple Cider Vinegar  for just three months can cause significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides. It can also improve heart health.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made by the fermentation of apple cider. During the fermentation process, sugar in the apple cider is broken down by bacteria and yeast into alcohol and then into vinegar. Like many types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar contains a substance called acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains some lactic, citric and malic acids.

What Does it Do To Make You Lose Weight?

Act as appetite suppressant

Apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which could act as an appetite suppressant. Pectin is a carbohydrate, and is said to help the stomach feel full. This is why it should be taken before meals.

What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do To Make You Lose Weight?

Help in controlling hunger pangs

Apple cider vinegar prevents uncontrollable sugar spikes and crashes that make you want to snack between meals. When blood sugar is stable, it’s much easier to stick to diet and eat only when actually body needs it.

Block starch absorption

Regular consumption of Apple cider vinegar can help lower blood sugar levels by “blocking the absorption of starch.”

Burn Fat

The beta-carotene present in Apple cider vinegar helps to break down and remove the stored fat from the body.

Beats insomnia

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Foods you thought were good for your kids, but aren’t

Say no to Instant oatmeal

What food kids need to eat to stay in top form, healthy, strong and smart, at the same time easy to make to match up with current fast paced lifestyle?.

A question very often parents ask other parents and search over and over again on internet. Even then most parents end up feeding their children unhealthy food unknowingly.

Parents, many a times get carried away by clever advertising terms like “Reduced fat” “Enriched” flour, “Multigrain”, Whole Fruit” and many more. Sure, those sound healthy, but the poor nutrient quality of these foods has been smartly obscured. These foods in reality could be doing far more harm to child’s  health than good.

Find out which popular “healthy” foods are actually unhealthy

1. Say no to Instant oatmeal

Oatmeal for sure is a great food for kids. They are packed with fibers and nutrients.  Nutrient-rich oatmeal contains thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.  But quick-cooking oats or instant oats are not that good for health.  Instant oats are basically powdered oats and take less than 5 minutes to cook. Although they are easy to cook, most brands of instant oatmeal have added salt and sugar. Also a 250 g serving of instant oatmeal lead to a GI of 83, whereas coarse one can be as low as 55. The process of grinding oats removes some of their fiber content, which accelerates digestion and raises the instant oats GI.

What you can do:

  • Look for instant oats that can give 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • Stay away from instant oats with chemical ingredients and additives
  • Opt for instant oats with low sugar

2.Granola bars: Could be dressed up junk food

Granola bars: Could be dressed up junk food

The word granola may invoke thoughts of healthy oats, grains, and nuts all nicely mixed up into an easy to eat bar. Many parents proudly give this energy packed bars as evening snacks.  But parents beware- what lies behind the wrappers of these seemingly innocent bars may be an over-processed nutritional mess.

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Stay Young and Youthful forever….with Science

Look for products with cell regulators, such as retinols, peptides and growth factors (GF), which can influence collagen production.

How many of you have seen the movie The Age of Adeline. In this movie the actress Blake Lively faces a car accident at the age of 29 and she never ages thereafter…. Stay Young and Youthful forever

This is complete fiction.  Nobody can stay young forever, but we can definitely slow it down with science backed ways. 

What is Skin ?

Skin is the body’s largest organ. A square inch of skin has millions of cells and many nerve endings for sensing temperature, pain, pressure, and touch. Skin is very sensitive and can get damaged if it is not cared for. We need to protect it from the sun, dirt and from irritants.

“The body sheds 30,000–40,000 dead skin cells off its surface every minute. This amounts to nine pounds of cells every year. ”

What is Skin ? image

Skin and Ageing

As we grow older our skin also undergoes changes. Skin ages both from the inside and from the outside. Within our skin, collagen production slows and elastin becomes less flexible. New skin cells are produced less quickly, and dead skin cells are not shed as often.

Signs of Ageing:

  • Wrinkles
  • Thinner and more transparent skin
  • Hollows in the cheeks and eye sockets and looser flesh on the neck and hands
  • More prominent veins and bones
  • Dry skin
  • Slow healing when injured

Science Proven ways to keep your skin young

Stay Youthful, Stay Young….Slow down your Ageing machine image
  1. Gut Health : Secret to glowing skin

54 percent of acne patients have marked alterations to the intestinal microflora. Acne, facial redness, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, and rosacea could happen because of poor gut health. Having processed diet, stress and other lifestyle factors could result in a damaged or “leaky” gut lining (leaky gut is increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyperpermeability), which leads to low-grade inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance – all factors which have been linked to poor skin health. So take good care of your gut.

  1. Rebuild Skin Collagen and Elastin with best Skin care products

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Will We All Be Eating Insects Soon ?

Insects are packed with protein, fiber, good fats, and vital minerals

Have you heard of ‘Entomophagy‘.

Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects and arachnids as food. This includes insect eggs, larvae, pupae, and mature adults.

Before you say disgusting, read these facts :

Two billion people worldwide eat insects

There are more than 1,900 edible insect species on Earth

Insects are packed with protein, fiber, good fats, and vital minerals

According to Anthropologist Julie Lesnik the ingestion of insects could promote brain growth

Yellow jacket wasp larvae are popular in Japan, Cicadas are treasured in Malawi, and Weaver ants are devoured in Thailand.

Insects are rich in essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids : Image

Why there is a need to eat INSECTS

The world population is steadily growing, with each year, adding up another 70 million people. If growth continues this way, by 2050 the population would reach a whopping 9 billion. Feeding all these hungry mouths is going to be a debilitating task and agriculture, livestock and ocean products would not be able to meet the needs. So next option available is to include INSECTS into diet.  U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has been urging all nations to encourage Insect diet to tide over food shortage.

Truth is ….You have been eating Insects, though unknowingly

It is estimated that we eat, on average, 140,000 ‘bug bits’ every year

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Sanitary napkins, New age Pollutant

Even though number of women who use hygienic means to manage menstruation in India is pegged at just 12-15%, this has already opened up a new challenge….How to handle the staggering amount of Sanitary waste.

Sanitary waste disposal has become an increasing problem in India. The plastic used in disposable sanitary napkins are not bio-degradable and lead to health and environmental hazards.

The total amount of menstrual hygiene waste that is generated per month nationwide comes to around 9000 tons….. 

What’s inside Sanitary Pad?

Have you ever checked what’s in your pads. Even if you check you won’t find  ingredients in sanitary pad as manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients because feminine hygiene products are considered medical devices.

Have you ever checked what’s in your pads ?

Sanitary pads are mostly plastic and are made of different layers. The thin top layer on napkins, known as the dri-weave top sheet, is made of polypropylene (a plastic polymer). The padding is mostly wood pulp mixed with super absorbent polymers and the leak-proof layer is made from an impermeable polyethylene.  Super absorbent polymer is the magic ingredient that helps to hold water up to 30 times its weight.

Too much plastic means, sanitary pads too carry health hazards. Would like to enlist few….

  • Some chemicals present in plastic like BPA and BPS can complicate embryonic development
  • The cellulose present in pads can cause cervical cancer
  • Rayon which is used to increase the absorbing capacity of pads, contains dioxin. Dioxin is a known human carcinogen.
  • Deodorants used in pads can cause infertility and birth defects

What happens to all those soiled napkins ?

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