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Monday, November 29, 2010

Correct time to drink Waterwater

Correct Time to Drink Water....Very Important...

This is interesting!! I knew you need your minimum water to

flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me.

Correct Time to Drink Water....Very Important

From A Cardiac Specialist!

Drinking water at certain time maximizes it's effectiveness on the body:

2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs

1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion

1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure

1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack








Saturday, November 27, 2010

Conscientious organic food items are playing on your compassionate disposition to push sales

Cool cows & hot chicks, time for happy eating

PLANNING a happy meal for your Sunday brunch? How about "stress-free" milk to go with the "cage free" eggs from your neighbourhood organic food store? Welcome to the next level in the organic food revolution. Think shiny happy chickens and cows that line up for morning and evening walks.
    'Natural' food is widening your options and coming up with an interesting mix for the palate. Milk from a "stressfree" cow is what Organic India's global CEO Krishan Guptaa pushes as the USP of his company's organic ghee: "A cow produces milk for her calf. We first let the calf have its fill and do not use machines to extract all the milk. Our cows live in an open area where they are free to walk around and graze to their heart's content in the fields. This, naturally, takes away any fear or restrains in the cattle's minds and hence we have marketed our prod
uct as tension-free cow's ghee." Ergo a happy cow equals a happier customer.
    Guptaa pegs his product on "India's 5000-year old tradition" and says the purity of his product lends it more potency. So the ghee from a "stress-free" cow would last twice the length of a 'regular' pack of ghee. "I tell people that what is not good for them is impurity. And all things pure, be it ghee or neem, carry the goodness of Mother Nature. It is for us to make the best use of these gifts of nature," he says.
    He isn't the only one marketing Indian hoary traditions in service of our taste buds. Ahimsa milk, or milk produced without harm to any living being, produced at a Hare Krishna farm set up by Beatle George Harrison, recently went on sale in Britain. The milk will be sold for £3 a litre in shops around Harrow, London, where there is a large Hindu community. Not only are the cows milked with ancient Sanskrit prayers playing in the background, they are also
given a full Hindu burial after they die.
    Meanwhile, Keggfarms, one of the oldest poultry organisations in the country, makes sure the birds in its poultry houses are not stuffed in 8x8 inch battery cages. While they are given feed sans any chemical agents, another essential trait in their breeding is their access to sunshine and fresh air. "They are not only kept away from cages but allowed to maintain a social order of their own. We try to make sure they are happy birds since every living thing must be treated with humaneness," says Vinod Kapur, the owner of Keggfarms. With the Keggs brand flying off the shelves from around 300 outlets in the Delhi-NCR region and plans to extend the retail network to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chandigarh among others, happy cows and chicken are clearly the way to go. "In India there was no concept of quality or fresh eggs, only of the cheapest eggs. We combined our emphasis on quality with the tenet that every life
form, whether plant or animal, needs to be treated with respect," he adds.
    Research has shown that the flavour and yolk of an egg are determined by the diet and breed of the hen. Farm fresh eggs tend to have dark yolks where as chicken eggs from battery hens have lighter eggs. Controlled, low-intensity light is also used to delay sexual maturity until the bird's body is big enough to produce larger eggs. While most eggs come in white or brown shades, the Aracuana, a breed of chicken developed in Chile lays blue to green chicken eggs!
    And if milk and eggs weren't doing it for you, you might want to go in for "relaxed meat". There are scientific studies to prove that high stress levels in cattle are likely to alter the acid levels in their meat, affecting its colour, taste and texture. The technical term for meat that has been damaged by this sort of stress is "dark cutting meat".
Vegetarians, take heart
THEN, there is Japan's legendary Kobe Beef. Long-standing legend has it that the Tajima breed of Wagyu cattle in Kobe are fed organic grains, Japanese beer, and even sake to make that perfect steak. "The terms 'organic' and 'free-range' are often used as little more than marketing gimmicks designed to fool compassionate consumers into purchasing more meat, eggs or dairy," says Poorva Joshipura, chief functionary for PETA India. Joshipura believes that the only way we can ensure not contributing to the suffering of animals is to stop eating them. While animal rights activists are hardly likely to support the pampering of cattle on their way to the slaughterhouse, the fact remains that there are some brutal practices going into traditional cattle-slaughter. A realisation that better treated animals will produce better meat is likely to ensure at least some relief for the animals.

    Vegetarians, take heart. Even cheese is coming with a certified "vegetarian" tag. Godrej's nature basket store which stocks a variety of cold cuts, meats, cheese and organic foods, offers vegetable red cheddar for the more discriminating customer. If you're a strict vegetarian, you will want to avoid cheese made with "traditional" (animal) rennet (fat) and should look for cheese with rennet that is made from plants or microbes. Unfortunately, this information is not always on the labels of cheese that has been pre-cut and wrapped by a store. But that is now changing. "Most cheese is animal-fat based so a vegetarian cheese is one which uses plantfat instead. While this hasn't replaced regular cheese, it has become an addon to cater to a certain type of customer," says Uttam Singh, food specialist at Godrej's Nature's Basket GK II outlet. The common thread running through this interesting but sometimes weird sounding spread: Conscientious cuisine is here to stay. 


Friday, November 26, 2010

‘The US model of private health insurers is inefficient, expensive’

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prizewinning economist has written several articles on the inequity in access to health and the flaws in the drug discovery process of pharmaceutical companies. On a recent visit to Delhi, Stiglitz spoke to Rema Nagarajan about the negative role of patents in drug discovery and the pitfalls of private insurance in health:

    Why have you been pitching for a single payer system for health insurance rather than a system where several private companies compete?
The US model of private health insurers has been proven inefficient and expensive. Rather than provide better healthcare at lower costs, insurance companies innovate at finding better ways of discrimination. They are inefficient because they are trying to figure out how to insure people who don't need the cover
and keep out people who need it. With many companies, they also need to spend on marketing and advertising. The incentives are all wrong and the transaction costs are very high and you have to give them a high profit. In health, social and private incentives are totally disparate. Competition does not work in healthcare especially in the health insurance market. Several countries like the UK, France and Sweden have a single payer system, differing only in the organisation of healthcare delivery.
    Several health insurance companies are setting up business here. Should India be worried?
India would be in a terrible mess, given the size of its population, if it went down the wrong route (of private companies for health insurance). They should
learn from the mess that the US has got into. Once the companies start making profits, special interests in politics will come into play and it will be difficult to get them out. In India, given the disparities in income, a single system for delivery might not work. So, it will probably need a mixture of public and private provision or maybe public healthcare for basic clinics and reimbursement for others, or the UK model where provisioning or delivery is also through public institutions.
    Areyouagainstintellectual property especially in health research into medicines?
I am not against intellectual property (IP). But the benefits of IP have been exaggerated and the costs underestimated. IP creates monopolies. And it does interfere with economic efficiency by interfering with the flow of knowledge and the use of knowledge, particularly for developing countries. The TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) agreement is trying to impose the same IP framework on everybody. The question is whether IP promotes innovation. Increasingly, the evidence is that it may actually impede innovation. It is leading to infinite negotiations around patents. More money is being spent on lawyers than on research. New ideas are the most important input into
research. IP is making that input difficult to get. We need some IP. But we also need to find better ways of financing and incentivising research such as governmentsponsored research.
    Is it viable for governments to finance drug research?
Yes, public financing of drug research is financially viable. In a system where government pays for drugs, it is in effect, the government or the public who pay for hugely expensive drugs. Drug companies greatly exaggerate the cost, especially on research. If you broke down their costs, you would see that basic research is done by the government. The applied research of a particular molecule is mostly done by small companies, often linked to universities, which is still private. But the biggest cost is testing of the drugs and that is usually blown up and often includes promotion costs.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Indian veggies, fruits remain highly toxic

Pesticides Much Higher Than European Standards

New Delhi: Rampant use of banned pesticides in fruits and vegetables continues to put at risk the life of the common man. Farmers apply pesticides such as chlordane, endrin and heptachor that can cause serious neurological problems, kidney damage and skin diseases. A study conducted by Delhi-based NGO Consumer-Voice reveals that the amount of pesticides used in eatables in India is as much as 750 times the European standards. The survey collected sample data from various wholesale and retail shops in Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
    ''Out of five internationally-banned pesticides, four were found to be common in vegetables sold in the Indian markets. Banned pesticides were found in bitter gourd and spinach,'' said Sisir Ghosh, head of Consumer-Voice. The banned chemicals included chlordane, a potent central nervous system toxin, endrin, which can cause headache nausea and dizziness, and heptachor that can damage the liver and decrease fertility.
    Officials said the tests conducted on vegetables at the government-approved and NABLaccredited laboratory, Arbro Analytical Division, revealed that ladies finger contained captan, a toxic pesticide, up to 15,000 parts per billion (ppb) whereas that in the EU has only up to 20 ppb. ''Indian cauliflower can have malathion pesticide up to 150 times higher than the European standards,'' said an official. The vegetables studied included potato, tomato, snake gourd, pumpkin, cabbage, cucumber and bottle gourd, among others. ''We have informed Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
about the excessive use of pesticides in fruits and vegetables that pose serious health hazards,'' said Ghosh. He added strict monitoring from government agencies is required to check manufacture, import and use of banned pesticides. The pesticide residue limits have not been reviewed for the past 30 years, said Ghosh.
    The organization had conducted tests on fruits sold in Indian markets which again showed that 12 fruits, including bananas, apple and grapes, had high quantity of pesticides, violating both Indian and European Union standards. The chemical contents found in fruits were endosuplhan, captan, thiacloprid, parathion and DDT residues.

HC seeks govt reply after TOI report
Taking suo motu cognizance of the report—published recently in the Delhi edition of TOI— showing alarming levels of toxicity in vegetables and fruits in India, a concerned Delhi high court on Tuesday asked the Delhi and central government to respond. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan converted the matter into a PIL, issued notice to both the governments and said the ''health hazard which has become quite epidemic'' as highlighted in the report ''can be curbed at the very root'' only if urgent steps are taken. The bench also appointed two lawyers, V K Rao and Saket Sikri, as 'amicus curiae' to assist the court as the ''matter requires certain study, research and assistance''. TNN


Tuesday, November 2, 2010



A NEW STUDY by researchers at the University of York and Harvard Medical School suggests that sleep not only helps in learning a new piece of information, such as a new phone number or a new word, but also gets the brain to file it away so it is available when needed.
    The scientists found that sleep helps people to remember a newly learned word and incorporate new vocabulary into their "mental lexicon".
    During the study, researchers taught volunteers new words in the evening, followed by an immediate test. The volunteers slept overnight in the laboratory while their brain activity was recorded using an electroencephalogram, or EEG.
    A test the following morning revealed that they could remember more words than they did immediately after learning them, and they could recognise them faster demonstrating that sleep had strengthened the new memories.
    This did not occur in a control group of volunteers who were trained in the morning and re-tested in the evening, with no sleep in between.
    An examination of the sleep volunteers' brainwaves showed that deep sleep (slow-wave sleep) rather than rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or light sleep helped in strengthening the new memories.
    When the researchers examined whether the new words had been integrated with existing knowledge in the mental lexicon, they discovered the involvement of a different type of activity in the sleeping brain.
    Sleep spindles are brief but intense bursts of brain activity that reflect information transfer between different memory stores in the brain — the hippocampus deep in the brain and the neocortex, the surface of the brain.
    — ANI



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