Thursday, 24 October 2013

Managing constipation in infants

Dr. Rotimi Adesanya

My daughter is three weeks old and she did not have a bowel movement for five days. She was miserable! I called my paediatrician and she told me this was normal for breastfed babies when they were going through a growth spurt.
“She proceeded to tell me that if my baby seemed distraught by it, I should give her half of an infant glycerin suppository. Within 10 minutes of giving the suppository to her, she filled up the diaper with faeces and has been happy since.” — A concerned mother.
I have also seen several mothers of neonates and infants with the same complaint of their babies’ inability to move bowel for up to 10 days. The babies are without any abnormality and they will start moving their bowels after rectal examination.
This is partly due to the stimulation of the nerves innervating the rectum and they will not need any medication; while very few (about two per cent) may have an underlying medical condition and may need to be sent for further tests such as X-ray and ultrasound scan of the abdomen.
It is advisable for mothers of newborns with constipation to contact their doctors for advice and not assume all is right.
Constipation in infants less than one year of age is common, but it can be a source of concern for parents. Sometimes, the baby is not really constipated, but must be given time to set his own schedule for having a bowel movement.
Infant constipation is the passage of hard, dry bowel movements — not necessarily the absence of daily bowel movements. Infant constipation may begin when a baby transitions from breast milk to formula or begins eating solid foods.
In rare cases, constipation may be caused by a lack of nerves or by structural problems in the lower large intestine.
Signs and symptoms
•An infant who is constipated usually strains more than other babies to have a bowel movement.
•The stool may be formed and hard like small pebbles, or it may be soft and mushy. Stool may even be wide and large.
•Sometimes, solid stool stays inside and liquid stool (like diarrhoea) may pass out around it.
•Other signs of constipation are infrequent stools that are difficult to pass.
•The child’s abdomen can become swollen with gas, and painful cramps can result from constipation.
•The child may be restless and cranky.
•Digital rectal examination: In this procedure, a doctor or other health care provider inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for anything unusual or abnormal.
•Abdominal X-ray: This is a diagnostic test to evaluate the amount of stool in the large intestine.
•Abdominal scan may be helpful in some cases.
•You may give fruit juices (prune, pear, cherry, orange or apple). If the stool becomes too loose, just give less juice to your baby.
•If the baby is eating rice cereal, it may help to switch to oatmeal or barley cereal. Rice cereal can cause constipation in some children.
•To ease the passage of hard stools, consider applying a small amount of water-based lubricant to your baby’s anus.
•It might help to place an infant glycerin suppository into your baby’s anus. Glycerin suppositories are available without a prescription. They are only meant for occasional use when dietary changes are not effective.
•If your baby is old enough to eat strained foods, you may give him fruits and vegetables.
•A warm bath at least once a day can help relax his rectum. This can make it easier for him to have a bowel movement.
•Proper toilet training/bowel habits for older infants: Have your child sit on the potty at least twice a day for at least 10 minutes, preferably shortly after a meal.
The treatment listed above is applicable to infants above three months only. Those that are less will need a doctor’s review.
In conclusion, most of the time, constipation is a temporary situation. However, some children may have diseases of the intestine, such as Hirschsprung’s disease. All cases should be referred to a competent medical practitioner.
culled from Punch

Reasons you should start eating cucumber

Cucumbers are number four most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your overall health, often referred to as a super food. Pick a handful of firm, dark green cucumbers and drop them into your shopping cart. Congratulations! You have just bought yourself stuff full of good health.
Rehydrates body
If you are too busy to drink enough water, eat the cool cucumber, which is 90 per cent water. It will cheerfully compensate your water loss.
Fights heat inside and out
Eating cucumber will get your body relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin and you will get relief from sunburn.
Eliminates toxins
All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your body. With regular eating, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
Replenishes daily vitamins
Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Vitamins A, B and C, which boost your immune system, also keep you radiant and give you energy. Make it more powerful by juicing cucumber with spinach and carrot. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because it contains a good amount of vitamin C, which is about 12 per cent of the daily recommended allowance.
Supplies skin friendly minerals
Cucumber is high in potassium, magnesium and silicon. That is why spas abound cucumber based treatments.
Aids digestion and weight loss
Due to its high water and low calorie content, cucumber is an ideal source for people who are looking for weight loss. Use cucumbers in your soups and salads. If it is not your favourite snack, you can eat crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low fat yogurt dip. Chewing cucumber gives your jaws a good workout and the fibre in it is great for digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as an aid for chronic constipation.
Revives the eyes
Placing a chilled slice of cucumber over puffy eyes is a clich├ęd beauty visual, but it really can help reduce under-eye bags and puffiness due to its anti inflammatory properties.
Fights cancers
Cucumber is known to contain secoisolariciresinol, lariciresinol and pinoresinol. The three lignans have a strong connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including ovarian, breast, prostate and uterine cancer.
Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure
Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin, which is widely spread to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers have found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers can help decrease levels of cholesterol. Cucumbers contain a lot of fibre, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients work effectively for regulating blood pressure. That is why cucumber is good for treating both high blood pressure and low blood pressure.
Refreshes the mouth
Cucumber juice heals and refreshes diseased gums. Get a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for a half minute. The phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing unpleasant breath.
Smoothes hair and nails
The wonder mineral, silica, in cucumber makes your hair and nails shinier and stronger. The sulfur and silica in cucumbers help to stimulate your hair growth.
Promotes joint health, relieves arthritis and gout pain
As cucumber is an excellent source of silica, it promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. When mixed with carrot juice, cucumber can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering levels of the uric acid.
Cures hangover
To avoid a morning headache or hangover, you can eat a few cucumber slices before going to sleep. Cucumbers contain enough B vitamins, sugar and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients and reduce the severity of both hangover and headache.
Keeps kidneys in shape
Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your body and is thought to keep the kidneys healthy.
                                           Adapted from:
culled from Punch

How to have a healthy pregnancy

A pregnant woman
You can feel wonderful during your pregnancy if you take good care of yourself. Increase your odds of a healthy pregnancy by following these sensible steps to keep yourself in top condition:
Eat- Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day and take a prenatal vitamin each day as directed by your obstetrician or midwife. Remember to drink plenty of fluids — at least eight to 10 glasses a day and avoiding caffeine, artificial coloring in food and alcohol. Don’t smoke or allow yourself to be exposed to secondhand smoke.
Exercise – it’s important for your general health and also can help reduce stress. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least fifteen to twenty minutes every day at a moderate pace. Walk in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.
Sleep – at least eight hours a night. If you’re suffering from sleep disturbances, take naps during the day and see your physician for advice.
Comfort –  wear comfortable, non-restricting shoes and put your feet up several times a day to prevent fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.
Safety – Continue to wear a safety belt while riding in motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the shoulder portion of the restraint should be positioned over the collar bone. The lap portion should be placed under the abdomen as low as possible on the hips and across the upper thighs, never above the abdomen. Also, pregnant women should sit as far from the air bag as possible.
No self medication-. Don’t take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your obstetrician or midwife.
Sources: National Women’s Health Information Center; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Culled from Punch

Amazing benefits of papaya (pawpaw)


Papaya enjoys a rich history, and has been used since very long for medicinal uses in day to day life. The Mayans used to worship papaya trees and called it the “Tree of Life”. It is said to be one of the favourite fruits of Christopher Columbus.
The leaves, seeds and the milk of the papaya tree are used to cure intestinal problems and kill intestinal worms and parasites. Above all, papaya is a very delicious food that has been enjoyed lavishly by people as a part of cuisines and salads.
Health Benefits of Papaya:
•Skin & Papaya- It is great for the skin and can be used as a face pack to get its benefits. It helps to get rid of acne and skin infections as it helps to open clogged pores. The fermented flesh of papaya also called as papain helps to dissolve the dead cells, giving fresh and glowing skin as a result. It is good to cure the skin infections and wounds that don’t heal quickly.
•Cholesterol & Papaya- As it is a fruit that is rich in fiber it lowers blood cholesterol levels. It contains enzymes that help prevent oxidisation of cholesterol, which in return helps to prevent heart-attacks.
•Anti-ageing & Papaya- The antioxidants in papaya help in controlling premature ageing. This quality of the papaya helps you to get a younger look.
•Intestinal Worms & Papaya- The seeds of papaya too possess medicinal properties. They are very good in treating intestinal worms in the body.
•Constipation & Papaya- Papaya helps in preventing constipation and aids in digestion. The enzyme papain is a digestive enzyme that helps in natural digestion.
•Colon & Papaya- Its juice helps in curing infections of the colon by clearing the pus and mucus from it. You need to take it regularly to heal quickly.

What electronic gadgets can do to you

what electronic gadgets can do to you
A gadget is a device or appliance having a unique purpose and function. At the time of their invention, gadgets are often way ahead in terms of novelty and uniqueness. This is what makes them so desirable and ‘cool.’
That modern gadgets have changed the world is an understatement. No one wants to go back to the days of no television, no Internet and definitely no cell phone.
Each day, tech companies churn out the latest versions of laptops and mobile phones, while household and kitchen appliances are not left out.
While it is easy to get caught up in the rave of the moment, there is increasing scientific evidence linking ‘electropollution’ to the rise in cancer, birth defects, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, learning disabilities and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
According to the World Health Organisation, ‘electronic smog,’ created by electricity, is “one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences.” Experts therefore warn that it is important that one is fully aware of the ill effects of these modern gadgets on health.
Researchers at Carnelle Montelle University, Toronto, Canada, in a report titled, “Tech Injury,” give a brief outline of how these gadgets impact human health.
Texter’s neck
This syndrome is associated with mobile phones, laptops and tablet use. The report states that those who engage in texting or simply reading while hunched over laptops easily strain their necks. Chiropractors say the pain can be severe.
The experts note that this habit affects blood circulation, which can lead to tennis elbow, whereby the exterior region of the elbow becomes sore.
Doctors in India say they see between 30 and 40 patients suffering from texter’s neck every month, and they are mostly youngsters.
Bad posture
Physiotherapist and posture specialist, Dr. Lauren James, says those who hunch over laptops while working are prone to back pain due to bad posture. James notes that incorrect posture directly affects the shape of the spine and causes pain in the muscles of the back and the shoulders.
She says, “Eighty per cent of laptop users face the risk of nerve damage due to poor posture. Slouching on the chair while using the laptop carries the same risk, as it causes dowager’s hump or the curving of the upper back.”
Carpal tunnel
This is popularly known as texter’s thumb, which James says is caused by heavy texting. According to her, people who spend at least four hours each day tapping on their laptops or cell phones are at risk of developing this condition.
“This is for those who enjoy texting and spend hours chatting. Texter’s thumb starts with a shooting pain, burning sensation, as well as numbness in the hands. The strength in the hands of the patients also decreases and they find difficulty in maintaining a grip on everyday objects,” she states.
Corrective measures include wearing braces on the hands, which can be quite embarrassing for youngsters and adults who are mostly afflicted with texter’s thumb.
Electromagnetic radiation hazards
According to scientists, EMR from EMFs can be disruptive to the human body’s own natural energy fields. Like X-rays, these waves are not blocked or weakened by objects in their way. Rather, they pass into our bodies, upsetting normal cellular function and biological processes. EMR can cause headaches, tiredness and even immune system disorders.
Electromagnetic radiation is part and parcel of any electronic device, with mobile phone radiation and mobile phone towers being the most under the public’s eye. EMR is associated with brain tumour, childhood leukemia and genetic damage under long term exposure, researchers say.
Scientists believe that appliances such as electric hair dryers, shavers and bedside digital alarms are more dangerous due to their proximity to the human head.
According to scientist and EMF expert, Dr. George Yao, the typical American is hit by electromagnetic radiation up to 200 million times more intense than what his ancestors absorbed from the sun, stars, and other natural sources.
Brain cancer
For those who believe in the dangers of the mobile phone, exposure to cell phone radiation may increase your risks for developing brain cancer over time, according to experts.
A recent study by Finnish scientists found a 40 per cent increase in the risks of brain tumour for those who use these phones for more than 10 years. The brain tumour was most likely to be located on the side of the head where the phone was held.
In addition, a Swedish study has found that brain cells could be destroyed by mobile phone radiation; they warn that the present generation of teenagers runs the risk of going senile before their middle age!
In India and the U.S., clinical trials have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones very frequently have reduced sperm counts.
Obviously there is also some media hype on some of these issues. However, there is no question about the ill effects of EMF and, especially, the radiation released by cell phones and their effects on the brain of children.
Some studies are, to some extent, underplaying its ill effects. At present, most scientists agree that children under the age of eight should not be permitted to use mobile phones — a warning sidestepped by most lawmakers.
 Cell phone use has been linked to anxiety. Experts say phantom vibration is the false feeling of thinking that a phone or any other gadget for that matter is ringing, when it is not. Associated problems include ‘ringxiety’ (sense that phone is ringing) and ‘fauxcellarm’ (believing that an alarm is ringing).
“You may not even know that you are suffering from these ailments, but try to remember how many times you have checked if your phone is ringing,” experts warn.
Sleep loss
The lead researcher, Dr. Manny Philips, in the study by Canadian scientists, which was conducted in a sleep clinic, concludes that sleep deprivation is quite common among those whose lives revolve around their electronic devices — be it laptop, tablet, phone, gaming gadgets or even the TV.
They note that those who use these devices before going to bed are mainly at risk, since exposure of the body to bright artificial light of the screens lowers melatonin release (a sleep-promoting hormone).
Even worse, it promotes alertness in the body, which makes falling asleep difficult and can aggravate sleep disorders.
Hi-tech gadgets are created to reduce stress, but their use often results in the opposite. Shocking ring tones, high-decibel tunes on some mobile phones, car stereos and headsets can take a toll on our health.
In all things, let us remember that moderation is key.
Culled from Punch

Associated Airlines: Surviving crash victim’s toes, fingers amputated

All 10 toes and five fingers on the left hand of one of the surviving cabin crew of the Associated Airlines, Mrs. Quinneth Owolabi, were eventually amputated four days ago.
Owolabi was one of the five survivors of the airlines’ Embraer 120 aircraft, which crashed near the MurtalaMuhammedAirport, Ikeja, Lagos, while conveying the remains of former governor of OndoState, Chief Olusegun Agagu, to Akure for burial.
Photo by Citizen Samuel Omotosho
 Citizen Samuel Omotosho

This is as an online report said that Feyi, late Agagu’s son, was yesterday discharged from the Orthopaedic Ward of Princess Grace Hospital, Nottingham Place, London, two weeks after his admission into the hospital, as he was considered out of danger.
Owolabi’s toes and fingers were to be amputated last week at the NigerianAirForceHospital, NAF Base, Ikeja, following gangrene infection.
The husband, alongside members of National Cabin Crew Association, NACCA, had appealed to the Federal Government to fly her abroad for treatment to avoid the amputation.
Vanguard gathered, yesterday, that the victim’s toes and fingers were finally amputated four days ago, as no help came from government.
The amputation, Vanguard learned, was done so that the infection would not spread to other parts of her body.
Colleagues’ anger
Serving and retired cabin crew executives expressed anger over government’s refusal to come to the aid of the victim despite the appeal made by NACCA and the family.
Spokesperson of the group, Mrs. Blessing Efe, said Owolabi would have been saved the trauma of amputation had government heeded her cries, but confirmed that Miss Toyin Samson’s situation was stable at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, where she is on admission.
According to her, the victim has been going through a lot of trauma since the toes and fingers were amputated four days ago.
She said: “It is unfortunate that no help came when Quinneth needed it most. Her toes and fingers were amputated three days ago (four days today). Imagine the trauma she is going through at the moment.
“We want government to always support people who survive air crashes because the accident is not their making.
“We are trying now to sensitise the public and government on the need to assist those who survive air crashes. It is not easy to survive air an accident.”
She flayed management of Associated Airlines for abandoning the cabin crew since the accident occurred about three weeks ago, stressing that nobody was talking about insurance claims for victims of the crash.
Mrs. Efe said: “The airline has not been forthcoming on care for the two cabin crew who survived the crash. The excuse they gave for Quinneth’s case was that she was not stable enough to be flown out for treatment.
“Now, her toes and fingers have been severed because of abandonment.”
She recalled the experience of the cabin crew executive who survived EAS crash in Kano on May 4, 2002 and had been suffering due to lack of care by the authorities.
She said the iron rod on her leg expired over four years ago and that she had not been able to replace it due to lack of funds.
Efe said: “We expect Governor Idris Wada of KogiState to come to the aid of the lady. He was the owner of EAS Airlines when that plane crashed in 2002.”
Feyi Agagu discharged
An online report said that Feyi was, yesterday, discharged from the Orthopaedic Ward of Princess Grace Hospital, Nottingham Place, London, two weeks after his admission into the hospital after he was deemed him fit and considered out of danger.
Feyi and Akin, his in-law, are survivors of the October 3 Lagos crash.
Feyi had multiple-fracture and was also suffering from a neck injury, which doctors said may permanently incapacitate him if not hurriedly treated.
Apart from the neck injury, Feyi was also said to be suffering from what the doctors called one percent burn.
Feyi and his in-law, Akin, were moved from LASUTH, on October 8, to the hospital in London.
source: Vanguard

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Orange Peel's Health Benefits

The peels of many fruits are the most under-valued and overlooked parts when it comes to health. There is a wide range of beauty and health remedies by simply keeping the peels of some of the fruits when you eat them. So you do not need to throw away anything from fruits when you eat them.
Orange peel in particular is known and used widely by those who are into an organic lifestyle, perhaps because the fruit is available almost everywhere in the world today. We’re pretty sure that after you’re done reading about these health benefits, you’ll be collecting bits of the orange peel next time you dig into the fruit.

Improves Digestion
Fibrous fruit like oranges have a marvelous effect on the digestive system. They help clean out your insides and as well aid in regulating bowel movements. One of the best orange peel health benefits is that it has over 200% more fiber than the flesh of the fruit! So if you suffer from regular digestion problems, try an orange peel tea for quick effects. First, leave the orange peel out in the sun till it is dry. Soak a little, about a teaspoon full, in 450 ml of hot water. Let it steep for about 15 minutes, longer if you can take the strong flavor. Drinking the resulting tea will prove to be a pretty effective laxative.

Helps with that Cold
We’ve already seen that orange peel has more vitamin C than the orange itself. Vitamin C is known to help tremendously when battling a cold. Soak orange peel in some boiling water. Let it sit for a bit. Drink this from time to time during the day and your cold will disappear sooner than usual.

An Effective Anti-inflammatory
Inflammation within the body is never a good thing. The problem is that it occurs more often in the modern world due to stress and unhealthy eating habits. Inflammation inevitably raises your risk for other health issues like lupus, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Orange peels are known to be rather effective at lessening inflammation. Those suffering from very severe inflammation often find relief by incorporating orange peel in their diet on a regular basis.

Gives you Stronger Bones
Little-known fact – oranges contain calcium too and are a decent source of the nutrient. However, orange peel has more than twice the amount of calcium that oranges do. 100 gm of orange peel packs more than 150 mg of calcium while 100 gm of orange flesh holds less than 50 mg. As you probably already know, calcium is crucial for the health and maintenance of your bones as well as your teeth.

Helps with Bad Breath
Throw away those sugary mint pellets and extra-strong gum. Chewing on orange peel can help alleviate bad breath. Do it on a regular basis and you may even be able to ditch your mouthwash in the morning.

Battles Heart Disease
There are as many active ingredients in orange peel as there are in the actual fruit. One of them, hesperidin, is a fantastic antioxidant which protects your heart by lowering your blood pressure – the top cause of heart disease. In addition, orange peel helps to lower your cholesterol, thus adding another layer of protection against cardiovascular problems.

Where there are antioxidants, there is the potential for a cancer-fighting food. So orange peel is recommended for those at high risk since the peel has a higher concentration of antioxidants and flavonoids which have been shown to reduce cancer risk as well as be instrumental in the cure for the disease.

Improves Immune System
Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient for overall health. Everyone knows that it is available in large quantities in oranges, but it’s the orange peel that holds the higher concentration. Regular intake of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the occurrence of minor illnesses and lead to better health, making the common cold, fatigue, infections and headaches a thing of the past. Vitamin A, another vital nutrient in orange peel, also aids to boost your immune system in addition to improving your vision.

How to Consume more Orange Peel
You can just break off a piece of orange peel and chew on it. Be careful that you start with a small portion as orange peels aren’t the yummiest things to put in your mouth and you may be put off by the strong flavor.
Why not just eat it with the orange flesh? That will help to mask the flavour of the peel too.
Can’t stand the flavour even with the smallest bites? Grate orange peel over your salad or your dessert. The flavour is a real pick-me-up so it will do more than make your food taste better. The fresh smell of the orange peel will make you feel more alert too.
You can also julienne parts of the peel to your fruit salads or use them in your recipes.
Soak orange peels in sugar syrup and store in the fridge.
Orange shavings and dark chocolate is a yummy flavour combination. You can sprinkle it on a chocolate square or, better still, melt your chocolate first and lightly coat juliennes of orange peel with it.
Sprinkle a little orange zest into your cakes for a tangy surprise! Mind you, just put in a little bit because the flavor is really strong and can overwhelm the cake entirely if you end up adding too much.

Caution: Since most orange orchards are sprayed with pesticides today, the orange peels can have high concentration of the poison on them. But that’s not all. To make oranges look more appealing, wax is rubbed on them. So make sure you wash orange peels properly before eating them. When buying dried orange peel, ensure that it is sold by a trusted brand.
Culled from Leadership

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

FG slashes business registration fees by 50%

Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga

The Federal Government has slashed the costs of registering businesses in Nigeria by half, in a bid to encourage investment in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said this on Tuesday in Abuja during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between his ministry and Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade on the promotion of trade and investment.
A 19-man Brazilian delegation was led on the visit by the country’s Deputy Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Mr. Richardo Schaefer.
Aganga said the Corporate Affairs Commission had, since October 1, 2013, reduced capital registration costs by 50 per cent for equity registration of N500m or lower, and by 25 per cent for equity registration above N500m.
He explained that the initiative was in line with the ministry’s investment climate reform programme, which was aimed at strategically repositioning Nigeria as the preferred destination for both local and foreign investments.
He said, “Following the directive from the President, the CAC has since October 1, 2013, slashed fees for business registration by 50 per cent. Under the new regulations, capital registration fees for companies (under Part A) have been reduced across board.
“While capital registrations below N1m will retain a flat fee of N10,000; all registrations between N1m and N500m are reduced by 50 per cent; and all registrations above N500m are reduced by 25 per cent.”
The minister said by this action, Nigerian companies would save over N2bn per annum, which they could use to hire more workers and expand their businesses.
He said that the new regulation had been deliberately designed to ensure that the bulk of these savings went to smaller businesses, which needed the lower fees more.
Aganga expressed optimism about the likely impact of the MoU, which the Brazilian deputy minister led a 19-man delegation to sign in Abuja.
According to him, the MoU will make it possible for various agencies responsible for skills development, industry and development finance in both countries to work together and deliver better services for the citizens of their respective countries.
He said, “The aim of the MoU is to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries at the bilateral and multilateral levels; increase and promote the bilateral trade of strategic items of mutual interest, and support cooperation between institutions of both countries.”
Culled from Punch

Monday, 7 October 2013

Robotic approach for gastric cancer treatment

Surgeons at UC San Diego Health System have performed the region’s first robotic gastrectomy, a potentially lifesaving procedure to remove a section of the stomach after a diagnosis of gastric cancer. Aided by a da Vinci robot, surgeons remove the diseased tissue, perform a delicate reconstruction and remove local lymph nodes for further testing.
“To treat the gastric cancer, we remove part or all of the stomach with five small incisions,” said Kaitlyn Kelly, MD, surgical oncologist at UC San Diego Health System. “The goal of the robotic approach is to remove the cancer and carefully extract nearby lymph nodes in a highly precise way to achieve a more accurate cancer staging.”
Kelly’s patient, a woman of Korean descent, was diagnosed with stomach cancer after reporting upper abdominal pain to her physician. Korean men and women are five to seven times more likely than Caucasians to develop gastric cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer worldwide.
Also known as an adenocarcinoma, stomach cancer arises from the mucus-producing cells of the stomach lining. Early detection and accurate staging are essential to the patient’s long-term survival. Staging describes the extent or severity of a person’s cancer. Patients with a diagnosis of gastric cancer typically complain of upper stomach pain, persistent and severe heartburn or stomach fullness shortly after eating.
“What is special about the robotic approach is the ability to carefully remove the lymph nodes around large blood vessels without causing damage to the nodes or vessels. This robotic approach can potentially offer a better specimen for pathologists to evaluate,” said Santiago Horgan, MD, chief of minimally invasive surgery at UC San Diego Health System and director of the Center for the Future of Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Source: www.sciencedaily

Foods that benefit their body part look-alikes

The age-long aphorism, which states that “You are what you eat,” seems to hold true in all areas of life. Nutritionists would have us believe, for instance, that you cannot eat like a horse and be as thin as a snake. It’s a case of garbage in, garbage out. If you eat foods that are lacking in fibre, you will soon discover the consequences as you groan in pain to pass stool, in addition to other health implications of bad dietary habits.
Beyond this, however, experts note that certain foods do look like human organs — whether internal or external — and that they do have healing effects on such parts, especially when we make it a habit of eating them regularly before we fall ill. They advise that foods from nature are excellent for health and that we should eat more of such to stay fit and maintain moderate weight. Such foods include:
Carrot and eyes
When a carrot is dissected, the interior structure looks very much like the anatomy of the eye, what with the pupil, iris and radiating lines that look just like the dissected carrot. Beyond its resemblance to the human eyes, though, nutritionists say carrots are high in vitamin A, a nutrient essential for good vision.
A nutritionist, Dr. Remi Omotunde, advises that eating carrots will provide you with the small amount of vitamin A needed for good vision. It can also be found in milk, cheese, egg yolk, and liver.
Again, scientists say carrot greatly enhances blood flow to the eyes, while it also enhances their function. A senior lecturer with Newcastle University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Dr Kirsten Brandt, counsels, “Eat one small carrot every day, together with other vegetables and fruits, to benefit from their health-giving properties.”
Walnut and brain
Analytically, scientists say, some species of walnuts look structurally like the human brain. According to the online portal,, “walnuts look like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex.”
Researchers at Tufts University in Boston, United States of America, did a research to examine the effects of walnuts on the accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins in the brain. This substance, they note, is the hallmark of many age-related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and it accumulates in our brains as we age.
They concluded that the lab rats fed on the walnut diets seemed to activate a process called autophagy, which the researchers described as “a neuronal housekeeping function” in the striatum and hippocampus areas of the brain.
“This process was more profound in the hippocampus, though, which is the region of the brain involved in memory and cognitive performance. The discovery of the autophagy in the walnut-eating groups was particularly exciting because as we age, this process slows down,” the scientists say.
Avocado and uterus
Strangely enough, apart from the fact that avocado looks like the human uterus (womb), agriculturists say it takes nine months for an avocado to grow and ripen for picking — very much akin to the nine months it takes a healthy womb to carry a pregnancy to full term!
Better still, researchers say, the nutrients in avocados are essential for the integrity of the reproductive system, while the regular consumption of the fruit is said to prevent cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is peculiar to women, and it forms and spreads in the organ that connects to the uterus. Nutritionists disclose that since avocado extract has oleic acid, it is good for the prevention of breast cancer in women, while it also inhibits the growth of prostate cancer in men. “The toxin of the avocado can control cancer cells,” Omotunde enthuses.
He adds, “In addition to hormone balance, avocado fruit contains phytochemicals, which have the potential to destroy precancerous cells without damaging normal cells.”
Grapefruit and breast
Structurally, the grapefruit, just like other citrus fruits such as lemon, is round –– like the human breasts. Grapefruits contain many nutritional properties that not only nourish the body generally, but some specifically target breast health, researchers say.
The Medical Director of Smart for Life Weight Management Centres in Boca Raton, Florida, USA, Dr. Sasson Moulavi, reasons that grapefruit contains substances called limonoids, which have been shown to inhibit the development of cancer in laboratory animals and in human breast cells.
In 2010, scientific studies demonstrated health benefits and chemo-preventive action of limonoids against proliferation of breast cancer cells. In a study published in the Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, scientists Vahdettin Bayazit and Vahit Konar, who evaluated the anti-carcinogen properties of limonoids and their biochemical structures, concluded that “Limonoids found in citrus fruits have been able to stop the progression of neuroblastomas — a form of cancer that starts in certain types of very primitive nerve cells found in an embryo or foetus.”
Grape, tomato and the heart
Scientists say when grapes and tomatoes are sliced lengthways, each half part looks like the heart. “Structurally, a tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers,” researchers say.
But beyond the semblance, Omotunde says, tomatoes are, indeed, pure heart and blood food. “This is because the lycopene in tomato is a powerful nutrient that not only helps the circulatory system but the heart as well.”
Studies conclude that because of the lycopene in tomatoes, there is a reduced risk for heart disease in men and women who eat them. Omotunde adds, “Grapes also have many nutrients that contribute to heart health, hence it’s advisable to feast on these fruits because there is absolutely no known side effects to eating them in their raw or moderately cooked form.”
Ginger and stomach
This fruit is versatile in many ways than one. It can be used as food seasoning agent, especially in meat; and it can be blended into a drinkable juice. Essentially, ginger contains gingerol — a bioactive ingredient that has anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Indeed, the United States Department of Agriculture lists gingerol as a phytochemical that has the ability to prevent nausea and vomiting.
In addition, researchers at the University of Michigan Medical Centre note that a clinical trial of gingerol on human volunteers indicates that this over 2000-year-old medicinal herb has promising anti-cancer properties.
Culled from Punch

Friday, 4 October 2013

Guide your kids to eat better

Healthy kids
Healthy eating is essential for your children’s growth and development. It will stabilise your children’s energy, sharpen their minds, and even improve their congenital and cognitive development.
Experts have linked poor nutrition in children to poor academic performance. While peer pressure and TV commercials for junk food can make getting kids to eat well seem impossible, there are steps parents can take to instill healthy eating habits without turning meal times into a battle zone.
By encouraging healthy eating habits now, you can make a huge impact on your children’s lifelong relationship with food and give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults. Children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the most; so, the challenge for parents is to make healthy choices appealing.
Of course, no matter how good your intentions, it’s always going to be difficult to convince your eight-year-old that eating beans is as sweet a treat as a cookie. However, you can ensure that your children’s diet is as nutritious and wholesome as possible, even while allowing for some of their favourite treats.
The childhood impulse to imitate is strong, so it’s important parents act as a role model for their kids. It’s no good asking your child to eat fruit and vegetables while you gorge on potato chips and soft drinks.
It is especially more difficult for parents to get their toddlers and teenagers to eat a balanced meal. A nutritionist, who’s also the mother of seven-year-old triplets, Dr. Shirley Smith, says toddlers should be introduced to new tastes and textures as they transition from baby food to “real” food.
Smith says, “Parents must keep in mind that toddlers have very small stomachs. It may be better to feed them five or six small meals a day, rather than three large ones. Depending on age, size, and activity level, your toddler needs between 1,000-1,400 calories a day. It is perfectly normal for your child to be ravenous one day and shun food the next. Don’t worry if your child’s diet isn’t up to par every day — as long as he or she seems satisfied and is getting a well-rounded diet.”
The nutritionist warns that parents should avoid giving their kids processed, packaged, restaurant, and fast food. Smith adds that processed foods like canned soups or frozen dinners contain hidden sodium that could make them hypertensive and obese as they grow older. “Try as much as possible to cook fresh meals for your kids,” she counsels.
She also gives tried-and-true tips for getting children to eat vegetables, drink milk, try new foods, and more.
•Have regular family meals. Knowing dinner is served at approximately the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together is comforting and enhances appetite. Breakfast is another great time for a family meal, especially since kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school.
•         Cook more meals at home. Eating home cooked meals is healthier for the whole family and sets a great example for kids about the importance of food. Restaurant meals tend to have more fat, sugar, and salt. Save dining out for special occasions.
•         Get kids involved. Children enjoy helping adults to shop for groceries, selecting what goes in their lunch box, and preparing dinner. It’s also a chance for you to teach them about the nutritional values of different foods, and (for older children) how to read food labels.
•         Make a variety of healthy snacks available instead of empty calorie snacks. Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) around and easily accessible so kids become used to reaching for healthy snacks instead of empty calorie snacks like soda, chips, or cookies.
•         Limit portion sizes. Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe. As hard as this may be, try not to comment on what or how much your kids are eating. Be as neutral as possible. Remember, you’ve done your job as a parent by serving balanced meals; your kids are responsible for eating them. If you play food enforcer — saying things like ‘eat your vegetables’ — your child will only resist.
•         Make mornings count. Most families don’t eat enough fibre on a daily basis, and breakfast is an easy place to sneak it in. Look for high-fibre cereals for a quick fix or sneak in soy. Even if your kids don’t have milk allergies, soy milk is a terrific source of healthy phytochemicals. Kids don’t like soy milk, but they also don’t notice when it’s hidden in a recipe. Use the low-fat, calcium-fortified kind in some recipes that call for milk, such as oatmeal, mashed potatoes, and sauces.
•Get kids cooking. If your children become involved in choosing or preparing meals, they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve created. Take them to the store, and let them choose produce for you. If they’re old enough, allow them to cut up vegetables and mix them into a salad. Although they may refuse to eat fresh fruit, blend it as a juice.
•Cut back on junk. Remember, you — not your kids — are in charge of the foods that enter the house. By having fewer junk foods around, you’ll force your children to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.
•Be a role model. If you’re constantly on a diet or have erratic eating habits, your children will grow up thinking that this sort of behaviour is normal. Be honest with yourself about the kinds of food messages you’re sending. Trust your body to tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full, and your kids will learn to do the same.
•Adjust your attitude. Realise that what your kids eat over time is what matters. Having popcorn at the movies or eating an ice-cream sundae are some of life’s real pleasures. As long as you balance these times with smart food choices and physical activity, your children will be fine.
Remember, they may protest at first, but they will get used to the routine. Cook some soul-food for your family this weekend.
Culled from Punch

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Getting the best out of your car

If you take the time to do a routine preventive maintenance of your car, you may prolong the vehicle’s life and avoid costly major repairs.
In order to keep your car in the best shape possible, it is imperative to keep up with the maintenance schedule that is detailed in your owner’s manual. Automobile engineers say modern cars require enough maintenance if the owner must enjoy his vehicle. According to them, many car users have not adjusted their thinking to keep pace with new car maintenance schedules. Those with tight engagements run their vehicles without service until the dash board warning light burns out, while a few affluent others fret about running synthetic oil more than 2,500 miles without a change. And most times, they do this without even knowing it.
The maintenance schedule for cars varies, but the truth is that even the newest car needs adequate maintenance if the owner desires an optimal performance. Brand new vehicles come with owner’s maintenance manuals, but fairly new or used cars at times do not come with such manuals. The Manager, Austin Auto Repairs, in Lagos, Mr. Austin Anyanwu, says car owners should take time to study their maintenance manuals, while owners of cars who don’t have manuals should adhere to the advice of qualified auto mechanics. Below are common car maintenance tips to pay attention to, according to experts:
Poor tyre inflation and rotation
Experts say many car users seldom check their tyre pressure. According to automobile mechanics, failing to check your tyre pressure, neglecting to check your tyre inflation and forgetting to rotate your tyres are the most common mistakes in car maintenance. They note that under-inflated tyres wear out faster and tyres are supposed to be rotated regularly.
It is natural for tyres to leak; so, there is the need for occasional checks. Experts say under-inflated tyres suck up gasoline. They explain that under or over-inflated tyres wear out sooner. You probably aren’t going to check tyre pressures monthly, but how about twice a year? It is important to know that front and rear tyres wear differently and should be rotated evenly. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation on pressure and rotation periods, experts say. It is therefore important to abide by these instructions to avoid scrapping your vehicle.
Octane overdose
Some car users tend to go beyond their vehicle’s octane rating. This, according to automobile engineers, is not suitable. Here, the rule is to supply whatever octane the engine is rated for and call it done. Higher-than-required octane does not yield more power or mileage, only the oil company profits, experts say.
Some engines are rated for premium 91 octane fuel but can burn 87 octane regular, as a result of the magic of knock sensors in most vehicles. In that case, experts advise that you run regular fuel, puttering around surface streets and premium fuel if full-throttle driving is part of your daily repertoire.
Failing to keep oil change timing
The average car owner needs to understand that oil is the most fundamental part of every vehicle as it keeps the engine alive. Failure to change your vehicle’s engine oil is one of the most common mistakes that people make, Anuforom says. Engineers add that many modern vehicles can go for as long as 6,000 miles before they need an oil change, but delaying oil change and driving for too long after the last oil change can damage your vehicle’s engine.
Some mechanics say having an oil change every 3,000 miles used to be the required standard, but today, improvements in engine designs and lubricants make oil changes something to be done when the schedule calls for it, not when anyone says it’s time. According to experts, some cars call for 5,000-mile change intervals, while some others may go up to 15,000 miles before changing the oil. Meanwhile, some others have a variable timer.
Using weak tyres
Weak or worn out tyres are seen on many vehicles nowadays. This ought not to be, experts say. It is not just dangerous to the occupants of the vehicle, but also unsafe for other road users. According to experts, tyres wear out, but they also time out. The tyre industry says tyres expire after five years, but the irony is that some of them are selling tyres even after their expiration dates. However, experts say it all depends on heat, sunlight and ozone conditions. But if you are not sure how old your tyres are, a tyre shop can read the date code stamped into the sidewall and get you adequately informed.
Ignoring your brakes
It is very wise to be conscious of your brakes. This is because the brakes of a car are its first line of defence. So, if you notice anything different about your brakes, like sound, feel or response, they are telling you to visit a mechanic. Failing to have your brakes under check can be sometimes hazardous. Brakes are the most crucial components of any vehicle, and their proper maintenance should not be avoided or ignored under any circumstance.
Experts say if you find your brakes humming or the fluid in the master cylinder is low, get them checked as soon as possible. It is dangerous to drive a car which has poor brakes. This should be abhorred! Get your brakes working properly, because you are not just saving you life, but saving the lives of other road users.
culled from Punch

Should you buy a new or second hand vehicle?

The author of ‘Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence,’ Usiere Uko, writes about the basic things to consider when deciding whether to buy a brand new or second hand car.
I tend to get a bit upset when it is time to renew my car’s insurance. It is not because I feel I am throwing money away. I truly appreciate insurance and the peace of mind it brings, especially in these ‘ember’ months when reports of car snatching are on the rise. Also, my insurance company has been very nice to me. What I find upsetting is finding out the current market price of my car, knowing how much I bought the car brand new. I find the depreciation annoying because I know what I would have done with the money rather than lose it to depreciation just like that. Does it make sense to throw away so much money in the name of driving a brand new car?
Wealthy folks also buy second hand
According to a 20-year study of 500 millionaires and more than 1,000 high net worth individuals, Thomas J. Stanley, bestselling author of ‘The Millionaire Next Door,’ discovered that more than 75 per cent of self-made American millionaires do not drive the latest model and most bought second hand. They waited for someone else to pick up the steep depreciation before they bought the car. Among the minority that bought brand new cars, most held onto it for eight years and above before they traded them for a newer model.
Most cars depreciate the most in the first year. The moment you stick a number plate to a car, it loses about 25 per cent of its value before you drive it away from the dealer’s parking lot. That means if you bought a car for N6m, you would have lost about N1.5m as you drive off from the dealer’s parking lot. If you had used that N1.5m to buy a plot of land in the outskirts of town, it may be worth more than N10m in less than five years. Compare that to what the whole car will be worth in five years.
Spending is emotion-driven and we love the good feeling that comes with getting something we really want, even if it makes no financial sense in the long run. There is nothing wrong in buying a new car, but sometimes we need to take a step back and see what it is we are doing with our money and the impact years down the line.
Sneaky car dealers
Making the decision to buy a car is not an easy one. I remember my experience with my current car two years ago. None of the dealers I met told me the truth. I am not saying all car dealers are liars. I was not lucky enough to meet one of the truthful ones. Most of them then were not aware that you could check the history of a car online using the VIN or Chassis Number on some sites like It shows maintenance and repair records, mileage readings etc before shipment. Some of the searches are free while you have to pay to access records for some cars. All the cars I was interested in, upon my online search, were accidented cars.
I don’t have any issue with an accidented car (though it might feel a little creepy when one thinks about what may have happened to previous owners). Most of the cars were sold off by insurance companies as write-offs, to recover some of the money paid in claims settlement. These cars are fixed up and sprayed in a standard workshop making the car virtually as good as new. Also, because the car had been dumped in a yard for months and maybe years, the low mileage on the odometer is usually correct (you can see a three-year old car with a mileage of less than 20,000km). Due to low usage, the chassis, shock absorbers and shafts etc are in pretty good shape. My main issue is that the dealer should be upfront with the true history of the car, and give me the privilege of making the decision whether to buy an accidented car or not, rather than make the decision for me by telling lies.
Also, in some instances, the car was affected by flood water e.g. from Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Sandy and its cousins. That means the electronics may have been affected, which is the reason insurance firms sell them off to whoever cares to buy. It is a 50-50 scenario, everything may be fine or it may give you problems down the line due to water damage. Again, the dealer will not tell you the car was a victim of flooding. Everything would have been cleaned up to look as good as new. All you may notice is the low mileage on the odometer and the relatively cheap price for such a clean looking car.
After more than three months of fruitless search for a car without a disaster in its past, I gave up the struggle and went way above my budget to buy a new car. Although I enjoy driving a brand new car, I still feel pained whenever I think of what I would have achieved by investing the money I saved by buying a second hand car.
Buying a second hand car does not always mean buying an earlier model. You can still find the latest models as second hand in some showrooms. This means you can also buy the latest model second hand, if you wait for a while, that is if you must drive the latest model.
Cheap new and expensive second hand cars
The decision to buy brand new or second hand is yours. There are no right or wrong answers. Some brand new cars are much cheaper than some second hand cars. Some second hand Range Rover cars go for more than N7m, which is enough to buy two of some Kia/Hyundai models with enough money left for registration, insurance etc. The beauty of a brand new car is that you don’t need to know your mechanic’s house or have fellowship with him every weekend. With oil and filter change every 5,000km, you are free to do better things with your time. Also, there is a temptation to buy a car you cannot really afford second hand. When you need to change parts, it will then dawn on you that the car is out of your league. No part of the Range Rover for example comes cheap. Changing the side mirror of a new model Honda Accord can set you back almost N100,000. Buying the car is only half of the story. Being able to maintain it is another story entirely. That is why you see expensive cars on the road with missing parts. The owner is still gathering the money required to effect repairs.
One thing is clear – a car is a rapidly depreciating liability. It is unwise to use your capital to buy a car, unless you are using it to do business. The wise thing to do is to invest your capital and use the profit to buy your car. Even then, you still have to decide whether you want to buy a new one and take the steep depreciation or buy a second hand model of the same car and reinvest the savings.
culled from Punch

It’s not macho to neglect your health

Men don’t go to doctors unless they’re in serious pain. In a 2007 American Academy of Family Physicians survey, 58 percent of men cited specific factors, such as lack of time, lack of insurance, and lack of extreme symptoms, as reasons for avoiding physicians.
Sure, a number of miscellaneous ailments resolve themselves without medical attention. But denial can also leave you dead. A smarter move: Regularly assess your health with a few morning inspections that are easy and accurate. They aren’t replacements for routine doctor visits, but these do-it-yourself checkups can help you sort the trivial from the troubling.
Your gums
What’s the big deal? Any redness, inflammation, or bleeding of your gums might be due to gingivitis, a condition that can progress to periodontal disease. This, in turn, is linked to heart disease — the number one killer of men.
How? The bacteria from periodontal disease enter your bloodstream, potentially causing inflammation elsewhere in your body, including your heart. The result: atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. What’s more, periodontal disease can signal diabetes.
“Blood vessels deliver oxygen and nourishment to body tissues and carry away the tissues’ waste products,” says Robert Pick, D.D.S., a gum specialist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
“Diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients and the removal of harmful wastes. This can weaken the gum tissue’s resistance to infection.”
Gums that are salmon-pink in light-skinned people, or a bit darker in dark-skinned people, indicate that your mouth is healthy and bacteria are in check, says Dr. Pick. But if your gums are red and swollen, and they bleed after brushing, you may have gum disease — or worse. Begin daily flossing, and see your dentist for an intense, below-the-gumline cleaning and application of antibiotics.
Clogged nasal passages
What’s the big deal? Take a deep breath. Did you inhale through your nose, or through your mouth? If it was your mouth, then your nasal passages may be obstructed, probably due to allergic rhinitis, the symptoms of which can include sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and general stuffiness. Or if those symptoms accompany coughing and wheezing, you might have asthma.
“Asthma can permanently reduce lung function if it’s not treated quickly,” says Bradley Marple, a rhinologist at the University of Texas Southwestern medical centre. Clogged nasal passages can also contribute to sleep apnea, a condition that’s usually also accompanied by snoring and about 20 pounds of extra body weight. Consult a physician right away if you have all three symptoms.
Runaway heart rate
What’s the big deal? Your resting heart rate (RHR) indicates how hard your heart is working to pump blood. It’s not only a good indicator of your overall fitness, but it can also signal diabetes or heart disease if it’s high. In fact, Italian researchers found that having an RHR above 70 beats per minute (bpm) increases your risk of dying of heart disease by at least 78 percent.
To check your resting heart rate, pee first; a full bladder may elevate your heart rate. Then sit for a minute or two before taking your pulse at either your neck or your wrist. Count the number of times your heart beats in 15 seconds, and then multiply that number by four for your bpm. As a rule, 40 to 60 bpm indicates a high level of cardiovascular fitness, notes Adam St. Pierre, an exercise physiologist at the Boulder Centre for Sports Medicine. “A regular cardio exercise programme should knock a beat or two off your heart rate within two to eight weeks,” he says.
The wrong kind of belly
What’s the big deal? Men gain weight around their middles, and studies have shown that deeply seated abdominal fat (called visceral fat) bumps up your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Unlike the fat that resides just under the skin, visceral fat collects deep within your abdomen, filling the spaces between your organs and increasing the risk of inflammation throughout your body. Worse, it can lead to insulin resistance, which forces your pancreas to boost insulin production in order to clear your bloodstream of glucose, says Michael Jensen, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.
Your belly is bulging from visceral fat if you can’t pinch or grab a fold. Have some belly to burn off? Step 1: Watch what you eat. To figure out how much you should be taking in, simply multiply your target body weight by 11. That’s your daily calorie allotment. Then make sure you’re burning about 2,000 calories a week through exercise. In a Duke University study, that amount of activity reduced visceral fat stores by seven percent.
Moles behaving badly
What’s the big deal? Most men diagnosed with melanoma — usually after age 40 — have had it for some time and either ignored the signs or simply didn’t notice them. Melanoma in a guy is typically found on his head, neck, or upper back, so it’s tough to spot and catch early.
“After your shower, scan your skin for anything that looks unusual,” says Linda K. Franks, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University. Specifically, check for the ABCDE’s of mole surveillance: asymmetry, borders (blurry or jagged edges), colour (black or multihued), diameter (more than a quarter inch across, or growing), and evolving (changing size or shape). If you note any alarming marks, have your dermatologist eyeball them and perform a biopsy if necessary
Stiff muscles
What’s the big deal? Poor flexibility in your upper back can predispose you to lower-back pain and injury. If you sit at a desk for long hours without moving, or if you’re doing a lot of lifting to build your chest muscles but not stretching them out and not strengthening your upper back, your shoulders and neck will hunch forward, notes trainer Bill Hartman. This will limit your upper-back mobility, causing you to overuse your lower back and leading to pain and discomfort.
Lousy memory
What’s the big deal? Can’t recall where you just placed your socks? You’re probably stressed out. The stress hormone cortisol temporarily short-circuits memory. Check your memory — and improve it — with an “N-back” exercise in the morning. Pick a word, such as ‘economy,’ while you’re watching the morning news. Every time someone says the word, come up with the word that person said two (or five) words before it.
“This exercise can evaluate how much you can deal with, mentally, at one time; and then boost it,” says Bridgid Finn, a research scientist at the Memory Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. Then consider going for a run. Cardiovascular exercise shunts extra oxygen to your brain, boosting your mental acuity in general.
Culled from Punch