New York, Feb 21 . Researchers have found that fat around our arteries may play an important role in keeping those blood vessels healthy.
The fat, known as perivascular adipose tissue, or PVAT, helps arteries do what scientists call "stress relax," or let go of muscular tension while under constant strain.
This is similar to the bladder, which expands to accommodate more liquid while at the same time keeping it from spilling out.
"In our study, PVAT reduced the tension that blood vessels experience when stretched, and that's a good thing, because the vessel then expends less energy. It's not under as much stress," said study researchers Stephanie Watts from Michigan State University in the US.
The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, could affect how researchers test for treatments related to plaque buildup in our arteries, or atherosclerosis, an issue that can often lead to a heart attack, which is currently a leading cause of death in the US.
What made the finding so exciting, Watts said, is that PVAT has largely been ignored by researchers who have thought its main job was to store lipids and do little more.
Right now, scientists only divide blood vessels into three parts, the innermost layer called the tunica intima, the middle layer called the tunica media and the outermost layer called the tunica adventitia.
Watts would like scientists to recognise PVAT as the fourth layer, which others have called tunica adiposa - tunica means a membranous sheath enveloping or lining an organ and adiposa is a synonym for fat.
Other investigators have shown that PVAT plays a role in the functioning of blood vessels, finding that it secretes substances that can cause blood vessels to relax as well as substances that can cause it to contract.
But Watts and her colleagues wanted to test whether PVAT itself, rather than the substances it secretes, might play a role in how blood vessels perform.
So, they decided to test whether PVAT provides a structural benefit to arteries by assisting the function of stress relaxation.
To do that, they tested the thoracic aorta in rats and found those with intact PVAT had more stress relaxation than those without.
"My mind was blown," Watts said when she saw that the pieces with surrounding fat had measurably relaxed more than those without.
The research team also tested other arteries and were able to duplicate the same response.
"So, this tells us, it's not just a one off, it's not something you see only in this particular vessel or this particular species or this particular strain. But that maybe it's a general phenomenon," Watts added. (IANS)
READ MORE - Higher fruits intake linked to fewer menopausal symptoms
Dharamsala, Feb 21. In the wake of directions from the health authorities, the sale of a traditional Tibetan medicine that supposedly prevents the spread of infectious diseases, including coronavirus, has been stopped.
Men-Tsee-Khang, the Tibetan medical and astro institute in this Himachal Pradesh town, was directed by the government to stop the sale of 'Rimsung Rilbu' so as to prevent any misconception in the public mind, District Chief Medical Officer Gurdarshan Gupta said on Friday.
Men-Tsee-Khang's Director Tashi Tsering Phuri told the media that they had complied with the directive of the authorities.
He maintained that the institute had never made any claim regarding the pill's prophylactic properties, which was prepared as per formulations given in the ancient Buddhist texts.
Men-Tsee-Khang, a charitable cultural and educational institution, was established in 1916 in Tibet, and re-established in Dharamsala in 1961 by the Dalai Lama. (IANS)
READ MORE - These are early symptoms of deadly China virus !
New York, Feb 20. A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables is known to benefit the human body in so many ways, as now researchers have found that it may also play a role in lessening various menopause symptoms.
Although hormone therapy has been proven to be an acceptable method for treatment of menopause-related symptoms for many women, the search for nonpharmacologic treatment options is ongoing, especially for women with certain risk factors and those who are not candidates for hormone therapy.
Specifically, there has been a focus on identifying modifiable lifestyle factors that might prevent or alleviate menopause symptoms, said the study, published in the Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
"This small cross-sectional study provides some preliminary evidence regarding the influence of fruit and vegetable intake on menopause symptoms," said study researcher Stephanie Faubion from The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in the US.
NAMS is North America's leading nonprofit organisation dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging.
According to the researchers, previous studies have suggested that dietary factors may play a critical role in estrogen production, metabolism, and consequently, menopause symptoms.
In particular, the consumption of fruits or a Mediterranean-style diet, characterised by a high content of vegetables, fruits, cereals, and nuts, was linked to fewer menopause symptoms and complaints.
This new study goes a step further in looking at specific fruits and vegetables and their effects on various menopause symptoms.
The study found that 'an apple a day might help keep menopause symptoms away'.
Researchers concluded that, although some subgroups of fruits and vegetables had an inverse association with menopause symptoms, a higher intake of other subgroups appeared to be associated with more urogenital problems.
Citrus fruits, for example, were called out as having an adverse effect on urogenital scores compared with other types of fruits, as were green leafy or dark yellow vegetables compared with other vegetables, they added.(IANS)
READ MORE >>> Wearing high heels could be damaging, says expert
"There is ample evidence that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables has a beneficial effect on health in a myriad of ways, but additional study is needed to determine whether various menopause symptoms may be affected by dietary choices," Faubion said.
The air pollution level on Wednesday in Delhi-NCR stood at 'poor' category. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was at 273, said the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). The PM10 was recorded 228, which fell in the moderate category. However, PM2.5 remained 'poor' at 112.
The situation may deteriorate further as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast thunderstorm with lightning on Wednesday.
"Consecutive western disturbances are likely to affect the northwest Indian region, and an increase in wind speed and ventilation forecasted by Wednesday evening. AQI is likely to improve to the lower end of poor category on February 20. Further air quality improvement to the poor to moderate category is forecasted for February 21," said SAFAR.
An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is considered severe.
The SAFAR suggested that asthmatics should keep medicine ready if symptoms of coughing or shortness of breath occur.
According to the IMD the minimum temperature at Safdarjung area was recorded at 10.6 degrees Celsius at 8.30 a.m (IANS)
READ MORE >>> Daily Exposure To Ozone Pollution Ups Mortality Risk
Mumbai. The Maharashtra government will provide free spectacles for all school students aged between 6-18 years, an official said here on Wednesday.
The project will cost Rs 20 crore plus a recurring expenditure of around Rs 5 crore per annum. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The official said that as per the central government's Rashtriya Bal Swasthaya Programme, all school students undergo a health checkup every year.
This year, 1,195 medical teams on the job found that the incidence of visual problems has increased significantly among the school students, the official said.
Around 8 percent of the 1.22 crore school students in the state suffer from visual problems and providing them with free eye-glasses would help improve their academics.
The government plans to provide spectacles, estimated to cost around Rs 200 each to affected students, of which 25 percent would need higher power glasses after a year.
The state Health Department plans to deliver the spectacles to the students either at school or their homes from the funds made available, said the official.
Besides Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu provides free spectacles to schoolkids in the age group of 6-12 in certain districts. (IANS)
READ MORE >>> Cabinet okays Bill to protect women's reproductive rights
Faridabad resident Prabhjeet, an oral cancer survivor, lost the right half of his jaw bone seven years back. In all those years he lived on a liquid diet, until 3D printing came to his rescue.
Doctors at Fortis Hospital in the capital performed a first-of-its-kind jaw reconstruction surgery on Prabhjeet with a 3D-printed titanium jaw in January this year.
Today, Prabhjeet is a happy man and has begun eating normal food, including non-vegetarian and spicy cuisine.
"After I was diagnosed with oral cancer seven years back, I got treated at Fortis and the right side of the jaw was removed. Initially, I was not sure about the 3D printed jaw but when doctors convinced me, I decided to go for it. Now, I can say that it was a right choice," Prabhjeet told IANS.
"Post-surgery, I was discharged after a week's stay at the hospital. Initially, I was put on a liquid and soft diet for the 3D-printed jaw to get optimised and integrated well. Today, I can taste and chew food of my choice," he added.
The doctors used titanium metal 3D printer from UK-based Renishaw company to construct and customise the jaw for Prabhjeet.
"The right half of his jaw bone was removed during a surgery along with temporomandibular (TM) joint to cure him of cancer. The TM joint controls the mobility of the jaw. Over the years, his residual mandible deviated which prevented the lower and upper jaw to meet," said Dr Mandeep Singh Malhotra who performed the surgery.
The surgery, which costs around Rs 3-Rs 4 lakh, lasted for around 8 hours.
"The oral cancer affected Prabhjeet as he could not chew or bite his meals. Furthermore, it caused repeated bite ulcers in his cheek leading to pain and fear of cancer relapse," Malhotra told IANS.
Prabhjeet also has an underlying chronic disease in the form of SLE (Sytemic Lupus Erythematosis) that affects immunity.
"The underlying SLE disease and reconstruction of the TM joint discouraged us from planning the conventional methodology of using one's own lower leg bone in the form of Fibula to reconstruct the jaw bone," Malhotra said.
The doctors then decided to use the metal additive manufacturing (3D printing).
"We thought of using 3D-printing technology to develop a complete prosthetic jaw including the joint component using Titanium which is the most biocompatible and light metal," Malhotra said.
On the reconstruction surgery, the doctors said that the trial models for the prosthetic mandible were revised at different time intervals as the jaws got aligned.
"This process extended across 9 months. We put in exhaustive efforts to achieve the right alignment. Our effort was to make the new jaw better than the normal," Malhotra told IANS.
The 3D printing technology has myriad benefits for the healthcare sector in India.
In 2017, surgeons at the Bone & Joint Institute in Medanta hospital successfully implanted a 3D-printed vertebrae in a 32-year-old woman, helping her walk again after a bout of disabling spinal tuberculosis.
According to Rajat Mehta, Country Manager, 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing, HP Inc. India, the healthcare industry has been an early adopter of 3D printing technology.
"Some of the current applications include skull patches, hearing aids, custom orthotics, prosthetics, insoles, and surgical planning. Leading hospitals are adopting integrated 3D printing services as part of their medical practices as they recognize the added value it brings to personalized patient care," Mehta told IANS.
According to Malhotra, a 3D-printed jaw is a godsend for people with oral cancer in India.
"It is cost-effective and now even All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has introduced this technology," said Malhotra. (IANS)