New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) As the demand for natural anti-oxidants grows in India during the pandemic, a new antioxidant Gamma Oryzanol is especially gaining popularity due to several health benefits associated with it, health experts said on Friday.The antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you're exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.According to experts, since the pandemic started, people are focusing more on eating healthy and increasing immunity and the demand for natural antioxidants have been increased.Gamma Oryzanol, a mixture of antioxidant compounds in the bran's oil fraction, is also scientifically proven to play a role in reducing sugar and blood cholesterol levels, among other health-promoting benefits."Gamma Oryzanol helps in preventing heart attack by preventing platelet aggregation, so maintaining healthy cholesterol levels during Covid times is important," according to Praveen Chandra, Head of Department, Interventional Cardiology, Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram.Now, Ricela Group which is the world's largest producer of refined rice bran oil, has brought Gamma Oryzanol to India in forms of capsules."Gamma Oryzanol is one-of-its-kind products in India. Presently, we are focusing on production and promotion of health-promoting value-added products from derivatives of rice through sustainable value creation," said Dr A.R. Sharma, Founder and Chairman of Ricela group.One capsule contains 150 mg of Gamma Oryzanol."It helps reduce high blood cholesterol and is effective for treating anxiety, managing sugar levels, helpful for patients of hypothyroidism and also plays an important role in preventing many lifestyle diseases," said Dt. Isha Vashisht, Vice President, AP Organics Limited.According to experts, people with obesity are more likely than normal-weight people to have other diseases that are independent risk factors for severe Covid-19, including heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.They are also prone to metabolic syndrome, in which blood sugar levels, fat levels, or both are unhealthy and blood pressure may be high."Very recently, a study confirmed that Gamma Oryzanol is a potential therapeutic adjuvant to avoid or attenuate the cytokine storm in Covid-19 patients," said Neha Gupta, Infectious Diseases specialist, Medanta-The Medicity.Cytokine storm is an umbrella term encompassing several disorders of immune dysregulation and multiorgan dysfunction that can lead to multiorgan failure if inadequately treated.--IANSrt/na
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has struck both people's mental health and physical health, with necessary protocols like social distancing and restricted mobility making the average Indian feel alienated and low-spirited.
In a country that already grappled with silent mental health issues pre-pandemic, the current Covid-19 situation has further exacerbated stress and anxiety at an unprecedented scale, reaching all strata and ages.
Ayurvedic expert and founder of Vedas Cure, Vikas Chawla, shares that people may experience a wide variety of psychological effects as a result of infectious outbreaks.
He says: "Individually, new psychological symptoms in people without mental illness may precipitate or intensify the condition of someone with pre-existing mental illness, causing anxiety to their caregivers. Regardless of their exposure to the virus, one can constantly feel fear, anxiety and helplessness about being sick, which may lead to mental breakdowns and poor mental health."
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"The pandemic has severely affected the economy of our country. Many industries such as hospitality, tourism, education and entertainment are close to or have shut down. Due to this many people have either lost their jobs or their remuneration has been cut down by as much as 50 per cent. Such kinds of loss of jobs and/or income has also put people under a lot of stress and mental pressure," says Chawla.
Economic fluctuations, unemployment, increased competition, and unattainable high expectations contribute to a rise in psychological and psychosomatic disorders such as frustration, anxiety, depression, phobias, and personality changes. Stress is said to be responsible for nearly 75 per cent of all diseases. And if not diagnosed and treated promptly, they may lead to extreme depression, insomnia, sleep disorders, migraines, and headaches, among other issues, he adds.
According to him, Ayurveda has effective ways of helping an individual to deal with stress and anxiety. Hundreds of medicinal plants with immune modulator, anti-oxidant, and memory-enhancing properties are available in Ayurveda. Brahmi, ashwagandha, bhringraj, tulsi, ghee, and natural herbs can help relax the mind and address most of these disorders, he opines.
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"It is important to resolve and handle certain concerns naturally in order to live a happier life. A well-known memory-booster, Brahmi is an angel in disguise for your mental well-being, overall. It has a relaxing, anti-stress effect on the central nervous system. Its frequent intake will help you combat anxiety by calming you down."
He further adds,"Bhringraj can detoxify your body, encourage oxygen supply to your brain, and make your brain healthier and stronger, helping it to fend off stress and handle its effects better when ingested orally in the form of Bhringraj herbal teas and powder dissolved in water. Ashwagandha has a long list of health benefits, including improved endurance, immunity, decreased inflammation, and defense against cognitive and neurological disorders. It can also assist you in managing and reducing anxiety. This herb's extract has soothing properties and encourages anti-stress adaptogenic activity in the brain."
Due to the existence of anti-oxidants that can help reduce oxidative stress and free radicals generated in the body due to stress and anxiety, Ayurveda also recommends consuming tulsi as a preventive measure and a remedy to combat stress and anxiety.
"Slow massage with certain essential oils helps with migraines, insomnia, and depression. A variety of essential oils and other herbal formulations are available in the market by various brands, including ours, which have proven to be very effective. A quick head massage with Lavender essential oil particularly is highly recommended before going to bed as it encourages immediate relaxation and sleep," Chawla concludes.
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New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) "The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak", as per an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by two leading US experts.Steven Quay and Richard Muller say in the WSJ essay that the Covid-19 pathogen has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus. They said that the possibility that the pandemic began with an escape from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is attracting fresh attention. President Joe Biden has asked the national intelligence community to redouble efforts to investigate. "Much of the public discussion has focused on circumstantial evidence: mysterious illnesses in late 2019; the lab's work intentionally supercharging viruses to increase lethality (known as 'gain of function' research). The Chinese Communist Party has been reluctant to release relevant information. Reports based on US intelligence have suggested the lab collaborated on projects with the Chinese military," the essay in WSJ said. "But the most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science. In particular, consider the genetic fingerprint of CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the disease Covid-19," the experts said. They say that the genome sequencing of Covid-19 suggests that the virus was manufactured inside a Chinese laboratory. SARS-CoV-2's genetic sequencing almost certainly demonstrates that it is an artificially-manipulated virus developed in a laboratory, they say. Quay. who had briefed the US Congress on the virus' origins early last year and published a 193-page study in January suggesting the virus was "laboratory derived", and Muller, a Physics Professor at University of California Berkeley, wrote the op-ed in the WSJ. The experts argued that "the most compelling reason" to support the lab leak theory wasn't related to the circumstantial evidence about Chinese experiments in coronavirus gain of function research, alleged illnesses among lab workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology or US intelligence reports, but because SARS-Cov-2's "genetic footprint has never been observed in a natural coronavirus"."In gain-of-function research, a microbiologist can increase the lethality of a coronavirus enormously by splicing a special sequence into its genome at a prime location. Doing this leaves no trace of manipulation. But it alters the virus spike protein, rendering it easier for the virus to inject genetic material into the victim cell. Since 1992, there have been at least 11 separate experiments adding a special sequence to the same location. The end result has always been supercharged viruses," they said in the op-ed. Covid-19 has the genome sequencing 'CGG-CGG' and the experts assert that no naturally occurring coronavirus - such as SARS or MERS - has ever had a CGG-CGG combination. "The CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here," they wrote in the WSJ. "A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn't present in any other virus". "At the minimum, this fact - that the coronavirus, with all its random possibilities, took the rare and unnatural combination used by human researchers - implies that the leading theory for the origin of the coronavirus must be laboratory escape," they wrote --IANSsan
New York, June 1 (IANS) People with Covid-19 infection are likely to have strong immunity against coronavirus for at least a year after they were initially infected, according to a study.The study, led by scientists at the Rockefeller University, also showed that vaccination boosts the immunity these individuals naturally develop after the infection, so much that they are likely to be protected even from the emerging variants.The study is available on bioRxiv ahead of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.The team analysed antibodies present in the blood of Covid patients and tracked the evolution of these mutable molecules.The 63 people in the study had Covid in the spring of last year. Data from their follow-ups show that, over time, antibodies produced by the immune system's memory B cells got better and better at neutralising SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that these people were developing an improved, long lasting defense against the virus.These antibodies were further enhanced among 26 people in the group who had received at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.This subset of people developed antibodies that are exceptionally resistant to the most concerning SARS-CoV-2 variants, such as those first isolated in the UK, South Africa, and New York City.These potent antibodies are produced by groups of highly evolved memory B cells, which expand dramatically after a nudge by the vaccines, the team found.The findings suggest that well-timed boosters with the current vaccines may provide additional protection in people who have never had the disease.--IANSrvt/arm
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Taking natural antioxidants may help keep sugar level in control and manage cholesterol -- risk factors for getting severely ill from Covid-19--, say health experts.Diabetic patients' risk of contracting the virus is not higher but they can have severe complications.It is because in diabetic patients the immune system is already compromised, which makes it easier for viruses to thrive in the body amidst high blood glucose levels. The risk exists for people suffering from both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes.Gamma-oryzanol, a mixture of antioxidant compounds in the bran's oil fraction, is also scientifically proven to play a role in reducing sugar and blood cholesterol levels, among other health-promoting benefits."It is important to keep sugar levels in control through medication, diet and lifestyle modification. Gamma Oryzanol is a natural antioxidant present in rice bran. Gamma-oryzanol is useful for controlling elevated sugar levels along with this it is also known to boost metabolic rate," said Charu Dua, Head of Department, Nutrition and Dietetics at Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, in a statement.Covid also affects people with heart and its related problems more. The biggest risk factor of heart diseases is unhealthy cholesterol levels. So, it is important to keep a track of your lipid profile and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.Gamma oryzanol contains properties that lowers bad cholesterol and increases the concentration of good cholesterol, the doctors said."For good heart health, keeping high cholesterol levels in check is really important. Gamma oryzanol also helps in preventing heart attack by preventing platelet aggregation, So maintaining healthy cholesterol levels during Covid times is important," said Praveen Chandra, Head of Department, Interventional Cardiology, Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram.Gamma-Oryzanol was recently recognised as a nutraceutical and a natural antioxidant to reduce high blood cholesterol by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.--IANSrvt/sdr/
Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) As Maharashtra bears the brunt of the second wave of Covid-19 sweeping India, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the pandemic a "natural calamity".Penning two separate letters addressed to the PM, Thackeray said that this would enable relief funds to be extended by the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the pandemic victims."In view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the state, a mini-lockdown is a necessity. Covid-19 pandemic may be notified as a natural calamity for the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)."Accordingly, the state may be allowed to pay Gratuitous Relief of Rs 100 per adult per day and Rs 60 per child per day during the period of lockdown to all the Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority House Hold (PHH) family members whose names are included in the AAY and PHH ration cards," Thackeray said.Stating that these are the ones whose livelihoods are seriously affected due to the lockdown, he asked that the entire expenditure may be allowed from the SDRF during the current financial year, and the first installment of the Central share of the SDRF may be released to tide over the financial situation.Referring to the plight of small scale industries, businesses, and startups which have taken bank loans under different Central schemes and supported the country in becoming 'Atmanirbhar' in various sectors, he said today they are reeling under the Covid-19 restrictions."The banks may be asked to defer the instalments that are becoming due at least in the first quarter of the current financial year may be postponed without interest," Thackeray added.On the state's serious Covid-19 status, the CM said that Maharashtra currently has 5.64 lakh active cases, or almost 88 percent higher than the peak of September 2020."The biggest concern to the state is liquid medical oxygen (LMO) supplies. The requirement of oxygen is crossing the total capacity of 1,200 MT of LMO manufacturing. We have projected that the demand would be 2,000 MT April-end," he said.Expressing his thanks to the Centre for mapping state demand to steel plants in eastern and southern India, he urged it to invoke the National Disaster Management Act (NDMA) for the movement of LMO and reiterated his earlier plea to consider options of air-lifting the oxygen supplies by the Indian Air Force.Lauding the decision to ban remdesivir exports, Thackeray requested the authorities concerned to grant compulsory licence as per Section 92 of Indian Patents Act, 1970, which would facilitate approval to those exporting units to manufacture and sell the drug in the domestic markets.He sought the PM's "personal intervention" to address the concerns of the state on these issues to combat the pandemic situation.--IANSqn/vd