While most people have been affected by Covid-19 infections, some have naturally resisted the infectious disease, despite clearly being exposed to the virus.
According to researchers at the University College London, understanding this mechanism of resistance can lead to the development of universal vaccines against the debilitating virus, the BBC reported.
In the study published in the journal Nature, the team closely monitored hospital staff during the first wave of the pandemic -- including by taking regular blood samples.
The results showed one-in-10 had signs of being exposed, but never had symptoms, never tested positive, and never developed Covid-fighting antibodies in their blood.
This Covid-immunity likely came from the body learning how to fight viruses. Part of their immune system was able to get on top of the virus before it managed to take hold -- what's known as an "abortive infection", the team said.
Blood samples showed these people already had (as in before the pandemic) protective T-cells, which recognise and kill cells infected with Covid.
Their immune systems were already "poised" to fight the new disease, Dr Leo Swadling, one of the researchers was quoted as saying.
These T-cells were able to spot a different part of the virus than the bit most of the current vaccines train the immune system to find, the report said.
Vaccines are largely aimed at the spike protein, which covers the outer surface of the Covid virus. However, these rare T-cells were able to look inside the virus and find the proteins that are necessary for it to replicate.
"The healthcare workers that were able to control the virus before it was detectable were more likely to have these T-cells that recognise the internal machinery before the start of the pandemic," Swadling said.
These internal proteins are very similar in all related species of coronavirus, including the ones that are widespread and cause common cold symptoms. It means targeting these proteins with a vaccine could give some protection against all coronaviruses and new Covid variants.
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Although the world is recovering from coronavirus pandemic, we must not lower our guards and stay alert when it comes to hand hygiene to curb the spread of the deadly virus. But are we paying sufficient attention to our nail hygiene? Our nails are the index of well-being for our entire body. The manifestations of several critical diseases were first detected within the dirty nails.
The ignorance towards our nails becomes the breeding ground of harmful bacteria. These germs enter our body through our hands because in India we eat through our bare hands. Therefore, nail hygiene is crucial and without it hand hygiene is incomplete.
Practising good nail hygiene involves following a systematic process to ensure the longevity of our nail health. It includes ensuring that food particles, dirt and dust are not sticking to our nails and there is no build-up of nail bacteria. Thankfully, contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult to maintain good nail hygiene. A little diligence, awareness and attention are sufficient to keep our nails healthy.
Avoiding Nail Hygiene Makes You Prone to Viral Infections
Due to constant negligence towards the cleanliness of the nails, many serious issues like bacterial and viral infections arise. Often these lead to serious health problems. Our hand hygiene is not perfect till the time we clean the undersides of our nails besides washing hands regularly. Most people don't mind sharing nail clippers with others. This is however an extremely unhygienic practice. When we don't share any of our personal hygiene products then why do we share our nail clippers? Nails harbour abundant germs, bacteria and viruses and sharing nail clippers is equivalent to exchanging those microorganisms.
Keep Fingernails Dry and Clean
It prevents bacterial and fungal infections from growing under our nails. It has been observed that prolonged exposure to water can break nails. It is always recommended to wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals. In order to follow good nail hygiene, we have to be careful about our nail care products. Use a sharp stainless-steel nail clipper with a grime remover, that can remove the hidden germs and grime below the nails. Trim nails straight, then round the tips into a gentle curve. Always wash hands and under nails with soap and water after a nail clipping session.
Keep hands and nails moisturized to avoid the cuticles from overgrowing. Frequent use of nail paint remover, hand sanitisers and harsh soaps can result in the dryness of cuticles along with nails. Keep nails short, trim them regularly and wash hands for at least 20 seconds and then moisturize them, This will make the chance of diseases slimmer and can prevent any kind of viruses. KAI India nail clipper comes with unique features like 100 per cent stainless steel, nail filer, grime remover, nail tray and non-chromium coating making them safe and most effective for maintaining proper nail hygiene.
Here are some of the more ways through which we can keep our nail hygiene intact, thereby protecting it from the damage to nails:
Stay Away From Chewing Fingernails
It has the potential of damaging the nail bed as a minor cut can cause infection. Moreover, when we bite our nails, germs enter our mouths directly.
Be Gentle Towards Hangnails
Never pull off your hangnails. Rather, be gentle towards them and carefully clip them off. Stop using those products which are harsh on nails. Always go for acetone-free products.
Go for A Regular Nail Checkup
If you have a persistent nail problem, consult a doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.
Do Not Share
Try not to share your nail clipper, as they contain germs. Wash the nail clipper with lukewarm water and wipe with a soft cloth. (Rajesh U. Pandya is the Managing Director of Kai India)
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If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimetre of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs.
Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Refrain from Harsh Soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
Clip Your Nails Regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
Good Quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
Stop The Habit of Nail Chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Exfoliate Your Hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Don't Use Your Nails As Tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Be Aware of Nail or Cuticle Inflammation or Redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
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New York, Aug 16 (IANS) Regular exercise, even performed in areas with air pollution, can reduce the risk of death from natural causes, a new study suggests.The study, published in the journal CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), indicates that a higher level of regular exercise compared with inactivity was beneficial, even in polluted areas, although less exposure to pollution was better."Habitual exercise reduces the risk of death regardless of exposure to air pollution, and air pollution generally increases the risk of death regardless of habitual exercise," said researcher Xiang Qian Lao from the Chinese University of Hong Kong."Thus, habitual exercise should be promoted as a health improvement strategy, even for people residing in relatively polluted areas," Lao added.For the study, the team conducted a large study, over 15 years from 2001 to 2016, with 384,130 adults in Taiwan, seeking to understand the effects of regular exercise and long-term exposure to fine particle matter on the risk of death from natural causes. "We found that a high level of habitual exercise and a low level of exposure to air pollution was associated with lower risk of death from natural causes, whereas a low level of habitual exercise and a high level of exposure was associated with a higher risk of death," the researcher said.This study adds to several other smaller studies conducted in the US, Denmark and Hong Kong that found that regular exercise, even in polluted areas, is beneficial.The authors said that "further studies in areas with more severe air pollution are required to examine the applicability of our findings". "Our study reinforces the importance of air pollution mitigation, such as to reduce the harmful effects of air pollution and maximize the beneficial effects of regular exercise," the team said.--IANSvc/rs
New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The havoc induced by Covid-19 has affected sleep, and increased stress and anxiety, impacting physical as well as mental health of people. Natural antioxidant Gamma Oryzanol may help improve sleep and anxiety, say health experts.Gamma Oryzanol is a mixture of antioxidant compounds in the bran's oil fraction. Isolation, loss of work, economic and health worries during the pandemic has dramatically altered the sleeping pattern of many.While the treatment of insomnia mostly involves pharmaceutical drugs, it comes with its own side effects and many people are not really open or they don't want to take pharmacotherapy because of the side effects. However, many studies are being done to find out certain natural substances, which can help in the treatment of insomnia and Gamma Oryzanol is one of them."There are several antioxidants available for enhancing our overall health. Recently discovered Gamma Oryzanol preliminarily extracted from rice bran, is an important antioxidant," said Dr Nand Kumar, Professor at the Psychiatry Department of AIIMS, New Delhi. "Gamma Oryzanol is a great natural antioxidant which has been derived from rice bran. Many studies have been done on this which have proved that Gamma Oryzanol is good for the treatment of insomnia," added Dr Pratibha Dogra, Head, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, W Pratiksha Hospital, Gurugram.Dogra said a 2017 study in Korea proved that it is a natural sleeping aid. The Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020 disrupted people's routines, lifestyle and sleep quality. Disruption in work, school and home has increased stress, anxiety, and depression."Managing stress level becomes really important as stress over a period of time can lead to many diseases like sleeplessness, depression, panic attack, high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes etc. Stress and related medical conditions can be naturally managed by lifestyle modifications, Dietary changes little medication and consumption of natural antioxidants," Kumar said.Gamma Oryzanol also helps alleviates high fat diet-induced anxiety behaviour through downregulation of dopamine and inflammation, he said, citing a recent scientific study. Further, the natural antioxisdant also significantly improves the symptoms of dementia, without compromising cognitive function or causing other major side effects, Kumar noted.--IANSrvt/bg
We've all heard the term "Superfood", but do you know that some superfoods can help improve the quality of your skin. Since they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, they have the power to refresh, hydrate, and nourish the skin.
In today's world, it is common knowledge that we are what we eat, so if you want 'food for your skin', superfoods are it. Loaded with compounds such as fiber, good fatty acids, and antioxidants, these are vital to replenish and strengthen your skin from within.
Dolly Kumar, Cosmetic Engineer and Founder & Director at Cosmic Nutracos Solutions Pvt. Ltd., the parent company to skincare brand Skinella, suggests some superfoods be included as part of your skincare routine and how to use them:
These lovely little berries pack a big punch. They contain more beta carotene than carrots and more Vitamin C than any other fruit. It also contains a host of vitamins and amino acids that could give you youthful, elastic skin. Here's how you get the best out of it:
DIY Mask: Place 3 Goji Berries in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and let it soak for around 15 minutes. Mash it and then add e teaspoon of raw honey. Apply it on your face and rinse off after 15 minutes.
Face wash: Free radicals can wreak havoc on your skin. Thus it's important to wash your face with a gentle face wash that contains natural Goji berry and Vitamin C. However, make sure you dab on a toner to close the open pores.
When you think of skin brightening, think Camu Camu. It contains more Vitamin C than oranges. This combined with B3 Vitamins fights pigmentation, fades skin discoloration, and reduces spots by clearing dead cells. This makes it a great ingredient in sunscreen. So, don't forget to use a Camu Camu sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays. However, make sure it's nothing less than SPF 40.
Apart from having carotenoids that fight free radical damage, green papaya also prevents collagen and elastin from breaking down. Meaning, it helps to fade wrinkles. Plus, green Papaya contains lycopene that makes your skin look radiant and smooth.
Also, a green papaya peel-off mask could be great at tan removal, getting rid of stubborn dirt, blackheads, whiteheads, and excess oil that are difficult to remove.
All in all, superfoods are a natural source of hydration for the skin, and every superfood is rich in vitamins and minerals that help rejuvenate the skin texture. Hence, it's vital to look for products that contain superfoods in order to give your skin the nutrition it needs. As for younger skin, harsh chemicals in most skin products can have a long-lasting effect. Thus, superfoods are the way to go.
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