Showing posts with label HEALTH. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HEALTH. Show all posts

24 Nov 2010

Hurrah! No more potions, gruelling exercise, or all turnip diets.

In what could fairly be called a watershed moment, scientists have confirmed that drinking water before a meal helps shed the pounds.

Yup, it's that simple. And you don't even have to buy the book.

In clinical trials, US researchers found that drinking a pint of water before a meal leads to weight loss.
Dr Brenda Davy, an associate professor in human nutrition, who led the study said: "We found in earlier studies that middle aged and older people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal.

"In this recent study, we found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake."

"People should drink more water and less sugary, high-calorie drinks. It's a simple way to facilitate weight management," Dr Davy added.

While drinking water to lose weight is very much common sense, Dr Davy said that there has been little scientific information on this topic.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking water before meals reduces calorie intake, but according to Dr Davy this is the first randomised controlled clinica trial to show that increasing the amount of water that you drink water is an effective way to lose weight.

The study tracked the weight of 48 adults aged 55 to 75, who were separated into two groups. The first group drank two cups of water before meals and the second group did not. All of the subjects ate a low-calorie diet during the study.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the water drinkers lost around 15.5 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost around 11 pounds.

Dr Davy said water may be so effective simply because it fills up the stomach and has no calories, so that people feel full quicker and eat less during meals.

She also added that replacing diet colas and other artificially sweetened drinks with water also helps to cut calories, and aids weight loss.

28 Apr 2010

China has revoked a ban on people with HIV/AIDS entering the country, softening a decades-old policy that drew sharp criticism this year when an Australian writer was blocked after declaring himself HIV-positive. Until now, China's regulations formally banned foreigners entering the country with "psychiatric illness, leprosy, AIDS, sexually-transmitted diseases, active pulmonary tuberculosis or other infectious diseases."

The State Council, China's cabinet, issued amended rules late Tuesday removing the explicit ban on people who have developed AIDS or are infected with the HIV retrovirus, as well as anyone with leprosy, while leaving authorities leeway to decide which diseases could trigger an entry ban.

The United Nations welcomed the decision as an important step towards ending discrimination against people living with HIV.

"I commend President Hu Jintao for China's decision to remove travel restrictions based on HIV status," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

"Punitive policies and practices only hamper the global AIDS response. I urge all other countries with such restrictions to remove them as a matter of priority and urgency."

Travel restrictions, which are imposed in some form by dozens of countries worldwide, do not prevent transmission of the disease or protect public health, the statement added.

China's new rules, posted on the central government website (, still block foreigners "with serious psychiatric illness, infectious pulmonary tuberculosis or other infectious diseases that may constitute a major threat to public health."

The amended regulations did not say whether AIDS/HIV would be among the infectious diseases that people seeking Chinese visas must declare when applying, possibly leaving officials some leeway on how to apply the rule.

But an unnamed legal affairs official for the State Council indicated that AIDS/HIV would not be a bar to entry.

"Restricting foreigners with these diseases from entering the country has played an extremely limited role in our country's disease prevention and control work, and instead has repeatedly become an impediment to our hosting a variety of international events," the official told the Legal Daily.

In March, more than 90 Australian authors signed a letter decrying China's refusal to grant a visa to one of the country's most celebrated writers, Robert Dessaix, who is HIV-positive.

Friday, Shanghai opens its World Expo, a multi-billion dollar exhibition that is China's latest effort to promote an image as a forward-looking and open country.

The HIV virus can be spread through unprotected sex, sharing of infected needles and blood, and -- without preventive drugs -- to children in the womb of infected mothers or who take milk from an infected woman.

If untreated, the virus attacks the immune system, leading to full-blown AIDS, a deadly condition.

China has 560,000 to 920,000 people infected with the HIV virus and 97,000 to 112,000 AIDS patients, according to 2009 Ministry of Health and United Nations estimates.

SOURCE: Reuters


26 Jun 2009

By Gatonye Gathura, Citizen Correspondent, Nairobi

Scientists have found a way of eradicating HIV infection from the human body by "smoking" out the virus from its hideout cells. The new approach is to kill the hideout cells plus the virus.

The current anti-Aids drugs only destroy viruses circulating in the body but some manage to hide in particular immune system cells and continue replicating, hence the patient has to remain on medication throughout.

The new development by a team of American and Canadian researchers is the second indication that a cure for the disease that continues to afflict more than 1.3 million Kenyans and many more globally may finally be within reach.

In February, researchers in California developed a gene therapy with the capacity of eradicate HIV from the body and have since put 12 people on clinical trials. The study is still ongoing though it is said to involve a complex process that could make it very expensive.

Published on Sunday in the Nature Medicine journal, the new study says HIV and Aids can be treated through a combination of targeted drugs together with current anti-retrovirals.

"This radical new therapy would make it possible to destroy both the viruses circulating in the body as well as those playing hide-and-seek in immune system cells, says Dr Rafick-Pierre S�kaly, of the University of Montreal, Canada.

Other participating groups included the universities of McGill and Minnesota and the National Institutes of Health, the latter is the US federal agency responsible for overseeing government-sponsored biomedical research.

Current anti-retroviral treatments are not able to eradicate the virus from the body because some disease agents hide in particular cells where the existing treatments cannot reach. These researchers have now identified these cells and found a way of reaching them.

The new approach, says the team, is to use drugs to kill the cell containing the virus while giving the immune system time to regenerate with new cells. This could much cheaper that the gene-therapy technology.

"Once the virus is hidden in these reservoir cells, it becomes dependent on them: if the cell lives, the virus lives, but if the cell dies, so does the virus. As such, destroying these immune cells will allow for the elimination of the resilient or hidden parts of the virus," says Dr Sekaly.

While the team acknowledges that a product is still several years away before becoming a reality for patients, they are excited of the breakthrough which they say opens the way for therapies that are completely different from current ones.

SOURCE: The Citizen

16 Feb 2009

A drug which appears to erase painful memories has been developed by scientists. The astonishing treatment could help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder and those whose lives are plagued by hurtful recurrent memories.

But British experts said the breakthrough raises disturbing ethical questions about what makes us human. They also warned it could have damaging psychological consequences, preventing those who take it from learning from their mistakes...MORE
SOURCE: Daily Mail

7 Oct 2008

A French scientist awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering the Aids virus has  predicted there would be a 'therapeutic vaccine' for the disease within four years.

Luc Montagnier and his team discovered HIV at the French Pasteur Institute in Paris 25 years ago, and have been awarded the prestigious prize along with other scientists who worked on discovering the root of the virus.

Montagnier, 76, said a treatment could be possible in the future with a 'therapeutic' rather than preventive vaccine for which results might be published in three or four years if financial backing is forthcoming.

'I think it will be possible with a therapeutic vaccine rather than preventative vaccinations. We would give it to people who are already infected.

A therapeutic vaccine prevents disease from flourishing after it has taken hold.

The Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute praised their work, saying: 'The discovery was one prerequisite for the current understanding of the biology of the disease and its antiretroviral treatment.'

The other half of the Nobel prize was awarded for the German scientist's research that 'went against current dogma' by setting forth that oncogenic human papilloma virus (HPV) caused cervical cancer, the second most common cancer among women.

Medicine is traditionally the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year.

The prizes for achievement in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.

The economics prize is a later addition, established by the Swedish Riksbank in 1968.

The Nobel laureate for physics will be announced tomorrow, followed by the chemistry Nobel on Wednesday, literature on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in Oslo.

SOURCE: Daily Mail


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