Friday, November 27, 2015

Story of Vitamin B17/Amygdalin/Laetrile/ and Cancer

Amygdalin is a compound found in seeds of all fruits except those of citrus fruits. It is found in high amounts in Apricot kernels and Almonds.

 Anti-tumor properties of Amygdalin have been discussed and argued over and over through out the cancer research circles. A quick google search of 'Amygdalin' will tell you that it is a 'quack medicine', that it has no action on cancer cells and that it is dangerously poisonous substance. Laetrile is the name of semi-synthetic (drug- tablet and injection) form of amygdalin available in the market.

 Let me present the readers with PubMed articles - published data in prestigious peer reviewed journals, regarding the anti-tumor properties of Amygdalin. Links will be provided with each statement.
  • Amygdalin has anti-tumor tumor properties. It has antitussive and antiasthamatic effects. It has apoptotic effect on Renal Fibroblasts- helpful in chronic kidney disease. It stimulates the immune system and acts as an analgesic. Toxic dose in human is around 4 grams per day for 15 days. Toxicity can be avoided if dose is reduced to 1 gram per day. Source: PubMed-25207888 and Full Article at CancerJournal
  • Amygdalin influences bladder cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion by modulation beta1 and beta4 integrins. Source: PubMed-25333694
  • Amygdalin mediated Non-small cell lung cancer cell invasion in vitro: "In summary, this study showed that amygdalin inhibited the in vitro proliferation, invasion and migration of NSCLC. The mechanisms may be related to the more extensive regulation of gene expression by regulating integrin and E-cadherin expression, and the downstream key signaling pathways such as Akt-mTOR." Source: PubMed-PMC4503109
  • Chinese medicine amygdalin and β-glucosidase combined with antibody enzymatic prodrug system as a feasible antitumor therapy: "The Chinese medicine amarogentin (amygdalin) and β-glucosidase will become an important treatment for various tumors when an appropriate monoclonal antibody is developed." Source: PubMed-26272547.
  • Amygdalin blocks bladder cancer cell growth in vitro by diminishing cyclin A and cdk2. Source: PubMed-25136960.
  • Amygdalin induces apoptosis through regulation of Bax and Bcl-2 expressions in human DU145 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Source: PubMed-16880611.
  • Amygdalin induces apoptosis in human cervical cancer cell line HeLa cells. Source: PubMed-23137229
  • Amygdalin inhibits renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease. Source: PubMed-23525378
It is quite clear that there is overwhelming data showing some kind of antitumor action of amygdalin.  I have to mention here that Amygdalin is not approved by US FDA as a cancer drug/treatment. More research and control trials are needed to devise a protocol for amygdalin to be used as an anticancer drug. At the same time, outrightly accusing amygdalin as a 'quack medicine' is unfair.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

FDA approves experimental Genetically Modified Salmon for human consumption without Safety Trials/Studies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has brazenly betrayed the public's trust by approving the world's first genetically modified (GM) animal in direct defiance of science – a transgenic salmon branded "AquAdvantage" that has never been proven safe for human consumption or the natural environment. The New York Times (NYT) reports that AquAdvantage, a product of AquaBounty Technologies, has received official FDA approval after years of fierce lobbying by its manufacturer in favor of open approval. Despite repeated warnings from detractors that AquAdvantage poses serious threats to aquatic ecosystems and humans, the FDA has determined that this GM fish is completely safe for everything and everyone on the planet.

 Many of the claims made about AquAdvantage by its manufacturer have been debunked, including the lie that this "Frankenfish" grows more quickly than natural salmon and is less prone to disease – both of which claims are patently false. AquAdvantage was also said to pose no threats to aquatic environments because it is supposedly sterile, but this, too, has been called into question by independent scientific review.

 The FDA has repeatedly ignored all petitions from consumer watchdog groups to take a closer and more unbiased look at GM salmon to determine its true safety, including whether or not it is even needed. Consumers have overwhelmingly indicated that they don't want to eat this or any other GM animal, yet the FDA now plans to allow its entrance into the food supply – unlabeled, of course.

 "This unfortunate, historic decision disregards the vast majority of consumers, many independent scientists, numerous members of Congress and salmon growers around the world, who have voiced strong opposition," voiced Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Food and Water Watch (FWW), in a recent statement.

 Consumer group to file lawsuit against rogue FDA over GM salmon approval Approval for AquAdvantage has been a long time coming, as AquaBounty petitioned for the FDA's blessing on its phony fish as far back as the 1990s. Five years ago, the FDA granted a type of preliminary approval for AquAdvantage, but the fish never entered the market due to what many believe was the federal government's fear of public backlash. But the FDA's decision to grant quiet approval for this GM salmon amidst media distraction aimed at global terrorism and war in the Middle East isn't necessarily going as smoothly as planned.

The Center for Food Safety (CFS), which has long opposed approval for AquAdvantage on the basis of science, warned within hours of the FDA's approval that it plans to file a lawsuit against the agency. "The fallout from this decision will have enormous impact on the environment," lamented Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of CFS, in a recent press release. "Center for Food Safety has no choice but to file suit to stop the introduction of this dangerous contaminant. FDA has neglected its responsibility to protect the public."

 Not only have millions of Americans voiced their opposition to GM salmon over the past several years – with no acknowledgment from the FDA – but so have at least 40 members of Congress and more than 300 environmental groups that work on behalf of consumers, animals, fisheries, food companies and restaurants.

 "The review process by FDA was inadequate, failed to fully examine the likely impacts of the salmon's introduction, and lacked a comprehensive analysis," Kimbrell added.

"This decision sets a dangerous precedent, lowering the standards of safety in this country. CFS will hold FDA to their obligations to the American people.

Sources for this article include:
 Learn more: NaturalNews

People speaking multiple languages have better recovery after a stroke- Study suggests

A study conducted by American Heart Association suggests that people speaking multiple languages have better recovery from stroke than those who speak one language.
Study Highlights
  • Bilingual patients were twice as likely as those who spoke one language to have normal cognitive function after a stroke.
  • Bilingual patients performed better than single language patients on attention, information retrieval and organization.
Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Thursday, Nov. 19 2015
DALLAS, Texas, Nov. 19, 2015— Bilingual patients were twice as likely as those who spoke one language to have normal cognitive functions after a stroke, in a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.
Previous research found bilingualism may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
“People tend to think of Alzheimer’s as the only cause of dementia, but they need to know that stroke is also an important cause,” said Subhash Kaul, D.M., senior investigator and developer of the stroke registry at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad, India.
In the new study, researchers reviewed the records of 608 patients in the NIMS stroke registry in 2006-13. More than half the patients were bilingual, defined in the study as speaking two or more languages. To ensure results weren’t due to bilinguals having a healthier lifestyle, researchers took into account other factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and age. They found:
  • About 40 percent of bilingual patients had normal cognitive functions following a stroke, compared to about 20 percent of single language patients.
  • Bilinguals performed better on post-stroke tests that measured attention, and ability to retrieve and organize information.
  • Surprisingly, there was no difference between bilinguals and those who spoke one language in the likelihood of experiencing aphasia, a disorder that can cause difficulties in speaking, reading and writing, after a stroke.
“The advantage of bilingualism is that it makes people switch from one language to another, so while they inhibit one language, they have to activate another to communicate,” said Suvarna Alladi, D.M., lead author and a neurology professor at NIMS.
“The combined vocabulary of bilinguals can make it more difficult for them to find specific words. This may explain what appears to be a surprising result,” said Thomas Bak, M.D., study co-author at the University of Edinburgh in United Kingdom.
The study’s results may not be universally applicable to all bilingual people. Hyderabad is a multicultural city in which many languages are commonly spoken, including Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English. “Constantly switching languages is a daily reality for many residents of Hyderabad,” Alladi said. “The cognitive benefit may not be seen in places where the need to function in two or more languages isn’t as extensive.”
People who speak only one language shouldn’t necessarily begin learning another one, Kaul said. “Our study suggests that intellectually stimulating activities pursued over time, from a young age or even starting in mid-life, can protect you from the damage brought on by a stroke.”
On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, according to the American Heart Association’s 2015 Statistical Update.
Other co-authors are Shailaja Mekala, Ph.D.; Amulya Rajan, M.A.; Jaydip Ray Chaudhuri, D.M.; Eneida Mioshi, Ph.D.; Rajesh Krovvidi, D.M.; Bapiraju Surampudi, Ph.D. and Vasanta Duggirala, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.
The Indian Council of Medical Research funded the study.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Yusuf Hamied (Cipla) appointed to a high level Panel on Health by the UN

Yusuf Hamied, Indian scientist and Chairman of Indian pharma major Cipla has been named by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to the United Nations Health and Technology panel to enhance inclusive access to treatments and medicines in the developing world.
Yusuf Hamied will be part of the 16-member panel that will be co-chaired by former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss among others. Ban appointed Botswana’s Festus Mogae and others for their knowledge of public health, commerce, legal issues and human rights.
Yusuf Hamied has led led efforts to treat and eradicate AIDS and other diseases in the developing world, and to give patients life-saving medicines regardless of their ability to pay. He offered the world’s first affordable AIDS medicine at the unprecedented cost of $1 per day in 2001.
Hamied has also been influential in pioneering the development of multi-drug combination pills, notably for HIV, tuberculosis, asthma and other ailments chiefly affecting developing countries, as well as the development of paediatric formulations of drugs, especially those benefiting children in poor settings.
The move by Moon is to change the track from profit-centric pharma field to address health needs of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, especially in asia and Africa. the emphasis to African scientists underscores the need to address the Ebola outbreak in West Africa with more than 11,000 fatalities confirmed and to face such challenges in the future.
The panel will meet in its first meeting next month and submit its results to Secretary General by June 2016.
More details at The EconomicTimes.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BCG Vaccine- How efficient is it?

BCG vaccines are live vaccines derived from a strain of Mycobacterium bovis that was attenuated by Calmette and Guérin at the Pasteur Institute in Lille, France. BCG was first administered to humans in 1921.

Every child born in the "third word" country (India, Africa, Burma, Nepal- Basically all poor nations) get vaccinated with BCG soon after birth. Did you ever think "Is it really needed?" "How does this vaccine work?" "Are the claims made by the government and the vaccine makers really true?" "Are there any side effects on the child in long term?" "What is the history of this vaccine story?" No. We never think so much. We just get our children get vaccinated like all "good parents" around us do. Its always good to follow the herd, Isn't it? you will never ask those questions for yourself until and unless its too late and your child starts getting autoimmune disorders and sometimes the effect may be seen in far distant future- like in their 40s or 50 when they get all kinds of chronic diseases (diabetes, thyroid disorders, SLE, Autism, cancer etc) because their immunity has been messed up since they were born.

I am giving references from the websites of CDC (Centers for Disease Control- US) and British medical Journal and ICMR. This is not something I have made up. These are official websites and its all in there. you can read them yourselves.

"The use of BCG vaccine has been limited because a) its effectiveness in preventing infectious forms of TB is uncertain and b) the reactivity to tuberculin that occurs after vaccination interferes with the management of persons who are possibly infected with M. tuberculosis."- CDC.GOV

 "In the United States, the use of BCG vaccination is rarely indicated. BCG vaccination is not recommended for inclusion in immunization or TB control programs, and it is not recommended for most HCWs (health Care Workers). Physicians considering the use of BCG vaccine for their patients are encouraged to consult the TB control programs in their area. The statement recommended against BCG vaccination for HCWs at risk for occupationally acquired M. tuberculosis infection because a) BCG vaccination interferes with the identification of HCWs who have latent M. tuberculosis infection and the implementation of preventive-therapy programs in health-care facilities and b) the protective efficacy of BCG for pulmonary TB in adults is uncertain."- CDC.GOV 

Vaccine Efficacy: 

 "In 1947 and 1950, two controlled trials that used the Tice vaccine demonstrated rates of protective efficacy ranging from zero to 75% (31,32 ). Since 1975, case-control studies using different BCG strains indicated that vaccine efficacies ranged from zero to 80% (33 ). In young children, the estimated protective efficacy rates of the vaccine have ranged from 52% to 100% for prevention of tuberculous meningitis and miliary TB and from 2% to 80% for prevention of pulmonary TB."

"The largest community-based controlled trial of BCG vaccination was conducted from 1968 to 1971 in southern India. Although two different vaccine strains that were considered the most potent available were used in this study, no protective efficacy in either adults or children was demonstrated 5 years after vaccination. These vaccine recipients were re-evaluated 15 years after BCG vaccination, at which time the protective efficacy in persons who had been vaccinated as children was 17%; no protective effect was demonstrated in persons who had been vaccinated as adolescents or adults." Source: CDC.GOV

What? Did you notice that range of those figures? Zero to 80%? Can any sane person believe in such a trail which gives such wide range of results- Zero to 75%, Zero to 80% and 2 to 80%. BCG is effective from Zero to 80%? It should be something like this- Either 0 to 10% or 70% to 80%. I am the only one who is feeling disgusted here? Are these really scientific trials or some children playing around?

"The 15-year follow up results merely confirmed what was known since 1980, when results of the 71/2- year follow-up of the same study were published. BCG offered no overall protection against adult type bacillary tuberculosis and a low level of overall protection (27%, 95% CI - 8 to 50%) in children. ICMR trails/ Madras trials, the largest ever conducted BCG trails." Source ICMR. More about these trails (which were also known as the Great Madras Failure or the Great BCG Hoax)

Ok. So the CDC tells us that BCG vaccine is good for children especially from poor countries- that is to say our children (so called third word children). Really? Can we believe CDC? Keep reading-

 "The primary analysis included 14 studies and 3855 participants. The estimated overall risk ratio was 0.81 (95% confidence interval 0.71 to 0.92), indicating a protective efficacy of 19% against infection among vaccinated children after exposure compared with unvaccinated children." Source: British Medical Journal.

19%? The CDC says BCG gives protection to children by upto 80%. Now the latest trails say its just 19% higher when compared to unvaccinated children. Whats games of numbers are being played? Can we really trust these numbers and statistics? If an educated person is so confused with what these guys are saying, what about a common man who has no knowledge of medicine or math? He will never understand and not even to try to understand these big charts and calculations and he will just do what everyone else believes to be true and that is what the TV and news tells them to be true. Wait for a moment. I am not asking you to stop all vaccinations at once and start protesting. I am asking you to get involved in your children's health care business. Do your own research before pricking your newborn children with those needles. Once you are satisfied, definitely get them vaccinated. But do it only after being fully aware. Don't just do it because all other parents are doing it. Be informed and then take the decision. Know both sides of the story, do your home work and then decide. That is real consent.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Starry Sky

Those of you who are interested in photography and use Flickr, Pinterest etc might be familiar with this picture. This picture was taken by Harry Finder and the name given to this picture is "Silhouettes in the sky". Looking at beautiful sceneries, landscapes and even pictures is good for health. There are published studies in journals about this. People admitted in hospital rooms that have windows that allow them to gaze at the hospital gardens or even open sky recover faster. People who have beautiful pictures in their rooms also recover faster. This observation has led the big reputable hospitals to maintain beautiful gardens in their hospitals, especially close to terminally sick patients like cancer patients. Probably intense feelings of satisfaction and amazement, releases enkephalins and endorphins in the brain which might explain why beautiful sceneries are good for health. More beautiful pictures will be posted with the tag Beautiful Pictures.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Insulin Potentiation Therapy- Link between Diabetes and Cancer

Early this year, there was a conference held by Cipla India. Distinguished speakers from all over the world presented their views about diabetes in that conference. When I entered the auditorium, a Doctor from Poland was speaking on "Diabetes and Cancer". He was chair of the European Association for Study or Diabetes (regret that I can't recollect his name). I thought 'oh this is very interesting.' I listened to his lecture very attentively.

 He went through the concept of how cancer cells have a lot of Insulin receptors over them and how insulin resistance over the period of time can lead to cancer. He spoke of how most of the cancer patients had been diagnosed with Diabetes mellitus prior to being diagnosed with cancer. Insulin is an anabolic hormone. Cancer cells have lot of insulin receptors on their surface. Repeated stimulation from insulin keeps the cancer cells building and growing themselves without any break. He also explained how Metformin can be used as a cancer treatment in near future.

After he finished with his presentation, he asked the audience "any questions". I asked him "Can we consider cancer as a metabolic disorder?" He took a short pause and said "yes actually in a sense it is indeed a metabolic disease. We can think on those lines." then he added with a smile, "we have some fresh minds here." That entire episode was very encouraging.

A few months later, when I was reviewing the literature about cancer and various modes of treatment that are available, I came across something which got my attention.

 "Insulin Potentiation Therapy." 

The cancer cells have high metabolic rates because they are always building and dividing. And we know well now, that these cancer cells use only glucose as their source of energy. So naturally they have lot of insulin receptors on them than the normal cells have. When you give insulin, the blood sugar goes down and the cancer cells are staved. At this point, when you give glucose along with chemotherapeutic agent, the cancer cell will open up to take large amounts of glucose and at the same time, it will take in large amount of chemotherapeutic agent as well. In this therapeutic module, we require minimal amount of chemotherapy drug dosage when compared to what we give in conventional chemotherapy. Because of the direct targeting of cancer cells with insulin and glucose, less amount of chemo will do the job. I tried to discuss this concept with my Oncologist (who is a very compassionate and fair doctor by the way. An ideal doctor any patient could think of) but he brushed it aside because it was not mentioned in any journals or guidelines.

But there are some really successful testimonials from cancer patients around the world, who tried this therapy. There are no clinical trials or published data regarding this IPT. For a cancer patient who has tried everything (chemo, radiation, surgery) and only got worse, I don't find any reason why he should not try the IPT.

More info about the link between Diabetes and Cancer: link 1 and link 2
More about Insulin Potentiation Therapy: Details.
For IPT in India, Click Here

Omega 6 Fatty Acids and Cancer

Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects. In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 PUFA had no effect. The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences. These studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration. This is consistent with the fact that chronic diseases are multigenic and multifactorial. Therefore, it is quite possible that the therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids will depend on the degree of severity of disease resulting from the genetic predisposition. A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies, as well as in the developing countries, that are being exported to the rest of the world.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Click here.

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men. Studies show that consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) modulates the development and progression of prostate cancer. High amounts of omega-6 fatty acids have been linked with increased prostate cancer risk, whereas omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to inhibit PCa growth. However, because omega-3 and omega-6 are both essential fatty acids and part of a complete diet, it is more relevant to determine the ideal ratio of the two that would allow patients to benefit from the therapeutic properties of omega-3 fatty acids. LNCaP prostate cancer cells were treated with dietary-based ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids under hormone-deprivation conditions, and effects on various cellular processes were determined. A low omega-6 to omega-3 PUFA ratio can delay the progression of cells toward castration-resistance by suppressing pathways involved in prostate cancer progression, such as the Akt/mTOR/NFκB axis. It also suppresses the expression of cyclin D1, and activation of caspase-3 and annexin V staining shows induction of proapoptotic events. Taken together, our data demonstrates that maintaining a low omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio can enhance efficacy of hormone ablation therapy.
23659447  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Click here

 One of the main determinants of “silent” inflammations in our bodies that promote the development of cancer is the balance between omega-6 fatty acids (which favor inflammation) and omega-3 fatty acids (which reduce it). Here I discuss how to measure this key ratio, and how to act on it.

 Since World War II, the farm animals that give us meat, butter, milk, cheese, cream and eggs are no longer nourished with grass and leaves; they are fed soy and maize instead. Grass is very rich in omega-3s, but maize contains none at all, and soy products contain very little. The animal products that we eat now are thus highly unbalanced, with far too many omega-6s and very few omega-3s. Since these foods are (erroneously) the basis of the Western diet, studies show that almost all of us are out of balance in terms of our omega ratio, with a considerable excess of omega-6s.

 On average, people in the West have 10 to 15 times more omega-6s in our bodies than omega-3s. This is one of the reasons why all the diseases that are nourished by inflammation (arthritis, allergies, heart trouble, Alzheimer’s, depression and cancer) are in constant progression in Western countries.

 To check your own omega-6/omega-3 ratio, you can ask a technician to draw your blood and send it to a specialized lab that measures omega-6s and omega-3s present in the hematids. (But be careful – not the levels present in the serum, but in the membrane of the hematids, in other words, the red blood cells). The ratio between them is a relatively constant reflection of the proportions of omega-6s and omega-3s throughout the body, including the brain.

 If the ratio omega-6 (total) / omega-3 (total) is higher than 10, your body is in a state of inflammation – inflammation that is at least “silent” and possibly manifest (arthritis or other illness). In order to better protect yourself from cancer, you should ideally bring this ratio down below 3.

If you have cancer in an active phase, some naturopathic practitioners recommend you bring the ratio to under 1 – in other words, you should aim to have more omega 3s than omega-6s in your body. Be careful, though, because when the omega ratio drops too low – under 0.5 – it may increase the risk of hemorrhage, as we see in certain Inuit populations. (Nosebleeds are among the first symptoms).

 How can we act on the omega-6/omega-3 ratio? 

 The omega-6s and omega-3s in our bodies come exclusively from our diet. They thus reflect exactly what we eat and drink. To lower the omega ratio, all we need to do is reduce dietary sources of inflammation-promoting omega-6s: red meat, especially if it is produced by industrial farming techniques and if it does not carry an “omega-3” label; dairy products; eggs not marked “omega-3”; sunflower oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil.

Use olive oil, rapeseed oil or a mixture. We should also increase all sources of omega-3s: oily fish twice a week (sardines, anchovies, mackerel, salmon); omega-3 eggs; nuts; lambs’-ear salad; green vegetables; linseed or flaxseed oil and flax seeds. Some people also take omega-3 supplements (roughly 1g or 0.03 oz of the EPA-DHA combination) to make sure they have a regular and constant absorption of omega-3s even when they are traveling and find it difficult to maintain a healthy daily diet. You can measure your omega ratio again after a period of at least two months: this will give your biology time to catch up with the changes in your diet. If you have followed the nutritional guidelines, your ratio will drop rapidly, and you should also begin to see positive changes such as silkier hair, stronger nails, softer and less blemished skin, and a better mood.

For more on this subject, visit Dr. Mercola

Cancer and Vegetable Oils

Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard.
The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.
Scientists found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.
Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology, said that his research showed “a typical meal of fish and chips”, fried in vegetable oil, contained as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organisation.
“The human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be"
Professor John Stein, Oxford University’s emeritus professor of neuroscience
In contrast, heating up butter, olive oil and lard in tests produced much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil produced the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals.
Concerns over toxic chemicals in heated oils are backed up by separate research from a University of Oxford professor, who claims that the fatty acids in vegetable oils are contributing to other health problems.
Professor John Stein, Oxford’s emeritus professor of neuroscience, said that partly as a result of corn and sunflower oils, “the human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be”.
Because vegetable oils are rich in omega 6 acids, they are contributing to a reduction in critical omega 3 fatty acids in the brain by replacing them, he believes.
“If you eat too much corn oil or sunflower oil, the brain is absorbing too much omega 6, and that effectively forces out omega 3,” said Prof Stein. “I believe the lack of omega 3 is a powerful contributory factor to such problems as increasing mental health issues and other problems such as dyslexia.”
He said sunflower oil and corn oil were now banished from his own kitchen, replaced by olive oil and butter.
NHS advice is to replace “foods high in saturated fat with lower-fat versions” and warns against frying food in butter or lard, recommending instead corn oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
But Prof Grootveld, of De Montfort University in Leicester, who carried out a series of experiments, said: “For decades, the authorities have been warning us how bad butter and lard was. But we have found butter is very, very good for frying purposes and so is lard.
“People have been telling us how healthy polyunsaturates are in corn oil and sunflower oil. But when you start messing around with them, subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or the oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds.”
The findings are contained in research papers. Prof Grootveld’s team measured levels of “aldehydic lipid oxidation products” (LOPs), produced when oils were heated to varying temperatures. The tests suggested coconut oil produces the lowest levels of aldehydes, and three times more aldehydes were produced when heating corn oil and sunflower oil than butter.
The team concluded in one paper last year: “The most obvious solution to the generation of LOPs in culinary oils during frying is to avoid consuming foods fried in PUFA [polyunsaturated fatty acid]-rich oils as much as possible.”
Prof Grootveld said: “This major problem has received scant or limited attention from the food industry and health researchers.” Evidence of high levels of toxicity from heating oils has been available for many years, he said.
Health concerns linked to the toxic by-products include heart disease; cancer; “malformations” during pregnancy; inflammation; risk of ulcers and a rise in blood pressure.
He said the oils when “completely pure [and] authentic … offer no threats to human health” but that “LOPs arising from the frequent and common use of polyunsaturated fats” for frying “certainly do so”.
Public Health England says saturated fats, including butter and coconut oil “can be eaten occasionally in small amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet”.


I have been asked by friends to do an article about Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism means thyroid gland which is under functioning and therefore deficiency of Thyroid hormone is seen with resultant increased TSH. Here I am posting all the important information that I can get on this topic. Allopathic view of the reasons for thyroid disorders is "idiopathic" meaning- don't know. So lets look at what a naturopath or holopathic practitioner has to say about hypothyroidism.

The causes of Thyroid disorder or of any endocrine disorder for that matter can vary over a wide range of issues. These can include:
  • Imbalances of blood-sugar levels affecting energy metabolism. 
  • Digestive disturbances, e.g., deficiency of enzymes, causing abdominal bloating and undigested food molecules leaking through the gut wall to trigger an inappropriate immune system response. 
  • Imbalance of the detoxification functions of the liver resulting in an increase of toxic compounds which may irritate the thyroid tissues.
  • Deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements needed for healthy thyroid function. 
  • Prolonged stress, anxiety states, or sudden shock. Muscle and joint problems in the neck and upper back which may interfere with circulation and nerve supply to the gland. Whether you have an overgrowth of yeast (candidiasis) in the gut.

Summarizing the causes:
  1.  Toxicity: Radiation and Heavy Metal exposure.
  2.  Deficiency: In Iodine and Selenium.
  3.  Food Intolerance: Gluten and A1 Casein Allergy.
  4.  Hormone Imbalance – High Cortisol from stress, too many carbs, too little fat in diet.
 Thyroid diseases are becoming increasingly more prevalent around the globe, with the most common thyroid disease being autoimmune Hashimoto's thyroiditis. However, it is also very common, especially for women, to have low thyroid hormone (also known as hypothyroidism) without having an obvious autoimmune component.

 Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  •  fatigue, 
  • weight gain, 
  • thinning and loss of hair, 
  • dry skin and brittle nails, 
  • constipation, 
  • depression 
  • and menstrual problems among others. 
 The current conventional medical treatment for hypothyroidism is giving thyroid hormone supplementation to correct the low levels of thyroid hormone in the body. The problem with this approach is, the basis of the disease is not identified and the practical problem here is finding the right dose. Most patients never find the right dose on a long term. This month they need lot of thyroid hormone while the very next month they find that their TSH has gone too low and T4 gone way too up and they have to reduce their dose- Only to increase it again the next month. In the mean time the patients is symptomatic most of the time.

The thyroid gland is suppressed by our constant intake of soy; an ingredient in the great majority of processed foods, and even in most of the so-called healthy alternatives. Additionally, fluoride is extremely damaging to the thyroid. Until the 1970's, doctors prescribed fluoride to patients with hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid), in order to cripple it. It was shown to be effective at 2 mg. per day. People in the present are estimated to be consuming 2-10 mg. per day from tap water, non-stick cookware, toothpaste, pharmaceuticals, infant formula, processed cereals, and sodas.

Hypothyroidism is also recognized to be caused by certain medications, such as lithium. All S.S.R.I. anti-depressant drugs feature fluoride as a main ingredient, so these psychiatric drugs dramatically contribute to thyroid disorders, and they are the primary cause of hypothyroidism in some cases. S.S.R.I. drugs are notorious for causing nutritional deficiencies, due to their overall toxicity and because they dramatically disrupt the serotonin that is used for digestion. Contrary to the dishonest drug company marketing, only 10% of an individual's serotonin is used by his brain, while about 80% of it is used by his digestive system. Without the proper nutrients, hypothyroidism cannot be cured, because those nutrients are needed to balance the hormones and to strengthen the thyroid. S.S.R.I. drugs furthermore reduce usable calcium in the body, and thereby it renders magnesium unusable; since magnesium and calcium are interdependent. Magnesium deficiencies are rife in modern society because people do not eat enough green leafy vegetables. A severe magnesium deficiency can lead to sudden heart attacks, and lesser deficiencies may cause heart attacks when monosodium glutamate (MSG) is consumed.

People who have hypothyroidism are much more likely to have heart problems, because the hormones that are produced by a healthy thyroid help to strengthen heart contractions and regulate heart rhythm. The medical establishment prescribes synthetic hormone pills to hypothyroidism patients, and patients must continue taking them for the rest of their lives. This is because these artificial hormones cause a body to stop producing its own thyroid hormones permanently; similar to what is experienced with diabetics taking synthetic insulin. In both cases, the result is perpetual customers who will forever after be reliant on 'the system', because the medications actually destroy the organ that they supposedly help. Be forewarned that with orthodox therapies, there is no cure, and there may be no turning back.

 Below I am listing various supplements and foods that help put back your thyroid in order:

  1.  Go Gluten and A1 Casein FREE – the most common allergies and food intolerances today are from wheat and dairy products because of the hybridized proteins of gluten and a1 casein. These proteins can cause “Leaky Gut” which in turn will cause inflammation of the thyroid and effect it’s function. Follow a grain-free diet or at least go gluten free. Then only consume dairy products that come from A2 cows, goat milk, or sheep milk.
  2. NO BPA – Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in plastic bottles and can disrupt your endocrine system and effect your thyroid. I recommend only drinking out of glass, stainless steel, or BPA free plastic bottles. 
  3. Check Your Iodine Levels – If they are low use a kelp or organic liquid iodine supplement. 
  4. Heavy Metal Detox – I recommend using a combination of Milk Thistle (used in cancer patients also), Turmeric (also a powerful anti cancer agent), Chlorella, and Cilantro to detox these harmful metals from your cells and organs. 
  5. More Selenium – Make sure you’re getting enough selenium in your diet but also don’t go overboard. Some of the best selenium containing foods are brazil nuts, salmon, sunflower seeds, beef, mushrooms and onions. 
  6. Adaptogen Supplements – Can lower cortisol levels and improve thyroid function like Ashwagandha and Tulsi. 
  7. Silver Fillings Removal – if you have amalgam fillings talk with a DAMS mercury safe dentist about proper removal. 
  8. Lower Carbohydrate Intake – Lower your intake of sugars and grains and replace them with healthy fats. Most women especially consume far too many carbs which increase estrogen and negatively effect the thyroid. Instead consume healthy fats that will balance hormones, like: coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, chia, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds. 
  9.  Consume foods naturally high in B vitamins, such as whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and iodine (fish, seaweed, vegetables and root vegetables). 
  10.  Exercise daily, at least 30–60 minutes per day, 4–5 times a week. Practice deep breathing and other techniques that trigger the “relaxation response” – such as meditation and guided visualization.
  11. It is recommended that you get adequate sun exposure if you live in a northern climate (15–20 minutes twice a day of unprotected sun in early morning and evening) to maintain vitamin D levels. This helps support healthy immune function and calcium metabolism. 
  12.  Zero in on unresolved emotional issues as a source of stress. 
  13. Eat Sea Vegetables Twice a Week Sea vegetables are a good natural source of iodine to support the thyroid. Incorporating some sea veggies into your diet can be as simple as: Adding a piece of kombu to a pot of beans or soup during cooking Sprinkle kelp granules over your salads or hot dishes just like you would use salt Making a nori wrap (this is what’s used to wrap sushi). 
  14. Don’t Be Afraid of Butter “The endocrine system loves butter,” consider keeping grass-fed butter (like KerryGold butter) in your diet. 
  15. Cook Your Kale If you have thyroid issues, then raw cruciferous vegetables may not be the best choice. You might want to skip the kale smoothies and salads, and eat your greens cooked instead. The reason is that the cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens that may disrupt the thyroid if consumed in large quantities. Other cruciferous veggies include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. 
  16. Slow Down Your Eating. The thyroid gland is located in your throat area, so it literally connects the mind and body. When you rush while eating, the food moves so quickly from mouth to stomach that the connection from mind to body is not strong. The mouth doesn’t know what the stomach is doing and vice versa. This is good health advice no matter what: sit down, slow down, savor, breathe and chew your food. Since the thyroid is the master of your metabolism, you want to eat slowly enough so it can record the message that food is entering the body. 
  17. Drop the cell phone. We already know about the connection between cell phones and brain tumors. But this little radiation machine that you hold up to your ear is awfully close to your thyroid gland as well. 
  18. Find Your Voice Once again, if you look to the anatomy, you find the thyroid gland located in the throat, the center of our communication with the world. It has been said that people with hypothyroid tend to “swallow down” what they really want to say. It’s been very healing for them to learn to speak their truth. On the flip side, people with hyperthyroid are talking too much, and can benefit by listening more. 
  19. Do Yoga During my experience at yoga teacher training, I was delighted to learn how much the yoga can stimulate and support the entire endocrine system. The shoulderstand (sarvangasana) is especially beneficial for stimulating the thyroid gland. 
  20. Support Your Adrenals The thyroid and adrenal glands work together, so if you are exhausted and depleted you may benefit from adrenal support.
More on this topic will be published later.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


The most popular and loved Anti hyperlipidemics world wide are the Statins.

Mechanism of Action: 

They act by inhibiting HMG CoA Reductase enzyme. The results of Statin use over lipid profile may be listed as below-

  • Decreased Liver Cholesterol levels.
  • Decreased LDL.
  • Decreased VLDL synthesis and Decreased Triglycerides.
  • Increased HDL cholesterol to some extent.
  • Increased LDL receptor expression.
Since HMG CoA Reductase activity is at its peak at midnight, Statins are given at bed time. But Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatins have long half lives (t1/2), therefore they need not be timed at bed time specifically. Statins are most potent LDL lowering agents.  They are the number 1 drug of choice in case of Metabolic Syndrome (along with Metformin).

Longest acting Statin is Rosuvastatin (14 hrs half life). The Statins also have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (especially Atorvastatin), thereby making them good drugs to prevent atherosclerosis and giving stability to atherosclerotic lesions if they had already formed.

Another interesting area where Statins can be used is in Alzheimer's Disease. Statins reduce prenylation of proteins. Prenylated Rho activates Rho kinase causing Vascular pathology. Prenylated Rab increases accumulation of A Beta proteins in neurons. Statins can be helpful here.


  • Hepatotoxic- Bad for Liver. Need to monitor Liver Function Tests (LFT) while starting a patient on Statins.
  • Myopathy and Myalgia- Monitor Creatine Kinase. Genetic variation in an Anion transporter (OTP1B1) is involved in sever myopathy and Rhabdomyolysis. Myopathy of Statins is increased by drugs such as- Nicotinic Acid, Gemfibrozil,Clofibrate, Erythromycin, Ketaconazole, Cyclosporine and HIV Protease Inhibitors.
  • Rhabdomyolysis. Gemfibrozil potentiates this side effect.
  • Lovastatin additionally causes lens opacities.
  • Pravastatin reduces plasma fibrinogen levels.
Clinical Situation (Question):

I got this question from a colleague on a doctors' networking site:

"64 yr old pt is on medication for Hypertension & dyslipedemia ( Enarapril 10 mg, Amlodipine Besilate 25, Rosuvastatin10 mg & Aspirin 75 mg). Pt BP is well controlled & is asymptomatic. Current biochemical profile is as follows:- Blood Sugar F-86, PP- 110 ,Blood Urea-24, Creatinine-0.8,Cholesterol-116 (Triglyceride-96,LDL-54,HDL-35),Uric acid-4.0,SGOT-38,SGPT-21- Is stopping Tab Rosuvastatin for Dyslpiedmia indicated? If not when & why indicated?"

Best Answer that I could find was:

"Dear Doctor, Evaluale the cardiovascular risk factor assesment and continue statin only if moderately-high to high risk profile patients. Recent guidelines have disreputed the LDL values to a great degree and have recomended the treatment on basis of cardiovascular risk status of the patient."

Green Tea

Camellia Sinensis is the botanical name given to what is popularly known as Green Tea. Basically we get a dry extract of this plant which is used as an decaffeinated tea. Green tea is a Chinese herb, known to the Chinese from hundreds of years. It is rich in Polyphenols (around 40 to 50% by weight) and Catechins
Brief Summary of actions and properties of Green Tea:
  • Antioxidant activity and scavenging free radicals.
  • Stimulation of detoxification centers and systems.
  • Selective induction and modification of metabolic enzymes in such a way that greater amounts of metabolites are formed and excreted from the body.
  • Inhibition of factors that activate and develop the tumor.
  • Ability to induce severe apoptosis (cell death) of neoplastic cells alone. This has been proved in AML (a kind of blood cancer), Skin cancer cells and Prostate cancer cells.
  • Ability to stop abnormal cell growth- acting at the level of growth receptors and factors.
  • Inhibition of gelatinase which is responsible for angiogenesis (new blood vessels).
  • Inhibition of telomerases.
  • It has anti thomboxane A2 properties and inhibits Platelet Aggregating Factor (PAF) there by inhibiting clot formation (stroke, MI etc).
  • It protects the kidney- in particular by suppressing the production of Methyl- Guanidine (an uremic toxin).

Catechin in Green Tea InfusionCatechin Concentration
Catechin Concentration
(mg/8 fl oz)*
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)117–44225–106
Epigallocatechin (EGC)203–47149–113
Epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG)17–1504–36
Epicatechin (EC)25–816–19

A team of scientists are Purdue university declared that Cancer cells just can not grow and multiply in the presence of EGCG. It is said that this EGCG is more powerful an antioxidant than Vitamin E or C. Researchers from University of Kansas in 1997 concluded that EGCG is twice as powerful as Resveratrol, the famous compound found in grapes which is a cancer cell killer. 

Green tea should not be fermented. If you ferment it, it becomes Black Tea and it is not as potent as green tea. Green Tea protects us from UV-B light. Furthermore, it stimulates detoxification enzymes like Glutathione S transferase and Quinone reductase and thus improves body's natural detoxification process. 

Green tea helps control sugar levels by its natural detoxification capabilities. It is good for hypertensive patients and for patients with allergies. It is very handy when you have caught an infection and fighting it.

Aluminum Scare: 

Some people who appose green tea, for reasons best known to them, scare people with the myth of Aluminum toxicity and accumulation. The Heavy metals present in green tea are in very insignificant, irrelevant and negligible amounts. Moreover these heavy metals are not bioavailable (i.e) the body does not absorb them at all. Here is what has to say about this issue;Aluminum can accumulate in the body and cause osteomalacia and neurodegenerative disorders, especially in individuals with renal failure (4). However, it is not clear how much of the aluminum in tea is bioavailable, and there is no evidence of any aluminum toxicity associated with drinking tea (4)." 

Researchers in China gave breast cancer patients going through radiation therapy, high doses of EGCG (green tea) 1200 mg / day. They compared this with those patients who were taking radiation but not taking EGCG. They found that patients taking EGCG had much lower levels of VEGF and MMP-9 (which stimulate and help in tumor metastasis). As suggested by many cancer researchers, EGCG dose required for anticancerous action is around 250 to 500 mg/day.

  • There are no serious side effects or adverse reactions with green tea. In a study, more than 1200 mg of green tea was given to a group over a period of 1 to 4 weeks and minor gastrointestinal upset was noticed.
  • Do not ferment green tea. It will turn into the Black Tea which is not as much potent.
  • Do not put the tea bag in water and boil. Keep the tea bag in a cup and pour hot water (around 95 degree Celsius). Dont take boiling water and pour on to the tea bag directly. Too much heat will destroy the essential ingredients in the tea.
  • Do not add sugar or milk.
  • Do not eat meals within an hour or before of taking green tea. It might interfere in Iron absorption (not established yet). You can have snacks, but avoid the main meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner).   
  • Do not drink Green Tea late evenings or night times. It may cause you lack of sleep. Green Tea is best taken entire day, especially early morning, mid day and early evening. The body is in detoxification mode early morning and green tea will help that process.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Wheatgrass juice is made by squeezing the freshly germinated grass over wheat. It is highly nutritious and a very potent tonic for the body.

30mls of freshly squeezed wheatgrass juice (a wheatgrass shot!) is equivalent in nutritional value to 1kg of leafy green vegetables. Wheatgrass contains over 90 minerals, including high concentrations of the most alkaline minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. 

It contains the essential enzymes: Protease (assists in protein digestion), Cytochrome Oxidase (a powerful anti oxidant), Amylase (facilitates digestion), Lipase (a fat splitting enzyme), Transhydrogenase (strengthens the heart muscle) & Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) (important anti oxidant and important component of the immune system. It is known for its ability to lessen the effect of radiation and slow cellular aging). 

Wheatgrass is high in chlorophyll content and Iron content. With its power packed nutrients. it can help body make blood, regenerate the immune system, detoxify the liver, kidneys and entire body. The peptide chains present in Wheatgrass are small chains and are easily digestible and absorbed by the body. These peptides are used to make proteins, the building blocks of cells and tissues. Liquid chlorophyll has the ability to penetrate the tissues and remove the clogs and deposits in them, It has the ability to reduce the itch and swelling seen in many allergic conditions like eczema. Chlorophyll is a natural antibiotic. Taking Wheatgrass helps prevent and treat bad body odor and bad breath. It even prevents tooth decay.

As postulated by the Nobel laureate Otto Warburg, Cancer survives in a body which is lacking oxygen. Cancer cells invariably live through anaerobic metabolism (partial anaerobes). The enzymes present in Wheatgrass oxygenates the body. Moreover it makes our body PH Alkaline. Scientists world wide now believe that no disease can survive in an alkaline ph. slightly alkaline Ph is out body's normal. In that state, and when it has good oxygenation (good hemoglobin included), the body can deal with any kind of disease and regenerate. When such an alkaline diet is given to a diabetic or hypertensive or even cancer patients, many times they recover swiftly. 

The following passage is taken from cancertutor website:

Using Wheatgrass as a Cancer Treatment

Step 1) Build-up starting at 1-2 ounces a day for 3 or 4 days,

Step 2) The ongoing dose is 4-6 ounces a day depending on body weight,

Step 3) This counts as theone and onlyhighly alkaline protocol per day used in a cancer treatment,

Step 4) Use the wheatgrass as the highly alkaline item in theDirt Cheap Protocol(i.e. do NOT use baking soda or any of the other highly alkaline items) – see the left side-bar for the Dirt Cheap Protocol,

Step 5) Use 13 other items in the Dirt Cheap Protocol with wheatgrass being the one highly alkaline item.

Read More

 Wheatgrass provides a concentrated amount of nutrients, including iron; calcium; magnesium; amino acids; chlorophyll; and vitamins A, C and E. Wheatgrass fans say that its rich nutrient content boosts immunity, kills harmful bacteria in your digestive system, and rids your body of waste. Some proponents tout wheatgrass as a treatment for cancer, anemia, diabetes, constipation, infections, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis and joint pain, among other health concerns. There are no clinical trials to prove these claims but trying wheatgrass is not harmful. It will only benefit you in one way or another.

 If you have contacted an infection, especially a viral infection, daily wheatgrass will boost your immunity and help the body get rid of the infection. The only thing in the world that can effectively eliminate the virus is human immunity. It has also shown to be very useful in urinary tract infections and other genitourinary problems and even in BPH. 

Wheatgrass juice can be added to the bathrub and let your body soak in it for 15 to 20 mins. Wheatgrass has good skin penetration and it will help your skin regenerate and help the body heal outside in. Wheatgrass can also be used for enemas in which case it will cleanse the colon. If it gets absorbed during the enema, it will cleanse the liver. Wheatgrass can be used to treat chronic dandruff.  

Wheat has gluten but wheatgrass is gluten free. It has shown to relieve chronic arthritis patients from the disease burden. It has been shown to be very beneficial in chronic fatigue syndrome. Wheatgrass is very very effective in controlling sugar levels in chronic resistant diabetic patients, when combined with a good diabetic diet.

Lastly, wheatgrass is very good for old people and obese people. Because, it improved digestion and preserves appetite but at the same time, it prevents your gut from over eating.

How and When to take it- Wheatgrass will work at its best when you take it early morning on an empty stomach and the grass juice is preferably freshly made.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Computer Vision Syndrome

This post is for those of you who are software professions. Sitting in front of the computer and working for long hours without blinking the eyes properly. While looking at the computer screen, eyes have the tendency to stare at the screen.

Here the eyes have to face with two problems-
  • Your eyes are wide open.
  • Your eyes blink rate is not good enough.
As a result of this, eyes get dry, frequent headaches develop, irritable mood, insomnia, loss of appetite or over-binge eating, lack of concentration, emotionless face, neck and back pains might develop. This is collectively given a name by the medical establishment- Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain. These days this is more frequent not just because of computers but also because of the smart phones everyone is addicted to. Did you notice how in a movie theater, people start looking into their tiny cellphones as soon as there is a break in the movie?

Who can get this syndrome? Well conservative definition says that any person who sits or works in front of a computer or a digital screen continuously for 2 or more hours. I guess that includes most of the young people these days, not just the IT professionals.

When you look at something which is above the level of your eyes, The eyes have to look up and the palpebral aperture (space between the two eyelids) gets wide open - exposing the eye to air, leading to dry eye. As estimated by Ophthalmologists, when you look down, your palpebral aperture (meaning the area of the open eye between your eyelids) is one square cm. When you look straight, the approximate area of the palpebral aperture is 2 cm squared and when you look above, the area increases to 3 cm square. That means, more air exposure and drier eyes.

While reading books or working on computers, it is suggested to keep the book or the computer below the level of your eyes, so that you have to look down. This way, the upper eye lid covers larger part of the eye ball and the palpebral aperture decreases in area. Eye remains moist, warm and protected.

The next problem is with low blink rate. When you are reading or working on a computer, automatically you blink less- because your eyes are working/focusing. Not just seeing. Its the brain looking through your eyes, not just eyes working there. In that state of focus, you blink less. So you have to make an habit of blinking often. It is estimated that an average IT software professional blinks 6 to 7 times a minute. You have to make an habit of blinking 10 to 12 times a minute. Its hard to keep count of your blinking. The point to take here is- blink more frequently.

When the eye gets dry, it is not cleaned properly. Lubrication is lost. Local burning and uneasiness will become chronic sometimes will never really go away. The dry eye keeps coming back in some people for life. More sinister is the dust, pollutants, chemicals and microbes that get lodged in our eyes when we go out in the city. When eyes' natural cleaning mechanism is lost, the body will have to depend on immune responses to keep the eye clean. The immune system is strained. Frequent eye infections become common. The effects are not restricted to eye alone. Its the whole body that gets affected when there is some problem in one part of the body. Human body is not a machine. But the thing here is, the effects are not quite visible directly in other parts of the body. In general, the body gets weak over the period and all kinds of chronic diseases will ensure.

Another suggestion from Ophthalmologists to the software professionals is closing your eyes for a moment every now and then- lets say once in every 15 or 20 mins, just close your eyes for half a minute or so. Don't forget to roll the eye balls inside your eyes when you are closing them. Then move around your room and get back to work again.

Make sure the the lighting is proper. Always have your lights on when you are working on a laptop. Don't have the overhead light too bright or too dull. Try to avoid glare. Keep the laptop in such a position that it does not throw out all of its light into your eyes ( a little bit below the level of eyes is ideal). When you have to work in a dark room, reduce the brightness of the screen so that the eye doesn't strain much.

Moreover, the distance between the eyes and the computer must be optimal- around 20 to 30 inches. Remember that these values are not one size fits all. Its an approximate estimate. Judge your eye comfort by yourself. But make sure that you are not extremely above or below these suggested figures. Now if you develop a dry eye, consult a health care professional and be sure to use artificial tears that do not have preservatives.

The Orthopedic problems and other health issues related to software professionals will be discussed in later posts.