Air pollution is a universal threat to people. It occurs when harmful gases, dust or smoke enters into the atmosphere and makes it difficult for living beings to survive as the air becomes contaminated. It is a serious issue which poses significant health risks. Air pollution can lead to several diseases like asthma, pregnancy and birth complications and other respiratory illness. Every time you go outside, you may inhale harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, you cannot hold your breath. But do not worry as there are certain precautionary measures which can safeguard you against air pollution.
Health expert Luke Coutinho, “Breathing polluted air tends to irritate and inflame inner linings of our respiratory tract, leading to mucous production as our body’s defense mechanism. While mucus is needed by the human body and immunity to protect us, too much of it is a problem and leads to sinus headaches, chest congestion, stuffy nose, snoring, wheezing and asthmatic symptoms.”
Luke Coutinho suggests top 6 ways to decongest your lungs:
1. Eliminate certain foods:
Foods play an important role in the overall health of a person. Your dietary changes can have a significant impact on your health. There are certain foods that trigger mucous production. These foods are dairy products, gluten, corn, soya, fried foods, refined oils, sugar, eggs and alcohol. When the air quality is bad you should avoid eating these foods. Also, avoid eating junk and processed food.
2. Breathing exercises:
Breathing exercises can help keep away the toxic effects of air pollutants. However, outdoor exercises should be avoided. Yoga exercises if practised indoors will be of great help. A deep breathing exercise like Pranayam is recommended on a regular basis. Therefore, you should practise breathing exercises like Kapalbhati, Bhastrika, Anulom-Vilom.
3. Jal neeti:
Jal Neti is a technique that was used by yogis to prevent chronic diseases and most importantly to use the breath well for their yogic practices without any blockages. If you practise Jal Neti regularly it can help maintain the nasal hygiene by removing the dirt and bacteria which gets trapped along with the mucus in the nostrils. But make sure you do this under a trained professional.
4. Steam inhalations:
Steam can be an effective natural remedy for people who have cold and flu, sinus or puffy nose. In order to beat the air pollution you can take steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. It will help relax the air passages and help your body remove the harmful particulate substances. For this you need to take hot boiling water. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into it. Try to inhale the warm steam. Also, make sure that you cover your face with a towel or a piece of cloth.
5. Healthy foods:
Foods like onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, raw honey, cardamom, ajwain and cayenne pepper can help you protect from air pollution. Add these foods in your diet can help you when the air quality is poor. Also, it is always best to eat food cooked at home.
6. Castor oil pack:
Castor oil packs help detoxify the liver naturally. As an added benefit, it supports uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation, and reduce inflammation.
Moreover, it strengthens the immune system and increases the flow of lymph throughout the body, speeding the removal of harmful toxins from cells and the body. It also aids in digestion and increases the liver activity.
Coffee compounds may help fight prostate cancer
In a first, scientists have identified compounds found in coffee which may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The study, published in the journal The Prostate, was carried out on drug-resistant cancer cells in cell culture and in a mouse model. Coffee is a complex mixture of compounds which has been shown to influence human health in both positive and negative ways. There is increasing evidence that drinking certain types of coffee is associated with a reduction in incidence of some cancers, including prostate cancers.
Researchers from Kanazawa University in Japan have studied the effects of two compounds found in coffee, kahweol acetate and cafestol, on prostate cancer cells and in animals, where they were able to inhibit growth in cells which are resistant to common anti-cancer drugs such as Cabazitaxel. The researchers initially tested six compounds, naturally found in coffee, on the proliferation of human prostate cancers cells in a petri-dish. They found that cells treated with kahweol acetate and cafestol grew more slowly than controls. They then tested these compounds on prostate cancer cells which had been transplanted to 16 mice.
Four mice were controls, four were treated with kahweol acetate, four with cafestol, with the remaining mice being treated with a combination of kahweol acetate and cafestol. “We found that kahweol acetate and cafestol inhibited the growth of the cancer cells in mice, but the combination seemed to work synergistically, leading to a significantly slower tumour growth than in untreated mice,” said Hiroaki Iwamoto from Kanazawa University.
“After 11 days, the untreated tumours had grown by around three and a half times the original volume, whereas the tumours in the mice treated with both compounds had grown by around just over one and a half times the original size,” said Iwamoto. This is a pilot study, so this work shows that the use of these compounds is scientifically feasible, but needs further investigation, researchers said. It does not mean that the findings can yet be applied to humans.
“What it does show is that these compounds appear to have an effect on drug resistant cells prostate cancer cells in the right circumstances, and that they too need further investigation,” said Iwamoto. “We are currently considering how we might test these findings in a larger sample, and then in humans,” he said.
Kahweol acetate and cafestol are hydrocarbons, naturally found in Arabica coffee. The coffee-making process has been found to affect whether these compounds remain in coffee after brewing (as with espresso), or whether they are stripped out (as when filtered). “These are promising findings, but they should not make people change their coffee consumption. However, if we can confirm these results, we may have candidates to treat drug-resistant prostate cancer,” said Atsushi Mizokami, professor at Kanazawa University.
Strength training may reduce fatty liver disease
Besides being beneficial for heart, strength training can also reduce accumulation of fat in liver and improve blood glucose regulation, says a study on mice. The study, led by a team from the University of Campinas in Brazil, showed strength training can reduce fat stored in liver and improve blood glucose control in obese mice, even without overall loss of body weight.
The findings suggest strength training may be a fast and effective strategy for reducing the risk of fatty liver disease and diabetes in obese people.
“That these improvements in metabolism occurred over a short time even though the overall amount of body fat was unchanged, it suggests strength training can have positive effects on health and directly affect liver’s function and metabolism,” said Pereira de Moura from the varsity.
“It may be a more effective, non-drug and low-cost strategy for improving health,” she said. During the research, published in the Journal of Endocrinology, the team investigated effects of strength-based exercise on liver fat accumulation, blood glucose regulation and markers of inflammation in obese mice.
Obese mice performed strength training over a short time, the equivalent of which in humans would not be enough to change their body fat composition.
After this short-term training, the mice had less fatty livers, reduced levels of inflammatory markers and their blood glucose regulation improved, despite no change in their overall body weight.
These health benefits would be even more effective if accompanied by reduction of body fat, she added. Based on these findings, obese individuals could be directed to increase their activities through strength training, but should always first consult their primary care physician.
More investigation is required in both animals and people to understand how liver metabolism is affected by strength training. Obesity, a growing health epidemic globally, leads to inflammation in liver and impairs its ability to regulate blood glucose. It increases the risk of Type-2 diabetes and its associated complications, including nerve and kidney damage.
Do Eggs Increase Your Cholesterol Levels? Here’s What You Should Know
Do you savour cheese omelettes? If so, think again as consuming more eggs and dietary cholesterol may up the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death from any cause, researchers have warned.
The study suggests that egg yolks are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol among all commonly consumed foods. One large egg has 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol in the yolk.
“The take-home message is really about cholesterol, which happens to be high in eggs and specifically yolks,” said co-author Norrina Allen, Associate Professor at the Northwestern University.
“As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume lower amounts of cholesterol. People who consume less cholesterol have a lower risk of heart disease,” Allen added.
For the study, which will be published in the journal JAMA, the team involved 29,615 adults from six prospective cohort studies for up to 31 years of follow up.
They found eating 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with 17 per cent higher risk of incident cardiovascular disease and 18 per cent higher risk of all-cause deaths.
The cholesterol was the driving factor independent of saturated fat consumption and other dietary fat, the team said.
Eating three to four eggs per week was associated with 6 per cent higher risk of CVD and 8 per cent higher risk of any cause of death, they added.
The researchers say that eating less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day was the guideline recommendation before 2015. However, the most recent dietary guidelines omitted a daily limit for dietary cholesterol.
The guidelines also include weekly egg consumption as part of a healthy diet. An adult in the US gets an average of 300 milligrams per day of cholesterol and eats about three or four eggs per week.
Other animal products such as red meat, processed meat and high-fat dairy products (butter or whipped cream) also have high cholesterol content, said lead author Wenze Zhong from the varsity.
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