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Heart Attacks: Luke Coutinho Tells How You Can Prevent Sudden Strokes And Heart Attacks

The Kashmir Monitor




Many young people are dying today of heart attacks and strokes. And these people aren’t necessarily unhealthy. Health coach Luke Coutinho recently when live on Facebook to talk about why many young people are dying of sudden heart attacks and strokes. When it comes to heart attacks, cholesterol is given the main importance.

Many people are under the impression that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are the reason behind their heart attack. The reason behind heart attack is also a poor lifestyle. There are multiple factors in our lifestyle which can contribute to heart attack. This is includes the amount of sleep we get on a daily basis, the food we eat, how much exercise we do, and much more.

Inflammation and oxidative damage


According to Luke, the main reasons behind heart attacks is inflammation and oxidative damage in the heart, blood vessels, endothelial lining, arteries, etc. He stresses on the fact that heart attacks cannot always be blamed on cholesterol levels. While maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important for the body, there are other reasons for heart attacks and stroke as well.

Inflammation and oxidative damage is caused by the free radicals from the food that we eat, the air that we breathe and several lifestyle choices that we make.

1. Industrial oil

Luke draws attention towards the refined oil market and talks about how they are a contributing factor to increased cases of heart attacks. Refined vegetables oils are rich in omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 is detrimental to health as it causes inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Luke says that choosing the right kind of oil is extremely important for heart health. It is also important to focus on the right quantity of refined oil in case healthy varieties of oil like mustard oil, groundnut oil or ghee are not available in your vicinity.

2. Processed and packaged food

Processed and packaged foods too are contributing to increased rates of heart attacks and stroke. This is again because this packaged and processed food is made with low-grade refined oil which increases inflammation and oxidative damage in the body. Eating out foods in restaurants is not bad, if done once in a while. But making it a regular affair can be really unhealthy for the body in the long run.

3. Consume more saturated fats

Saturated fats are present in desi ghee, coconut oil, egg yolks and nuts. All these are good fats or essential fatty acids which are good for heart health. Consuming nuts like peanuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios on a regular basis can be good for heart health. The American Heart Association has admitted that saturated fats are not the cause behind heart attacks. Consuming these saturated fats in moderation is going to help in preventing risks of heart attacks.

4. Be careful of sugar and carbohydrates

In order to prevent heart attacks, people need to be careful about their intake of sugar and carbs. Both of them can contribute to inflammation and an increased risk of heart attack. Sugar and simple carbs contribute to a spike in blood sugar levels and thus increase risk of heart attack. However, there are good carbs and bad carbs. Complex carbs like dosas, idlis, rotis, rice, etc are all healthy carbs and can be included in your diet for good health and preventing risk of heart attack. People who give up on these complex carbs end up being deficient in Vitamin K2 – which can result in calcification of arteries.

5. Consume omega 3 fatty acid

Omega 3 fatty acid is an important and extremely healthy fatty acid for the heart. It is available in fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts and basil seed to name a few. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acid is important to cut down your risk of heart disease.

6. Sedentary lifestyle

People who live a sedentary lifestyle are most prone to risks of heart attacks. Luke says that sitting excessively is like smoking. The human body has not been designed to sit. Working out for 1 hour in the gym and sitting throughout the day is known as being sedentary active. People should make sure they are active throughout the day. Risks of heart attacks are more in people who live a sedentary lifestyle.

7. Quit smoking

Everyone is aware of the health hazards of smoking. While everyone makes their choice when it comes to smoking, the passive smokers are at risks of heart attacks. Smoking contributes to both inflammation and oxidative damage in the body.

8. Salt

Using the right kind of salt is also important for preventing risks of heart attacks. Refined varieties of salt can create inflammation in the body. You can opt for switching to pink or rock salt, but make sure that is done under complete medical supervision.

9. Stress

Taking less stress is an important aspect of preventing heart attacks. Everyone is living a stressful life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you let it affect your health. Indulge in activities that make you feel better and positive. Meditate, exercise, do yoga. Change your attitude towards stress in order to prevent risks of heart attacks.

10. Lack of sleep

Believe it or not, lack of sleep can do much more to your body than you ever thought it would do. And yes, it can increase your risks of heart attack. No matter what, never sacrifice on your sleep. Work towards achieving success by maintaining your health. Sleeping is important for heart health because when you sleep, the heart gets a break and works lesser. The heart is a muscle and it needs recovery. Sleeping less creates hormonal turmoil in the body the next day. Lack of sleep also increases your insulin resistance, thus making you more prone to type 2 diabetes.Courtesy NDTV

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This winter control asthma with inhalation therapy

The Kashmir Monitor



Whether youre indoors or outdoors, winter will exacerbate asthma attacks. Winter is the most loved season, but it might be unpleasant for patients with lung diseases. An American Lung Association fact-sheet states that asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders and currently affects about 7.1 million children under 18 years. The World Health Organisation Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that 13.8 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are lost yearly due to asthma, representing 1.8 per cent of the total global disease burden.

For 300 million people around the globe suffering from asthma, the cold winter months often lead to a worsening of their symptoms.

The cold environment it not suitable for asthma patients. Their lungs and airway passages are quite sensitive. To a larger extent, asthma symptoms related to winter can be in controlled and managed by precise treatment and medication. Due to the swelling in the lining of the airways which leads to their narrowing, and the sticky mucus or phlegm build-up that blocks the airways, breathing is difficult and forced for asthmatic patients.


During winter, the cold air causes airways to tighten further, making it even more difficult to breathe.

Many patients and their family members are misinformed about the causes of asthma and the treatment options available. It is a necessity to educate patients and caregivers about the disease and treatment with minimal side-effects of inhaled corticosteroids, i.e. inhalation therapy.

Many pharmaceutical organisations are running campaigns to bust myths around inhalation therapy. Often, the word steroids evokes apprehensions in the minds of patients causing them to shy away from inhalers. The steroid is produced by the human body naturally to deal with inflammation and it is also safe for children and pregnant women. The inhalation therapy consists of an inhaler pump to send the corticosteroids into airway passages.

According to a research article published in Respiratory Medicine journal, the correlation between inhalation therapy for asthma and clinical efficacy is positive, with improved symptom-control and lung-function shown in most studies of adults, adolescents and children.

In the inhalation therapy, the inflammation of the airway requires a very small quantity of corticosteroids — around 25 to 100 micrograms — but when it is consumed through the oral/intestinal route the amount administered is very large — about 10,000 micrograms, since only a fraction of the drug reaches the lungs. This means that every time an asthma patient pops a pill or a tablet, he/she is actually taking almost 200 times the amount of medication required, leading to ill-effects on health.

Inhalation therapy directly gives body only that amount of steroid needed to control the symptoms. Against this, oral medication first gets dissolved in the blood and then reaches various organs, including the lungs.

Thus, inhalation therapy is a simple and easy solution for asthma patients to enjoy their winter to the fullest.

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Some nose, throat bacteria less likely to develop into flu: Study

The Kashmir Monitor



US researchers have identified a cluster of nose and throat bacteria that made their hosts less likely to get flu.

The researchers from the University of Michigan (UM) looked at samples of nose and throat bacteria and used DNA sequencing to identify which bacteria were present.

Analysing the bacterial composition across all samples, they found five clusters.After taking into account other known factors that could affect an individual’s
susceptibility to influenza, such as age, exposure to tobacco, crowded household and flu vaccination, the researchers then looked to see if individuals with a given cluster were less likely to get influenza.


“We looked at who had which cluster and whether it makes a difference on whether they got influenza, and it does,” said lead author Betsy Foxman, Professor at UM. “That’s the exciting thing about it. It tells us if you have this bacterial community, you have lower risk for getting the flu. That’s big news because it really hasn’t been shown before.”

However, the findings published in PLOS ONE journal also bring new questions.”Is it really possible to push someone’s microbiome in a way that would make a difference? Is it possible that we could tell people – ‘Here’s your microbiome pill?'” Foxman said, adding that “It’s a very long road and we’re at the beginning.”

Researchers hope that similar studies can be done in a different population and possibly follow them longer for secondary bacterial infections.”We know we are always going to need new antibiotics but this way we could hold on to them longer and, presumably, if we could intervene in this way there would be fewer side effects,” Foxman said.

For the study, the team enrolled 717 participants from 144 households. Household members of individuals with confirmed influenza were recruited for the study and followed for 13 days or until they developed influenza, whichever came first. They included only the 537 individuals who tested negative for influenza at the beginning of the study.

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Taking artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute? Study says it may not be effective

The Kashmir Monitor



While some people who are trying to avoid sugar are increasingly opting for artificial sugar, a recent study has revealed that taking artificial sugar may not be a good idea after all.”Growing concerns about health and quality of life have encouraged people to adapt healthy lifestyles and avoid the consumption of food rich in sugars, salt, or fat to prevent obesity and other non-communicable diseases. With increased consumer interest in reducing energy intake, food products containing non-sugar sweeteners (NSSs) rather than simple sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides) have become increasingly popular”, the study stated.

But replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke and other soft drinks has no effect on weight loss and their long-term health effects are still poorly understood, the review said. The study titled ‘Association between intake of non-sugar sweeteners and health outcomes: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised and non-randomised controlled trials and observational studies’ was led by the University of Freiburg and published in the BMJ.

It also highlighted the absence of research on the long-term health effects of sweeteners when taken over years or decades. In this comprehensive systematic review, a broad range of health outcomes was investigated to determine a possible association with non-sugar sweetener used by a generally healthy population.


“The studies were set up to look at different types of sweeteners, measuring weight, blood sugar (glycaemic) control, oral health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, mood and behaviour in consumers. For most of them, there was no statistical difference in weight loss or health benefits of adults and children using higher doses of sweeteners rather than small amounts or none”, a report in The Guardian stated.

This comprehensive systematic review covers a broad range of benefits and harms of NSSs in a generally healthy population of adults and children, following rigorous systematic review methods. “Overall, we included 56 studies of adults and children, which assessed the associations and effects of NSSs on different health outcomes.

For most outcomes, there seemed to be no statistically or a clinically relevant difference between NSS intake versus no intake, or between different doses of NSSs. No evidence was seen for health benefits from NSSs and potential harms could not be excluded. The certainty of the included evidence ranged from very low to moderate, and our confidence in the reported effect estimates is accordingly limited”, the study stated.

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January 2019
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