Saturday October 21, 2017

Smartphone myths busted: It won’t give you brain cancer

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New Delhi: Smartphone users can take a deep breath now. All the studies claiming that the radiation emitted from cellphones can cause brain cancer while posing to be hazardous to health have turned into a myth.

According to health experts, radiations emitted from cellphones will not give you brain cancer but, yes, excessive cell phone use can lead to other health conditions, especially among children.

Some time back, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified mobile phone use and other radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a possible carcinogen but with a rider that there is no research to back the claim.

The study also revealed no evidence of increasing risk with progressively increasing number of calls, longer call time, or years since beginning cellphone use.

“Mobile phones don’t cause cancer or promote the accelerated growth of existing tumors. Although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, but to date, there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer,” explained Dr Indu Bansal Aggarwal, senior consultant (oncology) at Paras Hospitals.

Radiofrequency energy emanating from cellphones is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is non-ionizing.

No study or research about cancer has proved that non-ionising radiation causes cancer. If someone speaks on a mobile phone for a long time, it generates heat.

“The only known biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating. Radiofrequency exposure from cellphone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to measurably increase body temperature,” added Dr S Hukku, director (radiation oncology) at the BLK Super Specialty Hospital in the capital.

But when it comes to the excessive use of cellphones, there are health conditions that can affect people.

According to a report by networking giant Cisco, the number of mobile users in India is projected to grow 4.4 percent to 990.2 million by 2020 – covering about 71 percent of the country’s population.

Smartphone addiction can reduce melatonin hormone levels, which may lead to neuro-degenerative diseases later in life. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain which helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s circadian rhythm.

“Impaired concentration, eye problems, increased stress and chronic pain, negative effect on emotions, heart disorders, decreased sperm count and decreased hearing are some major health issues arising out of the excessive use of cell phone,” Aggarwal said.

As for children, scientists have discovered that a mere two-minutes phone call can alter the electoral activity of their brain for up to an hour.

“The disturbed brain activity could impair children’s learning ability and lead to other behavioral problems,” Aggarwal told reporters.

To avoid this, keep phone calls short, use air tube headset for calls, avoid using a cellphone in an enclosed metal space such as an elevator and do not keep the mobile phone close to the body when switched on.

“Do not place your smartphone under a pillow and avoid calls when the signal strength is low to reduce the impact of cell phone radiation on health,” Hukku suggested.

Above all, spend some time with your family where the smartphone is not an invitee! (Somrita Ghosh, IANS)

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Integrate National Plans to Eliminate TB by 2030: WHO

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste

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India TB Outreach Work
A TB patient hopeful of being cured in India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 11, 2017: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has told the South East Asian countries to integrate their national plans and mobilise and utilise resources efficiently to reach the Tuberculosis elimination target of 2030, a statement said on Sunday.

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Also Read: Malnutrition makes children susceptible to Tuberculosis: Experts 

The global health body said that there is a need for countries to identify the package of interventions best suited to their challenges — whether that means focusing on strengthening TB services, accelerating case detection or investing in research and development.

“All countries face unique challenges, meaning they should each adapt the regional and global strategies to their context,” said a statement issued by the WHO’s South East Asia Region Office.

“We must avoid taking one-size-fits-all approach, and must instead seek out and embrace tailored solutions that meet specific needs and challenges.”

The five-day 70th Regional Committee Session of WHO South East Asia Region concluded in Male on Sunday.

According to the global health body, by planning effectively and making smart, high-impact interventions, countries across the Southeast Asia Region can lift TB’s significant burden and end the disease as a public health threat once and for all.

Although the region accounts for approximately one quarter of the world’s population, it has nearly half the number of new TB cases and close to 40 per cent of TB deaths globally.

In recognition of TB’s outsized burden, accelerating progress towards the 2030 target — which requires a 90 per cent reduction in TB deaths and 80 per cent decrease in TB incidence — is now one of WHO South-East Asia Region’s flagship priority areas of work. (IANS)

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6 Reasons Why Green Tea Should Be a Part of Your Everyday Life:What Makes It So Healthy?

You must have been advised to quit eating fast food, and soda beverages. Here we provide you with reasons that will convince you to switch from high caffeinated beverages to green tea for a healthier lifestyle!

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Green tea is the second most consumed beverage.
Green tea is believed to have therapeutic intervention to cure a variety of diseases. Pixabay
  • Green tea is a healthier option in comparison to fizzy and caffeinated drinks
  • Green Tea is known to relieve stress and solve several health problems
  • Researchers claim it can help alleviate insulin resistance, cognitive impairment, and fight allergies 

New Delhi, August 30, 2017: Coffee and black tea have long featured as preferred beverage options for a lot of people. However, rising awareness about the need to improve lifestyles has led to increased consumption of healthier alternatives such as green tea. The antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties of green tea address several health issues – ranging from bad breath to blood pressure. There are many health & skin benefits of green tea, let’s tal about it.

In fact, given our sedentary lifestyle and increased intake of fast foods, green tea is today more important than ever. A recent study published online in The FASEB Journal suggests that green tea could help alleviate insulin resistance and cognitive impairment induced by high-fat and high-fructose diets. Some studies also suggest that it can help fight off allergies.

Here are some additional benefits of green tea:

  • Curbs cholesterol: A high level of cholesterol in the body can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Green tea contains catechins that are known to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body which causes plaque in the arteries, leading to a blockage. This is one of the best benefits of green tea
  • Promotes healthier skin: Green tea is known for its rich content of antioxidants and anti-aging elements. These can help delay signs of skin aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Regular consumption of green tea flushes out unwanted toxins from the body, thereby helping you have healthy skin. one of the skin benefits of green tea.
  • Relieves physical and mental fatigue: According to estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 450 million people suffer from stress worldwide. Green tea contains polyphenols that help reduce stress, boost energy and improve mental focus. The various antioxidants that are present in green tea also have a calming effect on the mind and body, which helps in creating a positive mood.
  • Builds immunity: Green tea contains compounds such as polyphenol and flavonoids which boost your immune system. These phytoconstituents act as antimicrobial agents, thereby helping the body fight against infection as well. Moreover, the antioxidants in green tea strengthen and protect the immune system against compounds known as free radicals, which are known to harm living cells and tissues.

ALSO READ: Now You can Fight Memory Loss With Green Tea, Says New Research

  • Helps in removal of phlegm: Green tea contains polyphenols which have potent anti-bacterial properties that fight against infections and reduce the formation of phlegm. For best results, prepare some green tea and add a little honey to it before drinking it.
  • Helps detox your body: Detoxing one’s body helps improve metabolism. Green tea refreshes, hydrates and cleanses the body of unhealthy toxins. The catechins in green tea improve the fat metabolism and reduce toxic effects on the liver. It reduces pressure on the liver, which is the body’s major detoxing organ. Moreover, it also detoxifies and purifies the whole body because of its rich antioxidant properties.

So now that you are aware of the all vital benefits of green tea, it is time to switch from high caffeinated beverages to green tea for a healthier lifestyle. (IANS)

A Must Read Article: Skin Benefits Of Coconut Oil

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After Three Years Struggle, WHO Declares Somalia Polio Free

The declaration by WHO keeps Somalia outside the last group of countries which still record cases of polio in the world

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Somalia
A Somali boy receives a polio vaccination at the Tunisian hospital in Mogadishu. The hospital treats local diseases, malnutrition, and other injuries.

Mogadishu, Aug 14, 2015: The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Somalia country polio free on Sunday saying it had not registered any case of polio disease in the last three years.

According to WHO, the country recorded the last case of polio in 2014 in the central part of the country and has remained free from the paralyzing disease ever since. However, the UN health agency warned Somalia calling for the sustained vaccination campaign, as reported by Xinhua.

ALSO READ: In Somalia, Rape is a Common Sight: Labeled as Worst Country for Women 

The head of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean, which covers Somalia, Mohamed Fiqi said: Massive vaccination campaigns and commitment from government and international actors had ensured the polio virus did not recur in the Horn of Africa country.

“As the world edges closer to eradicating polio, keeping alert in countries that have a high risk of polio importation like Somalia is more of a priority than ever,” Fiqi said.

He added, “As we move forward, the polio program in Somalia needs to continue to work to maintain and improve the level of population immunity against polio through target vaccination campaign and strengthening of the routine immunization services and infrastructure.”

The WHO chief warned Somalia remains at risk of importation of the virus from countries- “Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan”, where polio is still being recorded, mentioned Hans India.

Somalia
Faduma Hussein Yagoub, a polio sufferer, came with her family to Dadaab from Somalia. Her husband and two of her five young children died of hunger on the way. Despite the dangers thousands of refugees every week are making the journey, walking for weeks across the desert and braving attacks by armed robbers and wild animals. Wikimedia Commons

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo appreciated efforts to rid his country of the polio disease which he noted had afflicted many children.

“No cases were found for the past three years and no child was affected by this disease. Many of our children have suffered from polio for many years.

“To eradicate polio was a big success and it was collective effort and commitment by many young men and women who sacrificed their lives,” Farmaajo noted.

The polio-free celebration appears amid the worst outbreak of measles Somalia has seen in years.

Commenced in January 2017,  the country is also still responding to an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea/cholera.

Polio systems and networks are being used in both interventions.


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