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Colorectal cancer is the seventh most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in India.
The cause of colon cancer is multifactorial and complex. Risk factors include sedentary lifestyle, obesity, tobacco use, low fiber diet and alcohol consumption. Dr Niranjan Naik, Director, Surgical Oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram sheds some light on the need for a high fibre diet to lower the risks.
High-risk for colon cancer includes age above 60 years, a positive family history of colorectal cancer and having familial polyposis syndrome. For screening colonoscopy is recommended starting at age 50 and then every 10 years after that, if the results be normal.
Eating a diet which is high-fibre is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, according to new research that analyzed 25 different studies. Analysis compared groups with the highest intake of fibre daily with groups with the lowest intake.
High dietary fiber is thought to reduce the risk of colon cancer is by decreasing gastrointestinal transit time, dilution of fecal carcinogens, increasing stool bulk and causing bacterial fermentation of fiber to short-chain fatty acids with anti-carcinogenic properties.
Colonic adenomas are formed initially, which may progress to become cancer in some individuals. Individuals consuming the highest intake of dietary fiber have reduced risks of developing colorectal adenoma and distal colon cancer and that this effect of dietary fiber, particularly from cereals and fruit, may begin early in colorectal carcinogenesis. Dietary fiber may act early in the adenoma- carcinoma sequence and reduce both the risk of adenoma and cancer.
The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study evaluated diet and colon cancer in 519,978 people living in 10 countries with a broad range of dietary habits. The volunteers, who ranged in age from 25 to 70, were tracked for six years. Compared with the people who ate the least fiber, those who ate the most enjoyed a 42 per cent reduction in the risk of colon cancer. No source of fiber was more protective than others; the study did not evaluate fiber supplements. Another study of 2,157 residents of Utah and California linked high consumption of fiber to a 46% reduction in the risk of rectal cancer.
Dietary fiber is a non-starch complex carbohydrates which is found in plant foods. They are of 2 types: soluble and insoluble. There are not non-vegetarian (animal) sources for fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel, which promotes delayed emptying and early satiety. It is easily digested in the colon, which also can cause bloating and gas. Soluble fiber is often associated with cardiovascular and diabetes prevention and colon health, as it reduces blood cholesterol and glucose levels. It does this in 2 ways.
Firstly, the soluble fibre is fermented to the short-chain fatty acids, these are absorbed and metabolized by the liver for bile synthesis. Second, fiber passes through the body undigested.
Soluble-fiber sources include apples, barley, citrus fruits, peas, avocado, husks, legumes, oats, rye, and many vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is much less fermentable or gassy. It promotes bowel movements by adding bulk and water to stool, creating a stool softening action in the digestive system.
Insoluble-fiber sources include brown rice, fruits like apples, legumes, seeds, whole grains, vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage, and wheat bran.
Fiber supplements available include gums, inulins, lignins, pectins, and psyllium or isabgol husk.
Juice is not a good source of fiber. Even if juice is made from fresh fruits and vegetables, the fiber is often gets removed in the juicing process. Ideally, you should get fiber from whole food sources, not supplements or juices.
Researches showed that each 10-gram a day increase in total fiber and cereal fiber was linked with a 10% reduction in colorectal cancer risk. Aim for fiber intake amounts of 25 to 35 grams per day or a ratio of 14grams of fiber/1000kCal consumed. In regard with fiber, more is not necessarily better, so do not overdo it. Too much of high fiber can be disruptive, in turn affecting mineral absorption and GI distress.
Colon cancer does not happen overnight. Usually it can take many years to develop. So starting to eat whole grains at an early age is important.
Eat more whole grains. It not only reduces colorectal cancer risk, they and other sources of fiber have other health benefits like reduced cholesterol levels, better blood sugar levels and less constipation. Whole grains and total dietary fibre have already been identified as protective against cardiovascular disease. Fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates, reducing insulin levels. It also binds bile acids, lowering blood levels of LDL cholesterol. When a high-fiber diet includes lots of fruit and vegetables, it helps to lower blood pressure.
Be sure to increase your fiber intake gradually. Adding large quantities of fibre into the diet too quickly can cause gas or discomfort. Instead, try to add a little more fibre to each of your meals by including a piece of fruit or by switching processed or refined grains with whole grains.
Fiber could reduce exposure of the colorectal passage to carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds produced on processed meat consumption. Drink plenty of water, staying hydrated will help ensure that the additional fiber doesn’t cause stomach problems.
So, to reduce your cancer risk, change your lifestyle. Act now. (IANS)
Indian origin girls -- New Jersey-based Natasha Peri (11) and Dubai-based Priyamvada Deshmukh (12) -- have been named in the worlds "brightest" students list based on results of above-grade-level testing of 19,000 students across 84 countries, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), a part of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
"Peri, a student at Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School, was honored for exceptional performance on the SAT, ACT, or similar assessment is taken as part of the CTY Talent Search," said a statement from the CTY.
Deshmukh, a student of GEMS Modern Academy, Dubai, has been honored for her exceptional performance on the SCAT assessment taken as part of the CTY Talent Search, a university statement said.
She was one of nearly 19,000 students from 84 countries who joined CTY in the 2019-21 Talent Search years. CTY uses above-grade-level testing to identify advanced students from around the world and provide a clear picture of their true academic abilities.
Peri took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2021 when she was in Grade 5. Her results in the verbal and quantitative sections leveled with the 90th percentile of advanced Grade 8 performance.
"This motivates me to do more," she said, adding that doodling and reading J.R.R Tolkien's novels may have worked for her.
Deshmukh took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2020 when she was still in Grade 6. Her results in the verbal sections leveled with the advanced Grade 10 performance. She made the cut for Johns Hopkins CTY 'High Honors Awards'.
Due to the Covid19, induced delay in Global logistics support, she finally received her much-awaited "High Honors" pin this week, which she lovingly kept in front of her Grandparents photograph as a tribute to her roots.
The delay in officially getting the certificates did not stop her from attending the summer program at John Hopkins University's CTY in English literature where she studied the confluence of Art and Science in literary writing and completed the course scoring 'A' Grade.
She followed up with top-scoring the second level of Asset Talent Examination which also qualified her for the summer program at Northwestern University this year, where she is learning about world-building in fiction writing this year.
Her elder brother was among the first UAE students to have cleared the Duke University TIP (Talent Identification Programme) when he was in Class 8.
Her parents joke that it's nothing but routine sibling rivalry that she wanted to achieve the same, just a year ahead of her brother. Even though she loves Physics and Computer Science as subjects, unlike her elder brother (who is Chancellor's Scholarship holder student of Astro Physics at the University of Massachusetts), Deshmukh wants to pursue humanities and literature when she goes to college five years down the lane.
As part of Johns Hopkins policy, granular information is not broken down by age or race.
Likewise, it is left to the guardian to disclose the prodigy's name. Within the US, awardees come from all 50 US states.
"We are thrilled to celebrate these students," said Virginia Roach, CTY's executive director.
"In a year that was anything but ordinary, their love of learning shined through, and we are excited to help cultivate their growth as scholars and citizens throughout high school, college, and beyond," Roach added.
The quantitative section of the Johns Hopkins CTY test measures the ability to see relationships between quantities expressed in mathematical terms, the verbal section measures understanding of the meaning of words and the relationships between them.
Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.
Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.
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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.
In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.
The herb has rounded leaves.Pixabay
There are more than 60 varieties of basil, with sweet basil being one of the most widely used. The herb has rounded leaves that are often pointed. It is a bright green plant, although some varieties have hints of purple or red in their leaves, basil makes a colorful and flavorful addition to many different dishes.
It has been observed that many of the cooks use basil to thicken their dessert instead of using any artificial/ unhealthy powder to do so. Sometimes people are not able to differentiate between Chia seeds and basil seeds, to make it clear basil seeds are different in nature they are larger and a bit duller in their color. These herbs are used in various recipes as a cooling component in desserts, drinks, and fruit juices for refreshment, also beating the summer heat.
For better digestion, weight loss, and immune system, I suggest this simple recipe which can be easily made at home:
*Take 2 tsp of Basil seeds (sabja) + Add in 1/2 liter of water +10 mint leaves crushed
*1/2 tsp cinnamon powder + A little bit of sendha salt (pink Himalayan salt)
*Or to make a sweeter version one can add organic honey.
*Mix it well and drink it.
This recipe will help to flush out toxins from our body making it feel light and healthy. (IANS/SP)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)