Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Science has revealed that the human body hosts ten times more microorganisms than the tissue cells it has; microorganisms, that account for about 2.5 percent of our body weight.
Dr Pankaj Garg, Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, speaks of the importance of Prebiotics.
Among these, there are around 500 types of bacteria living in our digestive tract that help us in maintaining good health, especially in infants and young children who are more prone to infections, digestive problems and allergies.
Nutrition plays a key role in building immunity, especially during the early years of life and breast milk which is the primary source of nutrition for infants contains components that both actively and passively modify the immune system of an infant. One such component is Oligosaccharides. After carbohydrates (lactose) and fats, oligosaccharides are the third largest component of breast milk. The concentration of oligosaccharides in breast milk exceeds that of even proteins thereby drawing attention of scientists across the world. These oligosaccharides are also known as Prebiotics.
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres which promote growth of healthy bacteria (probiotics) in the intestine. Naturally one can obtain prebiotics from certain whole cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables. This is because some of these foods contain complex carbohydrates like fiber and resistant starch which is not digested easily. The body passes it through the digestive system undigested to convert this into food for the bacteria and other microbes.
The common available foods which have prebiotics are banana, chicory, onions, garlic, leeks etc. Cow and buffalo milk do not have prebiotic oligosaccharides which are present in mother’s milk.
Prebiotics are known for their health benefits:
It helps in the gut to increase the number of healthy bacteria, aid digestion and enhance the production of valuable vitamins.
Good bacteria perform a major role in regulating the immune system, preventing the growth of disease-causing bacteria.
Prebiotics also help in keeping the body’s mineral and electrolyte levels in balance which then indirectly helps in keeping the blood pressure in check. They also help in maintaining healthy hormone levels which therefore keeps our gut healthy and helps in mood regulation.
Daily intake of prebiotics also helps in reducing glycation which is the cause of free increased radicals in the body. Therefore, it helps in fighting cardiovascular diseases.
From infants to adults, intake of prebiotics is a must. A healthy digestive system which includes good gut health and immune system is essential for all ages. Newborn babies cannot easily consume natural sources of prebiotics like onions, garlic or bananas, and hence breastmilk is essential for them.
Understanding the positive effects of oligosaccharides on gut health in infants, researchers have developed a non-human milk oligosaccharide as an alternative. Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), polydextrose, inulin and their mixtures are the most common prebiotics that have been developed for infants. Among these the most studied prebiotic is a combination of Galacto-oligosaccharides and Fructo-oligosaccharides (GOS & FOS).
In case of insufficient breast milk, baby formula that contains GOS/ FOS (oligosaccharides) should be considered. Insufficient beneficial bacteria in infants make them prone to common gut infections.
There are over 30 clinical studies and 55 peer reviewed publications on clinical benefits of GOS/FOS. The latest studies show clinical benefits in terms of lesser incidence of diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, lesser use of antibiotics, less allergies and softer stools.
Moreover, there are no side effects of prebiotics and they are considered safe for term as well as preterm infants by US FDA and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Ultimately prebiotics tell us the golden old rule “Prevention is better than Cure” and are a useful tool in making every child a healthy child. And as it is said, a healthy child is a happy child! (IANS)
PARIS — In a decision with potential ramifications across European museums, France is displaying 26 looted colonial-era artifacts for one last time before returning them home to Benin.
The wooden anthropomorphic statues, royal thrones and sacred altars were pilfered by the French army in the 19th century from Western Africa.
President Emmanuel Macron suggested that France now needed to right the wrongs of the past, making a landmark speech in 2017 in which he said he can no longer accept "that a large part of many African countries' cultural heritage lies in France." It laid down a roadmap for the controversial return of the royal treasures taken during the era of empire and colony. The French will have a final glimpse of the objects in the Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac from 26-31 October.
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot tried to assuage jitters among European museums, emphasizing that this initiative "will not create a legal precedent."
A royal seat of the 'Royal treasures of Abomey kingdom' (Œuvres des tresors royaux d'Abomey) on display at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, Sept. 10, 2021. Photo Credit: VOA
A French law was passed last year to allow the restitution of the statues to the Republic of Benin, as well as a storied sword to the Army Museum in Senegal.
But she said that the French government's law was intentionally specific in applying solely to the 27 artifacts. "[It] does not establish any general right to restitution" and "in no way calls into question" the right of French museums to hold on to their heritage.
Yet critics of such moves — including London's British Museum that is in a decades-long tug-of-war with the Greek government over a restitution of the Elgin Marbles — argue that it will open the floodgates to emptying Western museums of their collections. Many are made up of objects acquired, or stolen, during colonial times. French museums alone hold at least 90,000 artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa.
A woman looks at the Parthenon Marbles, a collection of stone objects, inscriptions and sculptures. Photo Credit: VOA
The story of the "Abomey Treasures" is as dramatic as their sculpted forms. In November 1892, Colonel Alfred Dodds led a pilfering French expeditionary force into the Kingdom of Danhomè located in the south of present-day Benin. The colonizing troops broke into the Abomey Palace, home of King Behanzin, seizing as they did many royal objects including the 26 artifacts that Dodds donated to the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris in the 1890s. Since 2003, the objects have been housed at the Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac.
One hundred and twenty-nine years later, their far-flung journey abroad will finally end.
Benin's Culture Minister Jean-Michel Abimbola called the return of the works, a "historic milestone," and the beginning of further cooperation between the two countries, during a news conference last week. The country is founding a museum in Abomey to house the treasures that will be partly funded by the French government. The French Development Agency will give some 35 million euros toward the "Museum of the Saga of the Amazonians and the Dan home Kings" under a pledge signed this year.
The official transfer of the 26 pieces is expected to be signed in Paris on Nov. 9 in the presence of Macron and the art is expected to be in Benin a few days later, Abimbola said.
While locals say the decision is overdue, what's important is that the art will be returned.
"It was a vacuum created among Benin's historical treasures, which is gradually being reconstituted," said Fortune Sossa, President of the African Cultural Journalists Network. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Benin art, Emmanuel Macron, European museums, Abomey Treasures, anthropomorphic statues
GENEVA — The battle to stem climate change may be lost as new information indicates the Amazon rain forest is turning from a carbon sink – or area that absorbs CO2 – into a source of carbon dioxide, the World Meteorological Organization warns.
The latest edition of the WMO's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide once again broke all records last year.
The U.N. agency's report warns the concentrations of these greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere are driving climate change. It says carbon dioxide, the single most important greenhouse gas, accounts for approximately 66 percent of the warming effect on the climate.
The secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, says about half of CO2 emissions remain in the atmosphere for centuries. He says the other half is taken up by oceans and land ecosystems.
He says it is not clear for how much longer forested areas, often referred to as the lungs of the Earth, will continue to act as effective carbon sinks.
"We have already seen some alarming indications that, for example, Amazonian rain forest ecosystem, which used to be a major sink of carbon, has become now a source of carbon, which is alarming," Taalas said. "And this is related to deforestation in the area and also changes in local climate because of this deforestation."
Oksana Tarasova, who heads the WMO's Atmospheric and Environment Research Division, says the WMO only now is revealing this new finding because it has taken nine years of observation to gather the measurement data set needed to understand the changes taking place. She says not all of the Amazon forests are turning from a carbon sink to a net producer of carbon.
"So, the Western part of the Amazonia still continues to work as a carbon sink at this point. But we do not know for how long that will continue this way," Tarasova said. "We are making the measurements there and keeping our track of what is happening there. … I would take the whole Amazonia as a whole that is seen that it is a sink, but its capacity is substantially reduced."
Meteorologists say climate change negotiators at an upcoming conference in Scotland must take concrete action and make concrete pledges to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
They say setting carbon-neutral targets will not work in stemming climate change. They also warn the world is heading toward a temperature rise of 2.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This, they say, is far more than the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Climate change, amazon rain forest, UN Agency Warns, World Meteorological Organization, greenhouse gas emissions.
- Amazon Acquires Turkish Data Processing Startup Company ... ›
- rain-forest-reserves - NewsGram - Lens to India from Abroad ›
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Discusses The Issue of Climate Change ... ›
- Archeologists find New Evidence about Extinction of Ice Age ... ›
- Green Groups In Brazil Prepare A Climate Change Plan ... ›
Receiving compliments is something that a majority of us enjoy. Compliments, after all, make us feel good about ourselves. Sometimes compliments intended to be flattering turn out to be a tremendous turn-off, and in some cases, they are insulting. 'Beauty with brains is one of those compliments. So, is 'beauty with brains' a compliment? Without further ado, I would confidently say- NO! It doesn't matter what your gender, colour, or identity is. The answer is clearly a no.
Beauty with a brain suggests that you can only have one of these qualities and that you are an 'exception' if you possess both. "Oh, Wow! You are a beauty with brains" is a phrase that women often hear. This statement is used when a female exhibits characteristics that indicate she is intelligent. People are taken aback if they see a wise and beautiful woman because women are stereotyped to be either beautiful or brainy. The concern with this is that it is naturally assumed that men are intelligent. Women, on the other hand, are supposed to have a natural beauty. If she isn't attractive according to the norms laid down by society, it is expected that she would at the very least be intelligent. When someone manages to be both, it is regarded as a significant accomplishment.
People are taken aback if they see a wise and beautiful woman because women are stereotyped to be either beautiful or brainy. | Photo by Unsplash
Women are being stereotyped into two attributes: being attractive and being intelligent, and they are being conditioned to think that these characteristics cannot exist together. When you tell someone that they are not beautiful, you are implicitly attempting to fit them into the so-called "beauty standards" that today's era is so preoccupied with maintaining. And that is a significant issue. We are not required to fit in; we should take the risk of being unusual.
Many movies, television series, and even advertisements depict the female lead as someone who is the attractive one, well-dressed, with a face full of makeup and lovely hair. On the other hand, the intelligent girl is usually the one with unkempt hair, strange fashion sense, and little to no makeup.
While our generation has been the target of insulting and sexist slurs that have caused us to question our abilities on several occasions, let us work together to reverse the trend. Let us educate each other that beauty and intelligence can coexist and that we are all beautiful in our way and don't need to fit in the so-called standards set by our draconian society.
Keywords: women mental health, beauty, brains, men, intelligence society