Light Smoking Can Still Damage Lungs, Warns Research

Lung function declines naturally with age (starting in one's 20s), and it's well-known that smoking accelerates the decline

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Light Smoking
According to a Research, light Smoking may have a greater risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pixabay

People who do Light Smoking i.e smoking fewer than five cigarettes a day can have long-term damage to their lungs, according to a new research.

“Many people assume that smoking a few cigarettes a day isn’t so bad, but it turns out that the difference in loss of lung function between someone who smokes five cigarettes a day versus two packs a day is relatively small,” said study lead author Elizabeth Oelsner, Assistant Professor at Columbia University Vagelos College in the US.

For the study publsihed in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, the researchers looked specifically at lung function–the amount of air a person can breathe in and out–in smokers, ex-smokers, and never-smokers.

Lung function declines naturally with age (starting in one’s 20s), and it’s well-known that smoking accelerates the decline.

Because of the large number of people in the study–more than 25,000– researchers could see differences in lung function among light smokers (less than 5 cigarettes per day) and heavy smokers (more than 30 per day) that other studies have been unable to detect.

Their analysis found that lung function in light smokers declines at a rate much closer to that of heavy smokers, as compared to non-smokers.

This means that a light smoker could lose about the same amount of lung function in one year as a heavy smoker might lose in nine months.

Light Smoking
People who do Light Smoking i.e smoking fewer than five cigarettes a day can have long-term damage to their lungs, according to a new research. Pixabay

The study also tested an assumption, based on a 40-year-old study, that the rate of decline in lung capacity “normalises” within a few years of quitting smoking.

The new study shows that although lung capacity declines at a much lower rate in ex-smokers than current smokers, the rate doesn’t normalise for at least 30 years.

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According to the researchers, light smokers may have a greater risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (IANS)

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Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity

Oil pulling is an ancient treatment dateing back to more than 3,000 years

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Oil pulling
Oil pulling can boost your Immunity. Pixabay

Oil pulling is regarded as an ancient Ayurveda treatment that dates back to more than 3,000 years.

Considered as a detoxification therapy, it is done by taking a spoonful of cold pressed virgin oil (preferably coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for about 5 minutes, similar to using a mouthwash. The purpose of oil pulling is to swish the oil around in your mouth, between the teeth to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, spit it out and immediately rinse with some warm water.

Nutritionist Sheryl Salis shares how oil pulling that can help improve your immunity, uses of virgin coconut oil and the method of oil pulling:

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice gaining traction in recent times not only for oral health but also as an immunity boosting measure. As the mouth is a home to millions of microbes including bacteria, the oil pulling process helps get rid of these bacteria through swishing oil in the mouth and in-between the teeth. Swishing the oil for a prolonged period cleanses the mouth and decreases the bacterial load. Not only does this promote oral hygiene, this technique aids in overall health and well-being.

hand-sanitize
Other than basic precautions like sanitizing and washing hands, immunty is the key factor to protect yourself from COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it is recommended to build and maintain a strong immune system to help combat the risk of being infected. While external precautionary measures like sanitizing and washing hands are essential, maintaining basic hygiene measures and eating healthy to build one’s immunity is of utmost importance.

Using virgin coconut oil to build immunity

Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a superfood recommended for its myriad health benefits; it is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid and contains Vitamin E which helps to improve body’s immunity. The medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) that contain lauric acid and caprylic acid strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. Therefore, Adding 2 spoons of virgin coconut oil to the diet every day can help improve the immunity and maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In most Indian household’s, virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices and is slowly making its way in the mainstream wellness community for oil pulling. Known for its immune boosting properties, virgin coconut oil can be introduced as an effective technique into your heath regime.

Oil Pulling
Virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices. Pixabay

How to do it?

eStart by swishing it in your mouth on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning

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eTake about 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in the mouth and swish it for about 3-5 minutes.

eDiscard the oil by spitting it out. Do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins with it as well

eRinse the mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual

eRepeat the process 3-4 times a week. (IANS)

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Turn to Yoga For Quitting Tobacco

An effective cure to tobacco addiction is the practice of yoga and meditation

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meditate
Practice yoga and meditation to get rid of tobacco. Pixabay

There are more than 8 million people who die from tobacco-related causes each year. Of these, over 7 million die as a result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Smoking is decidedly bad for your health and harms nearly every organ of the body.

Smoking causes damage to blood vessels making them thicken and grow narrower. This increases heart rate and your blood pressure. Smoking also causes many other cancers and health problems. Women who smoke during pregnancy face a greater risk of certain pregnancy problems.

An effective cure to addiction is the practice of yoga and meditation. Yoga offers tools to down-regulate the stress response system and activate the relaxation response. This increases our capacity to observe our experiences with a greater sense of level-headedness and self-control. Yoga practices such as asanas, and meditation also rewire the brain creating new neural pathways. These are effective for new behaviour-forming habits, breaking old patterns to replace them with healthier ones. In this way yoga can help in de-addiction, and also regain the body’s health by boosting your immune system, building strength for both body and mind, and flushing out toxins.

One of the main reasons that people find it a challenge to give up smoking is because of nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant drug and a highly addictive substance that is found in tobacco. Nicotine addiction makes it much harder for people to quit smoking. But it is important to remind oneself of the dangers of smoking and stay committed to quitting the habit. Yoga asanas release feel-good hormones in your body and lead you to make positive lifestyle changes. Yoga also builds mindfulness, and this awareness can be useful to keep yourself in check every time you reach for a cigarette.

Practice the following asanas upto three times or more a week, repeat for up to three sets holding each pose for 15-30 seconds.

Ustrasana

Kneel on the yoga mat and place your hands on the hips.

Simultaneously, arch your back and slide your palms over your feet till the arms are straight.

Do not strain or flex your neck but keep it in a neutral position.

Stay in this posture for a couple of breaths.

Breathe out and slowly come back to the initial pose. Withdraw your hands and bring them back to your hips as you straighten up.

yoga
Yoga asanas release feel-good hormones in your body and lead you to make positive lifestyle changes. Pixabay

 

Vajrasana – Thunderbolt pose

Formation of the Posture

Begin by standing straight with your arms by the sides of your body

Lean forward and slowly drop your knees on your mat

Place your pelvis on your heels and point your toes outward

Here, your thighs should press your calf muscles

Keep your heels slightly apart from each other

Place your palms on your knees facing upward

Straighten your back and look forward

Hold this asana for a while

Breathing Methodology

Softly inhale and exhale

Word of Advice

A person suffering from knee joint pain, Arthritis or any knee injury should avoid this asana

 

Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend

Formation of the Posture

Begin with Dandasana

Ensure that your knees are slightly bent while your legs are stretched out forward

Extend your arms upward and keep your spine erect

Exhale and empty your stomach of air

With the exhale, bend forward at the hip and place your upper body on your lower body

Lower your arms and grip your big toes with your fingers

Try to touch your knees with your nose

Hold the posture for 10-30 seconds, repeat up to 3 times

Breathing Methodology

Exhale as you fold forward

Tobacco
Yoga builds mindfulness, and this awareness can be useful to keep yourself in check every time you reach for a cigarette. Pixabay

Padahastasana

Formation of the posture

Begin by standing in Samasthithi

Exhale and gently bend your upper body, dropping your head and keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed

Bring the trunk closer to the legs. Try to touch the knees with the forehead. This may require a lot of flexibility. If you are starting out your practice, go only as far as it is comfortable.

When you are folding forward, attempt to move your torso from the hip joints, instead of the waist.

Place palms on either side of feet

Try to keep the legs and knees straight throughout the practice. If you are a beginner, you may have to bend your knees slightly to accomplish this.

With practice, slowly straighten your knees and try to touch your chest to your thighs

Hold this asana for a while

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Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward dog pose

Formation of the posture

Lift the hips up, straighten the knees and elbows, and form an inverted �V’ shape

Now keep the hands shoulders width apart. Fingers point ahead

Put pressure on your palms and open your shoulder blades

Try to push your heels to the floor

Keep your eye focused on your big toes

Hold eight to ten breaths

Breathing Methodology

Exhale as you enter into this posture(IANS)

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Lungs of Deceased COVID-19 Patients Show Distinctive Features

Patients with COVID-19 showed widespread blood clotting

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chemistry lungs
a team of international researchers examined seven lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died of Covid-19. Pixabay

To help create the vaccine for the novel coronavirus infection, a team of researchers has described the clinical features of the lungs of deceased Covid-19 patients according to Coronavirus Vaccine News.

According to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Steven J Mentzer, a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a team of international researchers examined seven lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died of Covid-19.

They compared this group to seven autopsied lungs obtained from patients who died of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to influenza A (H1N1) infection as well as to 10 age-matched uninfected control lungs.

Both Covid-19 and influenza are the same category of virus and both infect the respiratory tract.

While the lungs shared some common features, there were distinctive features related to blood vessels seen in the lungs of patients who had died of Covid-19.

The research team observed that COVID-19 damaged the endothelial cells (vascular lining cells), causing severe endothelial injury.

diagnosis lungs
Covid-19 infects the respiratory tract. Pixabay

Patients with COVID-19 showed widespread blood clotting as well as new vessel growth — the latter likely a result of the body’s response to the virus.

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he team saw signs of a distinctive pattern of pulmonary vascular disease progression in some cases of COVID-19 compared to that of equally severe influenza virus infection.

Some of the key points from the study are: the damage to vascular cells helps explain the serious blot clotting observed in patients and a unique response, intussusceptive angiogenesis (IA), is the way the body compensates for the thrombosis and blood vessel damage.

This study shows the need for more research on angiogenesis and the vascular effects of Covid-19. (IANS)