Saturday November 18, 2017

Poor Nutrition During Pregnancy can Cause Early Aging of Baby’s Heart

The poor nutrition can cause diabetes and hypertension which are a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke

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Represenatational image. Pixabay

November 7, 2016: Children born to mothers who were undernourished during pregnancy are more likely to suffer early ageing of the heart, a research has showed.

The animal study found that moderately reducing a mother’s food intake can make it more likely that the baby’s organs will show increased disease susceptibility and early ageing.

These changes in the heart could contribute to decreased quality of life, decreased exercise capability, and increased vulnerability to other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension — major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the study said.

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Understanding the effect of maternal nutritional stress on ageing of the offspring will allow for interventions early in life, to prevent later-life heart problems, said a team of researchers led by Geoffrey Clarke from the University of Texas at San Antonio, US.

Poor nutrition in pregnant mothers can cause early ageing of baby's heart Click To Tweet

For the study, the team used MRI scanning to analyse the hearts of male and female baboons whose mothers ate 30 per cent less than the normally fed baboons.

They found that the offspring of baboons, which ate less, showed signs of reduced heart function that comes with age.

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By five years of life, equivalent to 20 human years, the structure and function of the heart were already impaired.

“Women’s health during pregnancy is of fundamental importance to the lifetime health of their babies. Society must pay attention to improving women’s nutrition before and during pregnancy to prevent these adverse outcomes in babies,” said Peter Nathanielsz, Director at the University of Wyoming in the US.

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The study was published in The Journal of Physiology. (IANS)

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Tired of Taking Antibiotics? Sugars in Breast Milk May Protect You Against Bacterial Infections, Says New Study

According to the data by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, bacterial resistance to antibiotics causes about 23,000 deaths annually

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Breast milk is believed to be the healthiest nutrition
Feeding your baby breast mil for the first 6 months is recommended for the nutritional benefits it provides. Pixabay
  • Bacterial resistance to antibiotics causes more about 23,000 deaths annually.
  • Breast milk helps newborns fight bacterial infections
  • Researchers discover natural sugars that can reduce human dependence on antibiotics

Washington DC, August 22, 2017 : Newborns and infants are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and diseases. In the face of medical challenges, young mothers tend to look for remedies that cater to the problem with the least possible side-effects. In a latest study by a Washington DC University, it has been revealed that the mother’s milk consists of a unique blend of fats, proteins, and sugars that help protect babies against bacterial infection.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, mother’s milk is supposed to be the only nutrition for a newborn for the first six months.

Breastfeeding is one of the key phases to nurture a newborn. Combined with antibodies and nutrients, the practice is not only beneficial to the baby but for the mothers as well.

Breast milk addresses a multitude of problems and diseases in children,

  • Lowers risk of allergies and asthma
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses and chances of diarrhea.

Apart from these, researches have not revealed that it also helps babies fight against bacterial infections.

ALSO READ: What Mothers are Complaining about this World Breastfeeding Week 2017

An interdisciplinary team of doctors and chemists at the Vanderbilt University have discovered that carbohydrates in a mother’s milk possess a complex blend of antibacterial properties. Additionally, the research also revealed that apart from their own qualities, the presence of these carbohydrates also enhances the efficacy of antibacterial proteins present in the milk.

Calling it an example of a comprehensive antimicrobial action by the carbohydrates present in the mother’s milk,  according to Steven Townsend, the director of the study, “One of the remarkable properties of these compounds is that they are clearly non-toxic, unlike most antibiotics”, as per a report by ANI.

According to the data by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, bacterial resistance to antibiotics causes about 23,000 deaths annually.

Additionally researchers asserted that pregnant women are the most common hosts to group B strep bacteria, which cause severe infections in newborns. These infections often lead to pneumonia or sepsis, and in extreme cases death due to the absence of properly developed defense mechanisms in newborns.

However, group B strep bacteria rarely infect babies.

This motivated the researches to undertake a research to address the growing number of deaths and to probe whether the mother’s milk contains specific protective compounds that fight these bacteria in babies.

Previously, it was believed by biochemists that proteins are the most important followed by carbohydrates. “Far less is known about the function of sugars, and as a trained glycoprotein chemist, I wanted to explore their role,” asserted Townsend.

The Research

For the research, the carbohydrate in human milk, also known as oligosaccharides, was collected from different donor samples. The samples were then summarized with a mass spectrometry technique that is used to identify large biomolecules. The obtained compound was then added to strep cultures which were then observed using a microscope.

The study showed that the sugars found in breast milk in such cases can act as anti-biofilms agents. To put it simply, the researchers observed that the sugars not only sensitized the target bacteria but also killed them. Some of the oligosaccharides directly fought the infecting bacteria. Additionally the carbohydrate compounds also broke down the biofilms that the bacteria form to protect themselves.

ALSO READ: World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2016 Focuses on Using Antibiotics with Care

It ha been revealed that these powerful sugars can potentially become part of an antibacterial treatment for adults and infants alike, thus reducing our dependence on artificially produced antibiotics.

This study has been published and is now a part of the ACS Infectious Diseases journal.


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Know What Supermodel Noyonika Chatterjee Has to Say about Hair Styling During Monsoon Weather and More

Worrying that the rainy season will ruin your hair? Read what supermodel Noyonika Chatterjee has to say!

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Hair styling during monsoons
Balancing between the delicate care that hair needs and sporting a trendy hairstyle can be challenging during monsoons. Pixabay

August 21, 2017: Falling asleep to the sound of raindrops and waking up to watch them trickle down your car window; long drives in the monsoon surely are magical. But once you’re out of the car, the same monsoon turns into a nightmare for your beautiful tresses. To survive these monsoon blues, supermodel Noyonika Chatterjee gives primary importance to the true texture of her hair and asserts that that should be of primary importance when styling them during the rainy season.

Monsoon weather is synonymous with lots of frizz, hair fall and dandruff. The monsoon also brings with it dullness to your hair.

“It’s very important to keep the true texture of your hair in mind when styling your hair in the monsoon, as maintenance during this period is tough” believes Noyonika. According to her, the best way to manage hair during this time of the year is to use products that suit one’s hair texture. “I use a bit of extra conditioner, or use a leave-in conditioner, to keep the frizz at bay,” she added.

Also Read: Are you Traveling in Monsoon? Follow these Tips to look Stylish!

Noyonika started modelling at the age of 13. With her unconventional looks, she rode high in the modelling industry for a considerable time, with many people identifying her as the Naomi Campbell of India. More recently, she got associated with luxury hair styling brand TIGI as an image consultant to train and impart soft skills to candidates of TIGI Backstage Heroes platform. “Grooming in any job and industry is necessary. But in a field like hair styling, it holds even greater importance,” she said.

Asserting the principle of ‘By Hairdressers; For Hairdressers’, TIGI is a luxury hair care and styling brand which recently expanded their curriculum to help budding hair stylists finesse their personalities, and brought Noyonika on board to impart soft skills knowledge and help the candidates develop the right attitude and confidence that is needed to emerge as winners in the industry.

“If a hairstylist is well groomed, polite and a good conversationalist, it evokes confidence in the client,” said the former supermodel who realized the importance of grooming very early in her career. She believes it is a hairstylist’s job to sell a hairstyle, and that requires a combination of skills and talents.

Extending her support to TIGI’s unique approach of bringing the real heroes working backstage to the front, she believes competitions not only establish hair styling as a justifiable career but also help develop, expand and promote the hair industry in India.

According to the report by ANI, Noyonika swears by TIGI products and calls herself a fan of the brand. “It is always great to associate with a product you truly enjoy,” she said.


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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)