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Exotic spice tamarind cures dry, itchy eyes

An eye drop made from the seeds of tamarind tree is the new effective treatment for dry, sore, itchy eyes.

Rohto Dry Eye Relief, made by a Japanese firm, has been clinically proven to treat the condition, the Daily Express reported.

The solution is a combination of hyaluronic acid and a polysaccharide made from the seeds of the tamarind tree.

Clinical trials have shown that volunteers using the Rohto eye drops had a five-fold improvement in their symptoms compared with a group using only hyaluronic acid.

The condition called “dry eye” syndrome affects up to a third of the population at some point in their lives and occurs where there is a low level of tear (or aqueous humour) production in the eye or an excessive loss of tears from evaporation or a combination of both.

Women are believed to be affected nine times more than men. Post-menopausal women tend to suffer more as they make fewer tears. Increasing levels of air pollution also mean our eyes are exposed to more potential irritants and bacteria.

Second mission to explore underwater mountains
Scientists are set to launch a mission that will take scientists to study underwater mountains in the Indian Ocean.

Scientists will spend six weeks aboard the RRS James Cook, a UK research vessel, to study seamounts – underwater mountains that rise up to at least 1000 metres above the sea bed.

“Because of their interactions with underwater currents, the biodiversity that develops around them is remarkably rich,” the BBC quoted Aurelie Spadone, team member and IUCN’s marine programme officer, as saying.

“They attract a great diversity of species and act as a type of ‘bed and breakfast’ for deep-sea predators such as sharks, which often feed on seamount communities,” she said.

Modern fishing practices like deep sea trawling are a big threat to ocean biodiversity and this expedition hopes to understand its impact on ecosystems supported by seamounts.
“Many of them grow and reproduce slowly, which makes them particularly vulnerable to overexploitation,” said director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme.

Dads’ depression may lead to emotional problems in kids
Children who live with a father who has mental health problems and depression have higher rates of behavioural and emotional problems themselves, according to a new study.

Though the effect of mother’s depression upon her children is a well known, this study is the first to the reveal the influence a father’s depression may have on his children, the Daily Mail reported.

The team, led by Dr Michael Weitzman at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, looked at a nationally representative sample of almost 22,000 children over four years.
They found that 11 per cent of children with depressed fathers had behavioural and emotional problems.

For children without depressed parents, the figure was just six per cent; while for a child of a depressed mother, the number was 19 per cent.

It is believed that a parents’ depression affects the way he or she interacts with a child, in turn contributing to a child’s behaviour. Dr Weitzman told Good Morning America that the study is “remarkable” because it is the first of its kind.

Vitamin D deficiency a bigger problem in obese teens
Obese teenagers need significantly more vitamin D than their leaner counterparts, say researchers in a new study which suggests that current recommended guidelines are sorely insufficient.

Obese adolescents absorb vitamin D in their fat stores, preventing it from being utilized in the blood and are about half as efficient as their leaner counterparts at metabolising their benefits, researchers explain.

After giving a group of obese teens either a placebo or vitamin D3 supplements of 4,000 IU/day for six months, scientists found that while the amount may be the maximum level set by the IOM, it was safe and effective at improving teens’ vitamin D status.

In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists said that baked goods like bread could also provide a good opportunity to carry vitamin D and fill the continuing nutritional gap.

Bread made with vitamin D2-rich yeast was shown to be as beneficial in lab experiments as vitamin D3 which is found in sunshine and foods like canned salmon, sardines and cheese, scientists said.

Vitamin D enables the body to absorb calcium and is essential for maintaining strong bones.

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