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How to stay fit in flu season

Dr Ara DerMarderosian, an expert in nutraceuticals and natural foods, has provided guidance to change how you eat and break habits that pack on the pounds and compromise immunity.

Don’t play ‘food police’: Be conscious of what and how much you eat, but don’t overdo self-monitoring to the point that a healthy lifestyle shifts from being a choice to becoming overwhelming, pushing other activities away and interfering with relationships.

Pay attention to true hunger: Listen to your hunger signals and refrain from eating when you’re not hungry.

Eat slowly: Eat like a gourmet — enjoy each bite to have, chewing methodically, and truly enjoy the taste of your food.

Focus on eating: Do not watch television, read or work while you eat.

Avoid eating when stressed: Stress is a well-known cause of overeating and digestive issues, such as heartburn.

Everything in moderation: Eating food is pleasurable, so enjoy a few morsels of candy, but limit the quantity.

Hepatitis B vaccine at birth reduces liver cancer cases

There has been a dramatic drop in liver cancer cases among Taiwanese children following the use of hepatitis B vaccine at birth, according to a new study.

In July 1984, a universal vaccination program was initiated among newborn children in Taiwan to prevent the hepatitis B virus infection, which can predispose to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, a primary malignancy of the liver.

Tesearchers from National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei analysed the data from almost 2,000 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who were aged 6-29 years over a period of 20 years. Age- and sex-specific incidence were compared among vaccinated and unvaccinated birth cohorts with regression models.

Reduce sodium intake to improve public health

A Canadian study has stressed that reducing sodium intake should be a major public health priority for governments and nongovernmental organizations to improve population health.

While higher blood pressure is linked with cardiovascular disease, a diet high in sodium is known to cause high blood pressure, vascular and cardiac damage, stomach cancer, osteoporosis, and other diseases. Almost 1 billion adults worldwide have hypertension, and 17-30 per cent of these cases can be attributed to excessive sodium consumption.
In developed countries, almost 80 per cent of sodium intake is from processed food.
And the researchers led by Dr Kevin Willis, at Canadian Stroke Network, have said that the regulation of the food industry by the government will bring about the most effective change, although immediate voluntary action is desired.

Laser-based processes for better artificial joints

Scientists hope that laser-based processes may help create arterial stents and longer-lasting medical implants 10 times faster, and less expensively.

Yung Shin, Purdue’s Center for Laser-Based Manufacturing, stresses the need for new technologies to meet the huge global market for artificial hips and knees, insisting that the worldwide population of people younger than 40 who receive hip implants is expected to be 40 million annually by 2010, and double to 80 million by 2030. Besides speeding production to meet the anticipated demand, Shin says that another goal is to create implants that last longer than the ones that are made presently.

“We have 2,00,000 total hip replacements in the United States. They last about 10 years on average. That means if you receive an implant at 40, you may need to have it replaced three or four times in your lifetime,” he said.

In one of their techniques, the researchers deposit layers of a powdered mixture of metal and ceramic materials, melting the powder with a laser and then immediately solidifying each layer to form parts.

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