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Archive for September 11, 2012

Sautéed Broccoli with Floret Vinaigrette

Humble broccoli stems get their due in this light second course, which would also make a great side dish. Just trim the sweet stalks into spears. Lightly sear them, then drizzle with a dressing made from the charred florets. You’ll need eight large bunches of broccoli with thick stems (yes, eight!), which will leave you with leftover florets. Why not use them to make broccoli soup?
Saut

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 bunches broccoli with large, thick stems
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 450°. Remove tender leaves from broccoli stems; wash leaves and set aside. Separate florets from large stems. Leaving some stem attached, cut enough florets into 1″ pieces to measure 4 cups (set aside remaining florets for another use).
  • Cut bottom 1″ from stems and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, remove woody outer layer to expose the pale-green center (you’ll need to remove 2–3 layers). Quarter stems lengthwise. With the tip of a paring knife, make shallow crosshatches into flat sides, if desired (this increases surface area, allowing broccoli to absorb more flavor).
  • Place florets on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast florets, turning once, until charred, 15–20 minutes. Let cool; mince florets. Whisk shallot, vinegar, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil, then minced florets. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss broccoli stems and remaining 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil in a large bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear stems on all sides until browned in spots and crisp-tender, 3–4 minutes per batch. Divide among plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with reserved broccoli leaves.

Bonappetit

9/11 cancer victims to have treatment funded

The towers of the World Trade Center pour out smoke shortly after being struck by hijacked airliners in New York in this 11 September 2001 file photograph

The US federal government has added about 50 types of cancer to the list of illnesses to be covered by a 9/11 health treatment programme.

The decision entitles 70,000 surviving emergency service workers and other survivors to free care.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety announced the change on the eve of the attacks’ 11th anniversary.

Some 1,000 deaths have been linked to illnesses caused by toxic dust issuing from wreckage at Ground Zero.

Construction workers, emergency workers, office cleaners and others all fell ill in the decade after the attacks.

The institute said last June that it was in favour of expanding the existing $4.3bn 9/11 health programme to include people with 50 types of cancer, following a recommendation from an advisory committee.

Cancers to be covered include lung, colorectal, breast, bladder, leukaemia, melanoma and all childhood cancers.

The medical coverage comes under the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama last year.

Until now, most of the health compensation was for respiratory diseases linked to the toxic dust and fumes from the fallen towers.

John Howard, administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program established by the Zadroga law, said Monday’s announcement marked “an important step in the effort to provide needed treatment and care to 9/11 responders and survivors”.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement the decision would “continue to ensure that those who have become ill due to the heinous attacks on 9/11 get the medical care they need and deserve”.

The compensation has been held up by a dispute over whether there was evidence of a direct link between the World Trade Center tragedy and cancer.

BBC

Diabetes warning for people of Asian, African and Caribbean descent

By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News

Blood sugar test
Scientists are trying to find out why some ethnic groups much more likely to develop diabetes

British people of South Asian, African or African Caribbean descent are significantly more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than their European counterparts, researchers have warned.

Half had developed the disease by the age of 80 in a study of 4,200 people living in London – approximately twice the figure for Europeans.

The researchers said the rates were “astonishingly high”.

The findings were published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Losing control of blood sugar levels increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to lifestyle and diet.

Some ethnic groups are already known to have a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. However, one of the researchers at Imperial College London, Dr Therese Tillin, said it may be down to them simply getting the disease earlier in their lives and the figures would even out over time.

But the study showed: “The rates don’t slow down as you get older. The astonishing difference continues,” Dr Tillin said.


People from these communities should be screened earlier than the general population – from the age of 25 rather than 40”

Dr Iain FrameDiabetes UK

She warned this could be a sign of things to come with the potential for soaring levels of diabetes around the world as more people lived in cities and enjoyed a calorie-rich diet.

Mystery

The scientists involved said that fat, particularly around the waist, could explain some, but not all of the difference, between the ethnicities.

Fellow researcher, Dr Nish Chaturvedi, said genetics could not explain the difference either as there were similar levels of “risky genes” across all groups.

She said: “There is something else that puts them at higher risk and we’re not sure what that is.”

Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation and a GP, said: “Awareness is really low considering the magnitude of the problem, even I’m surprised by the figures.”

He also warned that failing to deal with diabetes would have huge financial consequences for the NHS.

The director of research at Diabetes UK, Dr Iain Frame, said it was “even more important” for people at high risk to manage their weight.

He said: “People from these communities should be screened earlier than the general population – from the age of 25 rather than 40.

“People need to know their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and get diagnosed as early as possible. We know that people from South Asian backgrounds can often be living with the condition for around 10 years before they are diagnosed, which increases the risk of complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

BBC

Hay fever vaccine: New method could be ‘cheaper and better’

By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News

Woman sneezing in a field of flowers

Sneezing through summer with a runny nose could become a thing of the past if researchers in London are successful at developing a new hay fever vaccine.

The researchers, at Imperial College London and King’s College London, say their “targeted” approach could lead to a cheaper and more effective vaccine.

In tests, they have injected into a layer of skin on patients they think is a “hotline” to the immune system.

Allergy UK said it was a very exciting development.

Treatment for hay fever is largely through drugs such as antihistamines or steroids. In very severe cases, tablets or injections of pollen under the skin can be given. The doses are gradually increased over three years to boost tolerance to pollen. However, the treatment is expensive.

The research team are trying much shallower injections into a part of the skin packed with white blood cells, part of the immune system. They argue their targeted approach means they can use tiny amounts of pollen – their dose is 2,000 times smaller than current injections – and also need fewer injections.

“It is a totally different route,” Dr Stephen Till told the BBC. “The injections are very, very superficial almost flat against the skin.”

Improvement

The results of early tests on 30 patients, published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, suggested the allergic reaction to grass pollen decreased with the vaccine.

A third of the patients were given six injections a fortnight apart. Initially the injection resulted in a large lump on the skin, but over time the size of the lump decreased.

The researchers said this suggested the allergic reaction to grass pollen was being switched off.

They are now starting a clinical trial with 90 patients to see if the vaccine can also reduce other symptoms such as sneezing.

Patrick Sachon explains how the Met Office counts pollen from the roof and labs of King’s College London

Dr Till said: “If this approach proves to be effective it would define a new scientific and clinical principle that could also be applied to other allergic diseases such as asthma and food allergies.

“This could be a pivotal study in immunological research.”

Maureen Jenkins, the director of clinical services at the charity Allergy UK, said this was a “very exciting development” which “offers hope for sufferers”.

She added: “The proposed vaccine, if successful, is much quicker and more straightforward than current immunotherapy treatment for hay fever, which takes years. It also has the potential to offer cost savings.

“If this series of injections proves effective in combating hay fever, it will be a wonderful step forward in tackling this common, but often underestimated allergy.”

A separate vaccine would have to be developed to help people with allergies to tree pollen.

BBC

Swallowed toothpick causes blood poisoning

Toothpick

The woman developed complications after swallowing a toothpick

A woman developed severe blood poisoning and a liver abscess after inadvertently swallowing a toothpick.

The toothpick perforated her gullet and lodged in a lobe of her liver.

The patient, who is not being identified, has now recovered after having the toothpick removed.

Such cases are rare, but the report, published by the British Medical Journal, says doctors need to look out for signs of “foreign bodies”, as detection can be challenging.

It is one of thousands of cases being logged at BMJ Case Reports, an online resource to allow doctors to share information about the treatment of difficult or unusual cases.

Swallowing foreign bodies is relatively common, particularly among children.

‘Difficult’

But the subsequent development of a liver abscess was rare, the authors, from Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital and Halifax University in Canada, said.

The condition has mostly been associated with inadvertently swallowing pins, nails, fish and chicken bones, rather than toothpicks.

But the authors said toothpicks could be “difficult to deal with effectively, because they don’t show up on conventional X-rays and symptoms are often non-specific and remote”.

In this particular case, the woman was admitted to hospital with generalised gut pain and fever, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure.

An abdominal ultrasound scan revealed a liver abscess and the presence of a toothpick lodged in her liver. She subsequently developed breathing difficulties and an infection as a result of blood poisoning and had to be admitted to intensive care.

After treatment with antibiotics, she recovered and the toothpick was removed using keyhole surgery, after which all her symptoms cleared.

In another case on a similar theme in BMJ Case Reports, a surgical swab left inside the abdomen after surgery only came to light when the patient experienced persistent changes in her normal bowel habit.

The swab was clearly visible on a computerised tomography (CT) scan. Removal of the swab resolved her symptoms.

BBC

大豆有助于降低奶瓶中双酚A对儿童的影响

研究人员发现,双酚A(BPA)会致使基因改变,这可能会改变儿童大脑的关键领域,从而产生焦虑。然而,富含大豆的饮食有助于减少这种影响。

双酚A,也称BPA,在工业上双酚A被用来合成聚碳酸酯(PC)和环氧树脂等材料。60年代以来就被用于制造塑料(奶)瓶、幼儿用的吸口杯、食品和饮料(奶粉)罐内侧涂层。

  据调查考证,大约93%的美国人体内被检测出了BPA。

BPA会影响儿童行为,大脑并改变婴儿的前列腺腺体。甚至还有些证据表明,BPA会改变女孩青春期到来的时间。

论文的作者,来自北卡罗来纳州生物学副教授Patisaul博士说,“我们知道BPA能导致各类焦虑,我们只是想弄明白个中的原因。”

这项研究是以动物为模型展开。研究人员给大鼠喂食大豆和富含大豆的饮食。一些怀孕和处于青春期的大鼠被放在含有BPA的环境下,这样在它们出生之前或长大成人之前,就可以对其进行跟踪研究。

研究人员发现,与人类相似,暴露于双酚A环境下的大鼠体内也吸收了这种化学物品。

喂食完大豆饮食的大鼠再接触BPA,与没有喂食大豆的大鼠相比,焦虑水平更低。研究人员认为,这些差异与大鼠体内基因表达是否改变有关。没有食用大豆的大鼠,大脑内一个被称为杏仁核的区域在BPA的作用下发生了变化,这种变化导致较高水平的焦虑。

研究人员发现了两种基因——雌激素受体β和黑素皮质素受体4,由于暴露在BPA环境下受到影响。这两种基因释放的催产素(一种荷尔蒙)会影响社会行为,如果受到感染会出现社会行为问题。

Patisaul博士补充说,“大豆中含有的植物雌激素能够影响内分泌系统,调节这种荷尔蒙。但目前尚不清楚是否是这种植物雌激素减轻了BPA对人体的影响。如果不是,希望通过未来进一步的研究来揭开其中的谜底。”

该研究发表在《PLOS ONE》杂志上。

医药日报发布

除憂祛愁‧養顏抗老‧大笑療法減壓‧提升免疫力

大笑療法有幾個方式,其中一個是:人彎下身體,一邊雙手朝左右邊輕快擺動各5次,一邊哈哈笑。然後,挺直身體,雙手朝天伸展,笑得更大聲3次,再深呼吸3次,此舉有助紓解不快情緒。(圖:光明日報)

 

(雪蘭莪‧八打靈再也訊)“笑"是很多人自然會出現的表情,也是紓解壓力的良方,簡單又免費。從自然醫學的角度來說,在笑的霎那,所有感覺很自然地融成輕鬆的狀態,達到放鬆的效果。因為笑擴張紅血球,以便輸送更多的血液到全身肌肉和器官,並抑製造成緊張的腎上腺素及可體素(cortisol),笑還可增強免疫系統,減少感染的機率,簡而言之,笑的好處不勝枚舉。自然療法博士指出,世上最佳的美容養顏方法就是“笑",經濟實惠,不過,笑也有方法,講究正確呼吸,換句話說,呼吸和笑是融為一體的,人能真正笑得開懷,呼吸暢通,健康與活力就會常在。

笑和呼吸須融為一體

自然療法博士菲立古瑪(Dr.Dhilip Kumar)重申,“笑"是免費的最佳抗老化的方法,因為它會幫助大腦分泌“安多酚"(endorphin),這是一種腦內嗎啡,可讓人產生愉快、減輕身心疼痛的物質。而呼吸是笑裡頭不可或缺的一部份,意思是說,怎樣笑和呼吸將決定我們是否“笑對了",笑對了就能使身心處在愉悅狀態,活力及健康也就能與我們在一起。

他在由慈愛基金會主辦的《大笑療法》講座上披露,“大笑療法"源自印度,每次所費時間是45分鐘至1小時。

笑可擴展我們的胸腔,使心中的郁悶一掃而空,達到減憂祛愁之效,此舉可減少我們的情緒障礙,遠離癌症和精神疾病的騷擾。

“有臨床研究證實,當我們的心裡堆積很多心事,老是愁眉不展,就會引發癌症找上門來。笑則是讓我們開懷,歡樂的最佳方法,又不用花錢。"本身也是一名瑜伽老師的他現場示範笑與呼吸的關連,有著怎樣的影響。即人在一呼一吸之間,也是讓內臟做運動或獲得按摩的時候,得以輸送更多氧氣到全身上下;進而使氣血暢通,陰陽平衡。他鼓勵民眾跟著他到大自然去學習如何正確呼吸,一切免費,因為呼吸是老天爺的恩賜。

“我們呼氣時,腹部是陷下去的,吸氣時,腹部是鼓起來的,我們每天能夠做深呼吸數次,能讓內臟獲得按摩,使腸道蠕動,有助排便。"他認為,中國哲學思想博大精深,強調“慢慢"是面對生活的不二法門,不僅教導人們如何養生保健,也倡導人們如何養心護意,和大自然合而為一。

另一半是身體須愛護

致力於推廣自然療法的菲立古瑪強調,人們以為配偶、男女朋友是自己的另一半,事實上,你的另一半是你的身體,不是其他人。所以,我們要學會愛護和尊重自己的身體,提昇內在健康,才可能擁有真正健康的身體和生活。

他指出,很多人向老天爺祈求健康的同時卻不實踐健康的生活方式,像三更半夜不睡覺,卻在嘛嘛檔吃印度炒麵,試問如此不規律的生活方式如何與健康同在?我們追求健康,就必須貫徹有助健康的生活方式,也才可能談及如何幫助別人。

“幫助別人是先從照顧你自己的健康開始,從家裡開始。當這一切做得好時,你才有條件去從事慈善工作,造福人群。"

天然食物最健康

菲立古瑪認為,適當的醫療檢查是必要的,但萬萬不可視藥物為萬靈丹,那不過是暫時的緩解。食物才是我們最好的藥物,這說的是我們要學會辨別哪些食物對身體有益,哪些不適合,方能阻止疾病登門拜訪。他舉例,最好的食物是天然生長而成的,比如植物經過太陽和雨露的滋養,充滿正面能量,不含任何添加劑、防腐劑。我們食用這些天然食物會使我們感到活力充沛,感覺舒適,而不會有所謂的不適如腹脹等等。

他舉例,橙與橙汁哪個對我們較好?答案是後者,因為當橙鮮榨成汁飲用,不加糖、水和冰,身體較容易吸收其八成的酵素,而新鮮果汁宜在半小時內喝完,以免氧化。

自言30年來不吃椰漿飯和印度炒麵的他提及,日常飲食中有些醬料美其名是由甚麼原料製成,其實不然,而是化學合成物加工而成。如果我們長年累月食用這些醬料,就令我們的舌頭失去敏銳、遲鈍而無法嚐出食物的天然味道。一旦有機會吃到天然食物,則會覺得這些食物不好吃,本末倒置。

他授招時鼓勵人們飲用“太陽水",因為太陽光是充滿能量的光。方法是將煮過的水裝入玻璃瓶曬太陽,時間是從早上太陽升起至下午1點左右即可,即使這段時間下雨也不會影響其吸收陽光。

鼓勵飲用太陽水

另一方面,菲立古瑪表示,健康的人每天的小便次數平均是8次,大便3次。若有便秘,很大可能是我們的姿勢不良,加上長時間坐著不動,阻礙腹部肌肉的伸展,影響氣血的循環,以致氣滯和影響大腸蠕動。他也提及,坐廁馬桶不利於排便,會阻礙腹部肌肉的運動,改為蹲式為宜。

起床首件事自我祝福

菲立古瑪強調,很多人以為,起床的第一件事是喝水,然後梳洗等等。其實,當人在睜開眼睛之前,可先在心裡自我祝福。好像“我將迎向美好的一天,而我也選擇這樣做",這種正面想法植入腦袋後,立竿見影。正所謂:“你思故你在",思維的力量是很巨大的,你想的是甚麼就會做出甚麼來,因此,一定要保持思維清晰和純淨,然後,才是起身和喝一杯水,並照鏡子查看自己的舌象如何,才輪到刷牙洗臉等。

他對近期發生的很多自殺事件感到惋惜,因為自殺者找不到生命意義,他們多感到內在的空虛、失望和憤怒。他分享,生命不是由發生甚麼事來決定,而是我們以怎樣的態度應對所遭遇的事情。所謂錯誤也是一堂課,讓我們從中學習智慧。

菲立古瑪覺得,我們無法逃避壓力,也沒辦法改變大環境,我們要學習懂得和壓力相處。我們要不時自問:“我在哪裡?",是否是自己讓負面想法和壓力有機可乘?

他強調,我們所做的一切是由於我們喜歡和享受其中,且不求回報,這樣的想法能夠協助我們減少很多不必要的煩惱。

“當我們去探訪患者或是需要協助的人時,是他們讓我們有機會學習如何珍惜我們的幸福和感恩。

我們要專注於所擁有的東西,而非追求我們不能擁有的東西。臨床上,逾80%的人生病都是由於情緒欠佳所致,因為他們煩惱於他們沒有的東西。"他認為,人的慾望無窮,量力而為即可。試想一想,人賺得多,也花得多,很多人為了應付日益增加的開銷,拼命工作,壓力有增無減,引來疾病的虎視眈眈,最後,卻是失去健康和家庭生活,得不償失。(光明日報/良醫‧報導:黃秀儀)

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