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Beetroot juice could lower BP, reduce heart attack risk

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According to recent study, a glass of beetroot juice could reduce heart attack risk and is beneficial for high blood pressure patients.

Beetroot is a good source of Dietary nitrate that dilates blood vessels to decrease blood pressure.

The findings, published in the Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, showed that the supplement can reduce overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system that occurs with heart disease and causes the heart to beat faster.

“The study found that acute nitrate supplementation using beetroot juice can decrease muscle sympathetic outflow at rest and during exercise,” researchers from the University of Guelph in Canada were quoted by express.co.uk.

In the study, the team investigated 20 young adult volunteers with the average age of 27, who took part in two tests where they received a nitrate supplement or a placebo.

The researchers recorded the blood pressure, heart rate and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) and measured muscle activity at rest and during handgrip exercise with the participants’ non-dominant hand.

The results revealed that the MSNA was lower when the volunteers drank beetroot juice compared to when they drank the placebo.

“Surprisingly, no differences in blood pressure were detected at rest or during exercise,” the researchers said.

“The study provides proof-of-concept that dietary nitrate supplementation can modulate central sympathetic outflow and suggest that the established cardiovascular benefits of dietary nitrate are likely to involve a neural contribution,” they noted.

A previous study by researchers at the University of Exeter has showed that a daily dose of raw beetroot juice can enable people to exercise for up to 16 per cent longer.

(IANS)

Health

IIT Hyderabad moots bag valve mask as alternative to ventilators

They estimate that it can be manufactured for less than Rs 5000, or one-hundredth the cost of a conventional machine.

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Hyderabad, March 30 : Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad Director Prof. B.S. Murty has mooted the idea of using a ‘bag valve mask’ as an alternative to ventilators to meet any surge in demand, both in India and other countries, to treat COVID-19 patients.

While the conventional ventilators are expensive, hard to produce, and not portable, bag valve masks are small devices, which are used to deliver breathing support in emergency situations that are inexpensive, easy to produce and portable, said Prof. B.S. Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad and Prof. V. Eswaran, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, IIT Hyderabad.

A bag valve mask, often called ‘Ambu Bag’ is used for resuscitation in emergency situations.

The professors note that while ‘bag valve masks’ are currently hand-powered and therefore not suitable for continuous use as a ventilator, it would be easy to design a similar device powered by an electrical source, which could be a car battery, apart from the conventional power supply. It could be made portable, and therefore adopted in villages and other areas without power supply and be inexpensive enough to manufacture in bulk.

They estimate that it can be manufactured for less than Rs 5000, or one-hundredth the cost of a conventional machine.

“The cost of manufacturing 6 million of these devices will be probably less than that of the inadequate number of 60,000 conventional machines. The cost is so low that it can be considered a single-use device that will be given over to single patient, and never used again. It needs to be manufactured, however, on an industrial scale, in millions, within a short time of a few months. There have been several designs proposed within India itself, with IIT Hyderabad having at least one proposed design,” they said.

They proposed that the government constitute a task force, which will carry out the tasks needed to start the production of low-cost ventilators within a maximum time-frame of two months.

The most sophisticated computer-controlled ventilators cost around Rs. 40 lakh while more modest foreign-made ones cost around Rs. 15 lakh with Indian-made ventilators costing around Rs. 6 lakh.

It is estimated that there are around 40,000 ventilators in India at present, mostly in the private hospitals. The Indian industry has a maximum manufacturing capacity of approximately 6,000 units per month, but even the Indian-made devices use a lot of foreign-made parts whose availability would now be uncertain, when every country would be maximizing their own ventilator production.

The professors said that assuming a low 6 per cent infection rate, in case COVID-19 continues to spread in India, in the Indian population of 1.3 billion, that would mean that around 80 million people would get affected. “Of these 80 million, at least 5 per cent (4 million patients) would require ventilators. Each of these 4 million patients would need the ventilators for around 21 days, thereby blocking that machine for at least that amount of time.”

Further, the machines are not portable and are found only in high-end hospitals in large cities, so patients from villages would need to be transported to these cities, which would be a logistics problem of unimaginable complexity. It is quite clear that even a mild 6 per cent Stage-3 would overwhelm the country’s capacity to a devastating degree. Even if the Indian industry was at peak production, it could manufacture only another 60,000 machines in the next 10 months, at a cost of Rs. 3,600 crore.

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Centre asks auto cos to manufacture ventilators

“Over 14,000 existing ?#ventilators earmarked for ?#Covid_19? patients in various hospitals in the country,” the ministry tweeted.

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New Delhi, March 30 : The Centre has asked automobile companies to manufacture ventilators to tide over any shortages in treating COVID-19 patients.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare tweeted that these companies are working towards producing ventilators.

Earlier, the government had asked several leading automobile players such as Maruti and Mahindra to look into the possibility of manufacturing of ventilators.

At present engineers of Mahindra Group are working on manufacturing prototypes of ventilators, while Maruti Suzuki India has entered into an arrangement with AgVa Healthcare to scale up the production of ventilators.

In the US, companies such as Ford Motor and GM have been roped in for manufacturing the life saving medical equipment.

Besides, the ministry tweeted that Bharat Electronics has been asked to manufacture 30,000 ventilators in the next two months in collaboration with local manufacturers.

“Over 14,000 existing ?#ventilators earmarked for ?#Covid_19? patients in various hospitals in the country,” the ministry tweeted.

Furthermore, the ministry tweeted that AgVa Healthcare, Noida has been given an order to manufacture 10,000 ventilators with a month.

The supplies from AgVa Healthcare are expected to commence in the second week of April.

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Disaster

129 shelters lodge 29,328 migrants in Haryana

Close vigil has been mounted on inter-state borders to check the movement of migrants and others from one state to another amid the lockdown.

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New Delhi, March 30 : Haryana has so far set 129 relief and shelter homes in different districts and provided board and lodging to 29,328 migrants at present amid the 21-day lockdown in the country, official sources said on Monday.

With hundreds of migrant labourers trying to return to their native states in the wake of the lockdown due to cornavirus spread, the state will also convert its stadiums into temporary jails to house these people in distress.

Chief Secretary Kesni Anand Arora has instructed district officials across the state to put such arrangements in place and also ensure board and lodging of these migrants. Officials have been directed to increase the number of shelter homes in their respective districts.

Holding a meeting through videoconference, she also ordered for the appointment of nodal officers to keep a tab on these migrants.

Close vigil has been mounted on inter-state borders to check the movement of migrants and others from one state to another amid the lockdown.

Screening facilities to check migrants of coronavirus symptoms have also been ensured, apart from quarantine of suspected cases.

Only those persons should be allowed to move around in Haryana during the lockdown who have been issued passes by appropriate authorities.

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