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Breast health and you

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October 25 Oct 25 : Maintaining good breast health is important for the overall well-being of a woman. Breast health is not just synonymous to keeping ‘Cancer at bay, but it is also about dealing with unexplained pain in the breasts or those mysterious lumps which keep appearing and disappearing at will – mostly, making you wonder if you are just over-doing the breast self-examination! Well, be assured you are not imagining either of these discomforts, nor are they related to your periods.

Noted gynecologist, Dr. Priti Vyas says, “Women go through various types of breast discomfort and often shy away from discussing them. Some of them even fear being diagnosed with something critical, which is actually not the case. Every lump that you encounter in your breasts is not cancerous! Stop and take a breath. Before you jump to conclusions it is good to evaluate yourself for other potential disorders of breasts.”

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Symptoms of Breast Cancer You Shouldn’t Ignore

The first step towards ensuring well-being of breasts begins with examining yourself for any symptoms or changes in your breasts. Here are some of the most common symptoms which are often overlooked and end up causing a lot of discomfort:

Breast tenderness and pain – which at times may increase in intensity closer to periods

  • Lumpy, free-moving masses near the armpit
  • Breast lumps – which fluctuate in size, appear and disappear
  • Discharge – Green or dark brown non-bloody nipple discharge

The above symptoms could be seen across age-groups, in most cases these could be diagnosed as fibrocystic breast disease or just tiny clusters of calcium. Breast disorders comprise approximately 40 per cent of the reasons for women’s visit to diagnostic centers. Worldwide, nearly 200000 breast disorders are diagnosed annually.

Dr. Vyas, adds, “an estimated 50 per cent of women between the ages of 20 and 50 are the most affected. It does not correlate with an increased risk of breast cancer. It is imperative that women keep track of any changes in the breasts and symptoms. Carrying out self- examination as well as check-ups with a General Physician is suggested in order to have early detection of new lumps.”

The expert tells us more on the treatment and how to avoid these disorders:

  • Importance of wearing a properly fitted and supportive bra – Eases the pain and discomfort
  • Your gynecologist may prescribe a course of pain relieving medication or birth control pills to help relieve the symptoms
  • Some women find if they eliminate caffeine, lower the amount of salt and saturated fats in their diet, it can help reduce breast tenderness
  • Vitamin E supplements, Evening primrose oil, Dietary Flaxseed can help to reduce breast pain symptoms.

Please see your gynecologist or general practitioner if –

New lump develops in the breast or underarm (armpit).

  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

Note: The Signs mentioned above can be warning signs of breast cancer. Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements. (Inputs from P&G Health)

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Health

Keto diet may fight against Alzheimer’s disease

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Washington, Dec 10 : Eating low-carb and high-fat diet can help you fight against Alzheimer’s disease, by protect neurons from death during the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research in mice.

“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries and white bread.

Early in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, the brain becomes over excited, potentially through the loss of inhibitory, or GABAergic, interneurons that keep other neurons from signaling too much.

Because interneurons require more energy compared to other neurons, they may be more susceptible to dying when they encounter the Alzheimer’s disease protein amyloid beta.

Amyloid beta has been shown to damage mitochondria – the metabolic engine for cells – by interfering with SIRT3, a protein that preserves mitochondrial functions and protects neurons.

Researchers from the Society for Neuroscience genetically reduced levels of SIRT3 in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mice with low levels of SIRT3 experienced a much higher mortality rate, more violent seizures and increased interneuron death compared to the mice from the standard Alzheimer’s disease model and control mice.

However, the mice with reduced levels of SIRT3 experienced fewer seizures and were less likely to die when they ate a diet rich in ketones, a specific type of fatty acid.

The diet also increased levels of SIRT3 in the mice.

“Increasing SIRT3 levels via ketone consumption may be a way to protect interneurons and delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” report researchers.

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New Mediterranean diet lets you eat meat without any guilt

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Mediterranean diet

Sydney, Dec 9 : Researchers have developed a new version of Mediterranean diet that includes meat to cater to Western tastes and also deliver health benefits.

A typical Mediterranean diet includes extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, moderate amount of fish and red wine, and low consumption of red meat, sweet and processed foods.

The new version of the Mediterranean diet includes 2-3 serves (250g) of fresh lean pork each week.

The findings published in the journal Nutrients showed that the Mediterranean-Pork (Med-Pork) diet delivers cognitive benefits.

“The Mediterranean diet is widely accepted as the healthiest diet and is renowned for delivering improved cardiovascular and cognitive health, but in Western cultures, the red meat restrictions of the diet could make it hard for people to stick to,” said Alexandra Wade from University of South Australia.

“By adding pork to the Mediterranean diet, we’re broadening the appeal of the diet, while also delivering improved cognitive function,” Wade said.

This study compared the cognitive effects of people aged 45-80 years and at risk of cardiovascular disease following a Med-Pork or a low-fat diet (often prescribed to negate risk factors for cardiovascular disease).

The results showed the Med-Pork intervention outperformed the low-fat diet, delivering higher cognitive processing speeds and emotional functioning, both markers of good mental health.

“Improving people’s processing speed shows the brain is working well,” Wade said.

“Then, when you add the fact that pork production emits only a fraction of the greenhouse gases compared with beef, and the Med-Pork diet is really ticking all boxes — taste, health and environment,” Wade said.

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Time-restricted eating benefits those at risk for diabetes

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New York: Researchers have found that people who are at high risk of developing diabetes improved their health when they consumed all of their meals over a span of just 10 hours, or less over a period of 12 weeks.

The study published in the journal cell Metabolism, reported a form of intermittent fasting, called time-restricted eating, improved the health of study participants who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, that increase the risk for adverse health issues, from heart disease and diabetes to stroke.

The researchers from University of California in US, found that when participants restricted their eating to 10 hours or less over a period of 12 weeks, they lost weight, reduced abdominal fat, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol and enjoyed more stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

“Time-restricted eating is a simple dietary intervention to incorporate, and we found that participants were able to keep the eating schedule,” said study co-author Satchin Panda from the University of California in US.

“Eating and drinking everything (except water) during a 10-hour window allows your body to rest and restore for 14 hours at night. Your body can also anticipate when you will eat, so it can prepare the body to optimize metabolism,” Panda added.

Time-restricted eating (eating all calories within a consistent 10-hour window) allows individuals to eat in a manner that supports their circadian rhythms and their health.

Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour cycles of biological processes that affect nearly every cell in the body.

Erratic eating patterns can disrupt this system and induce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including increased abdominal fat and abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides.

The study involved 19 participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, with 16 taking at least one medication, like a statin.

Participants used an app created by Panda called myCircadianClock to log when and what they ate during an initial two-week baseline period followed by three months of 10-hour time-restricted eating per day.

They were told they could decide what time to eat and how much to eat as long as all food consumption occurred within a 10-hour window.

At the end of the 12 weeks, participants averaged a three per cent reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI) and a four per cent reduction in abdominal/visceral fat.

Many also experienced reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure and improvements in fasting glucose. Seventy percent of participants reported an increase in sleep satisfaction or in the amount they slept.

“Patients also reported that they generally had more energy, and some were able to have their medications lowered or stopped after completing the study,” said study researcher Pam Taub from University of California.


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