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Eating spinach, beetroot could help prevent vision loss

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Sydney, Oct 22: Eating vegetable nitrates, found mainly in green leafy vegetables and beetroot, could prevent macular degeneration, a common cause of vision loss in people over age 50, new research has found.

People who ate between 100 to 142 mgs (milligrams) of vegetable nitrates each day had a 35 per cent lower risk of developing early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than people who ate less than 69 mgs of vegetable nitrates each day, showed the findings published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Spinach has approximately 20mg of nitrate per 100g, while beetroot has nearly 15mg of nitrate per 100g.

“This is the first time the effects of dietary nitrates on macular degeneration risk has been measured,” said lead researcher Bamini Gopinath from Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia.

For the study, the researchers interviewed more than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 49 and followed them over a 15-year period.

“If our findings are confirmed, incorporating a range of foods rich in dietary nitrates — like green leafy vegetables and beetroot — could be a simple strategy to reduce the risk of early macular degeneration,” Gopinath said.

The research did not show any additional benefits for people who exceeded 142mgs of dietary nitrate each day.

Age is the strongest known risk factor for AMD and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50.

There is currently no cure for the disease.

IANS

Disaster

Serum Institute CEO has a question for govt: ‘Will it have Rs 80k cr to give each Indian Covid vaccine’

Serum Institute of India has the licence to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one being developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax.

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New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala Saturday asked if the government will have Rs 80,000 crore available over the next one year to buy and distribute the Covid-19 vaccine.

Terming it as “next concerning challenge” that needs to be tackled, Poonawala tweeted, “Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India.”

He also tagged the prime minister’s office in his tweet. “I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide, vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution,” he added.

SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has the licence to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one being developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax. The Oxford University vaccine is currently undergoing phase-II and phase-III trials in India. Earlier, the institute had announced that it will make the Oxford vaccine available at USD 3 for low-and-middle-income countries including India.

Apart from bringing some of the leading contenders of a coronavirus vaccine to India, the Serum is developing its own vaccine as well. It is partnering with SpyBiotech, a spin-off of Oxford University, for this purpose. Their vaccine candidate has entered into combined phase-I/phase-II clinical trials, which are being done in Australia. The trials began in the first week of September.

Meanwhile, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that as the largest vaccine producing country of the world, India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help people across the world. “As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis,” PM Modi said.

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Eyesight problems rising among kids

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

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Lucknow, Sep 26 : With children spending more time on computers and mobile phones for online classes and gaming, cases of eye sight problems are on the rise.

Children and teens between the ages of 6 and 18 years have been found to be suffering from convergence efficiency, computer vision syndrome, reflective errors and other eye sight problems.

According to rough estimates, nearly 40 per cent children have complained of various eye and vision related problems in recent weeks.

Majority of the children are being diagnosed with convergence insufficiency — a condition in which the eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects. This condition causes one eye to turn outward instead of inward with the other eye, creating double or blurred vision, said Anil Rastogi, a well-known ophthalmologist.

Children working long hours on computers and smart phones usually complain of itching or burning in eyes, watering, loss of retention power, besides headache and eye pain, Rastogi added.

Shikha Kumar, another ophthalmologist, said that since the national lockdown, most children have been found to be spending eight to 10 hours on electronic devices.

“They are either attending online classes, or watching cartoons or television and playing video games. Parents feel that this is the best way to keep them occupied but this prolonged exposure to electronic devices is playing havoc with their eyesight,” she pointed out.

Doctors say that children are being diagnosed with computer vision syndrome where they complain of pain, redness, dryness, blurring of vision, double vision and other head and neck sprains.

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

Doctors suggest eye exercises, frequent breaks from TV/computer/ mobile phone screens to prevent permanent damage to the eyes.

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People aged between 30-40 coming with new-found cardio issues

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New Delhi, Sep 26 : Respiratory disorders caused by Covid-19 have taken a centre-stage during the pandemic, overshadowing other burgeoning health issues, particularly cardiovascular disorders (CVDs). With the recent uptick in heart diseases over the last few months, people are facing the likelihood of cardiovascular concerns at a large scale.

The incidences of new-onset and worsening heart problems are being highlighted by medical experts. However, a worrying trend is being noticed by them where patients, coming with new-found CVD aged between 30 and 40 while the majority hails from metro cities.

“We are observing a notable shift in the trend of CVDs where people in their 30-40s are getting heart attacks and other cardiac problems, from metros like Delhi and Mumbai,” observed Dr Partap Chauhan, Director at Jiva Ayurveda, a leading Ayurvedic telemedicine organization in India.

“We had the maximum number of cases from the Maharashtra region (150+ cases), followed by Delhi (200+ cases), Uttar Pradesh (300+ cases) and Haryana (110+ cases), of which around 1,000 were males and 480 were females,” he informed.

Notably, most of these cases also had an observable trend in co-morbidity. “Our doctors consulted 670 cases for hypertension, followed by 216 cases of Hypercholesterolemia and 174 cases of Hridroga (other heart diseases),” Chauhan shared.

Besides, he also estimated that more than cases related to cardiovascular problems have increased by 50 per cent.

“Before lockdown, our doctors consulted 748 cases for cardiovascular diseases, during the complete lockdown, we got 322 cases of CVDs and post-lockdown, our doctors have consulted around 776 cases through our telemedicine centre and clinics,” Chauhan added.

Weighing on the sudden spurt in cardiovascular issues, Chauhan listed certain aggregators that contributed to the rise. “The unavailability of quality medical care and the fear of contagion is one of the few common causes for the worsening condition of patients with pre-existing heart problems. In addition to that, the sudden and disproportionate increase in causative factors such as stress, anxiety, obesity, and physical inactivity is pushing the pre-CVD segment of people in their late 40s and with existing comorbidities into becoming new patients of CVD,” he explained.

He also said that emotional factors such as Isolation, loss of employment, financial dilemmas, and the emotional burden of being away from family members or bereavement have made matters worse. “The psychological effects (loneliness, stress, anxiety, isolation, unemployment fear and economic burden) of the pandemic combined with other lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking, irregular eating habits, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity may increase CVD cases during the pandemic,” Chauhan added.

Meanwhile, stress, bad diet, and emotional turmoil is taking a toll on the heart. Chauhan said that adopting a healthy lifestyle, and adding yoga and herbs in your daily routine can help.

“Over a period, it becomes weak and coupled with incorrect lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking alcohol or eating junk food, the already high risk of developing heart diseases goes up. Practising yoga and pranayama could reduce stress levels. A gentle head massage or full body massage with oil relieves tension and reduces the load on your heart. Switch off highly charged TV broadcasts if it is causing you stress. Spend time cultivating what makes you happy, healthy and gives you peace,” he advised.

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