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President Trump praises, thanks PM Modi profusely for hydroxychloroquine

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New Delhi/Washington, April 9 : The US president Donald Trump on Thursday profusely praised and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his decision to supply hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the anti-malaria drug used for COVID-19 disease, to some of the most affected nations.

In his morning tweet, President Trump said, “Extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends. Thank you India and the Indian people for the decision on HCQ. Will not be forgotten! Thank you Prime Minister Narendra Modi for your strong leadership in helping not just India, but humanity, in this fight!”

President Trump’s admiration for Modi and gratitude towards India, put rest to several speculative media reports that claimed that the Indian government had taken the decision to lift the ban on the export of HCQ under the “threat of retaliation” in international trade by the US.

At a White House press briefing on Monday President Trump, in response to a question whether he was worried about “retaliation to the US ban on export of medical goods” from India, had said, “I would be surprised if he (Modi) would, you know, because India does very well with the US… I spoke to him Sunday morning, called him, and I said, we’d appreciate you allowing our supply (of HCQ) to come out. If he doesn’t allow it to come out, that would be ok. But of course, there may be retaliation. Why wouldn’t there be?”

Trump’s response to the reporter’s leading question was construed by some sections of Indian media as a threat even as the government denied that it had taken the decision under any pressure.

In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, India on Tuesday decided to licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to neighbouring countries who are dependent on Indian capabilities. India will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations which have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic, a ministry of external affairs statement said.

The US as of now has the highest number of the novel coronavirus cases in the world, with over 418,000 cases of infections and over 14,200 deaths. Relatively, India has managed to contain the pandemic with 178 deaths and over 5900 cases of infections.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has notified lifting restrictions on 14 drugs. Paracetamol and HCQ, have been kept in a licensed category and their demand status is to be continuously monitored. HCQ is being used to treat COVID-19 patients and as prophylactic by the frontline health care workers deployed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Modi government had imposed a ban on export of the drug since the coronavirus outbreak hit India.

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Moderna says its Covid-19 vaccine works against new variants

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 US-based drugmaker Moderna on Monday said its Covid-19 vaccine retains neutralising activity against emerging variants first identified in the UK and South Africa.

A two-dose regimen of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be protective against emerging variants detected to date, the company said.

Moderna, however, said it would test a vaccine booster against the South Africa variant in pre-clinical trials to see if that would be more effective in boosting antibodies against the variant and other future variants.

Although all viruses mutate constantly, scientists are concerned about the mutations discovered in Britain and South Africa because they are believed to be capable of altering key functions of the virus.

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The goodness of Argan oil

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Argan oil has traditionally been used topically to improve the health of skin, hair, and nails. It contains a number of different beneficial properties and vitamins that form a powerful combination to boost skin health.

Dr Geeta Grewal – cosmetic surgeon, beauty and health wellness expert explains some prominent uses of the oil for health, skin and hair.

Night Moisturiser

Argan oil absorbs quickly and does not leave an oily residue. In the winter months you may need a second drop but remember to use sparingly. This oil is safe and gentle to use around your eyes. Vitamin A and Vitamin E present in the oil can help to reduce fine wrinkles and keep this delicate area moisturized.

Skin Toner

Toning is an important step in your skin care routine. For an all-over glow, add 3-4 drops of your favourite toner, make your own chemical-free, natural toner at home.

Exfoliant

To experience the argon oil benefits while exfoliating, pay special attention to acne-prone areas and areas that are dry.

Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while giving you a younger, fresher complexion. With the aid of the brown sugar, argon oil’s nutrients are more readily absorbed into your skin. Use this exfoliator for more than just your face. If you have dry elbows or heels, mix up a bit more to massage the dry and dead skin away.

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Natural antioxidants can keep heart, cancer diseases at bay

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If you want to keep your immune system strong for fighting cardiovascular diseases or cancer, start taking natural antioxidants as health experts on Sunday stressed that it helps in improving overall health by providing many other health benefits.

According to experts, antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.

The latest antioxidant which is produced for the first time in India is gamma oryzanol, which is very quickly gaining popularity as a super antioxidant.

It is a substance that is taken out of rice bran oil. It is also found in wheat bran and some fruits and vegetables.

The experts said that gamma oryzanol is used for high cholesterol, symptoms of menopause and many other conditions.

“Gamma oryzanol is useful for controlling elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, supporting cardiovascular health along with controlling menopausal symptoms. Gamma oryzanol helps lower cholesterol because it helps decrease cholesterol absorption and increase cholesterol elimination. Along with this, it is also known to boost metabolic rate and may help with weight loss,” Swapna Chaturvedi, senior dietician, Department of Dietetics, AIIMS told IANS.

As gamma oryzanol is found to be effective in controlling high cholesterol level in the body, it is registered in Japan and the US as a natural medicine to treat hyperlipidemia/dyslipidaemia (elevated cholesterol levels/unhealthy cholesterol levels.

Most research shows that taking natural antioxidants decreases total cholesterol, “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides in people with high cholesterol.

“It also helps in preventing heart attack by preventing platelet aggregation, a system where platelets blood gets stuck together and form clots that block arteries,” said Praveen Chandra, Head of Department, Interventional Cardiology, Medanta, The Medicity in Gurugram.

The experts mentioned that gamma oryzanol is also used for increasing testosterone and human growth hormone levels, as well as improving strength during resistance exercise training.

Gamma oryzanol also helps to inhibit different cancers in the body and builds immunity to fight cancer cells.

“Many of the antioxidants have proven beneficial in inhibiting the cancers at various stages. Gamma oryzanol has been found out to be effective antioxidant which comes from rice bran and helps in preventing cancer if taken for a long period,” said Rahul Bhargava, Director, Institute of Blood Disorder and BMT, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.

Gamma oryzanol is basically activator of NK cells which gives the cancer cells a check.

It not only works through NK cells but also inhibits angiogenesis. It means it cuts the supply for the cancer cells to grow and increases your body’s own immunity to gather the strength to kill cancers.

“Gamma oryzanol also prevents cancers and studies show it helps in regressing the prostate cancer cells,” Bhargava noted.

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