Watch Online the Live Sessions of ISWWTA 2015 Rishikesh on Youtube.Visit:
Previous issues of AYUSH DARPAN in Hindi is now available online visit:

Search Engine


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Prompt intervention can help lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol: medical experts

Doctors from all over India deliberated that changing lifestyle, coupled with genetic pre-disposition have adversely affected the young generation of India’s population. The doctors were speaking on the sidelines of Protect Young India Summit, hosted by the NCD PreDisease Forum in New Delhi.

Deliberations were based on the findings of the ESSENS study, conducted across India to evaluate the efficacy and safety of food-derived bio-actives in lowering the risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. 

ESSENS, a multicentre, randomized, double-blind study was a first of its kind study conducted at 16 centres across India under the guidance of Dr Naresh Trehan from Delhi, Dr. Ravi Kasliwal from Delhi, Dr. Hemant Thacker from Mumbai and Dr Sanjay Kalra from Karnal. 27 clinicians participated as investigators. The ESSENS study has been published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences (NAJMS) and the international journal -NUTRITION.

This burden of premature cardio-metabolic diseases on the productive workforce aged 30–60 years is cause of larger social and economic concern, said experts. 

Diabetes and heart disease present serious health challenges for India. Guidelines governing treatment mandate that prescription drugs usually come into play only after the confirmed diagnosis of the condition (diabetes or high cholesterol).  

This also implies that for a large section of population that is on the cusp of these conditions, which is known as the pre-disease state, with higher than normal blood sugar and cholesterol levels, there is no pre-emptive intervention presently possible. Lifestyle modifications are one possible pre-emptive avenue but experience has shown that these often do not have desired impact due to low compliance.

“We need to focus on delaying the onset of disease in this at risk population using novel lifestyle interventions or interventions through food - derived bioactives in high risk population there by saving huge expenses and complications of disease”, said Prof. N K Ganguly, former director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and director of the NCD Pre-Disease Forum, India, an affiliate of the Global Forum. 

“India has a high burden of non-communicable disease. We are facing a perfect storm of compounding factors which is unique in almost every aspect- epidemiology, genetics, patient beliefs, availability of resources, and finally, governmental will and efforts to fight them. But, policy interventions by government or awareness campaigns will be effective only when individuals take pro-active steps for their own health care”, he added.

According to Dr. Ravi Kasliwal, chairman – Preventive Cardiology, Medanta- The Medcity, “Every day at Medanta we see younger and younger adults coming in with heart attacks. This in not only a tragedy for the individual, but has consequences for the family and society as a whole. It is imperative we focus on solutions which young people can adapt easily and set achievable goals, for example, lowering the LDL-Cholesterol to 100 mg/dL”.

Dr. Abraham Oomman, a senior consultant cardiologist from Chennai, one of the investigators in the study, said “The ESSENS data showed that most subjects could achieve the goal of LDL-Cholesterol level of 100 mg/dL during the period of the study using the investigational bio-active”.  

He went on to add “Now, this bio-active is included in the 2016 clinical practice guidelines to lower cholesterol by the European Society of Cardiology.”

The meeting was focused on solutions particularly geared for the at risk population and the educated workforce, Dr. Sanjay Kalra, executive editor of the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism said, “Instead of diabetes, we should focus on the pre-diabetes state, where we have the best opportunity to reverse the course of the young individual’s future health.”  

He further added, “In fact, the guidelines also clearly state that lifestyle modification and nutritional intervention should be tried before any medication for a newly diagnosed patient with increased blood sugar.” 

Dr. Banshi Saboo, secretary of the Diabetes-India, added “ESSENS studied the efficacy and safety of well-known ingredients in our food supply in lowering blood sugar levels in newly diagnosed subjects”.

“We must intervene earlier before our patients develop disease. But, in order to do that, the first step is to recognize the entity of pre-disease,” said Dr. Hemant Thacker, a leading doctor from Mumbai. “While there is no complete cure, we should, in the least, know when and with what to pre-emptively strike disease from progressing, in the pre-disease stage,” he added.

South Asians, including Indians, have a greater pre-disposition towards lifestyle diseases. Even in the US, the MASALA (The Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America) study currently underway, aims to understand what factors lead to the magnitude of heart disease among South Asians.

The Pre-Disease Forum represents a cross-section of the public from physicians, patients, media, policy makers, celebrities, industry representatives, and other key healthcare stakeholders. The Forum’s goal is to bring the attention to earlier intervention in the pre-disease state of NCDs (Non Communicable Diseases). 

IPC's herbal monograph manual to spur exports of plant extracts, bioactive products

Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission issued a guidance manual on herbal monograph which is expected to spur exports of plant extracts and bioactive products among others, said Dr DBA Narayana, pharma consultant.

Marker compound isolation and supply after due characterization are indicating huge demand globally both for standardization and screening for biological activity. Researchers engaged in clinical research to assess the health benefits of herbs are already looking for  IP grade material so that their studies are done with quality materials. Therefore, herbal monographs will increase India’s chances of exports of Ayurveda drugs, Dr Narayana who is also the chairman, herbals committee, IPC, told Pharmabiz.

“Both ministry health and ministry of commerce are promoting exports of Indian herbal products. This guidance manual on herbal monograph will further propel the exports prospects,” he added.

The industry has already been using some of these monographs as part of their quality control practices. In fact, IPC Committee accepted inputs provided by the industry to improve these monographs. For many herbs/processed herbs/herbal products for which monographs do not exist in IP, this manual will help the industry to develop quality specifications in an objective way. Since these monographs have been appreciated and accepted globally, it would reduce rejections due to differences in specifications of testing methods, noted Dr Narayana.

The manual lays down the processes for development. Hence new teams replacing the existing committee members can continue to work as per processes for the manual. Researchers can get tremendous guidance from the manual. It is hoped that the departments of pharmacognosy and phyto-chemistry of pharmacy colleges in the country will adopt the manual for future research. The guidance of herbal monographs can also give a fillip to start-up research companies.

In the global arena, India has shown its capability and leadership in the area of quality monograph development. Perhaps India has shown leadership in publication of the processes involved in such a highly scientific and regulatory led work, which can help many developing nations to follow suit. The excellence in creation of the manual is now enabling the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission to provide its inputs to draft the Chapter on Good Pharmacopoeial Practices (GPP) for herbals being prepared by WHO. 

This guidance expected to stimulate more scientists to contribute monographs and also hone their skills and competencies in this area.  The challenge was to develop objectively assessable, reproducible and globally acceptable monographs for herbs. It was critical to distinguish between routine research on herbs with regulatory enforceable quality specifications and methods. Difficult steps were adopted for the development of  specifications like mandatory TLC profile, DNA barcode test for botanical identity, reproducing photograph of the plant covered in the monograph, publishing TLC atlas/chromatograms of assay, said Dr Narayana. 

Understanding The Link Between Mouse Songs And Human Speech

There's a particular order to the sounds of the ultrasonic song that a male mouse performs to impress his potential partner.
But for male mice carrying a genetic mutation known to affect human speech, it is difficult to get this syntax of sounds right, according to a new study. Humans with the same mutation have problems with correctly sequencing phonemes into words. 
‘Super high-pitched mouse singing was identified decades ago, but only recently has it been possible to assign patterns to the chirping noises.’
"Mouse songs are not an exact parallel to human speech, but we found something very robust," said Erich Jarvis, a professor of neurobiology at Duke University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who co-led the study appearing online in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 

Jarvis collaborated with Duke postdoctoral researcher Jonathan Chabout and Simon Fisher, director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 

"This work provides an innovative way to study how genes affect sequencing of vocal sounds," said Fisher, who is also a professor of language and genetics at Nijmegen's Donders Institute. "It's important because quite a few children have mysterious problems with learning to produce proficient speech, and we have found that genetic factors play a big role. The big challenge, then, is to understand exactly why damage to a particular gene can lead to those kinds of difficulties, and that is hard to do if we can only investigate humans." 

The Duke researchers recorded ultrasonic sounds (above the range of human hearing) made by 50 adult male mice under a variety of conditions. They deciphered the structure of these mouse songs using new statistical tools to identify the ways four basic 'syllables' were strung together into more complicated sequences. They analyzed how these sequences (the syntax of the songs) changed in different social situations, such as when the male was in the presence of a female instead of another male. 

Their goal was to see whether mutation of the gene Foxp2 (forkhead-box P2) can affect the sequencing of the mouse songs, as it is known to do in human speech. 

Foxp2 has been the subject of intensive research in the 15 years since it was identified by Fisher and others as a key to mastering the rapid coordinated sequences of mouth, face and larynx (voice-box) movements that enable fluent human speech. 

"We first found a mutation in this gene causing speech deficits in many relatives of a large British family," Fisher said. "They made errors when speaking and these became worse as the things they were trying to say got longer and more complicated." 

Scientists using mice to understand how Foxp2 can affect vocal behaviors have mainly focused on the acoustic structure of individual syllables in juvenile mice, which have more basic vocalizations. The new study by Jarvis and his team instead looked carefully into the sequence of syllables in the songs of mature adults. 

Super high-pitched mouse singing was identified decades ago, but only recently has it been possible to assign patterns to the chirping noises. In a 2012 paper appearing in PLoS One, the Duke team first proposed that mice have a limited version of the vocal learning brain structures and some of the vocal adaptability found in song-learning birds and humans. 

Follow-up work appearing last year in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience showed that male mice change their tune in response to different social situations -- especially the presence of active females. 

In this most recent study, the Duke team found that the songs of the mice become significantly more complicated in the presence of an active female than they do for a sleeping female, female urine or a sleeping male. 

"Social context matters," Jarvis said. "You have to be careful about the social context in which you record the mouse's behavior." 

Half of the male mice in the current study were genetically engineered to carry a mutation identical to the one that Fisher and colleagues had discovered causing speech problems in humans. Those mice did not switch to the more complex syntax in the presence of the live female, almost as if they were "tongue-tied," Jarvis said. These findings are consistent with other newly emerging studies of mice with different mutations of the gene. 

"So, while the mice aren't an exact model, and unlike humans they don't seem to learn their vocalizations, we did find that this mutation is having a similar impact on the sequence of ultrasonic songs," Jarvis said. 

But the researchers didn't have a way to statistically quantify changes in syntax, even for human speech. Jarvis and Chabout worked with Duke statisticians David Dunston and Abhra Sarkar to develop new tools to analyze the mouse syntax. 

"If we're looking for the effect of a gene, we need real statistical power," Jarvis said. "It's not enough to just eyeball it." The team also traced the location of neurons that connect the muscles of the voice box with the higher parts of the brain involved in controlling movements. In mice with the Foxp2 mutation, the neurons were spread out in a wider pattern in this part of the brain. 

Because Foxp2 is a transcription factor -- a gene that tells other genes what to do -- this altered pattern of neurons suggests it may play a role in how neurons are routed across the brain, Jarvis said. But he emphasized that more research is needed on that question. 

The finding expands the usefulness of mice for studying human speech and the brain, Jarvis said. Though he and others have made tremendous progress by studying the brains of songbirds that can learn songs the way we learn words, "having a mammalian model with even some rudimentary genetics and connectivity for vocal communication could still get you closer to the simpler aspects of speech," Jarvis said.
Source: Eurekalert 


When it comes to protein, there’s a common misconception about how much we actually need on a daily basis. And in the fitness world, many people swear by living a high-protein diet to build muscle and aid in weight loss by making you feel fuller. But how much is too much?The American Dietetic Association says that for the majority of active adults, they only need to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (1 kg = 2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. So for those that are consuming meat at every meal? They’re ingesting about five times too much of their recommended daily intake. On the other hand, too little protein is a bad thing as well. Proteinmalnutrition can lead to a condition called kwashiorkor, and can also cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, a weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and even death.
Meat is often looked at as being one of the top sources for protein, hence why so many scratch their heads in confusion as to how a vegetarian or vegan will go on without biting off a piece on a regular basis. But there are a lot of misconceptions regarding this ideology that ought to be cleared up. First off, we need to consume foods that provide us with the nine essential amino acids that our bodies are not capable of creating on their own.
While many have argued that meat is the go-to source because it provides the entire pack, there are some plant-based foods that also contain them.
While underconsumption of protein is harmful to the body, overconsumption comes with risks as well. In the United States, the average omnivore gets more than 1.5 times the optimal amount of protein, and most of that protein is from animal sources. This is bad news, because excess protein is turned into waste or turned into fat. This stored animal protein contributes to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation and cancer.
On the other hand, the protein contained in whole plant foods is connected to disease prevention. According to Michelle McMacken, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine:
There is a lot to love about these powerful seeds. They have 4 grams of protein in every 2 tablespoons, they aid in digestion, and they help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. They also provide you with all of the essential amino acids your body needs. I like to sprinkle them on top of my yogurt for a little added crunch.


Speaking of yogurt, it is also a high-protein option. With twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt, a 6-ounce container packs a protein punch with 17 grams. It’s great for either a breakfast item or anytime snack.


This ancient grain is another complete protein that has been making waves in the health world recently as a trending superfood to fill up on. And with 8 grams of protein per cup, it’s no wonder why. It’s also a great alternative to rice with its impressive fiber and iron count.


The only vegetable that is a complete protein, edamame, or soybeans, are a great alternative to meat. A half-cup of soybeans has about a whopping 34 grams of protein, whereas a half-cup of chicken comes in at roughly 17 grams.


With 18 grams per boiled cup, lentils provide you with 37 percent of your daily recommended iron. If that’s not enough to spike your interest, they also contain more than half of your daily recommended fiber intake, AND they can aid in lowering cholesterol. Lentil soup anyone?


With 10 grams of protein per a 2 tablespoon serving, hempseed provides a generous helping of all nine essential amino acids. If you’re vegan, these should be on your list, as they contain essential fatty acids, like omega-3s. I sprinkle them on my salad for added texture.


For a great protein-filled snack, almonds are your go-to. They provide about 5-7 grams per ounce, are packed wth healthy monosaturated fat and fiber, and you’d be surprised at how much just a handful can curb your appetite.


avo toast
Avo toast, avocados sliced on a salad, in a sandwich, or eaten straight up with a spoon makes me swoon. This fruit is a melt-in-your-mouth healthy treat. It also has 2.9 grams of protein per one cup, sliced.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Wonder Herb which kills the 98% cancerous cells in just 16 hours

Artemisia (aka. Wormwood) has been used in herbalism since ancient times. It is extremely bitter tasting and named wormwood on account of its efficacy in destroying intestinal parasites. It is also one of the herbal ingredients in that mysterious alcoholic beverage Absinthe – which according to the traditional recipe was also prepared with several other herbs including lemon balm, mint, anise, fennel, hyssop, marjoram, angelica and dittany of Crete. 
Image result  Artemisia has tremendous promise as a potential anticancer agent – especially when combined with iron: It targets the cancer cells specifically.
Artemisinin, a compound derived from Wormwood, has been the subject of much research – and it has shown much promise as an anti-malaria agent. It is now well established to have anti-proliferative and apoptotic (killing) effects on a number of cancer cell types.
Artemisia annua was first noted as a possible anticancer herb in 2001, when two researchers at the University of Washington learned that wormwood showed highly selective activity against breast cancer cells. “Artemisinin reacts with iron to form free radicals that kill cells. Since cancer cells uptake relatively large amount of iron than normal cells, they are more susceptible to the toxic effect of artemisinin.”   The anticancer effect of artemisinin is thus much enhanced (up to 100x) by the preloading of cancer cells with iron.
Recent scientific research conducted at the Cancer Research Laboratory, University of California (Berkeley) has found that Artemisinin, a compound found in Artemisia, induced a growth arrest of tumorigenic human breast cancer cell lines with preneoplastic and late stage cancer phenotypes, but failed to arrest the growth of a nontumorigenic human mammary cell line.
In lay terms, what this means is that artemisinin killed the breast cancer cells without harming the healthy cells. This is exactly the kind of effect that researchers are looking for – because one of the greatest challenges of modern cancer research is to develop effective anti-cancer agents which do not also harm healthy cells. Current anticancer regimens are notorious for their highly toxic effects – aka “collateral damage”. 
It is also thought that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could further enhance the anticancer effects of artemisin.
Note that these studies were performed in vitro i.e. in laboratory glassware and so this research, though highly encouraging, should not be considered as proof that artemisinin can cure cancer in human subjects. It is however one of the more promising anticancer herbs we have come across and worthy of due consideration not only by naturopaths but by orthodox medicine. Artemisinin is sometimes being used as supplementation as an adjunct to chemotherapy.  just  look at this comment from a lady whose husband had lung cancer:
“My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer, it filled the left lung and it was wrapped around his spinal cord. Too close to a main artery and esophagus to operate. It also got into the Lymph system. The doctors were surprised that he wasn’t paralyzed since the cancer had crushed and cracked the spinal cord. I gave him Artemisinin capsules for four days at the beginning of the treatments with radiation and chemo. After six weeks hubby was cancer free and stayed that way. An amazing recovery. The medical staff said “they don’t see that very often.”” 
[1] Aleister Crowley “The Green Goddess” (1915)
[2] “Artemisinin Blocks Prostate Cancer Growth and Cell Cycle Progression by Disrupting Sp1 Interactions with the Cyclin-dependent Kinase-4 (CDK4) Promoter and Inhibiting CDK4 Gene Expression” (2009)
[3] “Effects of artemisinin-tagged holotransferrin on cancer cells” (Life Sciences 76, 2005)
[4] Antitumor Activity of Artemisinin and Its Derivatives: From a Well-Known Antimalarial Agent to a Potential Anticancer Drug
[5] “Antiproliferative effects of artemisinin on human breast cancer cells requires the downregulated expression of the E2F1 transcription factor and loss of E2F1-target cell cycle genes”

Music Improves Attitude Towards Exercise Regimen

People are more likely to adopt short duration exercise regimens that could help them stay in shape if it is coupled with music, according to researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus.

According to traditional exercise recommendations from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, adults aged 18 to 64 should accumulate a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week.

According to traditional exercise recommendations from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, adults aged 18 to 64 should accumulate a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week.
The study, by researchers Kathleen Martin Ginis and Matthew Stork was recently published in the Journal of Sport Sciences.

The research studied the attitudes of people who engage in moderate exercises towards high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The participants had not been exposed to HIIT before. 

HIIT is a time-efficient exercise strategy that sees people engage in short periods of intense anaerobic exercise separated by less-intense recovery periods. The exercise is distinct from more traditional long-duration aerobic exercise, such as jogging continuously for 50 minutes.

The pair found that the first-timers not only had positive attitudes toward HIIT, but that participants also reported feeling more positive about the exercise regimen if they listened to music while they exercised.

"There has been a lot of discussion in the exercise and public policy worlds about how we can get people off the couch and meeting their minimum exercise requirements," says Martin Ginis, professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC. "The use of HIIT may be a viable option to combat inactivity, but there is a concern that people may find HIIT unpleasant, deterring future participation."

To their surprise, the researchers found that participants who engaged in multiple HIIT sessions not only enjoyed the exercise, but they maintained positive attitudes about engaging in HIIT again in the future.

"Newer research has established that as little as 10 minutes of intense HIIT, three times per week can elicit meaningful heath benefits," says Stork, a PhD candidate at UBC's Okanagan campus. "For busy people who may be reluctant to try HIIT for the first time, this research tells us that they can actually enjoy it, and they may be more likely to participate in HIIT again if they try it with music."

"Our research aims to learn more about people's perceptions towards HIIT and ultimately determine if people can adhere to these types of exercises in the long term," says Stork. "With the introduction of HIIT exercise, people may not necessarily require the dreaded 150-minute weekly total."
Source:Journal of Sport Sciences.

Glucose intolerance and insulin resistance link to unfavorable cardiac function, structure

A study of U.S. Hispanics with diabetes mellitus showed a link between impaired glucose regulation and adverse measures of cardiac function and structure. Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in collaboration with colleagues from Wake Forest Medical School and six other institutions extended previous knowledge regarding the concept of 'diabetic cardiomyopathy, by also observing that these relationships emerged early and before the full onset of diabetes mellitus. The findings are published online in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.
This is the first study to assess the impact of diabetes mellitus on cardiac geometry using several measures and the first to report the association between insulin resistance and cardiac structure and function among a U.S. sample population of Hispanic/Latinos not previously studied.
"Our findings inform and extend the clinical concept of diabetic cardiomyopathy -- adverse changes in cardiac structure and function commonly observed among patients with diabetes mellitus in two ways," said lead author Ryan Demmer, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. "First, they confirm that diabetes mellitus -- both controlled and uncontrolled -- is related to the worse measures of cardiac structure and function among Hispanics. Second, they demonstrate that these relationships emerge early in the natural history of diabetogenesis and prior to diabetes development."
Results were from the ECHO-SOL (Echocardiographic Study of U.S. Latinos) which examined chronic disease risk factors and related morbidity and mortality of 1,818 Hispanic/Latino men (43 percent) and women (57 percent) 45 years of age and older. Participants were recruited from the Bronx, New York; Chicago; Miami; and San Diego.
Glucose intolerance was defined as having a prediabetes hemoglobin of ?5.7 and <6 .5="" 28="" 42="" 47="" a="" and="" as="" by="" defined="" diabetes="" dl="" fasting="" for="" glucose="" hemoglobin="" mellitus="" mg="" of="" p="" participants="" percent.="" percent="" prediabetes="" prevalent="" reading="" reported="" the="" uncontrolled="" was="" with="">
"Whether aggressive glucose-lowering therapy can prevent these cardiac alterations that lead to heart failure remains unknown, but it supports the notion that HbA1c <7 and="" author="" be="" cardiac="" carlos="" dr.="" echo-sol.="" for="" health="" important="" j.="" may="" of="" p="" pi="" rodriguez="" said="" senior="" the="">
These findings also raise the possibility that primary prevention efforts targeting insulin resistance and glucose homeostasis might also be beneficial for optimal cardiac health and heart failure prevention although future studies are necessary. "If confirmed, these results would have high public health importance given the fact that Hispanics have elevated rates of Type 2 diabetes compared to the U.S. population overall. This is coupled with the fact that Hispanics are expected to account for 25 percent of the U.S. population by 2050," noted Demmer.

Facebook Badge