First case of human-to-human birdflu case

Posted by Puteri | 12/28/2007 10:41:00 AM | | 0 comments »

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Thursday a single case of human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 bird flu virus in a family in Pakistan but said there was no apparent risk of it spreading wider.

A statement from the U.N. agency said tests in its special laboratories in Cairo and London had established the "human infection" through presence of the virus "collected from one case in an affected family."

But it said a WHO team invited to Pakistan to look into an outbreak involving up to nine people, from late October to December 6 had found no evidence of sustained or community human-to-human transmission.

No identified close contacts of the people infected, including health workers and other members of the affected family, had shown any symptoms and they had all been removed from medical observation, the WHO added.

Full Story here.

I remember telling people who were afraid to travel to places with an outbreak of bird flu not to fear the disease unless they were going to travel to chicken farms! Back then there was no incidence of human-to-human transmission of the disease.

But with this latest report from the WHO the probability of the H5N1 virus spreading from human to human has become higher. It has been proven from this one case in Pakistan that it is possible for the virus to be transmitted from human-to-human.

That's a very scary thought! It is possible that virus can mutate into something that will make the transmission from human-to-human even more likely. It it does, it could cause a pandemic that could kill many millions of people. A scary thought, indeed!

Trim those legs!

Posted by Puteri | 12/21/2007 11:29:00 AM | 0 comments »

I have skinny legs so I don't worry much about the appearance of my legs, except that they could be a lot more toned looking! In fact my legs and thighs are so skinny that I have trouble getting jeans that fit my thighs well. Usually they are too big and even if I buy those jeans, I have to alter the thigh area so they fit me better. I just bought two pairs of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, bought on Black Friday, but I can't wear them yet because I still need to alter the thigh areas!

I don't know about you, but if I have fat legs I would buy leg magic so I could do something about the shape and the size of my legs! I mean I am complaining about the difficulty of getting better fitting jeans, I am sure the same is true for those with extra large thighs!

Are we women ever satisfied with the way we look, especially about the size of our thighs?

Short legs and liver damage

Posted by Puteri | 12/21/2007 11:11:00 AM | | 0 comments »

WASHINGTON - Women with short legs may have a higher risk of liver disease, with both probably caused by diet or other factors early in life, British researchers reported on Monday.

Their study of 3,600 women showed that the shorter a woman's legs were, the more likely she was to have signs of liver damage.

The findings fit in with other studies linking leg length with diabetes and heart disease, Abigail Fraser of the University of Bristol and colleagues said.

Full story here.

The first question that came to my mind as I read this story was "How short is short?" I got my answer as I read further along the story. Short is described as the measurement of "leg length as compared to trunk length".

In that case my legs are not short. I am a short person but my legs are longer than my trunk, even though I think I have short hips. Well, that's a relief!

Well, I don't drink much alcohol so the likelihood of a liver damage is lessened. But medication that is taken over many years do affect the liver. Right now I am hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, for my blood pressure. I hope I can do away with this medication some day.

Colon Cleansing

Posted by Puteri | 12/19/2007 04:18:00 PM | 0 comments »

Colon cleansing or detoxification is such a buzz word these days among people who care about their health and want to maintain it using products that have natural ingredients.

The main objective of colon cleansing is to have the colon cleansed from toxin build up, and the way it works is to have two to three bowel movements a day with the help of a colon cleanser.

Many people don't have very regular bowel movements and as such bloating and gas is a constant problem. We should have the same number of bowel movements a day as the number of times we eat.

Dual-Action Cleanse is a colon cleanser that has natural ingredients, like fennel seed, alfalfa leaf, and gum karaya that effectively promote peristalsis and excretion of accumulated waste such as mucous and undigested matter.

The most common benefits felt by those who have gone through colon cleansing are the feelings of increased energy and vitality.


Omega-3s

Posted by Puteri | 12/19/2007 03:37:00 PM | | 0 comments »

Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fats found in fish, nuts and green vegetables. They can fend off prostate cancer, protect your eyes from macular degeneration, cut risk of heart disease and fight diabetes. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who routinely consumed at least 300 grams (about 11 ounces) of fish per week had 29 percent less risk of irregular heartbeat than those who consumed less.

Full story here.

I love fish and salmon is one of my favorite fish. I love it broiled, deep fried or in a spicy sour soup.

Since fish like salmon, tuna, trout, herring and sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, there's all the more reason for me to continue eating fish.

The fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, found in oily fish support critical functions in the brain, blood vessels and immune system. An interesting fact I learned from this article is that these fatty acids can cut the risk of heart disease and fight diabetes. For someone like me who is genetically predisposed to diabetes, that is good news indeed.

Have you eaten any fish this week?

Makeup

Posted by Puteri | 12/19/2007 02:30:00 PM | 0 comments »

I started wearing makeup when I was in my late teens. I would look at fashion magazines, study the makeup style and colors that were trendy back then and tried to copy them. Of course with my very limited budget I could not afford anything with brand names but with some savings I was able to get something better.

When I was in my twenties, I thought I wore certain eye shadow colors a lot better than I do now. I no longer wear blue, green, purple or pink eye shadow colors. Somehow they look gaudy on me! It must be the tone of my facial skin or it could be that I am now more into earth tone colors.

These days anyone who is only now starting to wear makeup can get all kinds of tips on how to apply eyeliner, mascara, and makeup from all kinds of sources. Of course with the internet, one can easily pick up these tips from places like MakeupTip.com.

My 4 year-old daughter is already asking for play makeup and it won't be long before she starts asking for the real thing! Sigh.



Abortions link to Preemies

Posted by Puteri | 12/19/2007 01:52:00 PM | | 0 comments »

Abortions increase the risk of low birth weight in future pregnancies by a factor of three, and of premature birth by a factor of two, according to the largest U.S. study of its kind. The study is hardly perfect; the data is more than 40 years old and doesn't distinguish between medical abortions and "spontaneous abortions," better known as miscarriages. Yet the report, published today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH), shows one of the strongest links yet between miscarriage or abortion on premature birth and low birth weight — major risk factors for infant death or sickness.

What makes report significant is the size and detail of data. Some previous, smaller studies on abortion and future birth weight have suffered because researchers were unable to untangle the effects of abortion from, say, the effects of being poor (which also happens to increase a woman's odds of having an abortion). But the researchers behind the JECH study, which evaluated just over 45,000 single-child live births from 1959 to 1966, were able to adjust for an impressive array of confounding variables, including race, age, weight, height, marital status, occupation, the number of prenatal visits, the number of previous children, smoking and drinking habits, drug habits, infant gender and both parents' education levels.

Full story here.

This study only confirms what most people have already observed. An observation that has been swept under the rug by the likes of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood would like you to think that an abortion is nothing more than getting rid of some tissues, nothing to worry about.

Since abortion is so widely available many women are using abortion as a birth control. I wonder if women who are going for abortions for the first time, or for the second or third time for that matter, are going to be cautioned about the consequences of the actions; what the effects of their abortion is going to do to any future pregnancies where the child is wanted.

I don't know if the result of this study is going to lead to less abortions, especially for women who intend to become pregnant in the future and carry that pregnancy to full term.

One can only hope.

Acne

Posted by Puteri | 12/19/2007 09:33:00 AM | 0 comments »

When I was a teenager I suffered from acne, and so did my brothers and my sister. We tried all kinds of acne treatments but they did not quite do the job.

We also had the bad habit of pressing and touching the acne on our faces, and of course, that is something we shouldn't have done! Our fingers were probably not too clean and all that constant poking and pressing only exacerbated the problem.

Late nights and certain foods, like peanuts and grease fried food also made the situation worse in my case. According to the American Academy of Dermatology,greasy or sugary foods do not cause acne. Sugary foods did not affect my acne problem but I am certain that peanuts do give me zits because even at my age I still get zits if I take too much peanuts!

Anyway, if you have issues with acne, you might want to check out Acne.com where you can get quite a comprehensive information about the types of acne, the causes, the myths, the treatment and the prevention.

Wine, is it good or bad for health?

Posted by Puteri | 12/14/2007 11:11:00 PM | | 2 comments »

Last night I went to a wine and cheese get-together organized by the Lions Club. Since I was watching my blood sugar, I did not take any wine, except for a few sips to choose the best tasting wine out of three.

I did not take any wine because I thought wine was going to increase my blood glucose level. Today I learned that it does not, when taken in moderation. I learned that alcohol cannot be changed into glucose or blood sugar, and does not need insulin for metabolism. That is good news indeed, not that I drink a lot of wine, but when the occasion calls for it, I don't have to worry if I were to take a small glass of wine.

Recently, I read a study by Kaiser Permanente that indicated that breast cancer risk from drinking three or more alcoholic drinks a day is similar to the increased breast cancer risk from smoking a packet of cigarettes or more a day. The study also says that red wine, white wine, beer and hard liquor present the same risk.

I have read so many reports and studies about how red wine is good for the heart. This study by Kaiser Permanente seems to contradict the benefits of drinking red wine.

So should I or should I not drink any red wine?

I am not yet a diabetic but numerous studies in the last several years indicate that people who drink small amounts of wine are the people least likely to suffer diabetic complications. In a study published in 1990 it was said that, “Alcohol is known to induce low blood sugar.” This reducing of the blood sugar reduces the damage to blood vessels and thus has a beneficial effect.

That means it is safe to drink wine especially for me who has a family history of diabetes. A Danish study in 2000 called Copenhagen City Heart Study, has indicated that the use of moderate amounts of alcohol may prevent the onset of diabetes and so individuals who are drinking in moderation may not develop diabetes even if they have the genetic predisposition.

I do not have a family history of breast cancer, and weighing these two risks, I think it should be safe for me.

According to a University of Wisconsin study (JAMA Jul 99 Vol 282 No 3) , moderate consumption of alcohol a day reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes by 80%.

Ok, that does it. I will not refrain from drinking red wine!

Botox

Posted by Puteri | 12/14/2007 11:27:00 AM | 0 comments »

I recently joked with a friend that I will send him a picture of myself dressed in a sexy outfit and posing with my favorite hand gun after I'd gone for a Botox treatment!

All joking aside, Botox is becoming a very popular cosmetic treatment for people wishing to reduce the wrinkles and lines on their faces. It is a far safer and cheaper alternative to the traditional face lift.

If you are looking for Botox in Tampa Florida the place to go to is Cosmetic Laser Clinic. Check them out at clctampa.com and find out the other services that they offer besides Botox.


Reishi Mushroom

Posted by Puteri | 12/14/2007 10:12:00 AM | | 0 comments »

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli scientists claim that a wild mushroom, used in traditional Chinese medicine for a century, could treat prostate cancer, the University of Haifa said Friday.

Researchers at the university in northern Israel said they found molecules in the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, commonly known as the reishi, which help supress some mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer.

"We already knew the mushroom could impede the development of cancer by affecting the immune system. The in-vitro trials we have done show that it attacks the cancer cellsdirectly," chief researcher Ben Zion Zaidman told AFP.

"These results give rise to hope about developing medication to treat prostate cancer," he said of research carried out to date only in Petri dishes. The research still has to be tested on animals.

Full story here.

Just the other day, I commented on the benefits of green tea with regards to warding off colorectal cancer. And now this wonderful news about reishi mushroom and the treatment of prostate cancer.

I think that it is indeed wonderful that researchers are discovering more and more benefits from plants or mushrooms in the treatment of cancer. The fact that the reishi mushroom directly attacks the cancer cells directly is the best news about the benefits of the mushroom.

Reishi is also popularly used to treat asthma and other respiratory ailments. Among the primary constituents of the mushroom are polysaccharides, coumarin, sterols, mannitol, and triterpenoids called ganoderic acids. Ganoderic acids is thought to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure as well as inhibiting blood platelets from sticking together.

I checked my favorite health supplement supplier and indeed they carry reishi mushroom. I will head on over and place an order! I have issues with cholesterol and blood pressure and since the consumption of reishi has no known side effects, I think I can only help my health to be at a better level by consuming the product!

Urogynecology

Posted by Puteri | 12/13/2007 12:32:00 PM | 0 comments »

Recently I commented on a news article about vaginal rejuvenation. I wondered who would go for such a surgical procedure and in my mind the reason anyone would go for such a procedure would be purely cosmetic.

I did not realize that there is a medical field called urogynecology which is dedicated to the treatment of women with pelvic floor disorders such as urinary or fecal incontinence and prolapse (bulging or falling) of the vagina, bladder and/or the uterus.

I am not surprised that women might want to go for vaginal rejuvenation especially after multiple child births especially when those child births have led to prolapse.

Elderly women who do not wish to be sexually active anymore and has uterine prolapse or vaginal vault prolapse could benefit from a procedure called total colpocleisis which essentially closes the vagina on the inside.

Two well known surgeons in the field of urogynecology are Drs. Miklos & Moore. They are international experts in laparoscopic vaginal reconstruction and are pioneers in minimally invasive vagina and bladder surgery.

You can learn more about them and the areas they specialize in by visiting tvtsling.com.

Supplements that help manage blood sugar

Posted by Puteri | 12/13/2007 12:01:00 PM | 0 comments »

Recently I found a food supplement product that made this claim: Unconditionally Guaranteed to Keep Healthy Blood Sugar Levels in Normal Range. That piqued my interest.

Naturally I looked at the ingredients used in their supplement. There was Banaba, Bitter Melon, Cinnamon, Gymnema Sylvestre, Huckleberry, Chromium, Zinc, and Biotin. Hmm. Not much different from what I already have.

Two days ago my before breakfast blood sugar reading was 102 mg/dL. I had broiled salmon and some spinach salad for lunch.

At dinner time, I had a bowl of barley beef soup for dinner. The soup was made with 1 can of cream of chicken soup, chicken stock, slices of broiled beef, and spinach. The barley was boiled in water until was it was soft before I added all the other ingredients. I also took one capsule of gymnema sylvestre and one capsule of alpha lipoic acid with my meal. After dinner I drank a cup of bitter melon tea.

Two and half hours after dinner I took another blood sugar test. I could not believe my eyes. The test reading showed 78 mg/dL! That was lower than my fasting reading that morning! Before bed, I took a bowl of cereal before bed. :-) I did not want to end up hypoglycemic!

I believe that the two capsules and the bitter melon tea helped with the blood sugar control. From now on, I will continue to take a capsule of gymnema sylvestre and a capsule of lipoic acid with my meals and drink bitter melon tea afterwards.

I am pleased that with the change in my diet, I am managing my blood sugar really well. I have started exercising too and that helps. I am not yet diabetic but I know that if I am not careful I can end up one. The over 200 mg/dL reading after a not that extra-ordinary dinner last week really spooked me. My father is a diabetic so the genes I have inherited is not in my favor.

Diabetes is a disease that can be prevented and I am going to prevent it from happening in me!

Laser Hair Removal

Posted by Puteri | 12/11/2007 06:59:00 PM | 0 comments »

Last summer, I bought a jar of do-it-yourself Brazilian bikini wax. My goodness, trying to do your own bikini waxing is not as easy as I had thought! Not to mention painful!

I've never tried laser hair removal but I think it is a good option because regrowth is slow and later on removal of the unwanted hair is made a lot easier. This is what you might call permanent hair reduction because the amount of regrowth is not going to be the same as before the laser hair removal treatment.

These days laser hair removal treatment has become quite sophisticated. Different lasers are used for different hair and skin color types. For example, I have olive skin and have fine to coarse hair, so I will be given the Apogee Elite Laser. What that means is the the amount of laser wavelength used is the safest for my skin color and hair type.

After reading on laser hair removal treatment, it sure does sound a lot less painful than doing your own waxing at home!

Honey for treating coughs in children

Posted by Puteri | 12/11/2007 11:59:00 AM | 0 comments »

CHICAGO - A teaspoon of honey before bed seems to calm children's coughs and help them sleep better, according to a new study that relied on parents' reports of their children's symptoms.

The folk remedy did better than cough medicine or no treatment in a three-way comparison. Honey may work by coating and soothing an irritated throat, the study authors said.

"Many families are going to relate to these findings and say that grandma was right," said lead author Dr. Ian Paul of Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine.

Full story here.

Honey. Interesting. This is something that never entered my mind though I love honey cough drops when I have coughs.

I have stopped giving my children cough medicines to treat their coughs. They do not work on them. The only thing that seems to work is the beclomethasone dipropionate inhaler.

I think I will try giving them a teaspoon of honey before bed to help them further.

Breast Enhancement

Posted by Puteri | 12/11/2007 10:29:00 AM | 2 comments »

I do not know of any small breasted women who did not wish that their breasts were one bra cup or two bra cup sizes larger.

I would be a liar if I said that I had never thought about going for a Breast enhancement procedure to improve my bust size. Padded and push up bras can only do so much to give you a fuller figure! I'm not saying that I am unhappy with my bust size because I have learned to live with it.

But there have been times, especially when I am trying out clothes at the store, that I wished my bust size was larger. I usually can't buy a pretty dress or a blouse because the chest area is just not my size. Everything else fits except the chest area which is usually too big.

Breast enlargement procedures are now as common as dental implants. I don't think I will think twice about going for a dental implant whereas I will have to be really, really desperate to go for breast implants! I am not yet at that stage, and I don't think I will ever be!

However, if there are ways that you can enlarge your breasts without resorting to surgery and implants and the results are real and positive, I would not mind trying it out. I think for a lot of women, the thought of fake looking breasts and the thought of going under the knife, are enough to stop them from going for breast augmentation surgeries. I believe, however, if there are proven methods for natural breast enhancement, women would want to try these methods.

I would, you know what I mean? Like I said, the method has to be proven and the results clearly positive.

Probiotics

Posted by Puteri | 12/11/2007 09:46:00 AM | | 0 comments »

CHICAGO - Bugs in baby food? Microbes in your milkshake? Relax, this is not the latest tainted food scare — it's a growing trend in foods designed to boost health, not make you sick.

These products contain probiotics, or "friendly" bacteria similar to those found in the human digestive system.

There are supplement pills, yogurts, smoothies, snack bars and cereals, even baby formula and chocolate. Sold by major names like Dannon and Kraft, they're spreading like germs on grocery store shelves and in supermarket dairy cases.

And they come with vague health claims of "regulating your digestive health" or "strengthening your body's defenses.

Full story here.

So what exactly are probiotics?

According to WebMD, probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements.

The only probiotic supplement I have taken before is Acidophilus. I thought it would help with my constant gas problems caused by certain foods. Anyway, I never did finish that bottle of Acidophilus that I bought. The product its long past is expiry date.

Since learning of the potential health benefits of probiotics, I am giving it another look. According to WebMD, research has shown that certain probiotics may restore normal bowel function and may help reduce:

* Diarrhea that is a side effect of antibiotics.
* Certain types of infectious diarrhea.
* Inflammation of the ileal pouch (pouchitis) that may occur in people who have had surgery to remove the colon.

These results suggest that eventually probiotics may also be used to:

* Help with other causes of diarrhea.
* Help prevent infections in the digestive tract.
* Help control immune response (inflammation), as in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

I have seen Dannon Activia ads and the yogurt, which contains probiotics, is supposed to help with constipation and bloating problems. Since I am lactose intolerant I do not know if the product is going to help me or not. But I am willing to give it a try.


Gary Huffnagle in his book "The Probiotics Revolution" calls probiotics "a new essential food group".

Sarah Wernick who wrote a review of the book says the book details breakthrough discoveries to

* Improve overall health
* Enhance immune function
* Curb inflammation
* Fight chronic bowel diseases
* Prevent and relieve allergies and asthma
* Counter antibiotic side effects
* Eliminate yeast infections
* Plus new evidence that probiotics may help fight cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia - and even obesity.

After reading that review by Sarah Wernick, I think I am going to get that book, and read it for myself. I am always interested in natural ways to keep myself more healthy!

Reverse that hair loss

Posted by Puteri | 12/10/2007 01:17:00 PM | 0 comments »

After I had my baby, one of my greatest concerns was hairloss that could result in baldness. I never did have a lot of hair and any loss is cause for concern.

It is natural for a woman to lose some hair after having a baby but I have seen women who lost so much hair that they never grow back. I had a grandma who suffered from female pattern baldness and we called her "Bald Grandma." When I started to lose some hair after delivering my baby, I was concerned that I might end up like "Bald Grandma". Fortunately, the hair that I lost started growing back. But some people are not that lucky.

Provillus Hair Loss Treatment helps men and women to regrow some of the hair that they have lost. It attacks hair loss in two ways - externally and internally. The Provillus® Hair Regrowth Solution, a topical solution, contains 5% Minoxidil, a chemical which is clinically proven to be effective in regrowing hair. The Provillus Supplement, an oral supplement, contains nutrients that help the body provide the right environment for tiny hair follicles to grow and provide faster growing, stronger and healthier hair.

If you need to learn more about hair loss treatment and read about other people's experiences a hair loss forum is the place to go. It helps to find out other people's experiences and learn what works and what doesn't.

Walking Shoes

Posted by Puteri | 12/10/2007 11:11:00 AM | | 0 comments »

This morning I walked to the mailbox in my sheepskin lined Ugg wannnabe type boots. Those boots keep my feet warm but they are definitely not for walking long distances.

It is about 500 feet to the mailbox and back and I felt like I wanted to drag my feet as I walked in those boots. It was about 40 F and it was cold for me. I hurried in my boots and I know for sure from that short walk that I am never going to wear those boots in any of my walks during the winter months.

I think I need to go buy myself a good pair of walking shoes. Since I started watching my blood sugar and doing some exercise on my exercise bicycle, I feel that a little more low impact exercise like walking can only do me good.

I already own a pair of sneakers but I think a pair of shoes that is specifically designed for walking will aid me in my walking gait. I think I tend to put more weight on one foot and learning to walk properly will help distribute my body weight correctly and thus reduce the possibility of stress and injury.

I have been reading some walking shoe guides and articles on choosing the right walking shoes. I hope that will help me get a pair that best fit my walking gait.

Green tea wards off colorectal cancer

Posted by Puteri | 12/10/2007 09:10:00 AM | , | 2 comments »

NEW YORK - An extract of green tea wards off colorectal cancer, animal experiments show.

According to research reported at the Sixth International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, a standardized green tea polyphenol preparation (Polyphenon E) limits the growth of colorectal tumors in rats treated with a substance that causes the cancer.

“Our findings show that rats fed a diet containing Polyphenon E are less than half as likely to develop colon cancer,” Dr. Hang Xiao, from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, noted in a statement.

Full Story here.

I have been paying a lot of attention to the benefits of herbal tea recently. I have started drinking bitter melon tea which is supposed to help in bringing down your blood cholesterol level. I've also started drinking cassia alata tea which is a natural diuretic, laxative and is also helpful in bringing down blood sugar.

This news about green tea and how effective it is about warding off colorectal cancer is simply great news. I know people who drink a few cups of green tea daily because they believe in the benefits of the tea. With this great news, I think I should start drinking green tea too!

I am quite the hypochondriac and last year when I started noticing how narrow the size of my stools was, I quickly made an appointment for colon screening. Boy, what an experience that was! Fortunately the results of the screening was all positive.

The only problem I have with tea is that I cannot drink it on an empty stomach. I have to drink tea or coffee for that matter, after a meal. That is not difficult to do. Tea, fortunately, is one of the free foods for those of us who are monitoring our blood sugar. That means I can drink as much tea as I want in a day and it is not going to affect my blood sugar much.

National Diabetes Month 2007

Posted by Puteri | 12/05/2007 10:08:00 PM | | 0 comments »

I did not realize that November was National Diabetes Month. President George W. Bush by an act of proclamation declared November to be National Diabetes Month.

Diabetes is a disease that I am constantly aware of. My father is a diabetic and I suffered from gestational diabetes during my pregnancy about five years ago. I have this constant fear that I might end up a diabetic, just like my father is.

A few days ago I took a random blood sugar test, an hour after a meal. The blood sugar reading showed 211 mg/dl. :-( I was shocked, and that prompted me to make changes to my diet. I do not want to end up a diabetic and I can help myself by changing my diet and begin exercising seriously.

This is what I read in a medical website.

  • A fasting blood glucose test. This test is performed after you have fasted (no food or liquids other than water) for eight hours. A normal fasting blood glucose level is less than 110 mg/dl. A diagnosis of diabetes is made if your blood glucose reading is 126 mg/dl or higher. (In 1997, the American Diabetes Association lowered the level at which diabetes is diagnosed to 126 mg/dl from 140 mg/dl.)

  • A "random" blood glucose test taken at any time. A normal blood glucose range is in the low to mid 100s. A diagnosis of diabetes is made if your blood glucose reading is 200 mg/dl or higher and you have symptoms of disease such as fatigue, excessive urination, excessive thirst or unplanned weight loss.

If I am not already diabetic then I would be what is called pre-diabetic. That is not a happy thought.

I need to make a doctor's appointment for a diabetic screening so I can know for sure whether I am diabetic or not.

Health Supplements

Posted by Puteri | 12/04/2007 02:09:00 PM | 0 comments »

I take all kinds of nutritional health supplements because I believe in their value and their benefits. As a woman who is experiencing perimenopause, I find that taking health supplements like Evening Primrose oil, Flaxseed oil, Fish Oil, and multi-vitamins for women very beneficial. They help me better handle the changes my body is experiencing. They give me the energy I need, and also helps with better bowel movements.

My blood sugar level tends to be on the high side and with a family history of diabetes, I really have to watch what I eat. I have found the benefits of taking Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Gymnema Sylvestre supplements. Both of them are quite effective in controlling blood sugar levels.

One thing I have discovered about health supplements is that you don't have to spend a lot of money on them. If you know where to look, you can get them at far below retail prices thus saving you lots of money.

Do your homework on the prices and the manufacturers before you decide to buy on a particular product.

Viagra in exchange for your vote

Posted by Puteri | 12/04/2007 01:09:00 PM | | 2 comments »

BANGKOK (AFP) - Parliamentary candidates in Thailand's upcoming election are trying to buy the votes of elderly men by passing out free Viagra, a local government official said Friday.

Thais head to the polls on December 23 for the first time since the military toppled the elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup last year.

Residents in Prathumthani, on the northern outskirts of Bangkok, reported some of the candidates were passing out doses of the anti-impotence drug in exchange for promised votes, said Sayan Nopkham, a local government official.

Full story here.

I guess I have heard it all now about vote buying. In Malaysia, money as little as RM 20 (about US $ 7.50) buys you a vote. Viagra?

Viagra is definitely more valuable for elderly male voters! It costs about RM 45 a pill so a couple of those blue pills will definitely be plenty for elderly Thai men! Plenty enough to buy their votes, I guess! I can't blame these elderly men either for coming back for more! :-)

Home made toiletry products

Posted by Puteri | 12/01/2007 04:55:00 PM | 0 comments »

Soap making and the making of other toiletry products like lip balms and creams are becoming very popular hobbies. More and more people are showing interest in home made soaps, lip balms, facial washes, hand and body lotions, because these products are usually chemical free and use the most natural ingredients.

I'd love to be able to come up with my own hand and body lotions using the richest and the most natural of ingredients. The recipe for a lip balm that I found at ElementsBathAndBody.com doesn't seem too difficult. There's a lot of room for formulating your own recipe once you know the basic recipe. I am sure the same applies for the soaps and other toiletry products as well.

Besides recipes ElementsBathAndBody.com also supplies waterproof vinyl labels, lip balm tubes, twist-up tubes, organza bags, beeswax, disposable pipettes, cloth bags, lavender buds and flax seed.

I have always loved giving away hand made stuff and to be able to give away your own hand made toiletry products would be wonderful indeed!

Dysfunction and Age

Posted by Puteri | 12/01/2007 04:44:00 PM | | 3 comments »

While past research has linked early sexual activity to health problems, a new study suggests that waiting too long to start having sex carries risks of its own.

Those who lose their virginity at a later age -- around 21 to 23 years of age -- tend to be more likely to experience sexual dysfunction problems later, say researchers at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute's HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies.

Full story here.


Losing your virginity around 21 - 23 is considered late?! And because of that "lateness" it could lead to sexual dysfunction later?

I think that conclusion is a big stretch. Indeed it is because as you read further in that news article, it says people who started sex early also had their share of problems.

I don't know if the age at which one starts sex is the real real reason for the dysfunction. I think the more obvious reason would be emotional, and upbringing that affects the dysfunction rather than the age.

Fragrances for Christmas

Posted by Puteri | 11/28/2007 01:22:00 PM | 0 comments »

Fragrances have always been favorite stocking stuffers for Christmas and shopping for these products with promo codes that you can find online can really save you lots of money.

I've always wanted some of the perfume oils from The Body Shop and now with The Body Shop deals like free shipping on orders of over $50 and a free holiday gift worth $35 when you spend over $65, I find no reason not to get those perfume oils for myself and for a good friend!

I can still get myself another bottle of Estee Lauder perfume and with a Fragrance X coupon, I can get 10% off on that purchase!

Save yourself some money this holiday and get your coupon codes online today!




Benefits of Cashew

Posted by Puteri | 11/28/2007 11:10:00 AM | | 1 comments »

I was talking to the vendor who was selling all kinds of gourmet nuts this morning. He told me how as he was selling his cashews he used to snack on them all day. He then discovered that all his joint pains disappeared after a while. He could only think of the cashews as causing the positive effect on his joints.

According to an article by Kate Meyers, the cashew "tree's leaves and bark as well as the popular cashew apple possess herbal health benefits that include killing bacteria and germs, stopping diarrhea, drying secretions, increasing the libido, and reducing fever, blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. "

I have always loved cashews and with such health benefits contained within the nut itself, there is no reason not to snack on the nut!

As someone with a family history of diabetes, I am always interested in ways to prevent it from happening in myself. A quarter cup of cashews contained 37.7 percent of the daily recommended value of monounsaturated fats, and that means cashews can reduce triglyceride levels in diabetics, protecting them from further complications.

A quarter cup of cashews contains 22.3% of the daily recommended value for magnesium. A deficiency in magnesium is often associated with hip and joint pains, and I think what the nut vendor said about the pains in his joints disappearing is indeed true. Since cashews are rich in magnesium, someone suffering from joint pains from lack of magnesium will surely be helped by consuming cashews.

I recommend you read Kate Meyers article called The Nutrional Health Facts of Cashews.

Lose Weight Successfully

Posted by Puteri | 11/28/2007 10:27:00 AM | 0 comments »

Many obese people have successfully brought their weight down by undergoing a Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (Lap Band) procedure. It is the only procedure that is adjustable and reversible. It is also less invasive than open surgery and the recovery period is far shorter.

If you live in the Tampa area in Florida, and looking for a lap band Tampa surgeon you might want to enroll for the free seminar offered by JourneyLite who are experts in the surgical treatment for the disease of obesity. You may register online at JourneyLite.com.

Poor toilet facilities cause 1.8 million to die yearly

Posted by Puteri | 11/22/2007 11:19:00 PM | | 2 comments »

SEOUL (Reuters) - Lack of proper toilet facilities and sanitation kills almost two million people a year, most of them children, the World Toilet Association said at its first meeting on Thursday.

"It is regrettable that the matter of defecation is not given as much attention as food or housing," Sim Jae-duck, the association's South Korean head, told the meeting at its recently opened lavatory-shaped headquarters south of Seoul.

Full story here.

We take our clean sit down flushable toilets for granted. But for many in the world, a toilet is just a pit dug on the ground.

When I was working in Vietnam ten years ago, one of my students took me to his village during the Tet celebrations. The family was very welcoming and the food served was delicious.

When I asked to use their toilet, I think they were quite embarrassed. It was outside, drafty and it was not the kind of toilet I was used to. It was a hole dug in the ground and it wasn't particularly clean. There was no water nearby where you can wash your hands with. I don't think their toilet was any different from the other villagers'.

I can see how the lack of proper toilet facilities can be a health hazard. It is amazing to discover as many as "1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases that are mainly blamed on inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene."

I don't know if governments, especially in third world countries, are motivated enough to improve the sanitation and hygiene problem faced by the poor people in their countries. People's mindset also need to be changed. Teaching them to take care of their hygiene and observe clean sanitary habits takes time.

But I am glad though that awareness about good sanitation and proper hygiene through World Toilet Day, is being raised, and that charities are also taking part in that effort.

Disclosure Policy

Posted by Puteri | 11/21/2007 10:51:00 AM | 0 comments »

This policy is valid from 21 November 2007

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for her posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger’s own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

The pill and cervical cancer risk

Posted by Puteri | 11/12/2007 10:39:00 AM | | 6 comments »

LONDON - Women taking the birth control pill have a slightly higher risk of cervical cancer, but that risk disappears a decade after they stop taking it, scientists say.

International researchers reported Friday in the British medical journal The Lancet that women who took the pill for at least five years had nearly double the cervical cancer risk of women who had never taken the pill.

But that risk is small and outweighed by the fact that the pill reduces the threat of other forms of cancer, The Lancet report said.

Full story here.

This news story brings me back to the issue of giving out contraceptive pills to middle school girls as young as 11.

When you start taking the pill at 11, how long do you think they will be taking it for? As long as they are sexually actually active and that could be till they are in their 30s or even later.

Have there been studies conducted on the effects of taking the pill at such an early age?

Women who have had multiple sex partners are more at risk to cervical cancer than those who have had one or two. Imagine girls being sexually active since they were 11? How many sex partners do you think they will have had by age 30?

So now, not only do young sexually active girls have to worry about contracting cervical cancer due to their promiscuous lifestyle, the pill which is supposed to protect them from unwanted pregnancies, increases their risk of contracting cervical cancer too.

I may be old-fashioned but being old fashioned and abstaining from a promiscuous lifestyle is a lot safer than the alternative.

Scientists in Japan have created two synthetic versions of an ingredient in curry that is noted for its potential to fight cancer.

Some studies have suggested that curcumin, the yellowish component in turmeric that gives curry its flavor, can suppress tumors and that people who eat lots of curry may be less prone to the disease. However, curcumin loses its anti-cancer attributes quickly when ingested.

The scientists wrote in the latest issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics that they had synthesized two variations -- GO-Y030 and GO-Y031 -- which have proved more potent and lasting than natural curcumin.

They tested them in mice with colorectal cancer and found that they worked far better.

"Our new analogues (synthetic versions) have enhanced growth suppressive abilities against colorectal cancer cell lines, up to 30 times greater than natural curcumin," said Hiroyuki Shibata, associate professor at Tohoku University's Institute of Development, Ageing and Cancer.

"In a mouse model for colorectal cancer, mice fed with five milligrams of GO-Y030 or GO-Y031 fared 42 and 51 percent better, respectively, than did mice in the control group."

Like curcumin, the two synthetic versions may be able to fight other cancers, such as gastric cancer and cancer of the breast, pancreas and lung, they added.

Source: Yahoo News

This is not only an amazing piece of news but also a wonderful one! I wrote earlier about the benefits of curry, and now to find that scientists have actually isolated and reproduced a synthetic version of the ingredient that is so effective at fighting cancer, is simply wonderful.

So how does it work? Carbon dioxide, the invisible, odourless gas that is part of the air we breathe, is injected just under the surface of the skin using a fine needle.

According to many studies, it diffuses into the surrounding tissues and causes blood vessels to dilate.

Wider vessels mean a stronger blood supply, which brings a rush of oxygen and nutrients to the treated area.

Evidence shows the carbon dioxide kills fat cells by causing them to distend, the extra oxygen eliminates fluid build-up between cells, and the skin is stimulated to produce more collagen.

The result, say practitioners, is fewer fat cells and firmer, younger skin. Medical studies have long shown carbon dioxide stimulates circulation.

It has been used in France since the Thirties to treat patients suffering from poor circulation, blocked arteries and heart problems.

More recently, research by the University of Siena in Italy showed Carboxy therapy is effective at smoothing skin and reducing fat.

In the study, 48 women had six sessions over three weeks. On average, their thighs reduced by 2cm, and they lost 1cm from each knee and 3cm from their stomach. At the same time their skin became thicker and their cellulite smoother.

The results on stretch marks and scars are permanent, but doctors suggest that to maintain reduced cellulite levels, you should have boosters every six months.

Carbon dioxide is a natural gas, produced by the cells in our bodies. Nontoxic and routinely used to inflate the abdomen for laparoscopic surgery, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled via our breath and kidneys.

Full story here.

If ever I felt I needed to do something about the wrinkles on my face and neck, I would seriously consider Botox. That was before I discovered Caroboxy therapy! Now that carboxy therapy is available as an option, I think this is more preferable! :-) Forget Botox! Carboxy therapy sounds like a very promising treatment. Fewer fat cells and younger looking skin? Wow, I like the sound of that!

Have you noticed what Botox can do to you, besides smoothening the wrinkle lines, that is? I think for women who go for Botox regularly you will notice the difference in the appearance of their cheeks. Their cheeks tend to look very prominent, like two eggs, is how my friend describes it. The fact the botulinum toxin that is injected into the muscle paralyses it, err, that doesn't sound too good!

I think I will choose Carboxy therapy over Botox! A woman gotta do what she's gotta do to stay young looking! Heheh.

Health Benefits of Persimmons

Posted by Puteri | 11/03/2007 03:34:00 PM | | 0 comments »

I love persimmons and at this time of the year, persimmons are abundant!

I always credited my ability to conceive to persimmons. I had been married more than three and the year I got pregnant, I ate a lot of persimmons. Before that, Doug and I had gone on an extended holiday. It was busy trip hopping from plane to plane and airport to airport. When we got home it was persimmon season. I ate lots of it. That was the only thing I did different that year, apart from the tiring holiday.

And just before Thanksgiving that year, I felt strange. My heart would race for no reason. In fact it alarmed me. Many times I thought I was going to have a heart attack! :-) I was pregnant!

Today, I found that persimmons have some really good health benefits.

Persimmons contain significant concentrations of dietary fiber, minerals and phenolic compounds - all instrumental in fighting atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

Persimmons are also rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese.

According to Shela Gorinstein, Ph.D., a research associate with the department of medicinal chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, eating one medium-sized persimmon (about 100 grams) a day is enough to help fight atherosclerosis.

Eat your persimmon today, and enjoy its health benefits as well!

Source: A Persimmon A Day Could Be Better For Your Heart Than An Apple

The Health Benefits of Curry

Posted by Puteri | 11/02/2007 10:06:00 PM | | 0 comments »

Did you know that eating curry is good for you?

One of the spicy ingredients in curry is tumeric and it contains a crucial chemical called curcumin. Researchers have found that tumeric can help slow the progression of neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is linked to the build up of knots in the brain called amyloid plaques.

Turmeric reduced the number of these plaques by a half.

It is interesting to note that studies have found that in India only 1% of people over age 65 living in some villages suffer from Alzheimer's.

Tumeric is also beneficial for digestion, fighting infection and guarding against heart attacks. It has also been found that tumeric eases the swelling in joints for those suffering from arthritis and rheumatism.

I love curries, and with this great news, I will try to cook curried food more often! :-)

Sources: BBC News | Tasty Curry Might Have a Fringe Benefit

Breast Cancer and Middle Eastern Women

Posted by Puteri | 10/27/2007 09:12:00 PM | , | 2 comments »


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - One Saudi woman ignored the cancer growing in her breast because she didn't want to risk a referral to a male doctor. Another was divorced by her husband on the mere suspicion she had the disease, while a third was dragged away from a mammogram machine because the technicians were men.

Breast cancer is still considered a taboo in oil-rich Arab Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia even as the disease claims more and more victims, but some women are pushing for greater openness about the illness.

Their efforts received a boost this week: a visit from U.S. first lady Laura Bush to the region to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Full story here.
This story really saddens me. About 70% of breast cancer cases go unreported in Saudi Arabia until they are in the late stage. 30% of the patients are under 40 years old compared to only 5% in the US.

The saddest thing about the whole thing is that everyone in Saudi Arabia has access to free health care and the country has the best medical equipment and doctors. It is hard to change the mindset of a deeply religious and conservative society.

Chinese herbs for relieving menstrual pains

Posted by Puteri | 10/27/2007 08:50:00 PM | | 4 comments »

HONG KONG - A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests that Chinese herbs might be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.

Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal.

“All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), OCPs (oral contraceptive pill), acupuncture and heat compression,” said lead author Xiaoshu Zhu from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney.

Full story here.

I have always prefered a more natural alternative to drugs, if the natural alternative is proven effective.

Some of the Chinese herbs used in the concoction were Chinese angelica root (danggui), Szechuan lovage root (chuanxiong), red peony root (chishao), white peony root (baishao), Chinese motherwort (yimucao), fennel fruit (huixiang), nut-grass rhizome (xiangfu), liquorice root (gancao) and cinnamon bark (rougui).



Left, liquorice root, and right, red peony root.

I wonder if these herbs and others were put in a tablet form, it will be as effective? Hope some day there will be seach an herbal tablet available so women all over the world can have a safe alternative to pain killing drugs.

Effects of Dioxin Pollution

Posted by Puteri | 10/20/2007 03:16:00 PM | | 2 comments »

TORONTO (Reuters) - More girls than boys are born in some Canadian communities because airborne pollutants called dioxins can alter normal sex ratios, even if the source of the pollution is many kilometers away, researchers say.

Dioxin exposure has been shown elsewhere to lead to both higher cancer rates and the birth of more females.

Researchers at the IntrAmericas Centre for Environment and Health say their findings, released this month, confirm the phenomenon in Canada.

Read the full story here.


As if we don't have enough to worry about! :-( I don't think the fact that more girls than boys being born is all that much to worry about, but the cancer risks associated with dioxin pollution is something everyone should be worried about.

I was born and raised in a town that had an oil refinery. For a long time the refinery caused severe pollution in a small river near where it was built because refinery waste was dumped into the river. Naturally the pollution was not confined to the river alone. The sea area near the river constantly smelled of oil.

I had often wondered what was in the water or in the air in my home town, because at my age I knew too many people who had died of cancer. Close friends and neighbors who had died of cancer. Only a few survived breast cancer.

Now with this piece of news out of Canada, I am beginning to suspect the possibility of dioxin pollution being the main culprit in the high incidence of cancer related deaths. Not only did we breathed the air near the refinery, we frequented the beach and swam in the sea, and ate the fish harvested from the sea there.

The refinery is no longer in existence now. It stopped operating about 10 years ago and the whole structure has been taken down.

The refinery may be gone but there are saw mills in the town or about 25 kilometers away. I guess we cannot be sure if the cancer risks that residents of that town used to face because of the presence of the oil refinery is completely gone.

Pills for 11 to13 year-olds?

Posted by Puteri | 10/17/2007 12:27:00 PM | | 0 comments »

A middle school in Portland, Maine is considering giving birth control pills to middle school students.

Students at King Middle School in Portland, Maine can already get condoms from their school and now the school committee is considering letting them get birth control pills as well.

The average age of a middle school student is 11 to 13 years-old. King Middle School would be the first middle school in the state of Maine to provide birth control pills.

Children need their parents’ consent to be treated at the school’s health center, but the kids do not have to tell their parents the reason they are being treated. The identities of the children receiving birth control pills would be kept confidential.

According to the State of Maine, 13% of middle school students are sexually active.

Source: MyEyewitnessnews.com

Sex happens. Because of that young girls should be given birth control pills to prevent unwanted pregnancies. What is wrong with this scenario?!

In the first place why are 11 to13 year-old kids having sex? Where are the parents? Aren't they watching what their children are doing?

By what authority is the school allowed to give out birth control pills to 11 to 13 year-old girls? It is just unbelievable that the school is bypassing parents and giving out these pills behind the parents' back! Why is it ok to give out birth control pills without the parents' consent yet it is not ok to even give tylenol, a harmless pain killer, to kids without the parents' permission?

I am practically frothing at the mouth at what is going on here! Just because sex happens, is there no reason to teach children to abstain from sex until they are adults? Don't these adults who are proponents of giving kids the pill care what the possible long term effects of taking pills this early in one's life?

Parents, wake up, and take back the control over your young daughters' lives instead of giving it to your local school or government by default!

Liquid Vitamins

Posted by Puteri | 10/13/2007 10:55:00 AM | 0 comments »

How many of you like to pay more than necessary for a product or any product for that matter? I don't. One way I have found that really saves me money is to get my vitamins and food supplements from the discount vitamin supplement store or direct from the manufacturer.

Liquid Vitamin Stop is one such store. At this store the vitamins and supplements that they carry are in liquid form, not the usual tablet form that most of us are familiar with. Liquid supplements are absorbed and assimilated faster than pills which means less loss of the nutrients through natural flushing of the body. For those with difficulty swallowing tablets, or digesting tablets, the liquid form is the best form of taking the vitamin supplements.

Many of us who are looking for more natural remedies for our ailments and for maintaining our health rely on Natural Vitamin Supplements that are made from the highest quality ingredients and nutrients to hep us do so. The best part of this is that we do not have to pay the multi-level marketing companies' price to get these high quality products!

Brought to you by your friends at http://www.liquidvitaminstop.com/

Microderm Abrasion

Posted by Puteri | 10/03/2007 01:42:00 PM | | 8 comments »

One of the most useful beauty products that I was introduced to recently is the Beauticontrol Microderm Abrasion Set.

I have been using the product in conjunction with Beauticontrol Skinlogic Gold skin care set for about 7 months now. I wished I had been introduced to these products sooner!

I have noticed a marked improvement in the overall appearance of my facial skin. It is a lot smoother, the lines are greatly reduced and even the dark spots associated with aging are becoming lighter. Dare I say, I have a more radiant looking skin? YES!

I can't wait for my sisters-in-law to notice the difference in my appearance when I see them again next year. They know I am not the kind of person who spends a lot of money on beauty products, nor am I the kind of person who goes to beauty salons for facials and the like.

With the Microderm Abrasion set, I can do my own facial spa at home without having to spend the big bucks for a similar treatment at the salons.

The discounts that I get for being a consultant with Beauticontrol have made the prices of the products affordable and comparable to the other more popular brand names. Even though I prefer not to spend too much on beauty products I am prepared to spend on products that really work for me. At my age, the signs of aging should not be taken lying down. Fight them and slow them as much as I can! :-)

If you shop around on the internet you can get some really good deals for Beauticontrol products, prices that are lower than normal retail prices.

Crystallized Ginger

Posted by Puteri | 9/29/2007 02:15:00 PM | | 2 comments »

In the past, I had used ginger for relieving my digestive problems, especially problems with gas, and had always found it very beneficial. What I did was heat a chunk of mature ginger over a flame, pound it to flatten it, put it in a cup and add boiling water to it. I would drink it like I would drink any tea, and as a sweetener I sometimes added a teaspoonful of honey.

Last Wednesday, I bought a small bag of crystallized ginger from a vendor at the local flea market. I liked the product that I had bought because the ginger used was mature and therefore had the strong hot/spicy taste. It worked wonders for my gas problem.

Other than eating the crystallized ginger like you would any candy, you can also put a few pieces in a hot cup of water and drink the water like you would with ginger tea. It works just as well for relieving your gas problem.

Ginger is also beneficial for the treatment of motion sickness, nausea associated with pregnancy, and holds potential benefit in the treatment of arthritis, asthma, menstrual cramps, and migraines.

Further reading on the benefits of ginger: The Joy of Ginger

Treating suspected yeast infection

Posted by Puteri | 9/28/2007 12:22:00 PM | 1 comments »

Many women use over the counter medication to treat suspected yeast infection. Over the counter medication is usually sufficient and effective in treating yeast infections.

But there are many women who don't actually have a yeast infection but use over the counter yeast infection medication to treat their persistent vaginal itching. Repeated use of over the counter yeast infection medication can in fact cause harm. The normal flora of the vagina can be altered by overuse of OTC remedies leading to other health problems like drug-resistant strains of Candida which are becoming increasingly common.

Women who think they have persistent yeast infection actually do not have a yeast infection and their problem could be due to sexually transmitted infections, dry skin, or inflammation. Women need to see a doctor or nurse practitioner and have a pelvic exam and lab tests, if necessary.

Source: Reuters Health

I was quite concerned when I read the press release issued on August 9, 2007 by the FDA warning consumers not to buy three Red Yeast products being sold on the internet.

I have a bottle of Red Yeast that I bought from my favorite manufacturer, Wonderlaboratories. It is not on that list but I am concerned if the bottle I have also contained the drug lovastatin which is found in red yeast. It does not say on the bottle that lovastatin is in the product so that is a good sign.

Drugs are regulated by the FDA and since dietary supplements do not come under the same regulation, any red yeast sold that does contain lovastatin is illegal.

Lovastatin is the active ingredient that helps lower blood cholesterol and if the red yeast that I have does not contain the active ingredient, then what good is it for? Definitely not for lowering cholesterol! Might as well chuck it away, eh! The dietary supplement should also not be promoted as a cholesterol lowering product if it does not do what it claims to do!

Further reading: Non Prescription Cholesterol Lowering.

I have been spending a lot more time than usual in front of my computer this past couple of months. The result? Pain in my right shoulder, and numbness in my right arm and wrist! :-( Even my eyes are beginning to feel the strain. My right eye is tearing up more than usual. For the pain in my right shoulder, I have even resorted to taking muscle relaxants to ease the tension on my shoulder. There have been times when the numbness in my right arm got so bad that I had to stop working on my computer.

What I am experiencing is what is known as computer related stress injuries. According to a research published in 1997 by a scientist at San Francisco State University, people who use a mouse with their computer suffer more than twice as much muscle tension in their arms, necks and shoulders as those who don't use a mouse. :-( I prefer to use the mouse than the touch pad pointer on my laptop computer because the touch paid strained my muscles in my palm and fingers. Looks like I can't win with either method!

The good news is that there are some guidelines that computer users can follow to minimize computer related stress injuries. The following suggestions were compiled by Digital Network.

    1. Stretch while seated at your desk in order to prevent some injuries.

    2. The target field (the size and point on the screen that you look at) should be set so that it can be seen conveniently without shifting or tilting your your head. You should be able to see the top of the target field. An adjustable monitor stand may help. Your head should face in a straight, neutral position - not facing either upward or downward.

    3. Exercise while at your desk. Drop your head gently forward. Slowly rotate it clockwise and counterclockwise. Blink frequently to moisten your eyes so that they feel less tired. You may need to use use eye drops to moisten them still more if you stare at the screen too long.

    4. Stare at a distant object from time to time. You may want to look out the window at a fixed object and then look at something else nearby, like your phone. Keep shifting your point of vision.

    5. Adjust your chair so that your neck is always straight while facing the screen. Don’t hold the phone between your neck and shoulder. If you use the phone a great deal, buy a telephone headset.

    6. Use your right hand to hold on to the seat of your chair. Move your head forward, and then turn and lean to your left. You will feel a stretch from the neck to the top of the shoulder blade. Keep stretching for fifteen seconds. Reverse - do it with your left hand and lean to the right.

    7. If you feel that your shoulders are beginning to be rounded after an extended period of time in the same position, correct it by sitting up with a straight back.

    8. Slowly move your shoulders up and down. Let your arms hang down next to you, and then rotate your shoulders clockwise and counter-clockwise.

    9. Adjust the height of your keyboard and chair so that your arms and elbows are close to your body, and so that your elbow is at a right angle.

    10. Raise your right arm as if to throw an object. Keep stretching back a bit further. Gradually straighten your arm at the elbow. Your arm will then be behind and next to you. Slowly turn your palm upward. Gradually extend your fingers until you feel your muscles stretching at your forearm and wrist. Do it again, this time with your left arm.

    11. Straighten your back. Your arms should be next to you with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Make fists with both hands. Rotate your elbows forward, but keep your fists in front of your waist. Straighten your elbows. Stretch your arms back behind your body. You’ll feel your forearm and wrist muscles stretching.

    12. Your wrists should remain straight as you type. Adjust your keyboard shelf or seat so that they do not go up or down. You may want to put down your keyboard’s little folding “feet”. You may want to consider a foam wrist pad for support if your arms get tired from too much typing.

    13. Look for a comfortable mouse. There are special mouses (yes, that’s the plural form for a computer mouse) for lefties and righties, and for small or large hands.

    14. Hold both hands in a clapping position. Use the palm of one hand to press back the wrist and fingers of the other hand. After three seconds, rest and then repeat this stretch for your other hand. Do this procedure five times for each hand.

    15. Keep your fingernails short, so that you don’t have to use the pads of your fingers. Your fingers should be relaxed and slightly curved when typing.

    16. While keeping your wrists straight, stretch the fingers of both hands apart as widely as you can for three seconds. Relax. Do it again and again, for a total of five times.

    17. Sit straight. Keep your supplies handy so that you don’t have to stretch for them.

    18. This exercise and the following one may be dangerous for those who suffer from back problems: Touch your shoulders with your fingertips while sitting at the edge of your chair. Gradually twist and stretch right to left.

    19. Lock the fingers of your hands together behind your head. Slowly tilt and stretch your body from side to side.

    20. Your lap and your feet should rest comfortably. They should be parallel to the floor. Either adjust your seat or use a footrest with a nonslip surface. Be sure there is enough room under your desk to stretch your legs.

    21. Take frequent but short walks. Handle small errands in the office yourself, as an excuse to get up and walk around. It’s best to get up every twenty to thirty minutes, and you should never sit in the same position for more than 2 hours. From time to time, take a fast-paced walk around the neighborhood. Unless your neighborhood is even more dangerous than the effects of repetitive stress injuries.

The right bra matters when exercising

Posted by Puteri | 9/13/2007 11:22:00 AM | | 0 comments »

Did you know that ordinary bras don't quite do the job of supporting bouncing breasts during exercise?

A new study claims that women's breasts can bounce up to eight inches vertically during exercise. Wow! That much bouncing can definitely be painful for those with large breasts!

This story reminds us to use the right kind of bra when doing exercise especially the kinds of exercise that tend to make the breasts bounce more than usual. The good news in this story is that the researcher is "working with major bra manufacturers in Britain and globally to design a bra that minimizes breast movement in all three dimensions. The next bra, she hopes, will incorporate "smart materials" that can change to provide custom-made support for each woman and her activity level."

Each woman walked, jogged and ran while wearing different bra types. During the exercise, Scurr took biomechanical measurements, including the amount of breast movement in three directions: up-and-down, side-to-side and in-and-out.

During walking exercise, the women's breasts moved relatively the same amount in all directions. But when participants sped up to a jog or run, their breasts moved proportionally more in some directions than others: More than 50 percent of the total movement was in the up-down direction, 22 percent side-to-side and 27 percent in-and-out.

The overall pattern of the movement resembled a figure-8.

Typically, bras are designed to minimize up-and-down motion and not the other two dimensions of breast movement found in Scurr's study.

Full story here.

Fragrance

Posted by Puteri | 9/13/2007 10:44:00 AM | | 0 comments »

I love perfumes but I don't buy them often. So far I have been disciplined enough to buy my perfumes at duty free shops when I travel. The last bottle of perfume I bought, at a duty free shop in San Francisco, was 100 ml J'adore by Dior. That was my first Dior perfume and I love the scent! I had always preferred Estee Lauder, but ever since I saw and tried my friend's J'adore, I couldn't resist getting a bottle for myself. A good friend of mine gave me a 50 ml bottle of Dior Addict on my birthday last year. :* Fabulous!

I mentioned earlier that I love White Musk by The Body Shop. I found out later that there is a Body Shop at one of the malls in Sacramento. I've only been to the mall once this year and I thought I saw The Body Shop there but wasn't sure. Anyway, I'd like to go to The Body Shop sometime soon and get my White Musk perfume oil and another called Dewberry. A former colleague loved to wear Dewberry, and I loved the fruity smell. I will always think of this colleague whenever I smell this scent.

'Tai chi' Lowers Blood Pressure For Older Adults

Posted by Puteri | 9/11/2007 03:53:00 PM | | 0 comments »

When I read that Tai Chi can lower blood pressure for older adults, I was quite excited. I hate to exercise. I have an exercise bicycle in my bedroom and the handles are used to hang my handbags! I don't mind walking but Doug, my husband, has yet to build a walking path for me around the perimeter of our property.

I thought a Tai Chi instruction video would be helpful and I immediately started searching for a site that sells Tai Chi videos. I found one but it was very expensive. Then I remembered, hey, since I have a Netflix subscription why not check to see if Netflix carry any Tai Chi videos? Voilá! There were several videos on Tai Chi and there was even one for Tai Chi For Older Adults! I am not a senior citizen yet, but, physically speaking, I might as well be one! That Tai Chi video is now at the top of the queue on my Netflix account.

Body Shop founder Anita Roddick dies

Posted by Puteri | 9/10/2007 09:43:00 PM | | 0 comments »

I love The Body Shop products and I still have some massage oil that I bought from one of The Body Shop stores in Malaysia. White Musk is my favorite fragrance from The Body Shop. :-) Where I live right now, I have not seen any Body Shop stores.

I am sorry to hear of the passing of the founder of The Body Shop, Anita Roddick.

(CNN) -- The founder of The Body Shop, which grew from one shop in southern England to an international chain, has died, the chairman of Body Shop International confirmed Monday.

Anita Roddick, 64, died after suffering a major brain hemorrhage, her family said in a statement to the UK Press Association. Her husband, Gordon, and daughters, Sam and Justine, were all with her at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester, England.

Roddick had revealed in February that she contracted hepatitis C through a blood transfusion while giving birth to a daughter in 1971, according to The Associated Press.

Full story here.

Cheaper Alternative to Health Insurance

Posted by Puteri | 9/08/2007 07:55:00 PM | 2 comments »

When I first arrived in this country, I did not have any health insurance at all. Good thing I did not need to see the doctor for any major illness, except for some skin infection that I paid out of pocket when I had to see a doctor. However, I did have to see the doctor for all the medical checkups and tests like the TB test when I applied for my permanent residency. Of course I had to pay for everything out of my own pocket.

And there was that incident one winter when the crown on one of my teeth fell off! I had no insurance whatsoever. Fortunately all that was needed was to "glue" the crown back and that did not cost all that much.

Many people go without health insurance because they just can't afford it. But nowadays there are some cheaper alternatives to health insurance. If you can spare $19.95 a month, you can get a dental package with Ameriplan that includes Vision, Prescription and Chiropractic discount benefits. What's more, it covers the entire family that lives under the same roof. How about health care for only $59.95 a month for your entire household? Ameriplan has it too!

There is now no reason to go without any kind of health coverage when there are cheaper alternatives like Ameriplan available.


Brought to you by your friends at http://www.ourdentalplan.com/

Blueberries May Lower Blood Fat/Cholesterol

Posted by Puteri | 9/06/2007 09:44:00 AM | | 0 comments »

I did not know that blueberries contain a powerful cholesterol- and fat-fighting compound. This is simply wonderful news! I have been looking around for some natural solutions for treating high cholesterol. My bad cholesterol level is a bit on the high side. The fact that I don't exercise is not helping my condition!

I am already taking hydrochlorothiazide to treat my blood pressure and I sure do not want to take more drugs to treat my blood sugar level or my cholesterol level in the future! If there are natural solutions that work, all the better. Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering drug made by Pfizer have some adverse side effects.

An article I came across said that a cup of blueberries a day is more effective than any statin drug in lowering LDL cholesterol.

The other exciting news about blueberries is that Pterostilbene - the fat-fighting compound in blueberries - has been found to have cancer-fighting and diabetes-fighting properties. Diabetes is one disease I am concerned about because of my family history.

Can you get fresh blueberries all year round? The price of freeze dried blueberries is exhorbitant! The cheapest I've found cost $29.99 for a 12 oz can. That translates to 10 cups of blueberries. :-(

You already know blueberries are good for you. They're already touted as antioxidant-rich fruits that protect against the ravages of aging, heart disease, and cancer. Now add potential cholesterol-fighting effects to the list of blueberry benefits, suggests Agnes M. Rimando, PhD, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Products Utilization Research Center in Oxford, Miss.

Rimando and colleagues tested a compound found in blueberries, pterostilbene, for its ability to turn on a switch in cells that breaks down fat and cholesterol. They reported their findings at this week's 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

"We are excited to learn that blueberries, which are already rich in healthy compounds, may also be a potent weapon in the battle against obesity and heart disease," Rimando says in a news release.

Pterostilbene -- the fat-fighting compound in blueberries -- has been found to have cancer-fighting and diabetes-fighting properties. It's similar to resveratrol, which is found in grapes. That's one reason why moderate amounts of red wine are good for you. Rimando and colleagues report that the blueberry compound may be even more potent than the red-wine compound.

Read the full story here.

Men go for looks

Posted by Puteri | 9/04/2007 03:29:00 PM | | 4 comments »

How often do you see a good looking man with a below average looking woman? Not often, right? Usually a good looking man is often seen with a beautiful woman. How about an average looking man with a beautiful woman? Quite often, right?

Someone said on the radio today, when you see a beautiful woman with an average looking man, or below average looking man, check the size of his bank balance! Heheh, seems this is very true in Malaysia! But studies show men usually go for looks whereas women are more discriminating and go beyond looks when looking for a mate.

Researchers led by Todd report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that their study found humans were similar to most other mammals, "following Darwin's principle of choosy females and competitive males, even if humans say something different."

Their study involved 26 men and 20 women in Munich, Germany.

Participants ranged in age from 26 to their early 40s and took part in "speed dating," short meetings of three to seven minutes in which people chat, then move on to meet another dater. Afterward, participants check off the people they'd like to meet again, and dates can be arranged between pairs who select one another.

Speed dating let researchers look at a lot of mate choices in a short time, Todd said.

In the study, participants were asked before the session to fill out a questionnaire about what they were looking for in a mate, listing such categories as wealth and status, family commitment, physical appearance, healthiness and attractiveness.

After the session, the researchers compared what the participants said they were looking for with the people they actually chose to ask for another date.

Men's choices did not reflect their stated preferences, the researchers concluded. Instead, men appeared to base their decisions mostly on the women's physical attractiveness.

The men also appeared to be much less choosy. Men tended to select nearly every woman above a certain minimum attractiveness threshold, Todd said.

Women's actual choices, like men's, did not reflect their stated preferences, but they made more discriminating choices, the researchers found.

The scientists said women were aware of the importance of their own attractiveness to men, and adjusted their expectations to select the more desirable guys.

"Women made offers to men who had overall qualities that were on a par with the women's self-rated attractiveness. They didn't greatly overshoot their attractiveness," Todd said, "because part of the goal for women is to choose men who would stay with them"

But, he added, "they didn't go lower. They knew what they could get and aimed for that level."

Read the full story here.

Vaginal rejuvenation

Posted by Puteri | 8/31/2007 02:01:00 PM | | 3 comments »

I don't remember where I first read about this procedure. I was amused and then the question I started asking myself upon reading the popularity of the procedure among some women was, why bother? When I googled "vaginal rejuvenation" I can't believe the number of places offering the services!

Reuters
Updated: 12:01 p.m. PT Aug 31, 2007

Cosmetic procedures billed as ”vaginal rejuvenation,” “designer vaginoplasty” or even “revirgination” are not medically necessary and are not guaranteed to be safe, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cautioned on Friday.

The group, which educates and accredits doctors who treat women and deliver babies, said it is deceptive to give the impression that any of these procedures are accepted or routine.

In guidance published in the September issue of its journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology, the group, known as ACOG, said the procedures can cause complications such as infection, altered sensation, pain and scarring.

The procedures include changing the shape or size of the labia, “restoring” the hymen, and tightening the vagina.

Dr. Abbey Berenson, who helped write the guidelines, said some women may be fooled by deceptive marketing practices into thinking they need the surgery because they are somehow abnormal.

“Many women don’t realize that the appearance of external genitals varies significantly from woman to woman,” Berenson said in a statement.

Read more here.

Garlic good for fighting cancer cells

Posted by Puteri | 8/30/2007 10:51:00 PM | | 4 comments »

Garlic has become a popular food supplement for the support of a healthy cardiovascular system. Garlic contains the chemicals alliin and allinase, and when combined produce allicin — the active ingredient in garlic which most scientists believe is responsible for providing this important support for cardiovascular health.

The following story about what garlic can do sounds very promising. A friend of mine died of brain cancer while in his early thirties.

CHARLESTON, S.C., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Garlic can kill cells that cause glioblastoma, a brain cancer that is usually fatal, researchers in South Carolina have found.

Swapan Ray and Narendra Banik, neurosciences professors at the Medical University of South Carolina, said their discovery came during a search for a way to kill the cancer without harming healthy cells, The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier reported.

"In the disease, you want to kill the cells, but you want to protect others," Banik told the newspaper. "Our tests were to see how effective the compounds were."

Banik, Ray and post-doctoral fellow Arabinda Das tested several organic compounds on cancerous cells. They included garlic in the test program because of its reputation for having healing powers.

Three organo-sulfur compounds they tested effectively stopped the cancerous cells, Ray said.

"This research highlights the great promise of plant-originated compounds as natural medicine for controlling the malignant growth of human brain tumor cells," Ray said.

More studies are needed in animals before the therapeutic strategy can be applied to human patients, Ray said.

The research will be published next month in the American Cancer Society's journal, Cancer.

UPI Story via Science Daily News

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