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Saturday, 31 December 2011

12 tips to buy and sell real estate in 2012

Steve McLindenTo buy or sell in 2012, what with Armageddon coming and all? Absent any ancient Mayan wisdom on real estate strategies, let's just hope the real cataclysmic event in the real estate market already has passed, even if the rubble from the bubble remains.

A stubborn overstock of households with loans higher than their value will continue to restrain prices and create some major obstacles for sellers in 2012, a year that's shaping up to be another homebuyer's market. In fact, recent studies indicate that more than 20 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage are still underwater, hinting that many foreclosures and workouts are still to come.

However, even the most conservative forecasts call for growth in home sales in 2012, with some select pockets around the country already busting out where there are competitive offers on new listings. More than one-third of home resales were made to first-time buyers in 2011 -- another good sign.

Meanwhile, here are 12 tips for 2012, aimed largely at the group that needs the most help -- home sellers.

Tip 1
Price it right from the get-go

The old-school strategy of real estate sellers crossing their arms and holding out for a better offer will be brushed off by most homebuyers. Consider that of the homes that took four months or more to sell in the past year, almost half of their owners accepted less than 90 percent of the asking price, according to the National Association of Realtors. For a gauge, have your agent produce the latest comparable sales including short sales and foreclosures as well as a recent summary of sales prices versus original list prices. But be wary that such information doesn't reflect the homes that failed to sell.

Tip 2
Put your best footage forward

Prep, paint, stage, scrub, improve, repeat. Efforts can include caulking, plastering, planting flowers, adding potted plants, making the windows spotless, pressure washing that oily driveway, edging the walks, trimming the bushes and trees, and mending the fences. None of these is excessively capital-intensive, but when applied en masse, they say "buy me."

Tip 3
Be flexible

I'm not saying bend over backward to accommodate real estate buyers. Bend forward and sideways, too. Be ready to negotiate and offer extras such as closing costs, paid property taxes, remodeling work (or a cash credit), appliances, paid condo association/homeowner association dues, a few months of mortgage payments or even seller financing. Home sellers who've been on the sidelines and who advised their agents to ignore offers by lowballers don't have that luxury now. Instruct your agent to listen intently to prospective homebuyers' misgivings about the home and adjust accordingly and immediately.

Tip 4
Trump your techno-fears

Hire a listing agent steeped in mobile platforms. Sellers and buyers are routinely using Facebook and other social media to sell and seek, not to mention dozens of online selling sites. Some owners are even making YouTube videos to showcase their homes, making it easier to quickly link to potential buyers via email. There's also an abundance of smartphone apps cropping up to review real estate listings and refine searches.

Tip 5
Don't fall prey

Fraudsters are targeting distressed homeowners with "deals" that can sound perfectly legit. Some offer loan modifications for upfront fees while others offer fee-based "help" in navigating government housing assistance programs, sometimes claiming they're attorneys.

There are also con-artist "investors" compelling desperate owners to sign over their homes with quitclaim deeds in return for a typically empty promise to remain there indefinitely. Others are telling former owners they can get their homes back for a lump sum. Be forewarned: Never sign blank documents or documents with blank lines.

If you're unsure of an offer, have an attorney or other trusted adviser look it over. Keep in mind that a law barring firms -- except attorneys -- from charging upfront fees for mortgage relief or mortgage modification took effect in 2011. It's called the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule.

Tip 6
Finance 101

Realize it's harder to qualify for loans these days. Credit records are under greater scrutiny, and lenders are often demanding a 20 percent down payment and some pricing flexibility from the sellers, especially if the lender's appraisal doesn't reach the asking price.

Consider cash offers, even if they're not the highest. Reject too-low offers from homebuyers gently and with encouragement, telling them they're oh-so-close. You don't want to give away the farm, but you don't want to give it back to the bank either. These days, meeting halfway usually means meeting buyers on their half.

Tip 7
Be your own spokesperson

Agents once advised home sellers to retreat from view during showings, lest they disclose something unsavory or otherwise botch the deal. That's changed. If you can control your ego and emotions and come off as an earnest, flexible seller, you can serve as your best spokesperson. Be ready to answer would-be buyers' questions about the neighborhood and area schools. Be careful about making verbal promises!

Tip 8
Flight to quality

Worried about durability? Buyers who place a heavier focus on brick or concrete-and-steel housing may find they're more enduring, safer and quieter.

Are you worried about sustaining value? Buy near a prestigious hospital, university, large government employer or newly vibrant central business district. These entities typically aren't going away, and the demand for good housing around them won't either.

Tip 9
Expand your buying universe

There's still an overabundance of well-priced inventory out there, which means you needn't immediately narrow your search to the first house you fancy. That's especially the case with short sale homes, which can be a nightmare to close in a timely manner. There are some for-sale gems that need only a little polishing.

Shop around. Don't dismiss foreclosures and other bank properties, pre-foreclosures, auction homes, for-sale-by-owner or lease-to-own homes. Pick at least three favorites and work from there.

Tip 10
'Site unseen' equals shortsightedness

Are you perplexed by the home valuation you did on your place on the website of a large, seemingly reputable real estate organization? Puzzled how that valuation can be 25 percent or more above or below a firsthand appraisal you've had done? Well, value estimates on these sites can vary widely, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars, even by the admission of the companies themselves. There are way too many variables in the valuation game to give too much credence to blind, algorithm-based estimates that are impersonally calculated. Nothing beats a nuanced firsthand professional appraisal.

Tip 11
Expand your buyer's due diligence

Aside from the financial details, contracts, disclosures and protections you typically tend to as you prep to buy a home, add these to the list:

    Hire a title company to check the house for liens and tax arrearages.
    Hire you own inspector. Don't use the seller's!
    Have the inspector check for unpermitted work such as illegal room additions and garage conversions.
    Consider the overall energy efficiency of the home with an energy audit.
    Be sure property lines are accurate. If there's any question, hire a land surveyor to research the original deed and to stake out the property's lines and your neighbors' property lines to avoid future disputes.

Tip 12
Make a quality-of-life due-diligence checklist

    Go to the National Sex Offender Public Website at to search for neighborhood predators.
    Spend some time around the neighborhood and briefly interview neighbors. Determine if there are noisy neighbors, signs of gang activity, nocturnal barking dogs, indigent lingerers, frequent loud parties and/or suspicious nighttime visits. Are there lots of rental homes? Is the block a cut-through point during rush hour? Does the school bus go past the block? Is there a restrictive homeowners association?
    Determine what types of buildings can be constructed on vacant lots adjacent to the neighborhood. This helps avoid unpleasant future surprises. Is there constant noise from a nearby highway or busy street? Are there odors from nearby industrial plants?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Benefits of Roselle

The roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of Hibiscus native to the Old World tropics, used for the production of bast fibre and as an infusion. It is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub, growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall. The leaves are deeply three- to five-lobed, 8–15 cm (3–6 in) long, arranged alternately on the stems.

The flowers are 8–10 cm (3–4 in) in diameter, white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, and have a stout fleshy calyx at the base, 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) wide, enlarging to 3–3.5 cm (1.2–1.4 in), fleshy and bright red as the fruit matures. It takes about six months to mature.

The scientists from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) found certain varieties of roselle to contain high levels of organic acid called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which is currently used in some weight loss products and supplements. This finding has added further value to the fruit which is already known to be rich in both vitamin C and anthocyanins (potent antioxidants).

Although the potential of HCA as a weight lowering compound has been recognised since 1970s, few clinical studies have been conducted with this compound. These few studies resulted in both positive and negative results, the negative ones are most likely due to HCA being poorly available in the cytosol of a target cell. Better HCA compounds, such as potassium HCA, are being developed to address this, i.e. to further improve the bioavailablity and the efficacy of HCA.

In any case roselle is already known as a health drink due to its high contents of vitamin C and anthocyanins (antioxidants). Vitamin C and anthocyanins found in roselle juice or tea drink are good for our health and can increase the level of resistance of our body to diseases. In some countries roselle is becoming increasingly popular for health purposes, for example its leaves and fruits are claimed to be effective in controlling high blood pressure.

Roselle, or Rosella Fruit, or Binomially speaking Hibiscus Sabdariffa. This annual or perennial herb is one of the species of Hibiscus. The fruit of Roselle plant become mature in about six months and that is when it gets beautiful bright red color. While still immature, this plant can have whitish or yellowish colors with a dark reddish spot at the bottom of each petal. The stem of the Roselle plant is cultivated for the production of Bast Fiber or Skin Fiber which is then used to make burlap (Woven Fabric, Gunny Cloth, or Coarse Fabric).

Roselle plant has been and still is considered as an AntiHypertensives (used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure), Mild Laxative (used to induce bowel movements), and Diuretic (used to elevate the rate of urination to treat drug overdose or poisoning). The Red Calyces or Sepals of this plant are used by some countries for food colorings, for flowers, for syrups, for jams, or for many different kinds of drinks. And the green leaves of Roselle can be used for salads, for curry, for teas, for lotions, for wounds, and for sores.

So, the Nutrients in one cup (57 grams) of Raw Roselle Plant without any refuse are:

- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2, Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3, Niacin
- Vitamin C
- Protein
- Calcium
- Iron
- Magnesium
- Phosphorus
- Potassium
- Sodium
- Natural Fats
- Carbohydrates
- Calories

According to these Nutrients we can come up with these Health Benefits of Roselle Plant:

Vitamin C:
- Improves wound healing
- Prevents cells from damages
- Improves gums health
- Improves teeth health
- Improves Immune System
- Protects from free radicals
- Reduces Aging
- Lowers Risks of some Cancers
- Improves Iron absorption
- Improves Lung health
- Prevents from frequent colds
- Protects from frequent infections

- Maintains healthy bones
- Improves nerve function
- Improves muscle function
- Supports Healthy blood clotting
- Reduces feet tingling
- Reduces hand tingling
- Lowers chance of retardation in children
- Reduces chance of bone deformities
- Reduces feet numbness
- Reduces hand numbness
- Improves teeth health

Benefits Pigeon Meat (Squab) For Health

Pigeons are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. In culinary terminology, squab is a young domestic pigeon or its meat. The meat is widely described as tasting like dark chicken. The term is probably of Scandinavian origin; the Swedish word skvabb means "loose, fat flesh". It formerly applied to all dove and pigeon species, such as the Wood Pigeon, the Mourning Dove, and the now-extinct Passenger Pigeon, and their meat. More recently, squab meat comes almost entirely from domesticated pigeons. The meat of dove and pigeon gamebirds hunted primarily for sport is rarely called squab.

The practice of domesticating pigeon as livestock may have come from the Middle East; historically, squabs or pigeons have been consumed in many civilizations, including Ancient Egypt, Rome and Medieval Europe. Although squab has been consumed throughout much of recorded history, it is generally regarded as exotic, not as a contemporary staple food; there are more records of its preparation for the wealthy than for the poor.

The modern squab industry uses utility pigeons. Squabs are raised until they are roughly a month old, when they reach adult size but have not yet flown, before being slaughtered.

 Benefits Pigeon Meat (Squab)  For Health

The Nutrients in one Raw Meat-Only Squab which is about 168 grams are:

- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1, Thiamin (good amount)
- Vitamin B2, Riboflavin (good amount)
- Vitamin B3, Niacin (large amount)
- Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid
- Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine (good amount)
- Vitamin B9, Folate
- Vitamin B12, Cobalamin
- Vitamin C (good amount)
- Protein (large amount)
- Calcium
- Iron (good amount)
- Phosphorus (large amount)
- Selenium (good amount)
- Zinc (good amount)
- Copper (large amount)
- Natural Fats
- Cholesterol (large amount)
- Magnesium
- Manganese
- Potassium
- Sodium
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids
- Calories

- Improves Immune system function
- Supports Healthy skin
- Supports Healthy nails
- Supports Healthy hair
- Supports enzyme production
- Reduces weight loss
- Lowers chances of fatigue
- Lowers chance of weakness
- Improves healthy development
- Supports blood clotting
- Improves healthy growth

Vitamin B3:
- Lowers Bad Cholesterol Levels (LDL)
- Raises Good Cholesterol Levels (HDL)
- Normalizes Blood Sugar Levels
- Supports Healthy Fat process
- Reduces Weakness
- Normalizes appetite
- Reduces skin infections
- Reduces digestive issues
- Provides Healthy Energy
- Improves Skin health

- Reduces tissue damage
- Supports bone health
- Supports thyroid gland function
- Support Nerves health
- Increases Good Cholesterol (HDL)
- Decreases Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
- Reduces Fatigue
- Reduces Weakness

Vitamin B6:
- Supports Brain Function
- Provides Healthy Energy
- Reduces Risk of Heart attack
- Supports Nervous system
- Protects from homocysteine build-up
- Reduces fatigue
- Lowers chance of anemia
- Helps protect from eczema
- Helps protect from dermatitis
- Supports healthy skin
- May reduce seizures

- Improves Oxygen distribution
- Improves Immune System
- Provides Healthy energy
- Reduces fatigue
- Reduces weakness
- Improves concentration ability
- Lowers chance of infections
- Supports healthy hair
- Reduces Dizziness
- Lowers chances of headaches
- Strengthens nails
- Protects from apathy
- Lowers risks of depression

- Helps prevent warts
- Helps cure from warts
- Improves Immune system function
- Supports cell growth
- Improves Wound Healing
- Improves smelling ability
- Improves tasting ability
- Normalizes blood sugar level
- Regulates metabolism
- Normalizes appetite
- Reduces depression
- Supports healthy growth in children
- Protects from frequent colds
- Protects from frequent infections

Vitamin B1:
- Regulates Energy Supplies
- Supports Healthy Heart Function
- May Increase appetite
- Reduces Numbness in Legs
- Supports Muscles
- Supports Nervous system
- Supports Cardiovascular function

- Protects from free radicals
- Improves thyroid function
- Reduces risk of joint inflammation
- Lowers chances of muscle pain
- Reduces weakness
- Protects from skin discoloration
- Protects from hair discoloration
- Lowers risk of some cancers
- Reduces risk of heart disease

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Kids Healthy Meals

Parents who give their kids healthy meals at home aren't doing their children any favors by feeding them fatty restaurant fare.

The American Dietetic Association offers these dietary suggestions for kids at restaurants:
  • Dine at places that offer balanced, healthy child-size meals and sides.
  • Order milk for your child's drink, and fruit for dessert.
  • Order dishes plain, and ask for sauces on the side.
  • Choose apple slices, carrots or other healthy dishes in place of fries.
  • Let your child choose between two or three healthy choices that you select.
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of calcium by adding cheese to a sandwich, or ordering a side of yogurt.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mentega Mengandungi DNA Babi

 Mentega mengandungi DNA babi

KUALA LUMPUR - Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) mengesahkan mentega jenama ‘Pure Creamery Butter-Golden Churn’ yang dipasarkan di Malaysia adalah tidak halal.

Ketua Pengarahnya, Othman Mustapha berkata, keputusan itu dibuat selepas, mendapati produk itu datang dari kilang yang sama dengan yang diedarkan di Sarawak walaupun pengimportnya berbeza.

“Perkara ini disahkan wakil syarikat Ballantyne Food dari New Zealand. Berikutan itu, umat Islam diminta tidak menggunakan produk tersebut,” katanya dalam satu kenya­taan di sini.

Othman juga meminta pemegang dan permohonan baru Sijil Pengesahan Halal dari Jakim atau jabatan agama Islam negeri yang menggunakan produk tersebut, menukarnya kepada yang mempunyai sijil halal serta mengemukakan resit pembelian bahan ramuan baru.

Othman berkata, perkara itu telah dimaklumkan kepada syarikat pengimport dan mereka bersetuju menarik balik produk terbabit dari pasaran.

Pada 19 Julai lepas, Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak mengisytiharkan produk itu yang digunakan segelintir pengusaha kek lapis sebagai tidak halal kerana dikesan mengandungi DNA (asid deoksiribonukleik) babi, menyebabkan industri makanan itu terjejas.- Bernama

Jakim: Golden Churn Butter is non-halal

 The product is declared non-halal after it was found to contain pig DNA.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) today confirmed that the ‘Pure Creamery Butter-Golden Churn’ sold in Malaysia is non-halal.

Its director-general, Othman Mustapha, said the decision was made after finding that the product came from the same factory as that distributed in Sarawak, although there were brought into the country by different importers.

“This was confirmed by the agent of Ballantyne Food, from New Zealand, which manufactures the product.

“Therefore, Muslims should not use the product,” he said in a statement here today.

Last July 19, the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department had declared the product non-halal after it was found to contain pig DNA.

Othman said the company had been informed of the matter and it had agreed to withdraw the product from the shelves.

He said the decision was made after discussing the matter with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry, the Chemistry Department, the Health Ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division, the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department and the Johor Islamic Religious Department on Aug 8.

With the product being confirmed non-halal, he advised holders and new applicants of the halal certificate who use the product to change it with other type of butter which is certified halal and to keep the purchase receipt of the new product as proof.

They are also required to carry out a ritual cleansing process by using clay soil and water, known as ‘samak’, and it has to be witnessed by the Islamic Religious Department in the respective states, he added.


Monday, 8 August 2011

More Traffic SEO

Keyword research, finding the right keywords for your website or product, is one of the fundamental activities in SEO.

The keywords you use to promote your website effectively selects what people will be visiting your website and you better make sure this is people interested in buying your products and services!

If you sell your own product the type of visitor will determine your conversion rate and visitor value. If you use AdSense on your website the type of visitor will determine your CPM. If you sell advertising directly the type of visitor will determine how long people are staying on your website which affects your page view statistics.

The keywords you use to promote your website directly determines the level of income you will have from your website.

How To Choose Keywords

Fist of all you need to have an idea of what products or services your are going to sell. At this point I'll just assume you already know that.

Now you start by making a list of all keywords related to you main product or service by brainstorming. Just write down everything you can think of, here's a list to get your started.
  •     Brand names
  •     Who is using the product (dentist,webmaster, mothers etc)
  •     Where is the product used (home, office, underwater, on website etc)
  •     Related products (soap - shampoo, car - insurance, hosting - domain names)
  •     Season (summer, Christmas, harvest etc)
  •     Product features (low noise, easy to use, cheap, high availability, tasty, blue)

When you have a list of 50-200 keywords you are ready for the next step which is keyword tools.

Keywords tools helps you find synonyms and related keywords that you didn't think about. They also help you determine if a keyword is likely to bring in paying customers or just browsers. And finally they help you determine the level of SEO competition for a keyword.

The fist tool to use is the Google keyword tool which is free and uses the Google index to find relevant keywords. The Google keyword tool tells you exactly what people are searching for on Google, it lets you know what people are interested in and in great detail.

As en example I type in the keyword "add url" into the box I quickly find out that there is several types of "add url" searched for.
  •     directory add url
  •     search engine add url
  •     seo add url

There is also some synonyms for add url
  •     submit url
  •     adding url
  •     register url
  •     add link

In my case as I run a search engine I might want to concentrate on the "search engine add url" and "seo add url". I also want to use the variations "submit url" and "add link" and probably also "search engine submit url" and "search engine add link"

As you see there is endless variations and you should now write down all the keyword that is relevant to your business and has some level of traffic. Use Excel or the free alternative, to easily keep track of your keyword lists.

Now that you have the keywords you need to find out the competition. If you are just starting out you don't want to take on a big competitor head on, instead try finding areas (keywords) that you competitor is neglecting and with those.

For every keyword in your list type in this at Google

allintitle:your keywords

Replace "your keywords" with your actual keyword phrase.

This query returns the sites that have your keyword phrase in the title of the webpage. Note the number of search results returned and write it down in your Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet This is a rough indicator of the level of competition for that keyword.

And yes I know this is a lot of work so you might want to start with your most important keywords and continue with the rest later. (There's tools to make this task easier but they are not free so I'll tell you about them later...)

You now need to decide what page on your website is going to target what keyword. No single page should target more than two or in some cases three keywords/phrases, otherwise you have a loss of focus and the page will not be effective for sales or for SEO.

Finally you need to decide where to start. What pages you are going to build first and what keywords to optimize for first. A good idea is to start with the EASIEST keywords with the least amount of competition.

Sure you are not going to get a lot of traffic with these keywords, but you can expect to get a #1 Google ranking fairly quickly and with that you'll get some visitors and much needed feedback on you website and marketing message.

You'll also start generating some cash to help you along.

When you have mastered the easy keywords you just go on to the medium competition ones, and then you have those at #1 go on with the tough ones.

Now you probably think that this is a lot of work, and it is! But choosing the right keywords and target market can mean a ten fold increase in income ones the traffic is starting to flow.

And as I said earlier there's tools to make your work easier.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Super Human

Omega3 Fatty Acids are priority one when it comes to providing your body what it needs if you want to stay young and fight off disease! Adding fats to your diet is essential if you want to live a healthy lifestyle that results in feeling and looking great, but it has to be the right kind of fats. Essential fatty acids fall within this category and are a crucially important addition to anyone’s diet.

Omega3 fatty acids are made up of two components:

DHA (which stands for docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

The best source of DHA and EPA are fish, especially salmon, seaweed, shellfish and algae. Furthermore, you can also get omega3 fatty acids from unrefined whole grains, dark & leafy greens and certain nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. This second group contains ALA (alpha linolenic acid) which your body then converts to EPA and DHA.

Your best bet, however, is to get your omega-3’s from seafood because your body converts only about 15 percent of dietary ALA to EPA and much less to DHA.

What do you do if you don’t like, and absolutely refuse to eat, seafood? Well, fortunately you can get omega-3’s in capsule form. Not everyone’s stomach can handle these capsules, but try them out for one month. It’s an extremely convenient way to add omega-3’s to your diet.

When purchasing omega-3’s in pill form, you’ll notice some products also contain the other two components of essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-9. Stick with the products that contain only high amounts of omega3 fatty acids. Most people already get high amounts of these two fatty acids from their diet, and it’s this lack of omega3 fatty acids that is potentially the culprit behind many health problems today.

When adding omega3 fatty acids to your diet through pills, look for 1,000 mg pills and take 3-9 per day with food depending on your current health status and healthy living goals. Your physician should be able to consult with you about this.

So now you have a good introduction into omega-3 fatty acids and the different ways to add them to your diet, but what are the health benefits associated with them?

Plenty! Here’s a quick list and you can also easily do some research by searching for “benefits of omega3 fatty acids″ in your favorite search engine.

- stabilizes blood sugar levels and lowers insulin levels
- boosts your immune system
- encourages your body to burn fat and decreases appetite
- improves your mood and attention span
- reduce inflammation
- improve your skin tone and radiance

If the above doesn’t get you excited about this proven, inexpensive and easy-to-get fatty acid supplement, then check your pulse!

It’s an addition to your diet that will help improve your health by leaps and bounds. So if you are new to health and wellness, the first and foremost topic you must study and learn everything you can about is Omega3 Fatty Acids!

Overview: Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can' t make them -- you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

It is important to have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 - 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.

The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, has a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease. The Mediterranean diet does not include much meat (which is high in omega-6 fatty acids) and emphasizes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, garlic, as well as moderate wine consumption.


Clinical evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease, but omega-3 fatty acids may also be used for:

High cholesterol
People who follow a Mediterranean-style diet tend to have higher HDL or “good” cholesterol levels, which help promote heart health. Inuit Eskimos, who get high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from eating fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides (fats in the blood). Several studies have shown that fish oil supplements reduce triglyceride levels. Finally, walnuts (which are rich in alpha linolenic acid or LNA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid) have been reported to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides in people with high cholesterol levels.

High blood pressure
Several clinical studies suggest that diets or fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. An analysis of 17 clinical studies using fish oil supplements found that taking 3 or more grams of fish oil daily may reduce blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension.

Heart disease
One of the best ways to help prevent heart disease is to eat a diet low in saturated fat and to eat foods that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids). Clinical evidence suggests that EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil) help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Fish oil has been shown to lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood), and to lower risk of death, heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had a heart attack. Fish oil also appears to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.

Large population studies suggest that getting omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, primarily from fish, helps protect against stroke caused by plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries that lead to the brain. Eating at least 2 servings of fish per week can reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 50%. However, high doses of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding. People who eat more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to 3 servings of fish per day) may have higher risk for hemorrhagic stroke, a potentially fatal type of stroke in which an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures.

People with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL, so eating foods or taking fish oil supplements may help people with diabetes. Another type of omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (from flaxseed, for example) may not have the same benefit as fish oil. Some people with diabetes can' t efficiently convert LNA to a form of omega-3 fatty acids that the body can use. Also, some people with type 2 diabetes may have slight increases in fasting blood sugar when taking fish oil, so talk to your doctor to see if fish oil is right for you.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Most clinical studies examining omega-3 fatty acid supplements for arthritis have focused on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. A number of small studies have found that fish oil helps reduce symptoms of RA, including joint pain and morning stiffness. One study suggests that people with RA who take fish oil may be able to lower their dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, unlike prescription medications, fish oil does not appear to slow progression of RA, only to treat the symptoms. Joint damage still occurs.
Laboratory studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids) may help people with osteoarthritis, although more study is needed. New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been reported to reduce joint stiffness and pain, increase grip strength, and improve walking pace in a small group of people with osteoarthritis. For some people, symptoms got worse before they improved.
An analysis of 17 randomized, controlled clinical trials looked at the pain relieving effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in people with RA or joint pain caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) and painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). The results suggest that omega-3 fatty acids, along with conventional therapies such as NSAIDs, may help relieve joint pain associated with these conditions.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Several small studies suggest that EPA and fish oil may help reduce symptoms of lupus, an autoimmune condition characterized by fatigue and joint pain. However, two small studies found fish oil had no effect on lupus nephritis (kidney disease caused by lupus, a frequent complication of the disease).

Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may help increase levels of calcium in the body and improve bone strength, although not all results were positive. Some studies also suggest that people who don' t get enough of some essential fatty acids (particularly EPA and gamma-linolenic acid [GLA], an omega-6 fatty acid) are more likely to have bone loss than those with normal levels of these fatty acids. In a study of women over 65 with osteoporosis, those who took EPA and GLA supplements had less bone loss over 3 years than those who took placebo. Many of these women also experienced an increase in bone density.

Studies have found mixed results as to whether taking omega-3 fatty acids can help depression symptoms. Several studies have found that people who took omega-3 fatty acids in addition to prescription antidepressants had a greater improvement in symptoms than those who took antidepressants alone. However, other studies have found no benefit.
Studies are also mixed on whether omega-3 fatty acids alone have any effect on depression. Depression is a serious illness and you should not try to treat it on your own. See a doctor for help.

Bipolar disorder
In a clinical study of 30 people with bipolar disorder, those who took fish oil in addition to standard prescription treatments for bipolar disorder for 4 months experienced fewer mood swings and relapse than those who received placebo. But another 4-month long clinical study treating people with bipolar depression and rapid cycling bipolar disorder did not find that EPA helped reduce symptoms.

Preliminary clinical evidence suggests that people with schizophrenia may have an improvement in symptoms when given omega-3 fatty acids. However, a recent well-designed study concluded that EPA supplements are no better than placebo in improving symptoms of this condition.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA). In a clinical study of nearly 100 boys, those with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids had more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels.
However, studies examining whether omega-3 fatty acids help improve symptoms of ADHD have found mixed results. A few studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids helped improve behavioral symptoms, but most were not well designed. One study that looked at DHA in addition to stimulant therapy (standard therapy for ADHD) found no effect. More research is needed, but eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids is a reasonable approach for someone with ADHD.

Skin disorders
In one clinical study, 13 people with sun sensitivity known as photo dermatitis showed less sensitivity to UV rays after taking fish oil supplements. However, topical sunscreens are much better at protecting the skin from damaging effects of the sun than omega-3 fatty acids. In another study of 40 people with psoriasis, those who took EPA with their prescription medications did better than those treated with the medications alone. However, a larger study of people with psoriasis found no benefit from fish oil.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Results are mixed as to whether omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce symptoms of Crohn' s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD. Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may help when added to medication, such as sulfasalazine (a standard medication for IBD). Others find no effect. More studies are needed. Fish oil supplements can cause side effects that are similar to symptoms of IBD (such as flatulence, belching, bloating, and diarrhea).

Studies examining omega-3 fatty acids for asthma are mixed. In one small, well-designed clinical study of 29 children with asthma, those who took fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for 10 months reduced their symptoms compared to children who took placebo. However, most studies have shown no effect.

Macular Degeneration
A questionnaire given to more than 3,000 people over the age of 49 found that those who ate more fish were less likely to have macular degeneration (a serious age-related eye condition that can progress to blindness) than those who ate less fish. Similarly, a clinical study comparing 350 people with macular degeneration to 500 without the eye disease found that those with a healthy dietary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and more fish in their diets were less likely to have macular degeneration.

Menstrual pain
In one study of 42 women, they had less menstrual pain when they took fish oil supplements than when they took placebo.

Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids seems to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For example, Eskimos, who tend to have a high-fat diet but eat significant amounts of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have a low rate of colorectal cancer. Animal studies and laboratory studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids prevent worsening of colon cancer. Preliminary studies suggest that taking fish oil daily may help slow the progression of colon cancer in people with early stages of the disease. If you have colorectal cancer, ask your doctor before taking any supplements.

Breast cancer
Although not all experts agree, women who eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids over many years may be less likely to develop breast cancer. More research is needed to understand the effect that omega-3 fatty acids may have on the prevention of breast cancer.

Prostate cancer
Population based studies of groups of men suggest that a low-fat diet including omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil help prevent the development of prostate cancer.

Dietary Sources:

Fish, plant, and nut oils are the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, and herring. ALA is found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, purslane, perilla seed oil, walnuts, and walnut oil. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include sea life such as krill and algae.

Available Forms:

Both EPA and DHA can be taken in the form of fish oil capsules. Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, fish and krill oils should be kept refrigerated. Whole flaxseeds must be ground within 24 hours of use, so the ingredients stay active. Flaxseeds are also available in ground form in a special mylar package so that the components in the flaxseeds stay active.
Be sure to buy omega-3 fatty acid supplements made by established companies who certify that their products are free of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium.

How to Take It:

Dosing for fish oil supplements should be based on the amount of EPA and DHA, not on the total amount of fish oil. Supplements vary in the amounts and ratios of EPA and DHA. A common amount of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil capsules is 0.18 grams (180 mg) of EPA and 0.12 grams (120 mg) of DHA. Five grams of fish oil contains approximately 0.17 - 0.56 grams (170 -560 mg) of EPA and 0.072 - 0.31 grams (72 - 310 mg) of DHA. Different types of fish contain variable amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and different types of nuts or oil contain variable amounts of LNA. Fish oils contain approximately 9 calories per gram of oil.

Children (18 years and younger)
There is no established dose for children. Omega-3 fatty acids are used in some infant formulas. Fish oil capsules should not be used in children except under the direction of a health care provider. Children should avoid eating fish that may be high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. (See Precautions section.)

Do not take more than 3 grams daily of omega-3 fatty acids from capsules without the supervision of a health care provider, due to an increased risk of bleeding.
  • For healthy adults with no history of heart disease: The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times per week.
  • For adults with coronary heart disease: The American Heart Association recommends an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (as fish oils), 1 gram daily of EPA and DHA. It may take 2 - 3 weeks for benefits of fish oil supplements to be seen.
  • For adults with high cholesterol levels: The American Heart Association recommends an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (as fish oils), 2 - 4 grams daily of EPA and DHA. It may take 2 - 3 weeks for benefits of fish oil supplements to be seen.


Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Omega-3 fatty acids should be used cautiously by people who bruise easily, have a bleeding disorder, or take blood-thinning medications including warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix). High doses of omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding.
Fish oil can cause gas, bloating, belching, and diarrhea. Time-release preparations may reduce these side effects, however.
People with either diabetes or schizophrenia may lack the ability to convert alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the forms more readily used in the body. People with these conditions should be sure to get enough EPA and DHA from their diets. Also, people with type 2 diabetes may experience increases in fasting blood sugar levels while taking fish oil supplements. If you have type 2 diabetes, use fish oil supplements only under the supervision of a health care provider.
Although studies suggest that eating fish (which includes the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA) may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a recent study including 2 large groups of men and women found that diets rich in LNA may increase the risk of this disease. Until more information becomes available, people with macular degeneration should get omega-3 fatty acids from sources of EPA and DHA, rather than LNA.
Fish and fish oil may protect against prostate cancer, but LNA may be associated with increased risk of prostate cancer in men. More research in this area is needed.
Some fish may contain potentially harmful contaminants, such as heavy metals (including mercury), dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). For sport-caught fish, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that pregnant or nursing women eat no more than a single 6-ounce meal per week, and young children less than 2 ounces per week. For farm-raised, imported, or marine fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant or nursing women and young children avoid eating types with higher levels of mercury (such as mackerel, shark, swordfish, or tilefish), and eat up to 12 ounces per week of other fish types.
Buy fish oil from a reputable source that tests to make sure there is no mercury or pesticide residues in its products.

Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use omega-3 fatty acid supplements, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), without first talking to your health care provider.
Blood-thinning medications -- Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the effects of blood thinning medications, including aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and clopedigrel (Plavix). Taking aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in some circumstances (such as in heart disease), but they should only be taken together under the supervision of a health care provider.
Diabetes medications -- Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements may increase fasting blood sugar levels. Use with caution if taking medications to lower blood sugar, such as glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL), glyburide (Micronase or Diabeta), glucophage (Metformin), or insulin. Your doctor may need to increase your medication dose. These drugs include:
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL)
  • Glyburide (Micronase or Diabeta)
  • Metformin (Glucophage)
  • Insulin
Cyclosporine -- Cyclosporine is a medication given to people with organ transplants. Taking omega-3 fatty acids during cyclosporine (Sandimmune) therapy may reduce toxic side effects, such as high blood pressure and kidney damage, associated with this medication.
Etretinate and topical steroids -- Adding omega-3 fatty acids (specifically EPA) to the drug therapy etretinate (Tegison) and topical corticosteroids may improve symptoms of psoriasis.
Cholesterol-lowering medications -- Following dietary guidelines, including increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and reducing the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, may help a group of cholesterol lowering medications known as statins to work more effectively. These medications include:
  • Atorvastatin (Liptor)
  • Lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -- In an animal study, treatment with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of ulcers from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn). More research is needed to see whether omega-3 fatty acids would have the same effects in people.
  • Reviewed last on: 6/25/2009
  • Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Test for Pregnant Women, Babies Against Diabetes

Pregnant women will not have to undergo the cumbersome standard test for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) anymore.

The Indian college of obstetricians and gynaecologists (ICOG) is calling pregnant women to undergo a one step test to detect signs of diabetes. The standard test involves troublesome steps of screening and diagnosis. The new test will ensure that the woman gets proper management to prevent diabetes in future.

According to the experts, the one step test- diabetes in pregnancy study group, India (DIPSI) -not only limits the woman’s visits to the clinic to one or two times but also involves fewer blood samplings.

“Currently the ICOG is preparing a draft to recommend this single step test that can be used in low-resource setting and help control diabetes,” said Dr Sudeshna Ray, consultant of gynaecologists and obstetrician, Jaslok hospital and member of the committee of medical disorder in pregnancy. The DIPSI drafting was discussed in the meeting with federation of gynaecologists and obstetricians society of India’s technical advisory group.

According to experts the spread of diabetes pandemic to the younger population in India means that there is a growing epidemic of GDM.It is very important for the women to know if they fall under the high risk group of having gestational diabetes.

“Women who had GDM during a previous pregnancy, has a first degree relative who is a diabetic, who gave birth to large weight babies in a previous pregnancy fall under the high risk group of GDM,” said Dr Ray. The other risk factors are women who gave birth to still born babies or infants with congenital abnormalities, women with repeated or persistent urinary tract infection and women over the age of 30 years.

While women usually recover from gestational diabetes after they give birth, they have a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on, she said. Women with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes needed to prepare for pregnancy much more carefully than others, she added.

Petrol Sales Promotion

'A petrol station owner in Ludhiana was trying to increase his sales. So, he put up a sign that read, 'Free Sex with Fill-Up.'

Soon Santa pulled in, filled his tank and asked for his free sex. The owner told him to pick a number from 1 to 10. If he guessed correctly, he would get his free sex. Santa guessed 8, and the proprietor said,

'You were close. The number was 7. Sorry. No sex this time.'

A week later, Santa, along with his friend a Kashmiri pulled in for another fill-up. Again he asked for his free sex. The proprietor again gave him the same story, and asked him to guess the correct number. Santa guessed 2 this time. The proprietor said, 'Sorry, it was 3.

You were close, but no free sex this time.'

As they were driving away, the Kashmiri said to Santa 'I think that game is rigged and he doesn't really give away free sex.'

Santa replied, 'No it ain't, . It's not rigged at all'.

My wife won twice last week!!!!.

Old Age Sex

After his exam the doctor asked the elderly man: "You appear to be in good health. Do you have any medical concerns you would like to ask me?"

"In fact, I do," said the old man. "After my wife and I have sex I am usually cold and chilly, and then, after we have sex the second time, I am usually hot and sweaty."?

Later, after examining the elderly gentleman's wife, the doctor said: "Everything appears to be fine. Do you have any medical concerns you would like to discuss with me?" She replied she had no questions or concerns.

The doctor then told her: "Your husband had an unusual concern. He claims he is usually cold and chilly after having sex with you the first time, and then hot and sweaty after the second time. Do you know why?"

Oh that crazy old fart," she replied. "That's because the first time is usually in January and the second time is in August." 

Nudist Colony Rules

A man joined a very exclusive nudist colony. On his first day he took off his clothes and started to wander around the area. A gorgeous petite blonde walked by, and the man immediately got an erection.

The woman noticed his erection, came over to him and asked, 'did you call for me?'

The man replied, 'No, what do you mean?'

She said, 'You must be new here. Let me explain. It's a rule here that if you get an erection, it implies you called for me.'

Smiling, she led him to the side of the swimming pool, laid down on a towel, eagerly pulled him to her and happily let him have his way with her.

Later, the man continued to explore the colony's facilities. He entered the sauna and as he sat down, he farted. Within seconds a huge, hairy man lumbered out of the steam room toward him.

'Did you call for me? ' asked the hairy man.

'No, what do you mean?' replied the newcomer.

'You must be new.' answered the hairy man, 'It's a rule that if you fart, it implies that you called for me.' The huge man easily spun him around, put him over a bench and had his way with the newcomer.

The newcomer staggered back to the colony office where he was greeted by a smiling, naked receptionist, 'May I help you?' she asked.

'Here's my membership card. You can have the key back and you can keep the $500 membership fee.'

'But, Sir,' she replied, 'you've only been here a few hours. You haven't had a chance to see all our facilities.'

'Listen lady, I'm 68 years old. I only get an erection once a month, but I fart 15 times a day. I'm outta here!!!'

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Miss Universes' Cute Answers

Question: Ms America, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms America: Well, I can say that male organs in America are like gentlemen because it stands every time it sees a woman......
(Applause! Applause!)

Ms Spain, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms Spain: Male organs in our country are like our very own Bullfight or Toro (Bull) because it charges every time it sees an opening.

Question: Ms Philippines, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms Philippines: Well, I can say that male organs in our country are like gossips or rumors,
because it passes from mouth to mouth.
(Applause! Applause! Standing Ovation! Applause! Applause!)

Question: Ms Iran, how do you describe a male organ in your Country?

Ms Iran: Well, I can say that male organs in Iran are like thieves because they like to enter through the back door.
(Applause! Applause! Laughter! Laughter! Applause! Applause!)

Question: Ms India, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms India: Well, I can say the male organs in India are like labourers because it works day and night......
(Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause!)

Question: Ms Singapore, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms Singapore: Well, I can say that male organs in Singapore are very Kiasu
(Afraid to lose) It always wants to rush in quickly and leaves 15 minutes before the show is over.
(Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause! Applause!)

Question: Ms China, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms China: Well, I can say that Male Organs in China are like Deng Siow Ping.
Short and hard working, but can work until 90.
(Applause! Applause! Laughter! Laughter! Applause! Applause!)

Question: Ms Taiwan, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms Taiwan: Well, I can say that Male Organs in Taiwan are like Chen Sui Bian. He knows he cannot do it already, but still tell people that he can.
(Applause! Applause! Laughter! Laughter! Applause! Applause!)

Question: Ms Malaysia, how do you describe a male organ in your country?

Ms Malaysia: Well, I can say that Male Organs in Malaysia are like Proton cars.
They look tough but actually are very soft.
(Applause! Applause! Laughter! Laughter! Applause! Applause!)

There Is Somebody Under My Bed


'I've got problems. Every time I go to bed I think there's somebody under it. I'm scared. I think I'm going crazy.' 

'Just put yourself in my hands for one year,' said the psychiatrist. 'Come talk to me three times a week and we should be able to get rid of those fears.' 

'How much do you charge?' 

'Eighty dollars per visit,' replied the doctor. 

'I'll sleep on it and if needed I will come back to you,' I said. 

Six months later the Psychiatrist met me on the street. 

'Why didn't you come to see me about those fears you were having?' he asked. 

'Well, Eighty bucks a visit three times a week for a year is an awful lot of money! A bartender cured me for $10. I was so happy to have saved all that money that I went and bought me a new SUV. 

'Is that so!' With a bit of an attitude he said, 'and how, may I ask, did a bartender cure you?' 

'He told me to cut the legs off the bed - ain't nobody under there now!’


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

What is carbohydrates? (For Diabetes)

What is carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates provide fuel for the body in the form of glucose. Glucose is a sugar that is the primary means of energy for all of the body’s cells. There are two ways to classify carbohydrates simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates are sugars — like glucose, sucrose, lactose and fructose. They are found in refined sugar and in fruits. Complex carbohydrates are the starches, which are the simple sugars bonded together chemically — they are found in beans, nuts, vegetables and whole grains. Complex carbohydrates are considered healthier mostly because they are digested by the body slowly, providing a steady source of energy. They also contain valuable amounts of fiber.

Carbohydrates, rather than fats or proteins, have the most immediate effect on your blood glucose since carbohydrates are broken down directly into sugar early during digestion. It is important to eat the suggested amount of carbohydrate at each meal, along with some protein and fat.

Carbohydrates are mainly found in fruit, milk and yogurt, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables

Carbohydrate Counting

Carbohydrate counting is a method of meal planning that is a simple way to keep track of the amount of total carbohydrate you eat each day. Counting grams of carbohydrate and evenly distributing them at meals will help you control your blood glucose.

With carbohydrate counting, you plan your carbohydrate intake based on what your pre-meal sugar is and your intake or insulin dose can be adjusted. Carbohydrate counting can be used by anyone and not just by people with diabetes that are taking insulin. If you eat more carbohydrates than your insulin supply can handle, your blood glucose level goes up. If you eat too little, your blood glucose level may fall too low. These fluctuations can be managed by knowing how to count your carbohydrate intake.

Carbohydrate counting is most useful for people who take multiple daily injections of insulin, use the insulin pump or who want more flexibility and variety in their food choices. However, it may not be for everyone, and the traditional method of following food exchange lists may be used instead. A registered dietitian can help you figure out a carbohydrate counting plan that meets your specific needs.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Diabetes Overview

Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism—the way the body uses digested food for growth and energy. Most of the food people eat is broken down into glucose, the form of sugar in the blood. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body.

After digestion, glucose passes into the bloodstream, where it is used by cells for growth and energy. For glucose to get into cells, insulin must be present. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach.

When people eat, the pancreas automatically produces the right amount of insulin to move glucose from blood into the cells. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the cells do not respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced. Glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body in the urine. Thus, the body loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of glucose.

Of the 16 million people with diabetes, about one-third of them don't even know they have it. Every year, 800,000 additional cases are diagnosed. It affects over six percent of the population now, and it is projected that nearly nine percent of all Americans will have diabetes by the year 2025. Health care costs for diabetes are estimated to be nearly $100 billion per year in the US.

People with diabetes are unable to use the glucose in their food for energy. The glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, where it can damage the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. Left untreated, diabetes can develop devastating complications. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.

However, the good news is that with proper care, people with diabetes can lead normal, satisfying lives. Much of this care is "self-managed," meaning that if you have this condition, you must take day-to-day responsibility for your own care.

Most important to managing the disease is to know as much about it as you can. The first thing to know is what kind of diabetes you have. There are three types:

Type 1 Diabetes ( Insulin-Dependent )

This type of diabetes used to be called 'juvenile diabetes' or 'insulin-dependent diabetes.' Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed diabetes, so it's less common than type 2. It's an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system (the body's system for fighting infection) has gone haywire and is destroying the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin.

Without insulin, your body can't use sugar and fat broken down from the food you eat. When sugar can't get into your cells, your blood sugar rises and it's this high blood sugar level that damages your body. A person with type 1 diabetes can't make insulin. If you have this disease, you have to take insulin in order to live. Type 1 diabetes develops most often in children or young adults but can occur at any age. It can come on suddenly, often after an illness. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but because of new knowledge about the disease and new medical advances, good self-care is now possible. A person with diabetes can live a healthy life and avoid or experience few complications from the disease.

Diabetes of any kind is a disorder that prevents the body from using food properly. Normally, the body gets its major source of energy from glucose, a simple sugar that comes from foods high in simple carbohydrates (e.g., table sugar or other sweeteners such as honey, molasses, jams, and jellies, soft drinks, and cookies), or from the breakdown of complex carbohydrates such as starches (e.g., bread, potatoes, and pasta). After sugars and starches are digested in the stomach, they enter the blood stream in the form of glucose. The glucose in the blood stream becomes a potential source of energy for the entire body, similar to the way in which gasoline in a service station pump is a potential source of energy for your car. But, just as someone must pump the gas into the car, the body requires some assistance to get glucose from the blood stream to the muscles and other tissues of the body. In the body, that assistance comes from a hormone called insulin. Insulin is manufactured by the pancreas, a gland that lies behind the stomach. Without insulin, glucose cannot get into the cells of the body where it is used as fuel. Instead, glucose accumulates in the blood to high levels and is excreted or spilled into the urine through the kidneys.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease results when the body’s system for fighting infection—the immune system—turns against a part of the body. In diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. A person who has type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily to live.

Characteristics of type 1 diabetes
  • Most common in children
  • Quick onset with thirst, frequent urination, weight loss developing and worsening over days to weeks
  • Usually no known family history
  • No major risk factors; risk is increased if there is a strong family history
  • Insulin shots required to control diabetes
  • Blood glucose levels are sensitive to small changes in diet, exercise, and insulin dose

Type 2 diabetes ( Non-Insulin-Dependent )

Type 2 diabetes used to be called 'non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus' or adult-onset diabetes. It differs from type 1 diabetes in that the body makes some insulin, but not enough; also, the body can't use the insulin efficiently.

The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. This form of diabetes is most often associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, and certain ethnicities. About 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight..

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease that can cause significant, severe complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and loss of limbs through amputation. Treatment differs at various stages of the condition. In its early stages, many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose levels by losing weight, eating properly and exercising. Many may subsequently need oral medication, and some people with type 2 diabetes may eventually need insulin shots to control their diabetes and avoid the disease's serious complications.

Even though there is no cure for diabetes, proper treatment and glucose control enable people with type 2 diabetes to live normal, productive lives.

A major advance for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes - such as family members of those with the condition - occurred recently when it was shown that diet and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. People at high risk, who already had early signs of impaired glucose tolerance, significantly reduced their risk by losing only 5-7 percent of their body weight and performing moderate physical activity for 30 minutes/day. Taking the diabetes medication metformin also reduced the risk.  

Characteristics of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Most common in adults, although more younger people are developing this type
  • Usually slow onset with thirst, frequent urination, weight loss developing over weeks to months
  • Usually runs in families
  • Most people who get this type are overweight or obese
  • Treatment usually begins with diet and exercise, progressing to use of oral medications and later to insulin as the disease advances
  • Blood glucose levels may improve with weight loss, change in diet and increased exercise
  • May be prevented or delayed in high-risk individuals by moderate weight loss and exercise

Diabetes Basics - Gestational Diabetes

Some women, about 3 to 5 percent of all pregnant women, get this form of diabetes during pregnancy. It usually ends when the baby is born, but some women who have gestational diabetes go on to develop diabetes when they get older. Some studies have reported that almost 40 percent of women who have gestational diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes. So, if you have had gestational diabetes, you need to see your doctor every year and ask to be screened for type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes usually doesn't cause birth defects, but one of the problems is the possibility of having a baby that is considerably larger than normal. There is also the risk that the baby might have low blood sugar right after it's born.

Gestational diabetes happens when the body doesn't make enough insulin and resists the action of insulin because of hormones. The condition develops about midway through the pregnancy. Although most women with this condition are treated with diet, some women may need insulin. The problem can't be treated with pills because the medication can harm the baby.

The woman most likely to develop gestational diabetes has had:
  • Gestational diabetes before
  • a baby that weighed 10 pounds or more
  • a history of diabetes in her family
  • high blood sugar while using birth control pills
  • a stillborn baby
  • is very overweight

Friday, 27 May 2011

Sexual Activity After a Heart Attack

The effect of sexual intercourse on the cardiovascular system is very similar to the effect of moderate exercise. (It is roughly equivalent to walking 2 - 4 miles per hour on a level surface.) So it should not be surprising that, like exercise, sexual activity can transiently increase the risk in a person with coronary artery disease (CAD).

But also like exercise, with appropriate precautions sexual activity after a heart attack is something that is usually quite safe, and (because it contributes to well-being, solidifies the bond between you and your partner, and helps to prevent depression), ought to be encouraged.

In general, doctors ask their patients to avoid sexual intercourse for 4 - 6 weeks after a heart attack, while the heart is healing. Ideally, you will be participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program during that period of time, so that when you are ready to resume sexual activity, your cardiovascular system will be quite used to that amount of exertion - and you will be practicing "safe sex."

Certain individuals after a heart attack - those who have developed heart failure, who have blood pressure problems, who are having continued angina, or who have other complications - may need to avoid sexual activity for longer periods of time, while their medical problems are being fully stabilized.

It is common for men to suffer some degree of erectile dysfunction after a heart attack, and for both men and women to experience a decrease in the desire for sex. Some of these problems may be due to medications you may be taking, but more often they are due to anxiety, depression, or fears about having another heart attack during sex. Such psychological issues most commonly resolve on their own after a month or two, as you regain confidence in your abilities to function normally in all the other aspects of your life - but if they persist, it will be useful to discuss them with your doctor, as they can almost always be treated effectively.

In men, medications for erectile dysfunction - such as Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil) - are very effective. These medications can be used safely in most men with CAD, with one important exception: If you are taking nitrates for angina, then taking any of these medications for erectile dysfunction can produce a dangerous drop in blood pressure, and they simply cannot be used. Similarly, if you are taking Viagra, Cialis or Levitra and you should experience an episode of chest pain - do not take nitrates for the pain. Rather, stop all activity, rest, and wait 10 minutes - if the chest pain is not gone after 10 minutes, call 911.

The bottom line is that in general, normal sexual activity can be resumed within a few weeks of a heart attack. But to repeat, because there are important individual considerations to be made, you should discuss your specific case with your own doctor.
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