The IndUS Network e-magazine

2010 Top stories in Healthcare ...

Looking back .. part 1

Image credit: University of Calgary

Here is our top story picks from this year in Healthcare.
1. Cancer cure wonder drug - Now in India!
Imitinef Mercilet is apparently an alternative spelling of the drug Imatinib mesylate. This medicine is effective in the treatment of some types of blood cancer (leukemia) along with some other types of cancer. Generally, this medicine is well tolerated, though long-term side effects are yet to be ascertained excepting some edema, nausea, rash and musculoskeletal pain

The drug works by creating a blockade in the improvement of the irregular enzyme that causes leukemia. This obstruction developed by the drug not only restricts the abnormal growth of the blood cells, but also switches off the production of the protein that aids in the enlargement of the cancerous cells.

Did you know? Imitinef Mercilet is available free of charge to patients who have been admitted to the Adyar Cancer Institute hospital (Chennai-India) for cancer treatment.

2. Beauty and Sleep - Cheapest way to beauty!
According to the latest research, a good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do to look attractive and healthy. About 23 participants between the ages of 18 and 31 were photographed twice – once after a normal sleep and once after sleep deprivation. A group of 65 untrained observers were then asked to rate the photographs for attractiveness and whether the individuals looked healthy and rested or unhealthy and tired. The result was, the sleep-deprived photos/people were judged to be less healthy, more tired and less attractive, but the well-rested photos/people were judged to be unbelievably attractive and having a healthy look.

So, if you want to look your best, get some beauty sleep.

Did you know? The fact that you rely on an alarm clock to wake you up every day shows that your body is not rested enough to wake naturally. Sleep disorders are an irregularity in the amount or quality of sleep that a person achieves. There are about 70 medically-identified sleep disorders.

3. Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) - Is it worth the risk?

It is known that ERT helps in betterment of the general quality of life in post-menopausal women. But, new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center says, “estrogen (female hormone) therapy used for post-menopausal women causes a type of ovarian cancer to grow five times faster.”

Some studies show prolonged ERT over 10 years increased breast cancer incidence. In mouse, the effect of ERT was estrogen receptor positive (ER+) ovarian cancer, which accounts for about 60 percent of all human ovarian cancer cases.

Did you know? Tumor markers are substances, usually proteins, that are produced by the body in response to cancer growth or by the cancer tissue itself and they may be detected in blood, urine or tissue samples, but tumor markers alone are not diagnostic for cancer. They are used to screen the vulnerable category. CA-125 is a marker for ovarian cancer, and CA 15-3 and CEA for breast cancer, to name a few important markers measured in blood.

4. Antibacterial agent Triclosan in Dental Health - Safe or not?

According to a study published in the January/February 2010 issue of General Dentistry, the most-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), toothpaste that contains Triclosan/copolymer is better than regular fluoride toothpastes at killing the hundreds of kinds of bacteria that live in human mouths.

We know the agent fluoride when added to toothpaste prevents cavities. Now Triclosan added to toothpaste has been shown in a number of clinical studies to inhibit plaque and gingivitis. Colgate claims twelve-hour protection in their “Total” product due to Triclosan held in place by a copolymer called Gantrez.

Controversy: Triclosan may cause harmful hormones to be released and also harmful to aquatic ecosystems. So, we must be cautious till further studies prove it safe.

Did you know? Triclosan can be found in 75% of the population's urine as Triclosan is added to many consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. It is found in clothing, kitchenware, furniture and toys. It is also added to antibacterial soaps and body washes, toothpastes and some cosmetics, in products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
5. Vitamin D supplements - required or not?

Vitamin D has the ability to fight cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes. Along with calcium, vitamin D can build strong bones. But newest report says mega doses of vitamin D are unnecessary and may actually be harmful to one’s health.
At the request of American and Canadian governments, the independent, non-profit (Institute of Medicine) IOM’s reviewed the issue and the fourteen-member panel of experts concluded that most Americans and Canadians get enough Vitamin D and calcium in their regular diets.

Did you know? Muscle pain and weakness is a prominent symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Now, what supports intake of Vitamin D supplements? Listen on to the interesting video, “Vitamin D uptake & response to latest finding.”

Watch the Video: Vitamin D Controversy

Looking back at 2010: Looking old for your age? Blame it on TERC (Telomeres) gene!

This year scientists discovered the gene which causes ageing on human body. The gene is identified as TERC.

Cells in the body are constantly growing and renewing. This is an imperfect process during which the replication and regeneration of cells can undergo damages. Scientist observed that the telomeres which keeps the chromosomes from fraying shortens everytime during a replication and reaches a point where it cannot shorten any more. A cell dies at this moment and make one look old. So if you have a shorter telomeres you appear old for your age and if you have longer telomeres you appear young for your age. Now you know whom to blame for your appearance!

Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.