Use Of Nanotechnology In Orthodontic Treatment

The field of science and technology has seen radical advancements and one such progression in the field of material science is nanotechnology. Nanotechnology deals with structure at the Nano scale and is one of the most crucial advancements of the 21st century, due to its economic and scientific potential. With the advent of nanotechnology, it has been applied in various fields in orthodontics from the coating of the surface to the innovation of new materials.

What Are Nano Particles?
Nano particles are particles produced in a calculated manner that has a typical dimension of 1 to 100 nm and has properties that are not shared by particles which do not belong to the nanoscale particles with the same chemical structure.

Application Of Nanotechnology In Orthodontics
Nanotechnology is used in the field of orthodontics to sustain good oral health. Silver nanoparticles are used as antimicrobial agents in the manufacturing of cement and resin bases of dentures, root canal columns and orthodontic sealants. The antimicrobial property in the particles decreases the build-up of plaque around the brackets. With the help of nanotechnology, we can reduce the friction and scuffing that happens to the mouth because of the braces. Nanotechnology is being used to make braces more friction resistance while also maintaining transparency. Researchers are still working on using NiTi nanotechnology that can give the dental wire shape-memory and super flexible properties.

  • Nano Coatings in Arch Wires to Reduce Friction – Friction in the mouth is a major problem during orthodontic treatment. Nano coatings are used either on the bracket surface or NiTi wires to prevent abrasion.
  • Orthodontic Brackets – The material with which the bracket is made contains polysulfone with hard aluminia nanoparticles for strength, decreased friction and biocompatibility while maintaining the transparency of the bracket.
  • Nanoparticles Application as Antimicrobial Agent – Cavities and white spot lesions are common problems while undergoing orthodontic treatment due to the accumulation of plaque around the brackets. Silver, gold, silica, copper, nitrogen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles have been coated on both brackets to prevent tooth decay during orthodontic treatment.

Uses Of Nanoparticles In Dentistry
Nanoparticles have been used for administering local anesthesia, diagnosis and cure of oral cancer and dressing wounds. Nanoparticles are used in dental materials which are used for restoration and dental procedures. They react effectively with microbial membrane and provide a larger surface area for anti-microbial activity.

There has been a lot of exploration on the application of nanotechnology in orthodontics and there’s a lot more work which needs to be done. Extensive research and improvisation in the field of nanotechnology is constantly being done so that the clinical application is available at a fair price to both the orthodontist and the patients.

Author Bio:

Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and faculty member at Columbia University believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence.  As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile to his face. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing.

E-Cigarette Use Exposes Teens to Toxic Chemicals, Slows Heart Rate

Adolescents who smoke e-cigarettes are exposed to significant levels of potentially cancer-causing chemicals also found in tobacco cigarettes – even when the e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine – according to a new study by UC San Francisco researchers.

The study – published March 5, 2018 in Pediatrics – analyzed urine from a group of adolescents with an average age of 16.4 years. Sixty-seven used e-cigarettes only and 17 used both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco cigarettes. They were compared with a control group of 20 non-smoking teens.

Levels of toxic organic compounds were up to three times higher on average in the e-cigarette users compared with the controls. In teenagers who used both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes, levels of toxic compounds were up to three times higher than in e-cigarette users only.

“Teenagers need to be warned that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is not harmless water vapor, but actually contains some of the same toxic chemicals found in smoke from traditional cigarettes,” said lead author Mark L. Rubinstein, MD, a professor of pediatrics at UCSF. “Teenagers should be inhaling air, not products with toxins in them. E-cigarettes are marketed to adults who are trying to reduce or quit smoking as a safer alternative to cigarettes. While they may be beneficial to adults as a form of harm reduction, kids should not be using them at all.”

E-Cigarette Vapor Slows Heart Race In Mice

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes, affect heart rhythm and cardiovascular function in mice, according to preliminary research presented last year at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette products usually contain propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG). These substances are commonly used to limit moisture loss in skin lotions or as food additives, but the health effects of heating and inhaling these substances are unknown.

In this study, researchers examined the cardiovascular effects of e-cigarette aerosols relative to traditional cigarettes in mice and found:

  • Exposure to ENDS aerosol or traditional cigarette smoke rapidly slowed the heart rate (bradycardia) in mice.
  • Exposure to aerosol of 50:50 vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol prolonged the heart’s electrical cycle.
  • When heated, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin generate aldehydes, acrolein, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde, of which, only acrolein induced bradycardia in mice.
  • Exposure to acrolein or PG:VG aerosol increased blood pressure in mice before the heart rate began to drop.

While further studies are needed to explore these effects in humans using ENDS, these findings suggest that exposure to ENDS aerosols may trigger cardiovascular effects and may increase the risks of developing irregular heart rhythm and overall cardiovascular disease.

Can E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit?

As e-cigarettes become more popular, fewer people are taking up smoking traditional cigarettes. But can e-cigarettes, an electronic nicotine delivery system, help people quit smoking altogether? That was the focus of a recent study led by a Hollings Cancer Center researcher.

The study found that smokers who are willing to use e-cigarettes tend to smoke less and have increased quit attempts, said Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D., a tobacco control and addiction expert at the cancer center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). “Combustible cigarettes are the most harmful form of nicotine delivery. Alternative delivery of nicotine, through e-cigarettes, could significantly reduce harm and the risks of cancer and other diseases to smokers,” he said.

In the pilot study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, Carpenter evaluated e-cigarettes in terms of usage, product preference, changes in smoking behaviors and nicotine exposure. Sixty-eight smokers were evaluated: 46 were randomized to use e-cigarettes however they wished, and 22 were randomized to a control group.

Those in the e-cigarette group were given a device with either high or low doses of nicotine. Everyone was followed over a period of four months. The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and is one of the few randomized studies in the U.S. to examine the effects of e-cigarettes and quit attempts.

Study Results

Results showed that when smokers were given e-cigarettes, without any accompanying instructions or requirements for use, uptake was strong, and many participants went on to purchase their own e-cigarettes. This suggests that e-cigarettes might give smokers a suitable alternative to combustible cigarettes. Those who used e-cigarettes smoked less and were more likely to quit smoking, as compared to those in the control group.

“The results are consistent with trials done outside the U.S.,” Carpenter said. “Many people rated the e-cigarettes similar to their usual product, which further suggests that these products might promote switching. Anything that gets smokers off combustible cigarettes is a good thing.”

Of the two e-cigarette models used in the study, the more powerful device, with a higher dose of nicotine, showed stronger outcomes. People using e-cigarettes throughout the study smoked an average of 37 percent fewer cigarettes, showing a positive effect when making the switch and potentially serving as a tool to help smokers quit.

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer and has a negative impact on the effectiveness of cancer treatments. People who quit smoking, regardless of their ages, have substantial gains in life expectancy compared with those who continue to smoke.

E-Cigs Not For Everyone

Carpenter cautions that while e-cigarettes may help people smoke less or even quit, they are not for everyone. “It is important to protect non-smokers, particularly adolescents and young adults, from starting any nicotine-containing product. This is something we need to really guard against.”

E-cigarettes are sometimes seen as a gateway to conventional cigarettes, the most harmful form of nicotine delivery. Studies have shown that e-cigarettes offer significantly less exposure to harmful toxicants, as compared to traditional cigarettes. “We know e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean e-cigarettes are completely safe,” says Carpenter.

More than 1,500 varieties of e-cigarettes are now available, including different looks, high-tech power settings, and many flavors, which can make them more appealing. Newer devices can be customized in many ways that will draw in more smokers, but that means they also can entice kids.

“We’ve gotten very good at the public health messaging of conventional smoking and prevention efforts for adolescents, but now kids see a new technology-based product that is supposedly safer, flavored and isn’t a cigarette,” Carpenter added. “All these things raise our alarm bells for adolescents, and, in fact, e-cigarettes are more popular than conventional cigarettes among youth.”

E-cigarettes were only recently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Largely manufactured overseas, the quality control process varies. Without enough information to answer the long-term public health issues of e-cigarettes, researchers like Carpenter are aware of the importance of further studies on the latest tobacco trends. Combustible cigarettes have been around for many decades. E-cigarettes have not, and the science has a lot of questions left to answer.

There’s A Catch

Frequent e-cigarette use does help smokers quit — a finding that Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers say supports the use of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid for those trying to quit cigarette smoking.  But, they note, an examination of a recent national survey uncovers important clues about who’s successful at quitting and why.

The findings – published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research – examined a national survey of more than 24,500 current or recent former cigarette smokers, which is the largest sample of smokers studied to date. This study, along with a recent study published in the BMJ, provides some of the strongest evidence so far on the link between use of e-cigarettes and cessation, says the study’s lead author David Levy, Ph.D., professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi.

However, there are important nuances in the data that impact a person’s success in quitting cigarette smoking. “Both cigarette quit attempts and quit success were directly related to the number of days of e-cigarette use,” Levy explains. “The odds of quit success increased by 10 percent with each additional day of e-cigarette use.”

Long-Term Trends

The data also shows that among those making at least one quit attempt, quit success was lower among individuals who had used e-cigarettes at some point in the past, but higher among those with at least five days of e-cigarettes use in the last month. The data is drawn from a special tobacco use survey that, since 1992-1993, has been taken every three to four years as part of a population survey conducted monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau. The latest tobacco use survey, taken from 2014-2015, was co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This survey – the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) – is designed to track long-term trends in tobacco use, cessation attempts and tobacco-related policies. All states are represented, and participants are interviewed either by telephone or in person.

Levy and his Georgetown Lombardi colleagues examined the relationship between frequencies of e-cigarette use, cigarette quit attempts, and cigarette abstinence. Because of the dates of the survey, it includes the more current types of e-cigarettes that are more effective at delivering nicotine.

“Our findings are consistent with randomized trials and those observational studies that measure frequency of e-cigarette use,” Levy said. “These results support the use of e-cigarettes – especially consistent use – as an effective smoking cessation aid. Since e-cigarettes are generally estimated to have a small proportion of the mortality risks of cigarettes, this represents an important life-saving intervention that doctors can recommend when other forms of treatment fail.”

The Special Abilities Of Tigernut Oil

The amount of nutrients and positive components that are present in the impressively potent oils that we have been learning about is very vital. The reason why there are so many oils that can be used in a myriad of ways is because of where they come from and their natural chemical makeup.

There is truly no reason for harmful products and toxic ingredients to be used in your dishes, skin care, hair care or your treatment practices. This is what makes this natural and organic way of living so fruitful and necessary. The exploration of an oil called tigernut will further explain how some oils you have never heard of can be some of the most effective.

Good Cholesterol

One of the first things that we should know about tigernut oil is that it effectively reduces the bad levels of cholesterol and increases the good levels of cholesterol. The differences between LDL and HDL can sometimes be lost on many people who aren’t well versed in the two different types of cholesterol. The LDL is what tends to creep up in our bodies when we aren’t eating right or have unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and stressing. This is the unhealthy or bad cholesterol we want to decrease. The other cholesterol is HDL and this is the kind that we want to increase. When we eat healthy fats and get enough exercise, this type of cholesterol flourishes.

Digestive Issues

If you happen to deal with specific digestive issues, tigernut oil can be potentially helpful for you. Whether you eat a bit too much of the wrong thing or have unhealthy eating habits that lead to digestive issues, tigernut oil can help to resolve the cramping, discomfort, gas and unease your tummy may often suffer from. Try using a couple of drops on your lower tummy and rubbing it into your skin. This allows the oil to penetrate directly around the intestines and where the relief is required without having to be fully digested – depending on what you are treating. Sometimes external application is preferred to internal, though tigernut oil is safe and food grade.

Troubled Skin

A great external option for this oil is the skin. It has a very high amount of vitamin E and can be used to help combat signs of aging. The cell membrane that is often affected by free radicals and environmental outliers is no match for tigernut oil! So many are on what seems like a constant quest to figure out just how to keep the skin looking youthful and supple. There are so many different types of natural oils that come from seeds or fruits or herbs that can do just that without all those harmful ingredients found in certain over-the-counter products. Try adding a couple of drops of tigernut oil to your cleanser or your toner and enjoy the fading of lines, wrinkles and age spots on the troubled parts of your skin.

You can purchase tigernut oil online from several companies at

What Causes Abnormal Mineral Accumulation?

The arteries are integral to our ability to process the minerals we ingest and how our blood is effectively pumped. A study that was conducted at McGill University wanted to gather a more complete understanding of how the calcification of these arteries happens after consistent and tempered mineral accumulation, which results in kidney disease and diabetes.

Genetically-modified laboratory mice were tested to find out why a hardening of the arteries occurs on a broader spectrum. It was found that elastin, which is what allows the arteries to stretch and allows adequate blood flow to get to the heart, is hugely compromised by the building of this calcification.

The study also found that collagen, which is necessary for the bones and teeth, does not affect arterial mineralization. Team leader Marta Cerruti further explains: “The first part that mineralizes in the arteries of our genetic model is the elastin part and not collagen. To me that was really surprising. The part that mineralizes in bone and teeth is collagen, which is also present in the arteries. You would think collagen must have really specific properties that aid that process, so why do the minerals instead get deposited in association with elastin in arteries?”

Initiatives And Interventions

Cerruti hopes that these findings are beneficial enough to push forward initiatives that will block this type of accumulation of minerals in the arteries. Added information, and a way to test patients who may be more predisposed to this condition, can be incredibly helpful in broadening the standard of care. It is believed that one way this can happen is to intervene in these cases before too much damage has been done. Intervening when the calcium phosphate minerals begin the process of crystallizing is a good tactic.

There isn’t a current structured course of action as far as treatment goes for this dangerous condition that can severely compromise the heart. There is a huge lack of understanding when it comes to the entire mineralization process that can occur by the arteries. What seems very imperative is that this process be halted as soon as possible because the heart getting properly pumped and circulated blood is one of the most crucial things the body needs.

Additional Questions

Of course, there needs to be much more research in order to make informed, complete decisions. The authors of the study believe that there is a direct correlation to the nucleation and the arterial mineralization. So an approach that would look into how much of these things have carried on in interplay with one another and an interdisciplinary approach would likely be the most successful. There is also additional questions regarding what actually causes this type of hardening to occur.

There are so many cardiovascular diseases that point directly to diet, lack of activity, and genes as the most impacting precursors for this type of condition. There is an inter-relational force that exists between them. Ultimately, while some things are completely outside of our control, there are ways that we can be proactive in managing our health and by extension our lives. We must pay attention to and alter the things we can control.

Lower Heart Disease Risks With Nut Consumption

Nuts and seeds can sometimes be an acquired taste. Some people don’t understand exactly what types of nuts should be included in a healthy diet as all nuts aren’t created equal. Some nuts have more of a particular component or element within them than others. A recent study found that those who regularly include nuts in their diets – specifically walnuts, tree nuts and peanuts – were at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases or coronary heart disease as opposed to those who don’t typically include any nuts in their diets.

A major reason these types of nuts are so beneficial is due to their healthy fat content. For a long time it was thought that fat was the enemy, but after a lot of research and additional studies, it has become clear that there are many types of positive and healthy fats that should be incorporated into a balanced diet. These particular nuts are so helpful because they have a specific type of fatty acid within them that helps to coat and aid the heart – and helps mitigate the risk of heart disease.

The Consumption Correlation

The study found that there was an inverse correlation between nut consumption and the presence of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Participants who consumed walnuts on a regular basis had an almost 19% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease. Similar numbers can be seen of both tree nuts and peanuts. “Our findings support recommendations of increasing the intake of a variety of nuts, as part of healthy dietary patterns, to reduce the risk of chronic disease in the general populations,” says lead author of the study Marta Guasch-Ferre.

Another researcher, Emilio Ros, added commentary regarding the necessary presence of nuts and the need for even more research: “Ideally, further investigations should test the effects of long-term consumption of nuts supplemented into the usual diet on hard cardio-metabolic events. In the meantime, raw nuts, if possible unpeeled and otherwise unprocessed, may be considered as natural health capsules that can be easily incorporated into any heart-protective diet to further cardiovascular well-being and promote healthy aging.”

Heart-Health Benefits

Largely where we go wrong with our diets, and subsequently our health, is that too many processed items are consumed. The combination of fat and carbs are typically what makes many foods so addicting and satisfying to so many people. The great thing about nuts is that, within necessary parameters, they can provide the type of fat that is tasty and filling, but also provide you with necessary heart-health benefits. Heart disease is absolutely insidious and we should do everything that can be done to study this condition and learn which nutritional choices we should be making.

While nuts are an acquired taste for some, they can be great on salads or as part of fun trail mix. Do be mindful that many nut allergies have developed in recent years and, unfortunately, some people just can’t have nuts as their bodies react poorly to them. Anyone can be allergic to anything, yet the increase in nut allergies seems to be growing at a rapid rate.

Important Tips For Seniors To Avoid Falling

The elderly are at a much greater risk of suffering from a fall than those that are younger. The scary aspect of them potentially falling is that their bodies and bones are more compromised at that age. This can lead to dangerous and disastrous consequences. Every single year the expenses tied to injuries sustained by a fall total a whopping $31 billion.

There are ways to help seniors prevent the occurrence of a fall by following certain steps and always being aware of what may cause falls to begin with. Here are some of the most critical ways you can secure your surroundings and prevent a senior from falling.

Don’t Live In A Cluttered Home

A large percentage of falls take place in homes. In order to prevent this from happening, removing hazardous clutter from your home is a necessity. Get rid of loose rugs or rugs that have a tendency of bunching up at the corners.

Also keep your hallways clear of clutter as it’s easy for a slower foot to get caught on an errant item which can cause a bad trip. Always have a clear path in hallways and floors. This is especially necessary at night when you may not see something and accidentally trip. It’s unfortunately very easy to suffer a fall in this way.

Kitchen And Bathroom Safety

Reaching for something and losing balance or having your equilibrium thrown off is a common way falls occur. Don’t unnecessarily crouch for things in the shower. Always have everything nicely within arm’s reach.

More slips than you may think are a direct result of stray bits of water that gather on the floor. Make sure a thin mat is placed under the fridge and the sink in the kitchen, which is helpful to absorb any water spills or leaks that may result.

It’s also a great idea to add stability bars in the shower or bath to assist seniors in getting in and out of a potentially slippery environment. These are sometimes also necessary and helpful near toilets, especially if the toilet seat is too low. This provides added stability that can often be lost in older age.

Have Your Doctor Review Medications

In the case of dizziness or imbalance, sometimes there is a deeper yet more obvious cause then you may think. Medications often have various side effects, and one of these side effects can greatly affect the ability to stand upright and balance. If you lose a bit of stability, or are experiencing even slight dizziness, it’s crucial that you speak to your doctor about these symptoms as they could be the catalyst to a detrimental fall.

Also, always tell your doctor if you’ve fallen, even if you don’t feel as if anything was broken or you weren’t hurt. No fall is normal and your doctor will perhaps need to look more thoroughly into what caused the fall. This could require tests and scans, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Do not neglect to alert your doctor if you do have a fall, however minor you may think it is.

The Amazing Benefits Of Persimmon Seed Oil

The persimmon fruit is considered one of the most exotic in the world, and with a sweet, tasty flavor, many people who get their hands on them claim they are both delicious and nutritious. This is true for a myriad of reasons, but what some people don’t recognize is that the seeds themselves, within the fruity flesh, are actually an amazing antidote for specific external issues.

It is advised that the seeds of the persimmon not be ingested, but the oil that is derived from these seeds has nutritional power and value that can’t be overlooked. Here’s some of the key benefits associated with this impressive oil.

Anti-Aging Properties

There are so many people who are constantly on a never-ending quest to figure out how to keep or regain their youthful appearance. The state of your skin is no joke and when those laugh lines, crow’s feet or sagging skin start to make their way onto your face, many people don’t know how to handle it.

While the skincare industry and many well-known companies would have you shelling out ridiculous amounts of money for some top-of-the-line face creams, you actually only need some specific oils to restore your skin’s natural glow.

Persimmon seed oil helps to revitalize the cells in your skin while also killing off free radicals. It also has incredibly high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A which do an amazing job of restoring youthful looking skin.

Digestive Aid

We have all been there. We’ve either eaten a little bit too much at the county fair or gone overboard at the movies with candy and popcorn, but when you have tummy troubles, more often than not, it’s because your digestive tract is backed up and not working effectively. This can lead to cramping, indigestion, constipation and a whole host of other gut issues.

Persimmon oil helps to aid the natural digestive juices from the outside in. All you’ll need to do is mix some persimmon seed oil with some coconut or jojoba oil and rub it into your lower and upper belly after you’ve eaten a big meal and you’ll be pleased to see the difference in 10 or 15 minutes time.

Blood Circulation

This oil has been known to lower blood pressure, and along with that perk, it can also help to revitalize new blood cells. Try putting a drop or two behind your ear or on your wrist and the oil will permeate your skin and eventually reach your internal organs that need this little boost.

Due to the essential nutrients that are intrinsic within this oil it helps to increase the amount of hemoglobin in the blood which aids in the way the blood is flowing. When the necessary amount of red blood cells are present it helps to encourage and define cognitive functions, metabolism, energy levels and cellular growth. A very important oil to have around for your overall health, you can even use persimmon in an oil warmer or diffuser to obtain the benefits.

You can purchase persimmon seed oil online from several companies at

U.S. Needs To Focus On Heart Disease Burden

A recent report furnished by the health committee is concerned about the United States’ lack of focus on noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease. The American College of Cardiology reported that there must be a reprioritization of health resources that go toward pressing specific health issues. While there has been an increase in resources allocated to the dismantling of infectious diseases, more needs to be done in reference to some of the health concerns that can’t necessarily be caught or transmuted.

The right global health strategies have the ability to save lives and increase the quality of life for those who are suffering from compromised health. The Committee on Global Health thinks a more efficient strategy to really address some of the health concerns in this country that aren’t linked to infections is necessary in order for the United States to maintain its status as a global health leader.

“These NASEM recommendations and this manuscript are among the most important efforts of my career, because if they are adopted by the U.S. government, they have the potential to enact true change for global health,” says author and Ph.D., Valentin Fuster. “The next step for the committee is to present these recommendations to the U.S. Senate,”

Implementing Better Strategies

Fuster believes in order for these mandates to work more securely and improve the overall health trajectory of this country, a few things need to be properly dealt with. Firstly, there needs to be a type of innovation that helps to galvanize development around medical products and increase the infrastructure of healthcare. Next, the employment of flexible and easily shifted financial mechanisms for additional funders and partners to help increase resources. Lastly, help to influence other nations regarding the importance of global health via evidence-based science and economic benefit which will potentially have a ripple effect.

Better strategies must be implemented specifically around cardiovascular disease and finding a way to manage and offer roadmaps in order to improve the quality of life for sufferers, offer early detection, and proper information regarding how to prevent the occurrence of the disease. There needs to be more truth-telling in regards to diet, portion size and the improper ways that we use foods in our society.

There is much to be said about how the ways in which our collective health is compromised can be better dealt with from various angles. There also needs to be more of a widespread initiative to talk about why many of the health concerns and conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, are occurring in specific demographic locations. Those who have a lower economic standing who cannot have access to healthcare tend to live in areas that have limited resources and are surrounded by inexpensive food that has no nutritional value. These are often referred to as food deserts.

In order to have a full picture of those who are typically affected by the onslaught of these deadly conditions, we must also look at access and the fact that these diseases are developed based on the health choices that individuals make. Many individuals make their daily food choices based on their economic ability and their proximal access to healthy options. This is a nuanced and layered issue that must be looked at through various lenses.

Screenings For Newborn Spinal Abnormalities

With so many advancements in neonatal testing, couples can learn so much about their babies prior to their births – and directly after. In the United Kingdom, while additional testing is becoming more readily available, many believe that testing to see the functionality and strength of the baby’s spine is a necessary screening. There is a potentially deadly condition called spinal muscular atrophy that can compromise the quality of babies’ lives severely.

Many parents want to be given the choice on whether or not to be aware of such birth defects during the course of the pregnancy. Researchers from University of Warwick found that most individuals are in favor of this type of newborn screening to verify whether the presence of SMA, or spinal muscular atrophy, is present.

Understanding SMA
This neuromuscular disorder – inherited from the genes of the mother or father – causes a huge amount of health severities that lead to many infant deaths worldwide. While this type of screening is readily available in many developed countries around the world, a routine screening for SMA is not something that is done in the UK.

Felicity Boardman who works at the university’s medical school says it quite simply: “With the recent release of the first therapy for SMA, calls are being made internationally for a reconsideration of the current stance on screening; however, very little is known about the views of the general public. We decided to address this gap in evidence by surveying people about their views.”

This is a great way of seeing just where the citizens of the UK are when it comes to certain advancements that would give parents and patients the ability to really see what’s coming when it comes to their babies. Having the necessary and pertinent information is much better than not being informed about options. The fact that something could be a very real and dangerous threat to the safety and health of an unborn baby should be known as soon as possible.

Over 80 percent of the 232 members of the public surveyed were in favor of the newborn screenings. Many believed that it would lead to improved healthcare and life expectancy for the infants that were affected. It would also be a good way for the expectant partners to decide about any future pregnancies. Those who were not in favor thought that knowing this information may have a negative impact on the familial unit. It could affect stress patterns and interfere with parent/child bonding.

Acceptability Is Key

Dr. Broadman went on to say: “Public acceptability is a key component in the evaluation of any potential screening program in the UK. This study demonstrates that newborn screening for SMA is viewed largely positively by people unfamiliar with the condition. The perceived importance of early identification overrode all other social and ethical concerns about screening for the majority of participants.”

Many of the participants could see how advantageous it would be to have the information about a baby’s condition in utero or right after the baby has been born. This benefits both the baby and the parents as proper treatment can be administered at once. Screening methods generally have positive results and reactions because they put the patients and babies in a position of knowledge which allows them to make informed decisions.

Blueberry Activates Memory Cells

A weakened memory can be an incredibly taxing and difficult thing to manage on a day-to-day basis. Some people have great memories while others struggle with even some of the most basic questions they actually should know. With dementia and Alzheimer’s being so heavily pervasive in the elderly population, finding ways to strengthen, sharpen and improve memory is on the minds of many researchers and scientists.

Any type of information that can help to reverse or improve the complete disintegration that takes place when a person’s cognitive abilities start to diminish is something that should be studied completely. It was found that the fermented quality that blueberries take on when they are turned into vinegar has positively impacted mice who suffered from cognitive impairment or amnesia.

Researchers were able to surmise through experimental actions that blocking the acetylcholine receptors actually disrupts the brain’s ability to learn and remember. This becomes an issue for those with dementia as they have lower levels of its receptors and signals. There have been some experimental drugs recently introduced on the market, however, their side effects compromise the liver, and their overall effects can be less than desirable.

Blueberry Vinegar

Fermentation of a fruit like blueberries can boost the bioactivity within the natural organism. In order to thoroughly test out this hypothesis, researchers took mice with induced amnesia and administered blueberry vinegar. The molecules in the mice brains were then tested and this particular type of vinegar was able to breakdown acetylcholine and increase necessary levels of neurotrophic elements which allow the neurons to form healthily.

The researchers also had an interest in knowing how the blueberry vinegar impacted cognition. In order to properly test these findings, they took careful stock of the animals’ performances in things like mazes or how they performed on an avoidance test. The exposure to the blueberry vinegar resulted in improved performances on both of the tests.

Restoring Memory

This shows that this specific fermented fruit is a great way to activate and restore memory abilities in the brain. While further testing is needed, it is a good sign that there is an obvious special impact that this type of treatment has on the molecules of the brain that are expressly used to retain memory.

It is very possible that a multitude of fruits, vegetables, roots and minerals can be used to a positive end when it comes to some of the most challenging health crisis’ we face as a society. There needs to be more researchers and scientists willing to take on projects and experiments that deal specifically with natural remedies. While the money and the profit margin is much less in these types of situations and circumstances, the potential medical breakthroughs and advancements that could be made are tremendous.

So many illnesses absolutely tarnish and tear apart the framework of an individual. Oftentimes, the prescription medication that is given to them for management does the bare minimum and ensures that they are dependent on it indefinitely. This cycle only benefits the drug companies who profit from the continued prescriptions. There is no reason that additional benefits that come directly from the earth can’t have money-saving and symptom-reversing effects.

Sapote Oil: A Hair And Skin Must Have

When it comes to fruit oils, they run the gamut as many fruits and their seeds have been successfully used as oils. Sapote is no different. This oil is derived via a natural process in parts of Mexico and Central America. Due to the high levels of vitamin A and C, as well as the calcium, proteins and other beneficial components, this oil is one of the best kept hair and skin secrets. Here’s exactly how this oil can be used effectively on both the skin and hair to maximum benefit.


Certain types of hair can be more difficult to detangle and manage than others. When this is the case, it’s imperative to find a product or oil that has properties which will increase the successful management of the hair. Sapote oil is a natural hair softener and can help in the detangling process. It is a direct antidote for the ways in which the hair can link up and get easily tangled.

Hair Loss

One of the biggest hair concerns that one may experience in their lives is that of balding. To lose your hair prematurely, or at all, is something that is often very difficult to deal with for some. Thankfully, this oil can provide the cure to that very real and debilitating fear. This oil can be used as a hot oil scalp treatment which will then penetrate the scalp and hair follicles, making them stronger and stimulate the overall growth of the hair. This means that not only does it help to prevent your current hair from falling out but it also fortifies future strands to grow stronger and better.

Calms Dry Skin

Because this oil is so great at penetrating the skin and is quickly absorbed, it’s the perfect oil to use to moisturize your skin. It can be used on the entire body. It is not an oil that leaves residue or makes skin appear unnecessarily oily. One of the reasons people like to use this oil is because it doesn’t leave that slick sheen on the face that can look very strange.

Keeps Skin Healthy

Not only is this a great oil to have on hand for the daily moisturizing needs you may have, it’s also great for improving the skin. Due to all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are within, sapote oil it will leave your skin looking younger, more supple and smooth. If you are interested in a moisturizer that will have your face looking youthful and glowing, this is an oil that you should definitely try out.

What’s better than an oil that serves multiple purposes? That is definitely this oil. So if you are in need of something that will greatly improve your hair and face, look no further as sapote oil should be your next oil purchase.

You can purchase sapote oil online from several companies at

Your Desk Job Isn’t Doing You Any Health Favors

Staying active is so imperative to overall health, so much so that many healthy living spaces and medical establishments continually vocalize how vital it is. For this reason, it isn’t surprising that more data is being released regarding how having a desk job and living a mostly sedentary lifestyle can be catastrophic for your waistline and your health.

Those who typically have less risk factors for serious health conditions such as heart disease tend to walk at least seven miles per day or spend upwards of seven hours on their feet. The correlation here is that how you use and move your body directly affects the health factors within.

Dr. William Tigbe, from the Warwick Medical School, led research regarding how bad excessive sitting is for our waistline, and subsequently, our health. For people who have desk jobs, their waists are typically bigger and their risk for heart disease is also increased.

The Findings

The research looked at over 100 postal workers who were given activity monitors. Half of the workers worked in the office while the other half delivered the mail. There were huge differences between the two groups that were found. Firstly, the office workers had a bigger average waist circumference. Their risk for cardiovascular disease was also 2.2% higher than those who were constantly walking throughout the duration of their shift.

With each hour of sitting – up to around five hours – the bad cholesterol – also known as LDL – increased. The good cholesterol – (HDL) – decreased. Most shifts are anywhere from 6 to 8 hours so this is definitely an issue to one’s health.

“Longer time spent in sedentary posture is significantly associated with larger waist circumference, higher triglycerides – fat in the blood – and lower HDL cholesterol, all adding up to a worse risk of heart disease,” Tigbe says. “The levels associated with zero risk factors were walking more than 15,000 steps per day, which is equivalent to walking seven to eight miles, or spending seven hours per day upright. Our findings could be used as the basis of new public health targets for sitting, lying, standing and stepping to avoid metabolic risks.”

Increasing Physical Activity

There is an irrefutable link to health and physical activity. This has long been discussed, tested and confirmed in the scientific and medical community. Scientists explain that our biological evolutionary purpose did not account for our bodies being stagnant and sitting down for copious amounts of time each day. The hunters and gatherers spent a good portion of the day on their feet and we’re probably more biologically inclined to do that than we are – with us being largely inactive as we type away at a keyboard for hours and hours.

This is why being active despite having a sedentary job is so crucial. Those who have desk jobs really need to be mindful of incorporating enough standing and walking into their day despite being tied to their desk for their work.

There are a couple of ways to incorporate additional steps or upright movement. Get a headset and take some of your calls standing at your desk if you can. Make a commitment to use the stairs when you are coming to and from work. Do a full body stretch and a few squats every time you get up to go to the bathroom. The importance of how even the little things can increase your physical activity thus positively affecting your health cannot be overstated.

Proper Food Storage Prevents Tons Of Food Waste

March is National Nutrition Month which means several establishments and entities will provide information on how to live a nutritionally sound and fruitful life. In an attempt to lower our grocery bill and better allocate the amount of food that goes into our homes every month, there is an initiative to “Go Further With Food.” This essentially deals with being less wasteful and getting more actual use from the food you buy without it going bad from non-use or being stored improperly.

This country wastes an inordinate amount of perfectly good food on a daily basis. Up to 31 percent of food is wasted on a yearly basis with almost 28 percent of produce thrown out. This is something that we should feel ashamed of especially when there are so many that could benefit from access to free food.

Eat What You Have

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Melissa Majumdar says: “Far too often, good food goes bad before we get the chance to eat it. Before going to the grocery store, check inside your refrigerator. Eat what you already have at home before buying more. To reduce waste, also date all frozen items and use the oldest food first.”

Sometimes the issue comes down to what we feel like eating and what seems appetizing to us. Dining out or ordering in can seem like a much better, more mouth-watering option. But this essentially guarantees you wasting money erroneously if you happen to have a fully stocked refrigerator.

Produce becomes less fresh every day that it sits waiting to be used. Leftover meals that can continue to feed you or your family one or two more times only have about a three-to-five-day shelf life before they start to go bad.

Have A Meal Plan

One way that you can ensure you are wasting as little food as possible is to stick to a meal plan. Make a few dishes and seal them in airtight, glass containers so that they will be good for a large portion of the week. Always use glass containers because they are much safer to have contact with your food than plastic. They are also largely made with airtight lids which help the food to stay fresher longer.

It’s also a good idea to freeze at least half or a fourth of any meal you cook. This ensures that it can be used much later after it thaws. These tips will help allow you to get the full amount of use out of the items you purchase. Also, always go grocery shopping after you’ve eaten. Never go on an empty stomach because you’re much more likely to go over your budget.

Being wasteful is something that we, as a society, can and should prevent. Food shouldn’t be thrown out as it doesn’t help anyone. We need to be steadfast and dedicated to not only saving money for ourselves but also not creating unnecessary waste that could have easily gone into the stomachs of starving individuals.

Key Tips To Prevent Bug Bites

Bug bites aren’t just little nuisances that cause itching and irritation. For those with very sensitive skin, they can be a real cause for concern as the bites can cause inflamed skin that grows into large welts, promotes itching, scarring, and even infections if you aren’t careful. Whether it is ticks, mosquitoes or bees, the presence of bugs and their proclivity to bite can be downright maddening sometimes. According to dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology, the best way to prevent these bites, and ward off any insect-related diseases that may come with them, is to follow very specific steps.

Use Insect Repellent

The first tip is to use insect repellent. While this may sound obvious, not all insect repellents are created equal. Make sure you get the kind that has DEET in it – at least 30 percent, preferably more. Spray your outer clothing as well as your exposed skin. This is a tip that some people don’t use. While spraying your skin may prevent bugs for a time, also spraying your clothes ensures that the scent will stay put for hours.

If you’re the type of person that doesn’t like the scent of DEET, understand that most lotions and perfumes that smell good actually have a way of attracting bugs to you. Only certain scents are considered repelling to them. Keep this in mind. Would you rather smell alluring or be covered in bug bites after returning from a hike or a camping trip? The choice is yours.

Select The Right Clothing

Be mindful of the clothing you wear. This is sometimes hard in the summer, when bugs are more plentiful, because the hot weather makes it difficult to cover up. When you are traveling in areas that are known for mosquitoes or bugs in general, make sure to wear long pants and long sleeves whenever possible. This helps to not only cover the surface area of your body that is susceptible to bug bites, but it also allows for more space to spray insect repellent on, which will help to compound the effect of the spray to begin with. It’s especially crucial to be mindful of what you wear at night.

Sleep In A Bed Net

Get a bed net. This is generally best for when you are traveling, especially in places and countries that are known for their pesky mosquitoes and creepy crawlers – and for insect carrying diseases, such as Zika. It’s important to pick a bed net that has mesh already treated with a pyrethroid insecticide.

If even, despite your best efforts, you still end up getting bit, understand that it does happen. The good thing though is that most bug bites can be safely and effectively treated at home. You can clean the bite with certain essential oils, such as clove and tea tree, which have natural antibacterial properties. What’s great about cleaning bites or stings with these essential oils is that they also help to eliminate the need to itch. This can be one of the most annoying and troublesome aspects of being bit. Needing to scratch the bite can make it worse than if you clean it and allow it to heal on its own.

Insomnia, Sleep Loss And Deep Sleep In The News

One of the things sleep loss increases is the risk of obesity through a combination of effects on energy metabolism. Research presented recently at the European Congress of Endocrinology highlights how disrupted sleep patterns – a common feature of modern living – can predispose to weight gain by affecting your appetite and responses to food and exercise.

While several studies have correlated sleep deprivation with weight gain, the underlying cause of increased obesity risk from sleep disruption is unclear, but may relate to changes in appetite, metabolism, motivation, physical activity or a combination of factors. Dr. Christian Benedict from Uppsala University, Sweden and his group have conducted a number of human studies to investigate how sleep loss may affect energy metabolism.

These human studies have measured and imaged behavioral, physiological and biochemical responses to food following acute sleep deprivation. The behavioral data reveal that metabolically healthy, sleep-deprived human subjects prefer larger food portions, seek more calories, exhibit signs of increased food-related impulsivity, experience more pleasure from food, and expend less energy.

Sleep Loss And Weight Gain

The group’s physiological studies indicate that sleep loss shifts the hormonal balance from hormones that promote fullness, such as GLP-1, to those that promote hunger, such as ghrelin. Sleep restriction also increased levels of endocannabinoids, which is known to have appetite-promoting effects. Acute sleep loss also alters the balance of gut bacteria, which has been widely implicated as key for maintaining a healthy metabolism. The same study also found reduced sensitivity to insulin after sleep loss.

“Since perturbed sleep is such a common feature of modern life, these studies show it is no surprise that metabolic disorders such as obesity are also on the rise,” Benedict says. “My studies suggest that sleep loss favors weight gain in humans. It may also be concluded that improving sleep could be a promising lifestyle intervention to reduce the risk of future weight gain.”

Although this work has shed light on how short periods of sleep loss can affect energy metabolism, longer-term studies are needed to validate these findings. The group is now investigating longer-term effects and also whether extending sleep in habitual short sleepers can restore these alterations in appetite and energy metabolism.

Exercise, Sleep Key To Regulating Behavior

Another recent study, published in 2017 in the Journal of Applied Psychology, tracked participants’ sleep patterns and daytime physical movements. It found employees who recorded an average of more than 10,900 steps each day were less likely to perpetuate abuse at home than those recording fewer than 7,000.

“Research shows employees who are mistreated at work are likely to engage in similar behaviors at home,” said University of Central Florida’s College of Business management professor Shannon Taylor, who teamed up with researchers from Illinois and Wisconsin for the study. “If they’ve been belittled or insulted by a supervisor, they tend to vent their frustration on members of their household. Our study shows that happens because they’re too tired to regulate their behavior.”

Study participants included 118 MBA students with full-time jobs who took a survey and then wore activity monitors for a week. A follow-up survey was then sent to the participants’ cohabitants. The study concludes sleep and exercise are intervention points that can be leveraged to prevent the spread of harmful behavior.

The study found that burning an additional 587 calories can reduce the harmful effects of mistreatment and help prevent it from carrying into the home. For the average American man, these gains can be achieved with an hour of swimming or a brisk 90-minute walk. “The findings are particularly compelling given recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association to walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day,” Taylor said.

Insomnia Genes

In June 2017, an international team of researchers found – for the first time – seven risk genes for insomnia. The results of the research were published in Nature Genetics. With this finding the researchers have taken an important step towards the unraveling of the biological mechanisms that cause insomnia. In addition, the finding proves that insomnia is not, as is often claimed, a purely psychological condition.

Insomnia is probably the most common health complaint. Even after treatment, poor sleep remains a persistent vulnerability for many people. By having determined the risk genes, professors and lead researchers Danielle Posthuma and Eus Van Someren have come closer to unraveling the biological mechanisms that cause the predisposition for insomnia. Van Someren believes that the findings are the start of a path towards an understanding of insomnia at the level of communication within and between neurons, and thus towards finding new ways of treatment.

He also hopes that the findings will help with the recognition of insomnia. “As compared to the severity, prevalence and risks of insomnia, only few studies targeted its causes. Insomnia is all too often dismissed as being ‘all in your head.’ Our research brings a new perspective. Insomnia is also in the genes.”

In a sample of 113,006 individuals, the researchers found seven genes for insomnia. These genes play a role in the regulation of transcription, the process where DNA is read in order to make an RNA copy of it, and exocytosis, the release of molecules by cells in order to communicate with their environment. One of the identified genes, MEIS1, has previously been related to two other sleep disorders: Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS) and Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

By collaborating with Konrad Oexle and colleagues from the Institute of Neurogenomics at the Helmholtz Zentrum, München, Germany, the researchers could conclude that the genetic variants in the gene seem to contribute to all three disorders. PLMS and RLS are characterized by restless movement and sensation, respectively, whereas insomnia is characterized mainly by a restless stream of consciousness.

Genetic Overlap With Other Characteristics

The researchers also found a strong genetic overlap with other traits, such as anxiety disorders, depression and neuroticism, and low subjective wellbeing. “This is an interesting finding, because these characteristics tend to go hand in hand with insomnia. We now know that this is partly due to the shared genetic basis,” says neuroscientist Anke Hammerschlag, first author of the study.

The researchers also studied whether the same genetic variants were important for men and women. “Part of the genetic variants turned out to be different. This suggests that, for some part, different biological mechanisms may lead to insomnia in men and women,” says professor Posthuma. “We also found a difference between men and women in terms of prevalence: in the sample we studied, including mainly people older than 50 years, 33% of the women reported to suffer from insomnia. For men this was 24%.”

The risk genes could be tracked down in cohorts with the DNA and diagnoses of many thousands of people. The UK Biobank – a large cohort from England that has DNA available – did not have information as such about the diagnosis of insomnia, but they had asked their participants whether they found it difficult to fall asleep or to have uninterrupted sleep. By making good use of information from the Dutch Sleep Registry, the UK Biobank was able, for the first time, to determine which of them met the insomnia profile. Linking the knowledge from these two cohorts is what made the difference.

Deep Sleep A Fountain Of Youth?

As we grow old, our nights are frequently plagued by bouts of wakefulness, bathroom trips and other nuisances as we lose our ability to generate the deep, restorative slumber we enjoyed in youth. But does that mean older people just need less sleep? Not according to UC Berkeley researchers, who argue in an article published in the journal Neuron that the unmet sleep needs of the elderly elevate their risk of memory loss and a wide range of mental and physical disorders.

“Nearly every disease killing us in later life has a causal link to lack of sleep,” said senior author, Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of psychology and neuroscience. “We’ve done a good job of extending life span, but a poor job of extending our health span. We now see sleep, and improving sleep, as a new pathway for helping remedy that.”

Sleep deterioration has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and stroke. Though older people are less likely to notice or report mental fogginess and other symptoms of sleep deprivation, numerous brain studies reveal how poor sleep leaves them cognitively worse off. Moreover, the shift from deep, consolidated sleep in youth to fitful, dissatisfying sleep can start as early as the thirties, paving the way for sleep-related cognitive and physical ailments in middle age.

While the pharmaceutical industry is raking in billions by catering to insomniacs, Walker warns that the pills designed to help us doze off are a poor substitute for the natural sleep cycles that the brain needs in order to function well. “Don’t be fooled into thinking sedation is real sleep. It’s not,” he said.

Slow Wave Sleep

For their review of sleep research, Walker – along with researchers Bryce Mander and Joseph Winer – cite studies, including some of their own, that show the aging brain has trouble generating the kind of slow brain waves that promote deep curative sleep, as well as the neurochemicals that help us switch stably from sleep to wakefulness. “The parts of the brain deteriorating earliest are the same regions that give us deep sleep,” said Mander, a postdoctoral researcher in Walker’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at UC Berkeley.

Aging typically brings on a decline in deep, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) or “slow wave sleep,” and the characteristic brain waves associated with it, including both slow waves and faster bursts of brain waves known as “sleep spindles.” Youthful, healthy slow waves and spindles help transfer memories and information from the hippocampus, which provides the brain’s short-term storage, to the prefrontal cortex, which consolidates the information, acting as the brain’s long-term storage.

“Sadly, both these types of sleep brain waves diminish markedly as we grow old, and we are now discovering that this sleep decline is related to memory decline in later life,” said Winer. Another deficiency in later life is the inability to regulate neurochemicals that stabilize our sleep and help us transition from sleep to waking states. These neurochemicals include galanin, which promotes sleep, and orexin, which promotes wakefulness. A disruption to the sleep-wake rhythm commonly leaves older adults fatigued during the day but frustratingly restless at night.

Of course, not everyone is vulnerable to sleep changes in later life: “Just as some people age more successfully than others, some people sleep better than others as they get older, and that’s another line of research we’ll be exploring,” Mander said.

Quantity Vs. Quality Sleep

Meanwhile, non-pharmaceutical interventions are being explored to boost the quality of sleep, such as electrical stimulation to amplify brain waves during sleep and acoustic tones that act like a metronome to slow brain rhythms. However, promoting alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids is sure to be challenging.

“The American College of Physicians has acknowledged that sleeping pills should not be the first-line kneejerk response to sleep problems,” Walker said. “Sleeping pills sedate the brain, rather than help it sleep naturally. We must find better treatments for restoring healthy sleep in older adults, and that is now one of our dedicated research missions.”

Also important to consider in changing the culture of sleep is the question of quantity versus quality. “Previously, the conversation has focused on how many hours you need to sleep,” Mander said. “However, you can sleep for a sufficient number of hours, but not obtain the right quality of sleep. We also need to appreciate the importance of sleep quality. Indeed, we need both quantity and quality.”