Monthly Archives: August 2015

MSG: Therein lies the tasty, safety rub

msg, monosodium glutamate, msg in food, chines food, unhealthy food, unheathy msg, msg bad for health, msg based food, health, lifestyle Although glutamate is naturally occurring in many foods, it is frequently added as a flavour enhancer.

Despite the popularity of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in the food industry worldwide, the recent controversy highlights the need to demystify myths around MSG. How safe is MSG?; Is it safe for children to consume?; The permissible levels of use and consumption of MSG?– are some of the key concerns to most consumers.

Although glutamate is naturally occurring in many foods, it is frequently added as a flavour enhancer. Monosodium glutamate, commonly known as aginomotto, is the most widely used food additive valued for its flavour enhancing properties. It is a sodium salt of glutamate.

Glutamate is an amino acid (building block of proteins) that occurs naturally in foods like tomato (246 mg), chedar cheese (182 mg), corn (106 mg), green pea (106 mg), onion (51 mg), cabbage (50 mg), spinach (48 mg), mushroom (42 mg), chicken (22 mg) and breast milk (19 mg).

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The body uses glutamic acid as a fine – tuner of brain function, as well as a protein building block and contributes greatly to the characteristic ‘umami- the fifth taste’ of foods. Glutamate is also produced in the body and plays an essential role in human metabolism. The body does not distinguish between natural glutamate from foods and the added ones.

A review of the data from the world’s top scientific sources reveals that MSG is safe for human consumption. Numerous international scientific evaluations undertaken over many years have placed MSG on the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list of food additives approved by the USFDA, along with many other common food ingredients such as salt, vinegar and baking powder. Under the Indian food laws, MSG is a permitted additive in foods. The European Community’s Scientific Committee for Food confirmed the safety of MSG. The Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation also placed MSG in the safe category for food additives.

Given these facts, it is no surprise that MSG is greatly popular among chefs and the food industry across the world.

Another issue that has cropped up in the debate over MSG is whether it is an allergen or not. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, it is not. The US Food and Drug Administration has found no evidence to suggest any long-term, serious health consequences from the consumption of MSG. However, it is true that some people might be sensitive to MSG, just as to many other foods and food ingredients. Because of any individual sensitivity that may occur, the food labels are required to indicate the presence of MSG. The phrase “contains glutamate” appears on labels of foods containing MSG. There is general consensus in the scientific community that MSG is safe for the adult population. While MSG may be considered safe for children, it may be prudent to limit its intake during pregnancy. Some preliminary scientific studies suggested an association with high doses of MSG and increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome. However, more empirical studies are needed to elucidate causal inference. But by no means can MSG be categorised as a toxic, unsafe ingredient. The ongoing confusion about MSG requires us to differentiate and distinguish this from the natural glutamate present in foods.

What is needed is a complete relook on the food safety issues including hygiene, microbial safety, contaminants, adulterants, additives and allergens, rather than bans on individual food items.

Author is a clinical nutritionist and founder of http://www.theweightmonitor.com and Whole Foods India

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/msg-therein-lies-the-tasty-safety-rub/

My Curious Case: Little-known micro DREZ best for nerve pain treatment

nerve pain, neruologial pain, nerve pain treatment, aiims, aiims nerve pain treatment, nerve ailment, nerve treatment, india news, health news

Notes of: Dr Deepak Agrawal
Additional Professor, Neurosurgery
Chairman, Computerisation
AIIMS, Delhi

A 35-year-old patient with his right hand in a sling arrived to the clinic complaining of severe pain. With great difficulty, he narrated the incident from six months ago when he had fallen on his right shoulder while riding a motorbike.

As a result of the accident, he had lost all control on his right upper limb (upper extremity), making him unable to move his hand. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors told him he had injured his nerves and had suffered what is technically called a ‘brachial plexus’ injury.

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Within a month of the accident, he began experiencing pain in his right hand all the way up to the elbow; by the next week, the pain had become almost unbearable. Several visits to doctors and various measures were attempted but nothing proved successful. Having lost all hopes and under extreme depression, the patient arrived at AIIMS as his last resort.

Initial examination proved that he had lost movement and energy in the entire limb. He clearly had nerve pain (brachial neuralgia).

A surgical procedure called micro-DREZ (microscopic dorsal root entry zone ablation), which had been recently started at AIIMS, was adopted.

The surgery, the duration of which generally lasts two hours, consists giving an incision on the neck in the cervical spinal cord along with the DREZ that kills the pathways to pain. Post surgery, the patient reported no loss of pain, saying he could still not move his limb.

This was very surprising and it felt as if the procedure was a let-down. In such a case, a doctor can only accept the result and see the incident as a learning curve. Only, it wasn’t so much. The next day on rounds, he said that the pain had completely disappeared. In fact, details recalled in hindsight suggested that he was relieved of his pain soon after the surgery but he admitted that he was not yet ready to believe that it indeed had happened.

Micro-DREZ is practiced only at a few centres in India and this case should ramp up its practice. The procedure is simple in itself with the only factor that may act as a limitation being the surgeon’s expertise. Of the 15 patients that this surgical procedure has been conducted upon in the past one year, 14 of them never reported experiencing any pain to date.

As told to Prashant Dixit

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/my-curious-case-little-known-micro-drez-best-for-nerve-pain-treatment/

Frequent antibiotic use may increase diabetes risk

diabetes “Although we cannot infer causality from this study, the findings raise the possibility that antibiotics could raise the risk of Type-2 Diabetes,” said one of the study authors. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Frequent use of antibiotics might increase your risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes, a new study warns.

Danish researchers have found that people who developed Type-2 Diabetes tended to take more antibiotics in the years leading up to the diagnosis than people who did not have the condition.

“In our research, we found people who have Type-2 Diabetes used significantly more antibiotics up to 15 years prior to diagnosis compared to healthy controls,” said one of the study authors Kristian Hallundbæk Mikkelsen from Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark.

“Although we cannot infer causality from this study, the findings raise the possibility that antibiotics could raise the risk of Type-2 Diabetes,” Mikkelsen noted.

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Another equally compelling explanation may be that people develop Type-2 Diabetes over the course of years and face a greater risk of infection during that time, he pointed out.

For the study, the researchers tracked antibiotic prescriptions for 170,504 people who had Type-2 Diabetes and for 1.3 million people who did not have Diabetes.

Individuals who used more antibiotics were more likely to be diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes.

A person develops Diabetes, which is characterised by high blood sugar levels, when the individual cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin or insulin does not work properly to clear sugar from the bloodstream.

Past research has shown that antibiotic treatments can alter the bacteria in an individual’s gut and that certain gut bacteria may contribute to the impaired ability to metabolise sugar as seen in people with Diabetes.

This may explain why higher rates of antibiotic use are associated with the development of Type-2 Diabetes, but more research is needed to explain the findings, Mikkelsen said.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/frequent-antibiotic-use-may-increase-diabetes-risk/

Fat build-up in brain may trigger Alzheimer’s disease

M_Id_382049_Alzheimer “We found fatty acid deposits in the brains of patients who died from the disease and in mice that were genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease,” said Karl Fernandes, Professor at University of Montreal in Canada.

Abnormal build-up of fat in the brain may cause and accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, new research has found.

Canadian researchers have discovered accumulations of fat droplets in the brain of patients who died from the disease and have also identified the nature of the fat.

The discovery opens up a new avenue in the search for medication to cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

“We found fatty acid deposits in the brains of patients who died from the disease and in mice that were genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease,” said Karl Fernandes, Professor at University of Montreal in Canada.

“Our experiments suggest that these abnormal fat deposits could be a trigger for the disease,” Fernandes pointed out.

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Over 47.5 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of Dementia, according to the World Health Organisation.

Despite decades of research, the only medications currently available treat the symptoms alone.

In experiments with mice predisposed to develop the disease, the researchers found fat droplets near the stem cells on the inner surface of the brain.

When the researchers examined the brains of nine patients who died from Alzheimer’s disease, they found significantly more fat droplets compared to five healthy brains.

Using an advanced Mass Spectrometry Technique, the researchers identified these fat deposits as Triglycerides enriched with specific fatty acids, which can also be found in animal fats and vegetable oils.

“We discovered that these fatty acids are produced by the brain, that they build up slowly with normal ageing, but that the process is accelerated significantly in the presence of genes that predispose to Alzheimer’s disease,” Karl Fernandes explained.

The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/fat-build-up-in-brain-may-trigger-alzheimers-disease/

High-protein diet lowers blood pressure too

blood pressure, bp, coconut oil A higher intake of amino acids from plant-based sources was associated with lower blood pressure and a higher intake from animal sources associated with lower levels of arterial stiffness.

Eating high-levels of certain proteins found in meat and plant-based foods can lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness leading to better heart health, a study has found.

Eating foods rich in amino acids – building blocks of proteins – could be as good for your heart as stopping smoking or physical exercise – researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) found.

“Increasing intake from protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy produce, beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach could be an important and readily achievable way to reduce people’s risk of cardiovascular disease,” explained lead researcher Dr Amy Jennings from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

This research shows a protective effect of several amino acids on cardiovascular health.

The magnitude of the association is similar to those previously reported for lifestyle risk factors including salt intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking.

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Researchers investigated the effect of seven amino acids on cardiovascular health among almost 2,000 healthy women.

They found strong evidence that those who consumed the highest amounts of amino acids had lower measures of blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

The food source was important. A higher intake of amino acids from plant-based sources was associated with lower blood pressure and a higher intake from animal sources associated with lower levels of arterial stiffness.

“Beneficial daily amounts equate to a 100 gram salmon fillet or a 500 ml glass of skimmed milk,” Jennings added in a paper appeared in the Journal of Nutrition.

The finding that eating certain meat and plant proteins are linked to healthier blood pressure is an exciting finding.

“We need to understand the mechanism to see if it is direct or via our gut microbes,” said professor Tim Spector from the department of Twin Research at King’s College London.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/high-protein-diet-lowers-blood-pressure-too/

Diet diary: Re-thinking calcium-osteoporosis beliefs

Osteoporosis, health, lifestyle health, calcium, Osteoporosis calcium, vitamin D, indian express lifestyle, indian express health Calcium sources vary widely in their bio-availability and several factors that affect absorption of calcium include vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin K, protein, sodium, dietary acidosis, and dysbiosis.

While calcium is a critical nutrient for the body, particularly known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, high intake of the mineral doesn’t necessarily lower a person’s risk for osteoporosis. In  fact, excessive calcium may make your bones weaker.

Large Harvard studies of male health professionals and female nurses reported that individuals who drank one glass of milk (or less) per week were at no greater risk of breaking a hip or forearm than those who drank two or more glasses per week. When researchers combined the data from the Harvard studies with other large prospective studies, they still found no association between calcium intake and fracture risk. Moreover, there was some suggestion that calcium supplements taken without vitamin D might even increase the risk of hip fractures.

In traditional Asian countries where both dairy consumption and overall calcium levels in the diet are the lowest, bone fracture rates were also the lowest. The incidence of hip fracture in mainland  China and  Japan  were among the lowest in the world in 80s and 90s, but has risen markedly with urbanisation. Conversely, in countries like the  United States  where calcium consumption is among the highest in the world, so are the fracture rates among the highest. Clearly, its not only calcium in the diet, other nutrients and lifestyle factors are involved.

Osteoporosis is a complex multi-factorial disease including several factors like inadequate exercise, chronic inflammation, multiple mineral and vitamin deficiencies, nutritional imbalances and not simply lack of calcium in the diet.

Calcium sources vary widely in their bio-availability and several factors that affect absorption of calcium include vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin K, protein, sodium, dietary acidosis, and dysbiosis.

Dietary acidosis reduces calcium absorption. It is caused by excessive consumption of acid forming foods including animal protein, dairy and meat. Additionally, consumption of highly acidic substances like coffee, carbonated drinks, alcohol, sugar, over the counter and prescribed drugs, and even the metabolic byproducts of chronic stress can all put the acid-alkaline balance beyond the tipping point. On the flip-side, the under-consumption of alkalinizing fruits and vegetables can compromise bio-availability of calcium. For this reason, perhaps vegetarians who consume plenty of fruits and vegetables may need less calcium than meat eaters and many cultures manage on much lower intakes.

Other factors like dysbiosis, an over growth of unfriendly bacteria in the gut due to certain medications or faulty diets can compromise absorption of nutrients including calcum. Many common medicines including antacids, steroids, thyroxine, diuretics interfere with calcium metabolism.

Consumption of excessive calcium through diary products, supplements and imbalanced diets may be making our bones weaker. In addition excess calcium can deposit into soft tissues, leading to osteoarthritis, muscle cramping, insomnia, constipation or kidney stones. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation must be taken under medical supervision.

For optimal utilisation of calcium, it is important to take adequate levels of nutrients including vitamin D, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and boron, together with exercise. Vitamin D can be obtained either through exposure to sunlight, or as a supplement.  In other words there is no substitute to eating right and exercising. Calcium rich foods and supplements alone will not prevent osteoporosis.

Ways for preventing osteoporosis

* Adequate dairy and foods rich in bio-available calcium, particularly in adolescence (>3 glasses of low fat milk/dairy/day).

* Include soy and flaxseeds in your diet.

* Balanced diet rich in antioxidants, fruits and vegetables.

* Good intestinal health.

* Adequate exposure to sunlight.

* Avoid excess sodium, caffeine, phosphorus, protein, & alcohol.

* No more than three cups of coffee a day

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/diet-diary-re-thinking-calcium-osteoporosis-beliefs/

Female viagra will take years to reach India: Doctors

“As the female Viagra was new and still under trial, the introduction of the medicine in Indian market would take time,” says Nupur Gupta, gynaecologist.

The newly-developed female Viagra “Addyi” will take at least three to four years to be introduced in the Indian market as trials are still on to ascertain its long-term effects, doctors said on Thursday.

And even if the female Viagra pills do increase libido in females as has been claimed, it will take time for the Indian female population to accept it due to existing social nonacceptance on such issues, they said.

“It will take three to four years for the female Viagra to come to India as the clearance by the Drugs Controller General of India is a must,” said J.B. Sharma, a professor of gynaecology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

“Also there exists a lot of social nonacceptance in the Indian society, which needs to be overcome before making the medicine a success,” Sharma said.

He said approximate 20-30 percent of the Indian female population suffer from problems related to lack of sexual desires.

“Addyi” is the first female Viagra developed and it has been approved by the US-Food and Drugs Administration.

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Under a US FDA-imposed safety plan, doctors will only be able to prescribe “Addyi” after completing an online certification process that requires counselling patients about the medicine’s risks.

Pharmacists will also need certification and will be required to remind patients not to drink alcohol while taking the drug.

Nupur Gupta, a consultant gynaecologist at Gurgaon-based Paras Hospital, said that as the female Viagra was new and still under trial, the introduction of the medicine in Indian market would take time. “Sales in India will be slow initially. Although the Indian mindset is changing as per world’s advancements, we will take time as we still think that treatment is possible without medication,” she added.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/female-viagra-will-take-years-to-reach-india-doctors/

How traumatic memories get hidden in brain

cognitive decline, old age, exercise, workout, gym, stay fit, brain, memory, stronger memory, young, youth, aerobic exercise, working of brain, better memory Some stressful experiences are so overwhelming and traumatic that the memories hide like a shadow in the brain.

Scientists have discovered the mechanism in our brain that makes stressful or fear-related memories inaccessible.

The result could eventually lead to new treatments for patients with psychiatric disorders, the researchers said.

“The findings show there are multiple pathways to storage of fear-inducing memories, and we identified an important one for fear-related memories,” said principal investigator professor Jelena Radulovic from Northwestern University.

Some stressful experiences – such as chronic childhood abuse – are so overwhelming and traumatic that the memories hide like a shadow in the brain.

A process known as state-dependent learning is believed to contribute to the formation of memories that are inaccessible to normal consciousness.

The best way to access the memories in this system is to return the brain to the same state of consciousness as when the memory was encoded.

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Two amino acids, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), direct its emotional tides and control whether nerve cells are excited or calm.

However, scientists discovered another critical role — these receptors also help encode memories of a fear-inducing event and then store them away, hidden from consciousness.

“The brain functions in different states, much like a radio operates at AM and FM frequency bands. It’s as if the brain is normally tuned to FM stations to access memories, but needs to be tuned to AM stations to access subconscious memories,” Radulovic said.

“If a traumatic event occurs when these extra-synaptic GABA receptors are activated, the memory of this event cannot be accessed unless these receptors are activated once again, essentially tuning the brain into the AM stations,” the researcher said.

It is difficult for therapists to help these patients because the patients themselves can not remember their traumatic experiences that are the root cause of their symptoms.

“This could eventually lead to new treatments for patients with psychiatric disorders for whom conscious access to their traumatic memories is needed if they are to recover,” Radulovic said.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/how-traumatic-memories-get-hidden-in-brain/

Why Addyi, billed as ‘female Viagra’, is not really a wonder drug

Addyi, FDA approves female viagra, flibanserin, FDA approval flibanserin drug, Female sex pill, Female Viagra, flibanserin effective, flibanserin studies, Female Viagra effectiveness, flibanserin approval, Viagra, Society, Health, Female sexuality In this photo, a tablet of flibanserin sits on a brochure for Sprout Pharmaceuticals in the company’s Raleigh, N.C., headquarters. (Source: AP)

Addyi, Sprout Pharmaceutical’s drug that could boost low sex-drive in women, was granted an approval by the US FDA earlier this week, a decision that didn’t come easily. The drug aims to treat a condition called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), which affects pre-menopausal women, and results in an unexplained loss of sexual drive.

The prescription drug being billed as the ‘Female Viagra’ had already been rejected twice by the FDA but now that approval has been granted it could hit the store shelves in the US by October.

But Addyi medically known as flibanserin, comes with its fair share of controversies.

Approval with boxed warning

The first approval came in June 2015, when the FDA advisory panel voted in favour of the drug flibanserin and sent forth its recommendation to the FDA. According to this news report from NationalPost.com, the margin was 18-6 which means even the advisory board did not unanimously approve the drug.

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“Patients and prescribers should fully understand the risks associated with the use of Addyi before considering treatment,” said Dr Janet Woodcock, Director of the FDA’s drug centre.

From its tone, the FDA does not see flibanserin as a quick pill solution that should be prescribed to all patients. A fact made clear, given that this prescription-only drug will come with a boxed warning. The warning will say that the drug could lead to dangerously low blood pressure and fainting, a risk that will be higher if Addyi is taken with alcohol.

Additionally the Associated Press reports that the drug can cause problems when taken with other “commonly prescribed medications, including antifungals used to treat yeast infections.”

Addyi, FDA approves female viagra, flibanserin, FDA approval flibanserin drug, Female sex pill, Female Viagra, flibanserin effective, flibanserin studies, Female Viagra effectiveness, flibanserin approval, Viagra, Society, Health, Female sexuality Sprout Pharmaceuticals CEO Cindy Whitehead (not seen in pic) holds a bottle for the female sex-drive drug Addyi at her Raleigh, N.C., office. (Source: Associated Press)

How does Addyi work?

While Viagra works on increasing blood flow to male genitalia, flibanserin acts on brain chemicals that affect mood and appetite. According to a Reuters report, “flibanserin is in the same class of other drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRI’s, that include antidepressants such as Prozac.”

A report on Throb Gizmodo, which is linked to various studies on the drug, explains in detail that flibanserin binds with serotonin receptors in the brains. While it reduces activities in 5-HT1a type receptors, it does the opposite with 5-HT2a receptors.

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The drug appears to have “the strongest quieting effect on the cerebral cortex, where all that ‘self-judging’ activity is taking place,” adds the report, thus giving it the link to boosting sexual desires.

Another study that also examines how flibanserin works on these two class of serotonin receptors concludes that where treating sexual disorders goes, it’s still a may and not a resounding yes.

The conclusion for the study reads, “Flibanserin is a 5-HT1A agonist and a 5-HT2A antagonist, with regionally selective actions on monoamines. Chronic treatment reduces 5-HT activity and enhances DA (dopamine) and NE (norepinephrine) activity in PFC (pre-frontal coxtex), which may act to increase the efficiency of information processing in critical pyramidal neurons linked to the symptoms of HSDD.” Full study available here. Some more studies on how flibanserin acted an anti-depressant on rats can be read here.

Based on studies, Addyi’s claim as a wonder drug stands on shaky grounds.

Addyi, FDA approves female viagra, flibanserin, FDA approval flibanserin drug, Female sex pill, Female Viagra, flibanserin effective, flibanserin studies, Female Viagra effectiveness, flibanserin approval, Viagra, Society, Health, Female sexuality The drug, flibanserin, under the trade name Addyi, nicknamed “female Viagra” is shown in this undated Sprout Pharmaceuticals handout photo released. (Source: Reuters)

Addyi an equivalent to the male Viagra?

While the term female ‘Viagra ’might make for great headlines, with Addyi efficiency does not stand at 100 per cent or even at 50 per cent.

For instance, Sprout claimed that, “46 to 60 percent of the women in the trials had benefited from the flibanserin treatment.” But FDA didn’t agree with this assessment and put the number down to 10 per cent. Moreover, the FDA adds that if patients don’t see any improvement after eights weeks of using Addyi, they should stop taking it.

Nor is this a pill, that women can just pop each night before going out to boost their sex drive as some might think. “This is not a drug you take an hour before you have sex. You have to take it for weeks and months in order to see any benefit at all,” Leonore Tiefer, a psychologist and sex therapist opposed to the drug, told the Associated Press.

It would appear that Addyi’s use and approval comes with a fair amount of caveats.

Sprout and the Even the Score campaign

Addyi’s approval also comes in the background of a highly politicised campaign by those speaking in favour of the drug. After the FDA twice rejected the drug, the body was called sexist.

The issue of Addyi and its effectiveness has been carefully framed within the context of women’s rights.

According to AP, Even the Score’s – a lobby that began publicising the lack of drugs for female sexual dysfunction since 2014 – online petition had more than 60,000 supporters. Interestingly Sprout has not revealed how much funding they offered to the campaign.

How serious is HSSD?

The Associated Press report states that surveys estimate that 8 to 14 per cent of women aged 20 to 49 have the condition, or about 5.5 to 8.6 million US women. But when it comes to a ‘low’ sex drive or desire, the exact reasons for why women suffer from this are harder to pinpoint.

Relationship problems, body-issues, medications are all potential factors when looking at reasons for a low sex drive. And effective or not, flibanserin might not be the ideal solution.

Perhaps more harshly, some doctors have called HSSD a made-up disease. Dr Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown University Medical Center is quoted by NBCNews as saying“Hypoactive sexual desire disorder was actually invented by pharmaceutical companies…It was originally invented to sell the testosterone patch…”

Other doctors in defence of HSSD, say that the Addyi aka flibanserin will reduce the distress some women may feel when it comes to lack of desire for sex.

While FDA might have granted Addyi approval under stringent conditions for sale and prescription, its proven effectiveness has been minimal if one were to look at studies.Coupled with its side-effects, Addyi, the ‘female Viagra’ is far from being a near perfect solution.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/why-addyi-billed-as-female-viagra-is-not-really-a-wonder-drug/

Mother’s education can affect daughter’s birth weight

mother-main Causes of low birth weight extend much further back than the time frame that is typically focused on: pregnancy

Social factors such as a woman’s education level and marital status before pregnancy can affect birth weight of her daughters and granddaughters, a new study says.

The study looked at 1,580 mother-daughter pairs, focusing on their weight at birth, marital status and education level.

“The odds of having a low-birth-weight baby were one and a half to two times greater for mothers who themselves were born low birth weight compared to mothers who were not born low birth weight,” said researcher Jennifer Kane, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine in the US.

“But also important are social factors, including education and marital status. Putting all of these factors – both inter-generational and intra-generational – together in a single model can tell us even more,” Kane noted.

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For example, education level pre-pregnancy can be transmitted from mothers to daughters across at least three generations, and this inter-generational transmission appears to affect birth weight of future generations, Kane said.

“And knowing that biological factors perpetuate the cycle – being a low-birth-weight baby makes a woman more susceptible to delivering the same – we start to see that we cannot look at these two factors separately,” she said.

This means that causes of low birth weight extend much further back than the time frame that is typically focused on: pregnancy.

The findings tie social and biological factors together in determining causes for low birth weight.
“Knowing more about what causes low birth weight can help alleviate the intergenerational perpetuation of social inequality through poor infant health,” Kane noted.

The study was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour.

Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/mothers-education-can-affect-daughters-birth-weight/