Healthy Tips For Boost Women's Health

Women’s health concerns are a little different from those of men. If you’re a woman, these tips will soon have you feeling fit and energetic. Here are six simple things that women can do every day (or with regularity) to ensure good health:

1: Eat a healthy diet. “You want to eat as close to a natural foods diet as you can,” says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. That means a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Eat whole grains and high-fiber foods and choose leaner cuts of meat, fish, and poultry. Include low-fat dairy products in your diet as well — depending on your age, you need between 800 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily to help avoid osteoporosis, Dr. Novey says. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in calories, sugar, salt, and fat.

Healthy eating will help you maintain a proper weight for your height, which is important because being overweight can lead to a number of illnesses. Looking for a healthy snack? Try some raw vegetables, such as celery, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, or zucchini with dip made from low-fat yogurt.

If you’re not getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet, you might want to take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement to make sure you’re maintaining good health.

2: Exercise. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in America, but plenty of exercise can help keep your heart healthy. You want to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, if not every day. Aerobic exercises (walking, swimming, jogging, bicycling, dancing) are good for women’s health in general and especially for your heart, says Sabrena Merrill, MS, of Lawrence, Kan., a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise.

3: Avoid risky habits. Stay away from cigarettes and people who smoke. Don’t use drugs. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Most women’s health studies show that women can safely consume one drink a day. A drink is considered to be about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol, which is equal to 12 ounces of beer (4.5 percent alcohol); 5 ounces of wine (12.9 percent alcohol); or 1.5 ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey, 80-proof).

4: Manage stress. No matter what stage of her life — daughter, mother, grandmother — a woman often wears many hats and deals with a lot of pressure and stress. “Take a few minutes every day just to relax and get your perspective back again,” Novey says. “It doesn’t take long, and mental health is important to your physical well-being.” You also can manage stress with exercise, relaxation techniques, or meditation.

5: Sun safely. Excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can cause skin cancer, which can be deadly. To protect against skin cancer, wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 if you are going to be outdoors for more than a few minutes. Even if you wear sunscreen faithfully, you should check regularly for signs of skin cancer. Warning signs include any changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of birthmarks, moles, or freckles, or new, enlarging, pigmented, or red skin areas. If you spot any changes or you find you have sores that are not healing, consult your doctor.

6: Check for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society no longer recommends monthly breast self-exams for women. However, it still suggests them as “an option” for women, starting in their 20s. You should be on the lookout for any changes in your breasts and report any concerns to your doctor. All women 40 and older should get a yearly mammogram as a mammogram is the most effective way of detecting cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable.

A woman’s health needs change as she ages, but the basics of women’s health remain the same. If you follow these six simple healthy living tips, you will improve your quality of life for years to come.

Nerve cell links severed in early stages of Alzheimer’s

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, an overzealous set of proteins and cells begins to chew away at the brain’s nerve cell connections, a study in mice suggests.

That finding, described March 31 in Science, adds to a growing body of research that implicates excessive synaptic pruning, a process that shapes the young brain by culling unused connections, with disorders later in life. The new work pins the loss of nerve cell–connecting synapses on particular immune system molecules and a notorious Alzheimer’s-linked protein.

By uniting these multiple strands of evidence, the study may help explain the earliest steps in Alzheimer’s march of neural destruction. “No one has put it together in quite this way,” says neuropathologist John Trojanowski. If the same process happens in humans, the new results may point to ways to slow or stop Alzheimer’s, says Trojanowski, of the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school.

Mouse brain cells

A curious observation led to this new view of neural whittling. A protein called C1q was packed around synapses in the brains of young mice genetically engineered to show signs of Alzheimer’s. And C1q was most abundant in brain areas known to suffer synapse losses as Alzheimer’s takes hold.

C1q is a member of the complement cascade, a group of immune system proteins that calls in microglia cells to gobble up synapses or cells. This pruning is essential as the brain develops. But these neural gardeners seem to spring back into action in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, neuroscientist Beth Stevens of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University and colleagues found. And that reactivation seems to be helped along by the Alzheimer’s-related protein amyloid-beta.

In the brains of mice that weren’t genetically engineered, injections of oligomeric A-beta, the form thought to be the most dangerous, caused C1q levels to rise. Along with this increase, synapses got destroyed, the team found. But A-beta injections didn’t harm synapses in mice lacking C1q, showing that C1q and A-beta are both needed for excessive pruning. How the two proteins exactly work together isn’t clear, Stevens says, but “they are definitely there at the right time and the right place.”

Complement proteins and microglia are known to be active in late-stage Alzheimer’s, when the inflamed brain is packed with sticky gobs of A-beta. But the new results suggest that the synapse-pruning pathway is active much earlier in the disease process, long before A-beta plaques form. “The story is extremely compelling and tight in Alzheimer’s mouse models,” says neurologist Scott Small of Columbia University.

There are reasons to think that a similar process happens in people. Autopsy studies by neurobiologist Stephen Scheff of the University of Kentucky in Lexington and colleagues, for instance, have turned up fewer synapses in the brains of people with mild cognitive impairment — thought to be an early stage of Alzheimer’s. The cause of that synapse loss could certainly be explained by changes in complement proteins or microglia, Scheff says.

Any therapy that would target this pruning process would first depend on identifying people at risk. And so far, there are no good tests to spot excessive oligomeric A-beta in the brain, says neurologist Sam Gandy of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “Oligomers are invisible,” he says.

But if screening methods are developed, then the prospect of stopping Alzheimer’s by stopping synapse loss is appealing, Small says. A drug that could prevent C1q or its conspirators from targeting synapses for destruction might halt the damage, for instance. “It’s easier to cure a sick cell than a dead cell,” he says.

Indian scientists develop Hepatitis C vaccine

Bengaluru: A group of Indian scientists has developed a vaccine meant to treat Hepatitis C, a virus or infection that causes liver disease and inflammation of the liver.

According to the report in Times of India, the team from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has developed a vaccine for HCV genotype 3a.

The scientists said the vaccine has shown promising results in preclinical studies and is customised for the Indian population.

It is said that several preclinical trials of virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccine strategies are in progress throughout the world.

But in the present study, Professor Saumitra Das and his team generated gt3a hepatitis C virus-like particles (HCV-LP). According to the scientists, the vaccine they have created is a “molecular cocktail of virus-like particles that mimics HCV along with a bio-engineered adenovirus vector (viral vectors are tools commonly used by molecular biologists to deliver genetic material into cells), encoding the core and envelope proteins of HCV”.

The researchers then inserted those genes of HCV into the adenovirus vector so that it would provoke the immune system to produce neutralising antibodies against the hepatitis C virus, sates the report.

The Hepatitis C virus is spread through direct contact with infected blood. And among the many strains of the virus, HCV genotype 3a (gt3a) is the predominant strain found in the Indian sub-continent.

The discovery may come as a huge relief to patients and the the country as a whole that has about 12 million people suffering from chronic Hepatitis C.

The research, funded by the Indo-Australian Biotechnology Fund (IABF), department of biotechnology, Government of India, has been published in the journal ‘Vaccine’.

1 hookah session has 25 times more tar than a cigarette

There’s a common misconception that hookahs aren’t very dangerous. A recent Rutgers University study revealed that 24 percent of both smokers and nonsmokers under age 25 believe hookahs— shared pipes that allow users to inhale tobacco smoke that’s been passed through a water basin—are safer than cigarettes. But according to a new study from the journal Public Health Reports, this is an even bigger myth than thought.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that one hookah session produces 2.5 times more nicotine, 10 times more carbon monoxide, 25 times more tar, and 125 times more smoke than a single cigarette.

To get their results, the team analyzed the results of 17 studies looking at the toxins inhaled through each type of tobacco product.

REUTERS/Susana Vera

“It’s not a perfect comparison because people smoke cigarettes and hookahs in very different ways,” lead author Dr. Brian A. Primack, PhD, explained in a press release about the study. For example, cigarette smokers might smoke upwards of 20 cigarettes a day, whereas even frequent hookah smokers may engage in far fewer sessions throughout the same time period.

“We had to conduct the analysis this way—comparing a single hookah session to a single cigarette—because that’s the way the underlying studies tend to report findings. So, the estimates we found cannot tell us exactly what is ‘worse,'” he added. “But what they do suggest is that hookah smokers are exposed to a lot more toxicants than they probably realize.”

What makes this even more troubling is that while smoking rates among U.S. adults recently dipped to a new low of just 14.9 percent, hookah and e-cigarette use is way up. According to the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, hookah use actually doubled between 2011 and 2014—even as teen cigarette use dropped from 16 percent to 9 percent.