A compound – genistein found in soybeans inhibits HIV


A compound found in soybeans may become an effective HIV treatment according to new research by George Mason University researchers.

Genistein, derived from soybeans and other plants, inhibiting the HIV infection, says Yuntao Wu, a professor with the George Mason-based National Center for Bio defense and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Molecular and Microbiology.

“Although genistein is rich in several plants such as soybeans, it is still uncertain whether the amount of genistein we consume from eating soy is sufficient to inhibit HIV,” Wu says.

Genistein is a “tyrosine kinase inhibitor” that works by blocking the communication from a cell’s surface sensors to its interior. Found on a cell’s surface, these sensors tell the cell about its environment and also communicate with other cells. HIV uses some of these surface sensors to trick the cell to send signals inside. These signals change cell structure so that the virus can get inside and spread infection.

But genistein blocks the signal and stops HIV from finding a way inside the cell. It takes a different approach than the standard antiretroviral drug used to inhibit HIV.

“Instead of directly acting on the virus, genistein interferes with the cellular processes that are necessary for the virus to infect cells,” Wu says. “Thus, it makes the virus more difficult to become resistant to the drug. Our study is currently it its early stage. If clinically proven effective, genistein may be used as a complement treatment for HIV infection.”

Wu sees possibilities in this plant-based approach, which may address drug toxicity issues as well. Because genistein is plant-derived, it may be able to sidestep drug toxicity, a common byproduct of the daily and lifelong pharmaceutical regimen faced by patients with HIV to keep the disease at bay, Wu says. Typically, patients take a combination of multiple drugs to inhibit the virus. The frequency can lead to drug toxicity. Plus, HIV mutates and becomes drug-resistant.

Wu and his team are working at finding out how much genistein is needed to inhibit HIV. It’s possible that plants may not have high enough levels, so drugs would need to be developed, Wu says.


Tips to get back into post pregnancy shape

After delivering a child, women not only fight against sleepless nights, but also body shape. This makes the women to feel more inferior. To gain back a pre-pregnancy figure, use whatever time you have in hand for workouts, yoga and much more.

“The key is to do what you can in the time that you can, and do it more intense to make for the lack of time,” an online portal quoted celebrity trainer Andrea Orbeck as saying.

She is responsible for helping models Heidi Klum, Kimora Lee Simmons and Adriana Lima quickly getting back into shape.

Orbeck, who has created a Pregnancy Sculpt DVD, recommends starting with cardio exercises and making your child part of your workout.

You can push the stroller or strap the baby on to your chest while you step out for a walk.

“As babies need so much sleep, it`s a great time to get moving during nap time and make the most of your precious time to yourself,” she advised.

Other workout ideas for new moms include sumo squats, alternative reverse lunges, reverse bridges and much more.

Orbeck suggests new moms to stick to food items that are clean, lean, green and rich in protein.

She also advises women to do yoga post-pregnancy.

“I like to build strength in women after pregnancy. Yoga is great for toning, mental health, relaxation and more during stressful times,” she said.

Are you in stress? Walk in woods or look at the green environment

Have a leisurely walk in the woods or look at the green bushes will help you to manage stress levels, lower your BP and help fight heart ailments, a new study has revealed.

The researchers at the University of Essex have made experiments, and discovered that just looking at images of forests helped to reduce strains.

Dr. Valerie Gladwell with a team of scientists carried out experiments on volunteers and measures their stress levels.

The participants in the research were asked to walk in specified “green environments” at lunchtime slept better that night.

After eight weeks, the researchers observed that the volunteers had lower blood pressure and perceived stress.

Gladwell said that her team`s research has shown that “green environments” can be an effective stress-buster.

She asserted that if they can encourage more people to enjoy the great outdoors it may help increase their levels of physical activity and, therefore, could also be a powerful tool to help fight cardiovascular disease.

Outpatient treatment for mental disorders: is now working

People, who have severe mental illness, will have a cycle of hospitalization, skipped medication, and re hospitalization. As a result they have psychiatric disorders, refuse treatment and threatening to themselves or others.

Now, a study has found that these patients can be regulated if they are not hospitalized and proven this had positive results. By using this outpatient treatment is progressed well, Cost and Medical aid for caring these patients is dropped by half or more.

This study was run by New York State, known as Kendra’s Law because it was started after Kendra Webdale was pushed to her death on the New York City subway tracks with untreated schizophrenia in 1999. Other states also follow this, but New York’s is most developed and have resources into paying for it.

Researchers at Duke University suggest the program can be helpful for patients who constitute a small number of the people with mental illness

Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum, director of the Division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at Columbia University’s medical school, has not been involved in any of the research asks whether this law is working.  He said, “These programs will help a group of patients often called as revolving-door patients.”

North Carolina’s program is also developed; the program says that New York’s experience will persuade other states to invest.

Some call these programs as outpatient commitment or assisted outpatient treatment, who have not been involuntarily committed to hospitals. Others worry that intensively monitoring patients in the community could increase costs or shift services away from other people with mental illness

The Duke study examined costs for 634 people in the year before the court orders, the year after and two years after. Jeffrey Swanson, a psychiatry professor at Duke and lead author of the study, said the results suggested that “if you pour some money into assisted outpatient treatment, if you target it correctly, there are some significant savings.”

A co-author, Dr. Marvin Swartz, head of Duke’s social and community psychiatry division, said a study in 2010 by the team found that patients “were less likely to return to the hospital, if they went to the hospital they had shorter lengths of stay, they were more likely to be adherent to medication, and generally they functioned better in the community.”


Heart disease has emerged as the number one killer among Indians


A new study found and published that most of the Indians are dead by the emerging heart disease and this rate will increase by 2015.

According to a recent study by the Registrar General of India (RGI) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), about 25 percent of deaths in the age group of 25- 69 years occur because of heart diseases. If all age groups are included, heart diseases account for about 19 percent of all deaths.

It is the main cause of death in both males as well as females and in all regions of India, the study found.

India, with more than 1.2 billion people, is estimated to account for 60 percent of heart disease patients worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization, heart related disorders will kill almost 20 million people by 2015, and they are exceptionally prevalent in the Indian sub-continent.

Half of all heart attacks occur under the age of 50 years and 25 percent under the age of 40.

It is estimated that India will have over 1.6 million strokes per year by 2015, resulting in disabilities on one third of them. The need is urgent.

It is in this context that the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has launched educational “Networks” of renowned thought leaders in the areas of Cardiology, Diabetes, and Stroke to foster high quality medical education of physicians of Asian Indian origin in the US

Healthy Eating and sleeping makes kids to perform better in schools

Researchers found that eating healthy food and adequate sleep will help children to perform better in school.

Krista Casazza assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences explained that when kids go to school without eating their breakfast, their cognitive function can be affected. Casazza suggested that kids should start the day with fruits, proteins and whole grains and should avoid sugary cereals. If the kids do need to eat healthy at dinner then parents should offer healthy choices like yogurt, fruits and veggies or baked chips. Also children should drink water instead of soda as it lacks nutritional value.
Kristin Avis, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine said that children need a good night`s sleep for their overall school performance.

“Lack of sleep can lead to problems with attention and memory in the classroom, affect impulse control and mood regulation lead to anxiety and even depression,” Avis said.

Avis said kids ages 6-12 should get nine hours sleep nightly as should adolescents ages 13-18, but typically they average little more than seven hours per night.

Avis said that catching up on lost sleep on the weekend can make matters worse and recommended a consistent bedtime seven days a week

Fungus found in rice, wheat and nuts threatens AIDS epidemic

A new research found that a type of fungus coating is more found in the stored corn, wheat, rice and nuts in developing countries which will  quietly worsening the AIDS epidemic.

The food stores near the equator are contaminated by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, fungi that produce a toxic substance called aflatoxin.

About 4.5 billion people are exposed to aflatoxin with chronic exposure, linked to liver damage and related cancers; as it is the spread of infectious disease could make it even more deadly.
” aflatoxin exposure may be taking an even greater where millions are infected with HIV, including Africa and Asia, and rice storage areas contaminated by fungi,” Pauline Jolly, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), said. Continuous monitoring and strict regulations minimize exposure in the United States.

Jolly and her team found 314 HIV-positive people who were not yet on antiretroviral therapy for the study in Kumasi, Ghana.

They divided patients into four groups based on their level of aflatoxin exposure and found that the highest exposure were 2.6 times more HIV viral load than in the lowest exposure group.

Higher viral load translates into higher rates of HIV transmission and the potential for earlier progression to the opportunistic infections of AIDS.

Drinking sodas will erode the tooth enamel:


When it is subject to enamel erosion of teeth, diet soda is not good as regular ones, a new study have found.

Kim McFarland, D.D.S., associate professor in the University Of Nebraska Medical Center College Of Dentistry in Lincoln, has observed a number of dental patients with erosion of tooth enamel, the protective layer of the tooth.

If erosion takes place in enamel, then it can’t be taken back and affects people their whole life.

This erosion occurs in teenagers, the main reason behind this is drinking more amount of soda.

Triggers like hot and cold drinks – and even cold air – reach the tooth`s nerve and cause pain.

Depending on the frequency and amount of soda consumed, the erosion process can be extreme and it can be throughout the life time. She said the National Soft Drink Association estimates the average American drinks 44 gallons of soda a year.

Phosphoric and citric acid, are common ingredients in most popular sodas and diet soda which is the main phenomenon to alter the pH balance in the mouth and can cause tooth erosion over time.


Study finds women’s height related to cancer risk

cancer_cells.jpgHeight of some women may come to risk for developing cancer. A new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarker’s and Prevention indicates that taller women are at a greater risk to have some forms of the disease.

 “We didn’t find much difference in heavy or lighter women, said” Dr. Thomas Rohan, in New York City.

In a 12-year study of 20,928 postmenopausal women, researchers noted that height was linked to breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, ovary, rectum, and thyroid cancers – as well as multiple myeloma and melanoma.

The taller the women were, the higher their cancer risk. Each 3.95 inch increase in height was associated with a 13 percent increased risk for developing any type of cancer, when researchers compared the heights of all women in the study. For example, a woman who was 5 feet 10 inches tall would have a 13 percent higher risk for cancer than a woman who was approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Furthermore, some cancers were more strongly associated with height than others. For cancers of the kidney, rectum, thyroid and blood, women experienced a 23 percent to 29 percent increased risk with each incremental gain in height.

While researchers can’t say exactly why the link exists, they have a few theories.

Another potential explanation may be related to environmental factors, such as childhood nutrition.  Increased energy intake during childhood is thought to influence adult height and may also impact certain systems in the body, according to Rohan.

“The intake may influence height, which somehow is influencing cancer risk,” Rohan said. “It may have an effect on hormones, which…may influence cancer risk.”

However, Rohan points out that many additional factors throughout adolescence and young adulthood could also be influencing women’s risk for cancer – and that a true explanation for this phenomenon remains unknown.

Despite their findings, Rohan and his fellow researchers hope that taller women don’t lose sleep over the matter. Instead, he hopes researchers will continue to explore the link between height and cancer, as they search for some of the underlying biological mechanisms that may be responsible for the correlation.

WHO issues MERS virus may be deadlier than SARS:

Last year the new respiratory virus emerged in Middle East that make people sicker faster than SARS, but it doesn’t spread easily according to the latest report of four dozen cases in Saudi Arabia.

The World Health Organization has reported 90 cases of MERS, the Middle East respiratory syndrome, including 45 deaths. Most cases have been in Saudi Arabia, and other virus has also been identified in countries like Jordan, Qatar, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Tunisia. MERS is related to SARS and the two diseases have similar symptoms including a fever, cough and muscle pain.

“The virus is still confined to Middle East. Since this is a corona virus and are able to cause pandemics “said Dr. Christian Drosten of the University of Bonn Medical Centre in Germany,”

Corona viruses are a group of viruses that cause respiratory infections like common cold, but it also includes SARS, the virus that killed about 800 people in a 2003 global outbreak. MERS is distantly related to SARS but there are major differences between the two. Unlike SARS, MERS can cause rapid kidney failure and doesn’t seem as infectious.

Drosten said in October millions of Muslim pilgrims visit Saudi Arabiais worrisome. On Thursday, WHO said the risk of an individual traveler to Mecca catching MERS was considered “very low.” The agency does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions or entry screening for the hajj.

Recent study shows that 42 of the 47 cases in Saudi Arabia need intensive care. Of those, 34 patients are bad and needed a breathing machine. These cases were in older men as one of the biggest outbreaks was among dialysis patients at several hospitals. The research was published Friday in the journal, Lancet Infectious Diseases.

MERS also appears to be mainly affecting men; nearly 80 percent of the cases in the new study were men. Drosten said there might be a cultural explanation for that.

“Women in the (Middle East) region tend to have their mouths covered with at least two layers of cloth,” he said, referring to the veils worn by women in Saudi Arabia. “If the corona virus is being spread by droplets, (the veils) should give women some protection.”

Scientists still haven’t pinpointed the source of MERS WHO says the virus is capable of spreading between people but how exactly how that happens — via coughing, sneezing or indirect physical contact — isn’t known.