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Update September 2015


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 

Doctor's Consultation  by Dr. Iain Corness

 

Update September 26, 2015

No fat - fast!

Dig out some photos of yourself taken 10 years ago. Be honest with yourself and then count the number of new holes in your belt. You have certainly added a few kilos. Now is the time to get them off, and this diet will help.
I have published this “diet” before, and those who have stuck it out claim that the weight loss is spectacular.
I took interest after a friend of mine had dropped some weight. “Fifteen kilos in two months,” was his proud reply. He had done this by following a “diet” – and one that had obviously worked! This is put forward as a seven day diet, and although I am not always in favor of ‘crash’ diets, this one does merit some study. It is reputedly from Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital and is used in their cardiac care unit for overweight patients to lose weight prior to surgery.
It states the first no-no’s as being bread, alcohol, soft drinks, fried food or oil. Agree totally, though probably half of you have already decided it’s too hard!
After that there is a concoction called Fat-Burning Soup (FBS) which you make up and keep in the fridge. You gobble FBS any time you feel hungry and have as much as you want. You are also advised to drink plenty of water suggesting 6–8 glasses a day along with tea, coffee, skim milk, unsweetened juice or cranberry juice.
The physiology of hunger works that when the stomach is empty, messages are sent to the brain to send down food. Fill the belly with non-fattening food and the hunger pangs will be less, but the weight does not go on.
Here is the recipe for the Fat-Burning Soup:
4 cloves garlic
2 large cans crushed tomatoes (810gms)
2 large cans beef consommé
1 packet vegetable packet soup
1 bunch spring onions
1 bunch celery
2 cans French beans (or fresh)
2 green capsicum
1kg carrots
10 cups water
Chop all veggies into small pieces. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes stirring well and then simmer until veggies are tender. Add water if necessary to make a thinner soup.
Now the other downside to dieting is food boredom. A week of FBS, water and cranberry juice will sap the resolve of most overweight people, so what this diet does is allow you to add different items on a daily basis. Here are the suggestions.
Day 1, any fruit except bananas. Eat only soup and fruit today.
Day 2, all vegetables. Eat as much as you like of fresh, raw or canned vegetables. Try to eat green leafy vegetables. Stay away from dry beans, peas, and corn. Eat vegetables along with soup. At dinner reward yourself with a jacket potato and butter.
Day 3, eat all the soup, fruit and veggies you want today. Don’t have the jacket potato today. If you have not cheated you should have lost 3 kg. (That is an amazing loss in three days – but keep going anyway!)
Day 4, bananas and skim milk. Eat at least 3 large bananas and drink as much skim milk as you can today. Eat as much soup as you want. Bananas are high in calories and carbohydrates, as is the milk but you will need the potassium and carbohydrates today.
Day 5, beef and tomatoes. You may have 600 gm of beef or chicken (no skin) and as many as 6 tomatoes. Eat soup at least once.
Day 6, beef and vegetables. Eat to your heart’s content of beef and veggies. You can even have 2-3 steaks (grilled) if you like with leafy green vegetables. No baked potato. Be sure to eat soup at least once.
Day 7, brown rice, vegetables, fruit juice. Be sure to eat well and eat as much soup as you can.
By the end of day 7, if you have not cheated, you should have lost 7 kg. The theory is good, but I caution against losing too much, too soon.
If your weight loss needs are greater than 7 kg, then continue for another week, but I do not recommend much further than two weeks at one time, and do not repeat the program within three months.


Update September 20, 2015

Australian researchers may have beaten the Hep B virus

Fairly ‘technical’ this week, but with Hep B killing three quarters of a million people each year, this is an important subject.
Dr Marc Pellegrini and Dr Greg Ebert from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia have been awarded the Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research for their work on the Hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or any another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This is called “horizontal” transmission. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection. Risk for chronic infection is related to age at infection: approximately 90 percent of infected infants become chronically infected, compared with 2 percent – 6 percent of adults. Chronic Hepatitis B can lead to serious health issues, like cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Vaccination against Hepatitis B has been possible for many years and is very effective. Despite vaccines, the prevalence of chronic HBV infection is highly variable, ranging from 0. 1 percent in the United States to 20-30 percent in some Pacific Island nations. There are an estimated 360 million people who are chronically infected, of whom almost one million people die annually of HBV-related liver disease. Chronic hepatitis B is the major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma in the world. So, despite the vaccine, Hep B remains a major health risk.
The highest rates of HBsAg (Hep B exposure) were found in women of Chinese origin (11.4 percent). This includes native Thais. Although mother to baby (vertical) transmission accounts for more than 50 percent of hepatitis B cases in Thailand, horizontal transmission in early childhood is also an important mode of transmission.
The Australian researchers have found a new use for an anti-cancer drug. It is being used to eliminate hepatitis B cells by telling infected cells ‘it’s time to die’ – switching off the cell’s resistance to programmed cell death that is part of a cell’s normal life cycle.
The new treatment has been developed by a team at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, led by Dr Marc Pellegrini and Dr Greg Ebert.
For research into the treatment of hepatitis B, Dr Pellegrini and Dr Ebert have been awarded the Prize for Infectious Diseases Research.
“This is important work addressing one of the world’s most widespread deadly diseases,” Kim McKay AO, Executive Director and CEO of the Australian Museum said.
“There is currently no cure for hepatitis B, which infects 2 billion people and causes 780,000 deaths a year,” she said.
Previous hepatitis B treatments have encouraged immune cells to attack infected cells, but an over-active immune system carries its own health risks. Instead, by targeting a particular protein, whose job it is to inhibit programmed cell death, the new treatment selectively targets liver cells that are infected with hepatitis B, bypassing healthy cells.
If this broad approach is successful, there is the potential that it may pave the way for the development of similar treatments to tackle other major chronic infections such as HIV and tuberculosis, which kill millions of people around the world each year.
Established in 1827, the Australian Museum is the nation’s first museum and one of its foremost scientific research, educational and cultural institutions. The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are the most comprehensive national science awards, honoring excellence in Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Communication and Journalism, and School Science.
As well as the Hep B research, a team comprising Professor Trevor Lithgow and Dr Hsin-Hui Shen (Monash University), Dr Denisse Leyton (Australian National University) and Dr Joel Selkrig (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) is very active. The team used biochemical and microbiology techniques to understand the function of a key molecular item that is required by bacterial pathogens to cause disease. This represents a novel target for the development of new therapeutics to treat infections caused by antibiotic-resistant superbugs.


Update September 12, 2015

Suicide mozzies!

Dengue fever is prevalent in tropical climates, so we have our fair share, as can be seen by the number of patients we see with Dengue Fever at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, including some with the potentially deadly Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.
Queensland in Australia has a similar climate and similarly has the dengue carrier, the mosquito.
Up till now we do not have much defense against the dengue carrying breed of mosquito, but news has just come out about scientists in Townsville (Queensland) who say they have promising results from their bold trial designed to eradicate the deadly mosquito-borne disease.
The trial has involved the release of millions of specially bred mosquitoes across the North Queensland city. These mozzies are specially bred mosquitoes and carry the wolbachia bacteria which makes them less likely to transmit the dengue virus.
Scientists had hoped the mosquitoes being released would pass on the bacteria, leading to the eradication of the deadly virus - dengue kills more than 10,000 people every year worldwide.
Over the past seven months, more than 2,000 Townsville residents have had a container placed in their backyards.
One of those backyards belongs to one lady resident who said, “I’ve had kids growing up in North Queensland all their life and there’s always mosquitoes biting. You always have the fear that they’re going to get something else along the line with dengue or Ross River or those sort of things. So anything that I can do to help to eliminate, I’m more than ready to do so.”
The Eliminate Dengue project is being run by a team of international researchers, including scientists from James Cook University and Melbourne University and has the backing from the Australian and Brazilian governments as well as groups such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The latest results show the trial is working as planned. Dr Andrew Turley is the field trial manager for the Eliminate Dengue program who said, “So what we’re seeing at the moment is we’re seeing the spread of the wolbachia bacteria increase and we’re seeing … how common this bacteria is in the local mosquito population increase over time.”
It has now been reported that data shows that in the suburbs where the insects were initially released, up to 80 percent of mosquitoes now carry the bacteria.
The local city council is excited about the interim results. Gary Eddiehausen is a local councilor and sits on the project’s reference group. “Dengue fever affects nearly 400 million people a year right throughout the world and if this trial is successful, it’s certainly very exciting for what can happen right across the world in the future and reduce if not totally get rid of dengue fever across the world.”
This was backed up by Dr Turley from Eliminate Dengue who indicated that while there are still years of analysis and research that needs to be done, the results show the project can be replicated across the country and the world.
Dr Turley said, “All our of previous field trials both in Australia and in different field sites around the world have always focused on sort of small individual suburb-wide trials, whereas this is the first time where we’ve done a large chunk … in the inner city area of Townsville … within only a few months period.
“So it’s really encouraging that potentially using wolbachia could be applied to some of these large cities around the world where the dengue version is much higher than what we have here in Australia.”
Whilst this is encouraging, it reminds me of myxomatosis being used to control rabbits in Australia. A full-scale release was performed in 1950. It was devastatingly effective, reducing the estimated rabbit population from 600 million to 100 million in two years. However, the rabbits remaining alive were those least affected by the disease. Genetic resistance to myxomatosis was observed soon after the first release and most rabbits acquired partial immunity in the first two decades. Resistance has been increasing slowly since the 1970s, and the disease now only kills about 50 percent of infected rabbits.
Will wolbachia bacteria be the same?


Update September 4, 2015

Can you stop growing old?

My father was only afraid of one thing – growing old. So he didn’t. He died aged 56 of a massive heart attack.
That’s probably just a bit too radical, but there must be a way of slowing down this aging problem.
Fact: we are all getting older. Not wiser nor necessarily richer, just older. However, getting on in years still beats the alternative. Just keep your place reserved in God’s waiting room and you’ll be right.
World-wide the retirement age is creeping up. Even in Thailand’s civil service the retirement age looks like becoming 64. In Australia it is now 67. The world is becoming an old age retirement home!
OK, so we are all living longer, what can we do to get our arthritic hands on the elixir of youth? If you believe the popular press, the answer to aging is multivitamins. Peddling mega-vitamins is a megabuck industry, credited with improving your health, your love life, and fixing everything from falling chins to falling arches.
One trend is to take daily doses of antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin A and C or selenium to protect yourself against cancer, heart disease or signs of premature ageing. There is some scientific ‘proof’ that people who have a high level of antioxidants in their diet have a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. That is why the nutritionists say we should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. However, other studies also seem to suggest that taking those same antioxidants in pill form may not have the same effect and may even be harmful. Who do you believe?
Cancer Research UK says, “These products don’t seem to give the same benefits as vitamins that naturally occur in our food.”
The British Heart Foundation agrees. A spokesman saying, “Research does not support the claim that taking extra antioxidants in the form of supplements will benefit the heart.”
Let us listen to some experts in the field, and not the back of the cereal box. Catherine Collins, chief dietitian at St George’s Hospital in London says, “The whole idea that you must meet some vitamin and mineral target every day of your life is a marketing myth. You can eat lots of fruit and veg one day and not much the next but over a week you will still get the right amount of nutrients. There is very little scientific evidence that there is any benefit whatsoever in taking a daily multivitamin - even in old people. You cannot exist on a poor diet then shore yourself up with a multivitamin. The idea that taking high quantities of vitamins will give you a health boost - like putting premium petrol in your car - is complete nonsense.”
Dr Toni Steer, nutritionist with the British Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research in Cambridge, states supplements cannot compete with real food because when we eat fruits and vegetables the vitamins and nutrients interact with other chemicals to produce positive effects on the body. “If these same vitamins are pulled out and isolated in pill form, there is no guarantee at all that they will have the same effect.”
Another nail in the multivitamin pill coffin came from the US journal of the National Cancer Institute which found that men with prostate cancer who took more than seven multivitamins a week were 30 percent more likely to get an advanced and fatal form of the disease.
The American Medical Association found that people who took antioxidant vitamin tablets (particularly vitamins A and E, and beta-carotene) were more likely to die earlier than those who did not. Oops! That isn’t something you will read on the back of the multivitamin bottle.
Let’s look at the old Vitamin C to ward off the common cold, as proposed many years ago by Linus Pauling. Common claim: one gram doses will ward off or even cure the common cold. Reality check: the human body can absorb only 500 milligrams of vitamin C and will excrete the excess. Vitamin C reduces the average length of a common cold from five days to four and a half – if you are lucky.
Finally, do I take multivitamins? No.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

No fat - fast!

Australian researchers may have beaten the Hep B virus

Suicide mozzies!

Can you stop growing old?
 

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