The Magazine Covering All Aspects of The Indian World
Editorial Business Forum Political News Dispatches & Reports Letters Spiritual Spotlight Lifestyle Travel Dream Homes Health India Sport Scene
August - September 2008
COLD SORES AND STRESS
Wife, mother of three, author, business woman and general workaholic – with so many roles to juggle, no wonder Katie Price (aka Jordan) is looking tired and stressed out. According to a report* the former glamour model looked strained and gaunt – a shadow of her former self – in photos taken at a recent polo match.
But the real sign that Katie has been overdoing it lately was the sight of several cold sores on her lips. Poor Katie – who's about to go in for her fifth boob job –was so selfconscious about her 'disgusting' cold sores, she almost didn't make it to the polo event.
Around 95 percent of the population is thought to be affected by cold sores, and stress is one of the main triggers, along with illness, injury and anything else that makes you tired and run down. And if Katie's been topping up her tan in the sun or on a sun bed, that too could have caused her problem, as cold sores can also be triggered by exposure to UV rays.
A cold sore – herpes simplex labialis – is a viral infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus. The virus can be contracted through direct contact with someone who already has it or from something a cold sore sufferer has used – such as a cup, toothbrush, towel, lipstick or lip balm, for instance. Many people contract the virus during childhood and suffer subsequent attacks as adults.
If only Katie had known about a new, handy gadget called Herpotherm, she could have stopped those cold sores in their tracks. The neat, lipstick-sized device blasts the virus with enough heat to kill it (around 50 to 51ºC).
You simply place the end of the Herpotherm wherever you feel the telltale tingling, prickly sensation on your lips, and in around four seconds you're done. And once you've cleaned the Herpotherm with a disinfectant wipe, it's ready for use again if the tingling sensation persists. No greasy creams or ointments, just a four-second blast of heat and it's bye-bye cold sore.
In tests a group of men and women who were known to have the Herpes simplex virus tried the Herpotherm for size. Asked whether they noticed any changes after using the Herpotherm after noticing the first signs of a cold sore, 75 percent said there was a significant improvement in itching, while 90 percent reported significantly less tickling and 85 percent significantly less burning.
Twenty percent of the volunteers said the Herpotherm banished their cold sore in less than one day, followed by 30 percent reporting their cold sore was cured on day two, 10 percent on day three, 25 percent on day four and 15 percent on day five. Meanwhile no fewer than 60 percent said the Herpotherm was 'good' at soothing their skin, with 40 percent even claiming it was 'very good'.
One of the added benefits of the Herpotherm is that it has no known side effects, and there's no danger of you burning your lips with it either because it just doesn't get hot enough for long enough (the device automatically switches off after four seconds).
The Herpotherm cold sore treatment device costs £39.99 from www.herpotherm. co.uk or mail order: Telephone: 01782 825323
DIET AND DEMENTIA: THE CHOLESTEROL LINK
Everyone knows too much cholesterol is bad for your health. But, as doctors and dieticians realise, it's much more complicated than that. Too much LDL cholesterol – lowdensity lipoproteins, or 'bad' cholesterol – may indeed increase your risk for heart problems, since LDL cholesterol builds up in the arteries and causes potential blockages or clots. But not enough HDL cholesterol – high-density lipoproteins, or 'good' cholesterol – can be similarly damaging, since HDL carries some of the excess LDL in your bloodstream to your liver. In fact, studies show low levels of HDL cholesterol also increase your risk for coronary heart disease.
Now, however, scientists have discovered that if your levels of HDL cholesterol are too low in middle age, it could lead to memory loss and the onset of dementia by the time you reach the age of 60.
"Memory problems are key in the diagnosis of dementia," says Dr Archana Singh-Manoux, lead author of the study and Senior Research Fellow with the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and University College London. "We found that a low level of HDL may be a risk factor for memory loss in late midlife. This suggests that low HDL cholesterol might also be a risk factor for dementia."
The study, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association (i), found that participants at the age of 55 with low HDL cholesterol levels were 27 percent more likely to suffer from memory loss than those with high HDL cholesterol levels – while 60-year-olds with low HDL were 53 percent more likely to have memory problems.
The American Heart Association recommends a number of lifestyle measures to raise HDL and lower LDL cholesterol, including regular exercise, avoiding trans fats and reducing saturated (or animal) fats while eating more monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. Therefore, what you eat could affect whether or not you develop dementia in later life. This fact, however, is nothing new to dementia experts – for instance, the Alzheimer's Society here in the UK recommends eating a portion of oily fish at least once a week to help prevent the changes in the brain that are associated with dementia.
Indeed, a growing body of evidence suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish may help lower your risk of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia and even reduce the severity of dementia symptoms in people who already suffer from the disease.
French scientists, for instance, have discovered that eating a diet rich in fish, fruits, vegetables and omega-3-rich oils such as flaxseed and walnut oil could significantly reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer's and dementia. Their study, backed by France's National Agency for Research, is published in the November 13, 2007 issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology (www.aan.com).
Swedish scientists also found that some Alzheimer's patients become less agitated or less depressed after taking omega-3 supplements (ii). They also discovered that omega-3 fatty acids help slow mental decline in people with very mild Alzheimer’s disease (iii). Meanwhile, another pair of studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition back the idea that omega-3 fatty acids could slow the development of Alzheimer’s by postponing the age-related mental decline that preceeds it (iv & v).
LOVE YOUR GUT
Boost gut health with a daily probiotic mint With today’s busy lifestyles and long working hours, people are increasingly ‘eating on the run’ and there is an over-reliance on takeaway and convenience foods.
Although we should strive to eat a balanced diet every day, it’s not always possible through diet alone. However, Gut Week, an annual campaign that seeks to raise awareness of digestive health takes place on14-20 July 2008. Probiotics, which means ‘for life’, have been used for centuries as natural components in health-promoting foods. Many experiments and studies have linked probiotics to aiding a range of ailments, such as lactose intolerance, colon cancer, lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure and, most importantly, improving immune function.
Probiotics are live microbes, which provide fundamental health benefits. Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the most important strains of bacterial culture and forms an important part of our digestive process. 150 billion microencapsulated live cells (colony forming units) per gram go into Actimint Tablets – all the benefits of a pot of yoghurt or a probiotic drink in just two easy-to-take, convenient to carry capsules. Increasingly, research supports the health benefits of live bacteria (probiotics) to treat a variety of intestinal disorders and reduce staphylococcal growth during antibiotic treatment.
Professor Glenn Gibson, School of Biosciences at Reading University says: “ActiMint is eminently suitable to take as a probiotic addition on a regular basis.” He recommends taking probiotics before, during and after a course of antibiotics and says: “Nobody could overdose on ActiMint because probiotics can only contribute to gut and oral health.”
The symbiotic advantage of ActiMint is due to the balanced combination of probiotics and prebiotics. Scientists agree that probiotics taken regularly aid digestion, regulate elimination and clear breath odour. ActiMint contains more beneficial live cultures than heat process yoghurts.
Two tablets taken after each meal will help to maintain an optimum probiotic level.
CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?
Call it the menopause or call it the female mid-life crisis, but every woman who lives to be old enough eventually reaches that point in their lives where parts that were once pert start heading steadily southwards (not to mention all the other changes that come with middle age).
However, according to Annie Bennett, a counsellor therapist with a private practice in Central London and author of The Love Trap, there are ways to manage those changes in a positive – rather than a negative – way.
"Loss of any kind is a serious issue, and that's what this is really all about," says Annie. "It's about losing part of how you defined yourself. So how you cope with these life changes depends on where you put your values – that is, whether you value what's on the outside or what's on the inside."
One of the signs that you're losing sight of who you are, says Annie, is living through your children and putting others first. "This brings to light a loss of self and confuse the idea of who you are," she says. "For instance, as you get older, and the developmental stages of your children progress, you see them doing what you used to do. And that reminds you of what you've lost – you may think, 'That's what I used to do', or 'I used to look like that'. And so on.
"Loss of control can feel degrading as our bodies become their own master. So focus on the beauty and the wisdom within, as these are gifts from the ageing process.
"And try not to feel like a victim – though it's never easy to feel good just as you are, thanks to the never-ending bombardment of air-brushed celebrity images by the media that women of all ages compare themselves to. Remember, you haven't been airbrushed or had a team of stylists on hand. You have to feel good just as you are. So by all means seek to improve yourself, but don't allow unrealistic expectations from the media – or anyone – dictate your happiness."