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Eat plain yoghurt to lower diabetes risk, combat insulin resistance: Doctors

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Eat plain yoghurt to lower diabetes risk, combat insulin resistance: Doctors

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Regular consumption of plain yoghurt may help people to reduce their risk of diabetes and also reduce insulin resistance, said doctors here on Sunday.

Yoghurt has long been known to curb the risk of diabetes, however, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March made the first-ever qualified health claim that eating yoghurt may reduce the risk of Type-2 Diabetes (T2D).

Based on limited scientific evidence, the regulatory body said that “at least three servings of yoghurt per week may reduce the risk of T2D incidence for the general population”, revealed a study published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews.

However, “yoghurt will not cure or treat people with T2D”, said researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, US, in the paper.

Speaking to IANS, Vandana Verma, Principal Dietitian at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said that the approval of yoghurt for managing blood sugar is due to its probiotic content, which promotes gut health.

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“The gut microbiome plays a vital role in regulating glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, essential for blood sugar management. Probiotics in yoghurt may enhance these functions, making it potentially beneficial for individuals with diabetes or at risk of it,” she said.

However, she emphasised that all yoghurts are not equal.

“Some may lack probiotics or contain added sugars, reducing their health benefits. Opting for plain yoghurt with live cultures and avoiding added sugars is preferred. Additionally, incorporating yoghurt into a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, coupled with regular exercise, is crucial for managing and reducing diabetes risk,” the dietician said.

Yoghurt is a product of high nutritional value and a rich source of nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals as well as beneficial microbes. Further, eating yoghurt helps change the microbiota and ecosystem of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT).

Besides fighting off diabetes, the presence of Lactobacillus casei, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Bifidobacterium species in yoghurt boosts immunity, reduces obesity, and keeps the liver healthy.

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“These metabolites may prove anti-inflammatory and may change immunity by modulating IL-1 and IL-6. Decreased visceral fat and obesity can reduce insulin resistance, also modulated by cytokines, resulting in fewer new-onset diabetes cases and less non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD),” Dr Rajeev Gupta, Director – Internal Medicine at the C.K. Birla Hospital (R), Delhi, told IANS.

–IANS

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Biden tests positive for Covid-19

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Biden tests positive for Covid-19

Biden tests positive for Covid-19

Washington, July 18 (IANS) US President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 following his first event in Las Vegas, the White House said on Wednesday.

Biden is vaccinated and boosted and he is experiencing mild symptoms.

“He will be returning to Delaware where he will self-isolate and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time. The White House will provide regular updates on the President’s status as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Biden’s doctor, the President presented on Wednesday afternoon with upper respiratory symptoms, to include rhinorrhea (runny nose) and a non-productive cough.

“He (President Biden) felt okay for his first event of the day, but given that he was not feeling better, point of care testing for Covid-19 was conducted, and the results were positive… Given this, the President will be self-isolating in accordance with CDC guidance for symptomatic individuals,” the doctor was quoted in the statement.

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“PCR confirmation testing will be pending. His symptoms remain mild, his respiratory rate is normal at 16, his temperature is normal at 97.8 and his pulse oximetry is normal at 97 per cent. The President has received his first dose of Paxlovid. He will be self-isolating at his home in Rehoboth,” said the doctor.

–IANS

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Maha govt urges citizens not to panic amid Zika virus cases in state

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Maha govt urges citizens not to panic amid Zika virus cases in state

Maha govt urges citizens not to panic amid Zika virus cases in state

Mumbai, July 17 (IANS) Amid 25 Zika virus cases reported in the state from January to July, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday appealed to the citizens not to panic but, at the same time, not to take any fever lightly and visit the nearest state-run hospital, where the best diagnosis and treatment is available free of cost.

Of the total of 25 Zika virus cases reported, 21 patients have been found in Pune city alone.

The government has asked private medical professionals, who examine the Zika patients, to get the blood samples of the patients tested from the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

The government’s appeal came days after Dr Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, issued an advisory to states in the wake of Zika cases in Maharashtra highlighting the need for maintaining a state of constant vigil.

He has asked Maharashtra and other states to strengthen entomological surveillance and intensify vector control activities in residential areas, workplaces, schools, construction sites, institutions and health facilities.

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The state Health Department has swung into action by putting its entire machinery on high alert to prevent the spread of the Zika virus with the implementation of measures to prevent Aedes mosquito breeding through integrated pest management.

“Among the preventive measures, blood samples are collected by conducting a survey within a 3 to 5 km area of the patients under a rapid fever survey campaign. These measures also include examination of blood samples of pregnant women, treatment of all patients based on symptoms and guidance to pregnant women and fertile couples,” a Public Health Department official said.

–IANS

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Woman bitten by snake in state-run Kerala hospital

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Woman bitten by snake in state-run Kerala hospital

Woman bitten by snake in state-run Kerala hospital

Thiruvananthapuram, July 17 (IANS) A 27-year-old woman was bitten by a snake at a state-run hospital in Chittoor taluk of Kerala’s Palakkad district on Wednesday as she brought her daughter for treatment.

According to a relative of the victim, identified as Gayathari, the incident occurred around 11 a.m.

“She had come to the hospital with her young daughter who had high fever since Tuesday night. Gayathari was asked to take the urine of her daughter for a test. After the sample was collected, she took a broom to clean the floor, and a snake came out and bit her,” the relative said.

The snake was caught and kept in a bottle. Gayathari was quickly given first aid and moved to the nearby district hospital at Palakkad.

“We are told that she is better and will have to be in observation till tomorrow noon. Meanwhile, her blood samples are being sent for tests at regular intervals,” the relative said.

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Of late, the health sector in Kerala has figured in the news for numerous goof-ups and the most recent one was the case of an old man trapped in a lift for almost two days at the prestigious Medical College hospital in the state capital.

–IANS

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Centre convenes high-level meeting to manage, raise surveillance on bird flu

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Centre convenes high-level meeting to manage, raise surveillance on bird flu

Centre convenes high-level meeting to manage, raise surveillance on bird flu

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Amid the growing threat of Avian Influenza, commonly known as bird flu, and the looming risk of spillover to humans, the Union government convened a high-level session to step up a coordinated and comprehensive approach.

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, convened the brainstorming session at Krishi Bhawan on Wednesday.

The recent Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in dairy cattle in the US, with spillover to other mammals, underscores its pandemic potential.

Addressing this threat requires the One Health approach, integrating human, animal, and environmental health with enhanced coordination and comprehensive strategies, noted the meeting chaired by Alka Upadhyaya, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

India’s poultry sector adds to the country’s food security, not only providing a reliable source of high-quality protein but also supporting livelihoods, particularly in rural areas.

The recurrent HPAI outbreaks are hindering the potential and also impacting exports of the sector, which in the last 10 years grew steadily at a rate of 7-10 per cent.

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The session saw experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), CSIR-Centre for Cell and Molecular Biology (CCMB), ICAR-NIHSAD Bhopal, ICAR-NIVEDI Bangalore, the Ministries of Environment and Health, among others, deliberate on Avian Influenza, focusing on surveillance and vaccination under the One Health approach.

The session featured comprehensive presentations from the Human Health, Animal Husbandry, and Wildlife sectors, highlighting current surveillance protocols and response mechanisms for Avian Influenza outbreaks.

The need for enhanced environmental surveillance and updating existing protocols was emphasised.

Experts concurred on the necessity of proactive One Health Coordination to prepare for exotic and emergent zoonotic diseases like Avian Influenza.

The session also saw experts contend on vaccines against bird flu.

Currently available HPAI vaccines typically neither provide sterile immunity nor are 100 per cent effective against all strains.

–IANS

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Swiss researchers develop a hydrogel implant to treat endometriosis

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Swiss researchers develop a hydrogel implant to treat endometriosis

Swiss researchers develop a hydrogel implant to treat endometriosis

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) In a first, Swiss researchers developed a hydrogel implant that will help in contraception and in preventing or halting the spread of endometriosis.

Approximately 10 per cent of women suffer from endometriosis, a condition whose exact cause remains unclear. Women with the condition have tissue similar to the lining of the uterus growing outside the uterus. It is believed that during menstruation, blood flows back through the fallopian tubes into the abdominal cavity, carrying uterine cells that can lead to inflammation and scar tissue.

The team from ETH Zurich and Empa in Switzerland initially focused on developing a hydrogel as a new contraceptive. Later they found that implanting the hydrogel could occlude the fallopian tubes and help prevent endometriosis.

Hydrogels, made of a water-binding plastic, have previously been used in contact lenses, and drug delivery.

The new soft gel, similar to a jelly baby, swells from about two millimetres to over double its size upon implantation, creating a barrier against sperm and blood. It has to be a soft gel so as to “not impact native tissue and is not treated and rejected as a foreign body”, said lead author Alexandre Anthis from ETH Zurich.

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“We wanted to ensure that the implant was compatible as well as stable,” Anthis said. The gel can be easily removed using UV light or a special solution, avoiding invasive surgery.

Further research is needed to assess the long-term behaviour of the hydrogel implant during physical activities, the team said.

–IANS

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