Langsat, the fruit also found in the North Eastern part of India is believed to be a potential source of antioxidants.

Langsat (Lansium domesticum) is a tropical fruit that is commonly cultivated in Southeast Asia. The fruit is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, while the peel of langsat contains phenolics and carotenoids, and is traditionally used as an anti-diarrhoea medicine. Anti-oxidative components found in medicinal fruits such as langsat are natural alternatives to synthetic antioxidants (such as butylated hydroxytoluene and tertiary butylhydroquinone), which are added to food as preservatives despite being potentially carcinogenic. Past research has shown that some tropical fruits have higher antioxidant activity in their peel than in their pulp, but the literature on the presence of antioxidant in the peel of langsat has been scarce in Malaysia.

In a paper published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, a research team from UCSI University and the Universiti Putra Malaysia in Malaysia evaluated the total phenolic content (phenols are anti-oxidative compounds) and antioxidant activity of langsat peel extract and peel extract fractions of langsat fruit. Their aim was to determine whether langsat peel has potential for the development of natural antioxidants, and whether fractionation is a suitable method for extracting these compounds.

The researchers found that the total phenolic content of langsat peel extract was up to four times higher than each of the extract fractions, while there was no significant difference among the extract fractions. Similarly, the peel extract also showed the highest antioxidant activity. The team concluded that langsat peel has antioxidant components that are ideal for developing nutraceuticals without fractionation. The researchers also recommended further studies to help identify the structure of the phenolic compounds found in langsat peel.

Courtesy : Asia Research News

Garlic juice can be an effective weapon against multi-drug resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria associated with urinary tract infections (UTI), according to a recent study published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science.

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been traditionally used for the treatment of diseases since ancient times.

Conducted by researchers at the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences in India, the study found that “even crude extracts of garlic showed good activity against multidrug resistant strains where antibiotic therapy had limited or no effect. This provides hope for developing alternative drugs which may be of help in fighting the menace of growing antibacterial resistance,” the team states.

Urinary tract infection is the second most common infectious disease encountered in community practice. Worldwide, about 150 million people are diagnosed each year with UTI, at a total treatment cost in the billions of dollars. Although UTI is usually treated with antibiotics, “emerging antimicrobial resistance compels us to look back into traditional medicines or herbal products, which may provide appropriate/acceptable alternative solutions,” the authors argue.

Garlic has been traditionally used for the treatment of diseases since ancient times. A wide range of microorganisms – including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses – are known to be sensitive to garlic preparations. Allicin and other sulphur compounds are thought to be the major antimicrobial factors in garlic.

In this study, the team found that 56% of 166 bacteria strains isolated from the urine of people with UTI showed a high degree of resistance to antibiotics. However, about 82% of the antibiotic resistant bacteria were susceptible to a crude aqueous extract of Allium sativum.

According to the researchers, “ours is the first study to report the antibacterial activity of aqueous garlic extract against multidrug resistant bacterial isolates from infected urine samples leading to UTI.”

“To conclude, there is evidence that garlic has potential in the treatment of UTI and maybe other microbial infections,” says the team. “However, it is necessary to determine the bio availability, side effects and pharmacokinetic properties in more detail.”

Courtesy : Asia Research News

According to Public Health Foundation of India, the hike in food prices is linked to higher risk of malnutrition among Indian children.

The research is based on the observation of the children who have low weight when compared with their height… a measure based on World Health Organisation Standards.

They observed progress in child nutrition between 2002 and 2006 when the proportion of wasted children in (undivided) Andhra Pradesh fell slightly from 19% to 18%. However, this improvement had reversed by 2009 when 28% of children were wasting – an increase of 10 percentage points compared with 2006.

This was after high inflation in food prices, beginning in 2007 and continuing through 2009. The research paper is published in the online version of the Journal of Nutrition.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Public Health Foundation of India and the University of Oxford, with a team from Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
They focused on the effect of food prices on child nutrition in the Andhra Pradesh, one of India’s largest states, using data from the Young Lives project based at Oxford University.

The researchers have used survey data from a sample of 1,918 children from poor, middle-income, and wealthy households living in the state, since 2002 for a longitudinal study of child poverty.

The research team combined children’s weight and height measurements from the Young Lives data with official government data on household level expenditure and consumption patterns of food from the Indian National Sample Survey Office and the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau in order to calculate how much children ate across food categories.

The researchers found that children’s food consumption dropped significantly between 2006 and 2009 as food prices increased. There were corresponding increases in wasting among children from poor and middle-income households, but not high-income households between 2006 and 2009. The paper suggests this supports the theory that poorer households have the smallest food reserves and are therefore hardest hit by rising food prices.

The researchers examined interview data from each household on food expenditure based on 15-day periods in 2006 and 2009 across eight food categories (rice, wheat, legumes, meat, fish, eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables).

To examine the rise in food prices, the researchers used monthly price records collected by the Government of India.

Lead author of the study Dr Sukumar Vellakkal, Public Health Foundation of India, said: ‘Our findings suggest that poorer households face the greatest risk of malnutrition, in spite of the Public Distribution System, which provides subsidised food to a large proportion of the population. Better targeting of food security policies may be necessary to meet the needs of India’s most vulnerable households.’

“India’s remarkable economic growth in the last decade had not translated in to betterment of children nutrition status because of the rising food prices, we need specific policies help to ensure the affordability of food in the context of higher food prices for promoting children’s nutrition” Dr. Vellakkal added.

Study co-author Dr Jasmine Fledderjohann, of the University of Oxford, said: ‘Our findings show a sharp increase in wasting associated with food price spikes. It is possible that this rise would have been even greater without governmental programmes like the Public Distribution Scheme or the Midday Meal Scheme, which provides free meals to school children. It’s important to recognise that households may try a number of strategies to cope with rising food prices, such as going without, or switching to low-cost alternatives. More detailed research is needed in this area.’

Individuals affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have a reason to smile. SAP Labs have recently announced that they will conduct a fresh wave of recruitment specially targeted on individuals with ASD starting July 2015.

This is in keeping with SAP’s announcement of a partnership in 2013 with Specialisterne, a social business based in Denmark.
Specialisterne focusses on helping people with autism find employment.

Experts estimate that every 2-6 children out of every 1000 have Autism. Currently 10 million people are suffering in India.

The government only recognized the disorder in 2001, till 1980s, there were reports that Autism didn’t exist in India.

Globally, SAP aims to employ one percent of its workforce with people affected by ASD by 2020.

In addition to the ten individuals with ASD who currently work at SAP in India, an additional ten would be hired by the end of 2015.

Chosen candidates will undergo a three month training program at SAP following their initial screening before joining their respective business teams.

The unique talents of these employees are leveraged to successfully execute the job profiles of development, functional testing, support and research.

“Autism at Work” is SAP’s global initiative which began in May 2013 where the focus is not only on employment, but also on working closely with the community to foster better education and training for individuals with ASD.

SAP has partnered with Specialisterne and EnAble India to harness the talents and in training of people with autism to work in technology-oriented jobs such as software testing, programming and data management and has created employment for 50 individuals thus far globally.

For the first time in the world, an innovative and unique testing tool has been developed by doctors from India that can assess the improvement in patients with Cerebral Palsy (CP), a disorder caused due to brain damage that affects a person’s muscle tone, movement, and motor skills.

The tool is a one of its kind invention, as it has far more evaluation parameters compared to the existing system.
With the help of a numeric scoring system, it also has the advantage of revealing even the slightest improvement in CP patients.

Its developer, Dr Geeta Shroff is the founder and medical director of Nutech Mediworld, the first and only facility in the world to offer human embryonic stem cell therapy.

Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Mumbai’s only NABH accredited eye hospital and one of the most respected eye surgery and vision correction centers, has undertaken a huge technological leap. The hospital that has been of offering LASIK or laser based vision correction surgery, has upgraded its system to significantly reduce surgery time, increase surgical efficiency and expedite the healing process… so much so that now you can undergo a painless, bloodless eye surgery in the amount of time it takes for you to have a cup of coffee!

Laser based surgeries are used to set right some of the most complicated vision problems and are a boon to those who wish to do away completely with wearing spectacles or lenses. It can correct powers as high as -10. To make these surgeries even more efficient and comfortable for the patient, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital has switched to the internationally respected Alcon EX 500 Laser for conducting LASIK surgeries.

This machine is superior to other alternatives available today as it reduces corneal dehydration to increase outcome accuracy. Each burst of the laser lasts for a billionth of a second before the laser moves to its next position at a speed 100 times that of other lasers.

The Alcon EX 500 Laser uses a small-spot laser beam, which allows LASIK specialists to shape the cornea in finer, more gradual increments for a smoother surface with eye-tracking technology 8 times faster than some of the competition.

Alcon EX 500 Laser’s integrated cross-line projector provides the surgeon with an exact alignment of the head’s and eye’s position by generating a red-light cross on the eye for accuracy.

Using advanced Wavefront Optimized ® technology, the Alcon EX 500 Laser creates a “map” of your eyes and their unique characteristics to assist your surgeon in creating a personal vision profile for you.

This map serves as a guide that helps doctors locate the eye’s exact treatment position, which is one of the most important factors in obtaining a more naturally shaped cornea and therefore an excellent refractive outcome, especially when correcting eyes with high astigmatism.

All these technological improvements contribute to reducing the actual surgery time to nearly half that of an average LASIK surgery. The procedure is painless and bloodless. The patient needs to rest for just 48 hours and stay out of direct sunlight, dust and heat during this period. After this they can go back to their everyday life.

“The WaveLight EX500 facilitates fastest treatment times and a complete, safe, patient specific and customized Laser Vision Correction. It is this attitude which has helped us build a stable relationship of trust with our patients. Their implicit faith, gratitude and referrals are the measures of our success” says Dr. Kavita Rao, Head, Cornea and Refractive Services.

In support of its mission to help the world run better and improve people’s lives, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) recently announced that it will work globally with Specialisterne to employ people with autism as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists.

SAP sees a potential competitive advantage to leveraging the unique talents of people with autism, while also helping them to secure meaningful employment.

It is estimated that one percent of the world’s population is affected by autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

Specialisterne is an internationally recognized leader in harnessing the talents of people with autism to work in technology-oriented jobs such as software testing, programming and data management.

Originally founded in Denmark, Specialisterne has operations around the world, including offices in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Iceland and Poland.

As part of the partnership, Specialisterne will extend its operations to support SAP’s global expansion of the program over the next several years.

The global announcement follows successful pilot projects in India and Ireland that demonstrate the positive impact of empowering people with autism to excel in their areas of strength.

Working locally with Specialisterne, SAP® Labs in India hired six people with autism as software testers for SAP® Business Suite applications. As a result, the team has increased their productivity and cohesiveness in key areas.

The Ireland pilot is currently completing the screening phase for five positions to be filled this year. SAP will expand the program globally, starting in the U.S., Canada and Germany in 2013.

At SAP, an inclusive and diverse environment promotes a culture that enables employees to find innovative solutions to challenges facing customers as well as society as a whole.

Furthering its engagement with the local community of people and families affected by autism, SAP Labs in India recently developed a consumer iPad application called “Bol” to assist with the education of children with autism.

This innovative learning program helps children learn and comprehend simple, everyday objects and processes, using auditory, visual and instant feedback functions.

Public-Private Partnership Announces Phase III Clinical Trial Results at Conference in Delhi

New Delhi, India—The Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Bharat Biotech announced positive results from a Phase III clinical trial of a rotavirus vaccine developed and manufactured in India. Data from the trial, presented today at the International Symposium on Rotavirus Vaccines for India—The Evidence and the Promise,showed ROTAVAC®to have an excellent safety and efficacy profile.

The clinical study demonstrates for the first time that the India-developed rotavirus vaccine ROTAVAC®is efficacious in preventing severe rotavirus diarrhoea in low-resource settings in India. ROTAVAC®significantly reduced severe rotavirus diarrhoea by more than half—56 percent during the first year of life, with protection continuing into the second year of life. Moreover, the vaccine also showed impact against severe diarrhoea of any cause.

“This is an important scientific breakthrough against rota-virus infections, the most severe and lethal cause of childhood diarrhoea, responsible for approximately 100,000 deaths of small children in India each year,” said DBT Secretary Dr K. Vijay Raghavan. “The clinical results indicate that the vaccine, if licensed, could save the lives of thousands of children each year in India.”

The vaccine was developed through a unique social innovation partnership that brought together the experience and expertise of Indian and international researchers as well as the public and private sectors. The vaccine originated from an attenuated (weakened) strain of rotavirus that was isolated from an Indian child at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi in 1985-86. Since then, partners have included DBT, Bharat Biotech, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Stanford University School of Medicine, and the nongovernmental organization, PATH. Dr M.K. Bhan, who recently completed his service as DBT Secretary, was tireless in fostering the social innovation partnership and ensuring the highest standards for the vaccine.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial enrolled 6,799 infants in India (aged six to seven weeks at the time of enrolment) at three sites—the Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Studies (SAS) in New Delhi; Shirdi Sai Baba Rural Hospital, KEM Hospital Research Centre in Vadu, Pune; and Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore. The Clinical Operations Management Unit headed by Dr Nita Bhandari at SAS oversaw the day-to-day coordination and logistical complexities of this multi-site study and played a pivotal role in the conduct of this trial. The Principal Investigators were Dr Temsunaro Rongsen-Chandola at SAS, Dr Ashish Bavdekar at KEM, and Dr Gagandeep Kang at CMC.

The Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent group of experts established to protect the participating infants’ rights and needs during the Phase III trial, determined that the trial met the highest standards for ethics and patient care and complied with international standards for good clinical practices.

Bharat Biotech previously announced a price of US$ 1.00/dose (or approximately INR 54/dose) for ROTAVAC®and will soon file for registration of the vaccine in India. If licensed by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), the vaccine will be a more affordable alternative to the rotavirus vaccines already on the market.

“With its low price and strong efficacy, ROTAVAC®has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of severe diarrhoea due to rotavirus among children in India,” said Dr M.K. Bhan, Advisor to the Indian Academy of Pediatrics and former DBT Secretary.
The vaccine efficacy compares favorably with the efficacy of the currently licensed rotavirus vaccines in low-resource countries. The study results showed clear evidence of protection across different rotavirus strains and continued efficacy in the second year of life.

Infants enrolled in the study received ROTAVAC®and the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) vaccines, including oral polio vaccine (OPV). When the immune responses to OPV were tested, the result showed that infants receiving OPV at the same time asROTAVAC® generated comparable immune responses to all three polio serotypes as the infants receiving OPV without ROTAVAC®;this result supports the concurrent administration of OPV and ROTAVAC®.

“Vaccines work to save and protect children from diseases like rotavirus for a lifetime,” said Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This public-private partnership is an exemplary model of how to develop affordable technologies that save lives.”

The vaccine development partnership was supported by DBT, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Research Council of Norway, and the UK Department for International Development. Bharat Biotech invested important technical, manufacturing, and financial resources towards vaccine development. ROTAVAC®is an oral vaccine and is administered to infants in a three-dose course at the ages of 6, 10, and 14 weeks. It is given alongside routine immunizations in the UIP vaccines recommended at these ages.

“ROTAVAC® represents the successful research and development of a novel vaccine from the developing world with global standards,” said Dr Krishna M. Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech. “ROTAVAC®is a testament of our strong vision and commitment to develop affordable health care solutions for infectious diseases—we are proud, yet humbled by our contribution to this social innovation project and global public health priority. We are thankful to all the partners in the Rotavirus Vaccine Development Project—DBT, the Indian Council of Medical Research, PATH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NIH , CDC, and Stanford University—for their valuable support in this unique international public-private partnership.”

Prior to conducting the study, the investigators received approvals from the DCGI, the Institutional Review Board for DBT, and the ethics review committees of each study site. The study partners also consulted with the State Governments of Delhi, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, as well as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In addition, the study was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board in the United States and met the highest international clinical trial standards. The DSMB strictly monitored the trial throughout for adherence to these standards and protocols. The trial design included a strong safety net to identify and treat illnesses, especially gastroenteritis, among study infants as early as possible. All of the infants enrolled in the trial received high-quality medical and emergency care during the trial period.

The support laboratory was the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute with Dr Sudhanshu Vrati as the lead. Quintiles was responsible for several aspects of the trial including medical monitoring, data management, site monitoring, pharmacovigilance, and biostatistics. Good Clinical Practice compliance of the clinical trials was audited by ANTHA Clinical Quality Assurance.

Courtesy :

Applying mustard oil in hair will effectively control hairfall and make the hair look shinny and healthy.

Varun and his wife has just returned home. They had gone to see a cardiac surgeon. Varun was experiencing a fluctuating blood pressure, headache, vomiting and a kind of depression for the past few days.

The doctor’s diagnosis was a bolt from the blue for his family. The doctor has sternly suggested him either to stop drinking or be prepared with INR 50 lakhs for undergoing a liver transplant surgery very soon.

Today a sense of gloom prevail in each and every corner of their home.

Varun who migrated to Delhi from Assam for a better job opportunity around a decade back was working in a multinational company. His family was happy that he could find himself a good job. But continuous graveyard shifts left Varun with hardly any time to interact with his family members. They had absolutely no knowledge of his drinking habits. His health conditions deteriorated to the extent that he had to ultimately quit his job.

Varun’s family is just an example. There are hundreds and thousands of families in India that meet with similar fate.

According to a study by World Health Organisation on alcohol and health 2.5 million people die every year.

Today, Varun’s elder brother Tarun has taken up the responsibility of solely taking care of the family of six including Varun’s five year old son.

Varun is not alone. People across the globe are victims of alcohol addiction.

According to the global status report by WHO, globally, 6.2 per cent of all male deaths are related to alcohol compared with 1.1 per cent of female deaths.

India accounts for 22.5 percent of the total alcohol consumption.

Alcohol related deaths are increasing at a rapid pace. The main reason being, injuries in a drunken state, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and liver cirrhosis.

Again, the onset of depression is a common symptom among alcohol addicts.

In India an estimated 80 percent of alcohol consumption is in the form of hard liquor or distilled spirits. That is, addicts in our country are more into drinks that are concentrated with alcohol.

India is the largest consumer of whiskey across the globe. According to the study, the estimated whiskey market in India by the end of 2013 is expected to be us $10 billion or INR 541.389 billion. Thanks to the growing economy of the country.

India is a union of 28 states and seven union territories. The drinking age and norms vary from state.

Drinking alcohol above the limit is a menace in most of the household and for the health authorities. News of hooch tragedy, wherein death due to country made spurious liquor is common in India.

A few Indian states like Gujarat, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland has put a total ban on liquor.

Taxes generated from alcohol production and sale which is estimated to be at INR 25,000 crore is the major source of revenue in most states. And that is the reason that the states have been given a permit for alcohol sale.

Though a large amount of revenue is generated from the sale of alcohol, the hidden cost of healthcare etc is seen to exceed the revenue generated.

The crux is that as long as we take the path of something called responsible drinking, we will keep spending a major amount of our income in treatment, thereby creating unrest in the family as well as the larger well being as a whole.

Courtesy : Statistical Data’s …. thanks to World Health Organisation

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