Friday, 30 September 2016

Atherosclerosis – The parent of cardiovascular Diseases
Atherosclerosis is the deposition of spongy lipid and alike materials in the arteries of circulatory system. The deposition blocks normal blood flow, thereby leading to risk of lack of blood-supply to a specific organ.

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood to heart; from where, it is pumped to other parts of the body.

Atherosclerosis is the condition where plaques formed on the arteries from cholesterol, calcium, debris and other substances found in the blood. Over the time plaques deposits to harden the arteries; thereby narrowing the arteries. This limits the blood flow to heart and other parts of the body.

What causes Atherosclerosis

Arteries are lined by a thin layer of cells called endothelial cells which keeps the arteries smoothly. High Blood pressure, excessive Alcohol Intake, Smoking, Obesity, Inadequate physical activity, diabetes, High cholesterol intake in the diet and age are the factors for damage of endothelial layer.

When LDL- Low Density Lipoprotein  or bad cholesterol crosses endothelial layer, Monocytes migrate through endothelial layer to internalize Lipid molecules. This form a foamy appearance which consists of macrophages that secretes proteolytic enzymes (Protein degrading enzymes) And Reactive oxygen Species(ROS) and cytokines.

Proteolytic enzymes degrade extracellular matrix to intensify inflammation which results in migration of more cells and lipids to the sites to form the plaque; thereby, narrowing Artery and increase susceptibility for blockage of blood flow.

Effects of Atherosclerosis
  • Plaques in the heart’s arteries can cause Angina (Chest pain)
  • Plaques rupture in the heart’s arteries causes death of heart muscle of clots in the heart which is called “ Myocardial Infarction” ( heart attack).

Plaque rupture in the brain’s arteries can cause strokes with the risk of permanent brain damage.
Narrowing of arteries in the legs results in poor blood circulation and pain on walking. This results in poor wound healing and amputations (removal of damaged parts) in severe cases.

How to prevent
  • Quit Smoking
  • Controlled diet with No LDL. Avoid Hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic conditions of the blood.
  • Avoiding Hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic conditions of the blood keeps diabetes in check. 
  • Exercise regularly to avoid obesity.
  • Avoid Excess alcohol intake
  • Eat Fruits, Vegetables and food that are rich in fibers.

Drugs that lowers LDL and BP will certainly help the conditions to get better.
Angioplasty helps to reduce the risks of heart attacks.
Surgery: repleting blocked vessels by a healthy vessel from other parts of the body.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Works that got nobel prize for medicine2015 part 2

Tu Youyou is a Chinese medical scientist, chemist and pharmacist who shared the Nobel Prize for medicine-2015 with Satoshi Omuraand William.C.Campbell.
The prize was awarded for her significant works on novel therapy against malaria; specifically, for her work on a drug calledArtemisinin and its derivatives.

What is Artemisinin?
It is a sesquiterpene lactone drug that contains an unusual peroxide bridge, which is important in the drug’s mechanism of action. It was isolated from the Chinese herb called as sweet wormwood or Artemisia annua. Its derivatives used as antimalarial drugs which reduces the number of parasites in the blood of malarial patients, thereby helps them recover from the disease.Artemisnin based combination therapies (ACT’s) produced substantial results against deadly malarial parasites and are recommended by WHO as an uncomplicated way of treatingP.falciparum malaria.

Work’s of Tu Youyou:  She was the head of China’s research to find treatment against malaria which they named it as Project523. She studied various Chinese traditional herbs which were said to be effective against Malaria. In the year 1971, researchers under her supervision were able to find out antimalarial effects of extract of quinghao(Artemisia annua).

Artemisinin– though proved effective against malaria, but, it’s extraction was difficult as it was neither water soluble nor dissolved in the ether. It was Professor Tu Youyou who developed methods to extractArtemesinin. During the process, she was able to synthesizeDihydroartemisinin which was water soluble. She proved its efficacy and elucidated its structure, thereby pioneering the synthesis of its derivatives, their production and Marketing as a drug.

It took 33years to get WHO’s recognition for the use of artemisinin’s derivatives as  an antimalarial drug. Thanks to Tu Youyou’s discoveries and inventions that saved and saving millions of humans worldwide.

Works that got Nobel prize for medicine 2015 part 1

William Campbell and Satoshi Omura shared the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for the year 2015 for their discoveries of novel therapy against infections caused by round worm parasites.
Ivermectin is the drug which is a dihydro derivative of avermectin. Satoshi Omura isolated a bacteria called as Streptomyces avermitis isolated from Japanese soil at Kitasato institute Tokyo. He found that ivermitis was originated solely by the bacteria; which, in the later years proved to be a wonder drug as it pioneered the treatments of river blindness and other infections caused by roundworm infections.

Initially this drug was discovered as veterinary drug and proved effective in treating the parasitic infections in the domestic livestock and companions.

It was the group of scientists working at Merck research laboratories lead by William Campbell started working in collaboration with Satoshi Omura and started doing research on the Ivermectin. Dr. Campbell showed the drug’s role in human medicine and he proved the effectiveness of Ivermitis againstOnchoceriasis which is famously called as river blindness. He also proved the drug’s effectiveness against Filariasis (elephantiasis).

Today Ivermectin is successfully being used to treat infections from variety of roundworm parasitic infections such  as Strangyloidiasis,Scabies, Pediculosis, Gnathomiasis and Myiasis  Ivermectin proved its activity against Leishmaniasis and other soil parasites such asAscaris, Trichuris and hookworms

River Blindness(Onchoceriasis) : is the disease caused by infection from parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. The parasitic infection spreads spreads through the bites of black flies whose location found naturally close to the fast running streams and rivers. This infection causes severe itching and bumps under skin and lesions on the eyes, repeated exposure to Onchocerca Volvuluslead to irreversible blindness.

Today Onchoceriasis– second most common cause of blindness due to infection is getting eradicated from earth. Thanks to the invention of the scientists and they truly deserve a nobel prize.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Probiotics are Medicines

Probiotics are the microorganisms that benefit our health on consuming perpetually in adequate amounts. These are generally consumed in the form of pills, powders and foods that comprises various bacteria and yeast which are beneficial for the host they colonize.

Benefits Of probioticsThese microbe’s dependence on food made them to affiliate with the host’s gastro enteric region, thereby replacing harmful microbes in those regions.

Intestinal infection are not very uncommon for children. The disease attacks for infants occur due to colonization of bacteria like E.coli, Clostridium, Shigella, Campylobacter, Pseudomonas, Enterococcus. Probiotics drastically reduce the risk that may confer due to colonization of these pathogens. This is one of the reasons for recommending the compulsion of breastfeeding for infants.
Probiotics that contain Lactobacillus proved effective in reducing diarrhea associated with Retrovirus. Lactobacillus Competes with viruses for receptors on immune cells. This reduces invasiveness of the virus particles.

Probiotics trigger immune response and promotes IgA(Antibodies) Secretion. It activates T-Cells that produce gamma interferon, which inhibits Chloride(Salt) secretion; hence it stops diarrhea.

Probiotics can tackle the problems associated with antibiotic usage; mainly antibiotic and drug associated diarrhea and dysentery.

Probiotics inhibit growth of bacteria H.pylori- which is responsible for gastritis, peptic ulcers and gastric cancers subsequently.

Probiotics are being effectively used for treating allergies like lactose intolerance and other allergies.

Foods that are Rich in Probiotics
Milk and milk products which are traditionally used as foods has good amount of Probiotic bacteria and yeast.

Along with many traditional food’s number of commercial foods are available that has defined good proportions of probiotics which  are listed below.

Yakult: is the first commercialized fermented milk that contain’s probiotic called as Lactobacillus casei Shirota.

Yogurt : is a fermented milk product produced from lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus dulbreckii sub.sp bulgaricus and other bacteria like Streptococcus thermophiles and Bfidobacteria. Lactic Bacteria produces Lactic acid, which transforms milk proteins into some other byproduct to give yogurt.

Kefir: is a fermented product of milk and cereals prepared by probiotic bacteria and yeast.

Kimchi: is a fermented vegetable dish prepared with cabbage, radish and cucumber.

Saurkraut: is cabbage fermented by various lactic acid bacteria.

Other Producers: Pickles, Cheese, Bulgarican milk, Appam, Dhokla, vegetable, vegetable Sauce and many other products that are prepared in different regions of the world.
Probiotics are the best example for the approach “ Foods as medicine”.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

B-Vitamins are vital

Most of us suffer from deficiency the vitamins mainly B-Vitamins.

Types of Vitamin-B
There are 8 classes of B-Vitamins, which; all are water soluble vitamins. Though all 8 classes are chemically different in nature, altogether their presence is in similar kinds of foods, they are grouped as B-Vitamins. Supplement that consists all the 8 vitamins are called Vitamin- B complex.
Vitamin B1-Thiamine
Vitamin B2-Riboflavin
Vitamin B3- Niacin
Vitamin B5- Pantothenic acid
Vitamin B6- Pyridoxine
Vitamin B7-Biotin
Vitamin B9-Folic acid
Vitamin B12- Cobalmin.

Functions of B-Vitamins
B Vitamins play vital role in metabolism and catabolism; mainly as the cofactors for the activation of important enzymes.
Vitamin B1 is involved in generating energy from carbohydrates and in production of nucleic acids(DNA and RNA).
Vitamin B2 is involved in the breakdown of fatty acids to produce energy.
Vitamin B3 is involved in the metabolism of glucose, fat and alcohol.
Vitamin B5 & B6 acts as cofactors in the synthesis of amino acids, steroids, hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies.
Vitamin B7 plays key role in metabolism of lipids, Carbohydrates, proteins.
Vitamin B9 & Vitamin B12 is necessary for rbc production, cell division- hence they play a major role during pregnancy and infancy stages where cell division will be rapid.

Results of Deficiency
Vitamin deficiency causes weight loss, emotional disturbances, impaired vision, weakness, cracks in the lips, mouth ulcers, stress and mental confusion, impaired growth, anemia, hair loss, skin disorders and cell aging.

Sources of B-Vitamins
Vitamin B1: Green vegetable, fresh and dried fruits, eggs and meats.
Vitamin B2 & B3: Milk, meat, eggs.
Vitamin B5: Meat, tomatoes, whole grains, broccoli, cereals.
Vitamin B6: Meat, Cereals, Milk, Baker’s yeast.
Vitamin B7: Normally produced by gut living in the gut, hence; probiotics are helpful to get required amount of Vitamin B7.
Vitamin B9: Sprouts, green vegetables, mushroom, meat and egg.
Vitamin B12: Meat, egg, cheese and some grains.

Causes of B-Vitamin deficiency
Surgery related to stomach, small intestine and weight loss.
Loss of immunity and immune disorders.
Long term use of acid reducing drugs.
Perinicious anemia
Pregnancy( for women)

Interesting facts
All plants do not consist required amount of all B- Vitamins. Hence, most of the vegetarians will be deficient of B-Vitamins.

Though brewer’s yeast has B-Vitamins but, the alcohol causes difficulty in absorption of vitamins.

Monday, 26 September 2016

What is Allergy

What is Allergy
Most of us encounter conditions such as running nose, swelling and reddening of the nose, eyes, continuous sneeze on exposure to dust. This is commonly called as allergic or hypersensitivity reaction.
What is Allergy
Allergy is a condition of the immune system which causes hypersensitivity. This condition usually caused by exposures to a substance called as an allergen.
An allergen may be pollen, food, drug, insect bite, antibiotic etc.
An allergen triggers activation of immunoglobin class E(E- Antibodies)  which causes the mast cell to degranulate and release chemicals  called as hisatmine and leukotrienes.
When a person encounters an allergen for the first time, his immune system reacts and antigen presnting cells present the allergen to TH2 lyphocytes which are the subset of T-Cells.  TH2 cells produces  specific signal proteins called as Interleukine-4.  IL- 4 signals TH2 cells to interact with B- Lymphocytes and prduces Ig-E antibodies. IgE antibodies circulate in blood and binds to the receptors on the basophills and mast cells.
If same person exposed to the same allergen for the second time, IgE produced against the allergen gets activated which in turn activates basophills and Mast cells. These cells undergo lysis to degranulate themselves which results in the release of Histamines, leukotrienes and other chemicals into the surrounding tissues, this causes the allergic reaction.
Common Allergic Symptoms and diseases
Reddening of Eye
Skin Rashes
Abdominal pain
Common Allergens
Pollens and Dust
Latex or rubber materials( Which are in direct contact with skin)
Antibiotics( penicillin)

Administration of immunosupressants like antihistamines, antiepinephrines, antiprostaglandins and antileukotrienes.


Avoiding any allergen if mild symptoms are suspected.
Taking Foods that are rich in antioxidants, zinc.
Avoid giving solid foods for infants till they reach 5 years.
Avoid drugs that supress normal immunity( not IgE mediated)
Hygenic practices can avoid airborn allergens.
Facts to note
90% of the food allergies are caused by Milk and milk products, meat and meat products and wheat
Some food allergens cause rapid and extensive reactions and can cause death.
Most allergies are heriditary.
Identical twins will be allergic to same allergens.
Stress enhances the number of allergies.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Hygeine hypothesis-The result of changed lifestyle

We see people putting fingers on their mouth after hearing about cardiac arrest to a child, Diabetes in Youth. It is common that, people blame on their workaholic life style.

  • Spend time in School/ Office
  • Back to Home
  • Start playing in Smart phones
Shop Online, Order Food Online

When we get everything delivered to our doors it may lead to a situation called Hygiene hypothesis, which mainly affects children.

What is Hygiene hypothesis
It is  a hypothesis which tells about rapid increase in atopic disorders due to low incidence or exposures to infection; especially during childhood.

What is missed ?
When we think What is missing? The clear answer is “Friends”. The hypothesis explains lack or missing exposure to the friends called as microorganisms such as normal flora on human skin, gut and respiratory tract.
We are missing few viruses, helminths that usually cause chronic infection in immuno compromised personnel.
Exposure to Symbiotic parasites that benefits humans
Missing the immune systems anticipation to accept certain microbial exposures which lead the immune system’s evolution. The inevitability of these exposures for immunity’s proper  working is leading the way for hygiene hypothesis.

How this hypothesis increasing atopic disorders
Adaptive immunity has two  arms TH1  and TH2.  These two arms get activated in different health consequences.  TH1  arms gets activated to secrete proinflammatory proteins that protects us from microbial invasions. This  suppresses TH2 arm of adaptive immunity.
TH2 arm releases inflammatory proteins that trigger IgE antibody mediated responses which are allergies in laymen’s terms.

When TH1 is missed due to lack of microbial exposures it enhances TH2 activation.

Causes for Hygiene hypothesis
  • Change in lifestyle of urban population.
  • Decrease in joint families
  • Excessive and improper use of antibiotics.
  • Birth by caesarean section.
  • Less preference to beneficial raw foods over artificially processed foods.

Hygiene hypothesis increases the risks of multiple sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes and associated disorders.
It increases autoimmune diseases and allergic reactions.

  • Changing our lifestyle,
  • Helminthic therapy can decrease autoimmune diseases.
  • Stop using antibiotics until it is inevitable.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Giant water Bugs : 

This trypophobic image made me to write this post

These are the insects of the family Belestomitidae. These are also called as Toe-biters or Indian Toe-biters.

These are the biggest insects in the Belestomitidae family,which grows to minimum size of 2 centimeters. Various Species of these bugs grow up to 12 centimeters.

Habits and habitats
This bug’s habitats lie beneath the fresh water bodies such as ponds, lakes and rivers.
These bugs are predators which stay down the water most of the time. They wait for the prey such as snail’s fish, frogs, crustaceans, small turtles and water snakes.

Female lay eggs on males wings, the eggs are completely taken care by male until they get hatched.

Harm Caused by these predators
As they are predators, they bite humans who encounter them without any safety. Mainly they sting the swimmers and the sting will be pain-full like many other insects.
Sometimes, but rarely they are found in the land accidentally as adult bugs fly above the water in the night to take oxygen.

Like their colloquial name their bite does not have any medical significance. Apart from its sting being pain-full, these bugs will not eat human flesh and cause no severe harms.

They eat mosquito larvae.
They eat Snails and other animals which harms agricultural crops.

Interesting facts
They breathe by their behind.
They look like cockroach, but they are far larger than cockroaches.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Two vaccines for Polio

I felt happy when I read the tweets of Bill Gates describing eradication of polio in Nigeria and efforts of Korea to eradicate polio.

In the similar way, I felt pretty happy when I read the news about the Indian government’s decision to introduce IPV.  The Government’s decision to administer IPV along with OPV in their Immunization program from April 2016 is a pioneered decision to eradicate Polio completely from the country.

What are OPV and IPV
OPV(Oral polio vaccine) consists of weakened(Attenuated) live polio virus which has to be administered orally in the form of drops.

IPV(Inactivated Polio Vaccine) consists of killed polio virus which will be administered intramuscular in the form of injections.

How these works
OPV Consists of the 3 serotypes of live polio virus that are weakened (Attenuated). This elicits the immune response to produce antibodies against 3 serotypes which will be adequate only after 3 or more administrations. The  specific antibodies produced against Polio virus prevents spread of the virus to the nervous system, thereby preventing paralysis.OPV also produces a local immune response inside the intestinal lumen, where virus multiplies.

IPV(Inactivated polio vaccine)  consists of killed serotypes of polio, IPV also induces  immune response similar to OPV.

In rare cases OPV results in vaccine induced poliomyelitis as nonvirulent strains resulting in paralysis. This is the reason for not achieving 100% eradication of Polio.
IPV induces very low immunity in intestine and it is costly.

IPV administered along with OPV Supports a strong immune response against Polio virus and helps to overcome drawbacks of both kinds of vaccines.