Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

Pregnant women are advised to be very careful about their diet. Certain foods are said to be a strict no for expectant mothers and nutritionists and health experts always advise pregnant women to omit these foods and drinks from their diets, lest their harm their babies in some way. This is why during pregnancy a healthy meal plan should ideally be in place to ensure health of the mother and the baby. A new study has pointed towards the harmful effects of consuming potato chips and vegetable oil during pregnancy. The study warns mothers about the side-effects of consuming too much of these two foods, saying that such a diet may increase risk of complications during pregnancy and may even hamper development of the baby. However, it's the reason behind this warning that's a shocker- omega 6 fatty acids.

Researchers have said excessive presence of omega 6 fats, particularly linoleic acid, in pregnancy diet may result in increased inflammation and in the mother's body and may even increase the risk of heart diseases. The results of the study were published in The Journal of Physiology and they said that consuming linoleic acid that equaled three times the safe consumption limit, was harmful for mothers during pregnancy term. The study was conducted on rats and it was observed that pregnant rodents who consumed diets rich in linoleic acid had high concentrations of inflammatory proteins in their livers.

Additionally, they also had high concentrations of a protein which could induce contractions in the uterus during pregnancy, as well as low levels of a hormone which is important for regulating growth and development of the baby. Human diets rich in linoleic acid, also tend to be rich in fats, sugar and salt, said the researchers. Study lead author Deanne Skelly, Professor at Griffith University in Australia said in an IANS report, "It is important for pregnant women to consider their diet, and our research is yet another example that potentially consuming too much of a certain type of nutrient can have a negative impact on the growing baby."

A vitamin is an organic compound, which is required by the human body in appropriate amounts to ensure the proper and healthy functioning of the various body parts. These vitamins help you in being healthy and maintaining an optimum level of brain activity. The deficiency of the same can cause you to have various health issues and illnesses.

B Vitamins are of various subtypes, and they are collectively known as B-Complex Vitamins. These vitamins are medically proven to relieve stress and boost up your energy levels. They also fight depression, restrict brain ageing and help you to live a longer life. Here's how B vitamins help in keeping your brain healthy.

Prevent mental decline: The three vitamin B types that help to avoid a mental decline are: B6, B12, and B9 (Folic Acid). Additionally, these 3 vitamins also prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Act as dopamine boosters: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter inside the brain that that boosts productivity, motivation and focus among human beings. This helps to ensure your mental well-being keep you mentally happy. B vitamins enhance your brain health by facilitating an increase in dopamine levels.

Lets you avoid mental disorders: The lack of Vitamin B12 leads to certain mental disorders like- dementia, brain atrophy, brain shrinkage, depression, and schizophrenia. You can avoid this condition by taking Vitamin B12 supplements.

Sharpen memory: In case you have a short term memory or face other memory problems, various forms of B vitamins supplements will help you to regain the optimal state of mind.

Girls who are sexually abused or neglected during adolescence are more likely to become teen moms, regardless of their race, family income or if they come from a one- or two-parent home, according to a new study. Childbirth rates of teenagers who were the victims of abuse or neglect were more than 20 percent, which is five times higher than the national rate of roughly 4 percent, the researchers say.

"Teen victims of sexual abuse may have distinct approaches to sex and sexual activity that can be attributed to traumatic sexualization," said lead study author Jennie Noll, director of research in behavioral medicine and clinical psychology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, in a center news release.

"On the other hand, neglect is an act of omission in which parents and caregivers fail to provide the needed care and opportunities for promoting safe and normal development," Noll explained. "As with the general teen population, primary prevention programs targeting sexual activity will help mitigate the risk of childbirth for maltreated adolescents."

The researchers followed a group of girls between 14 and 17 years old. Average household income of the teens was $30,000 to $39,000, and 57 percent of the girls were from single-parent households. Of the participants, 48 percent were black and 8 percent were biracial or multiracial.

About half of the teens involved had been abused or neglected within the past year and were found through child protective service agencies. The other participants were of similar ages and backgrounds but had not suffered abuse or neglect.

The researchers tracked the teenagers' sexual activity, possible pregnancies and whether or not they became mothers until the teens turned 19. They found that 54 of the teens who had been abused or neglected had children — representing a teen childbirth rate of about 20 percent. In contrast, 16 of the teens who had not been abused or neglected became mothers, representing a teen childbirth rate of slightly over 9 percent.

"Although the comparison group had childbirth rates greater than twice the national rate of 4 percent, these girls were selected to be demographically similar to the abused sample, so they were from relatively low-income, inner-city neighborhoods — places where teen childbirth rates are often higher than the national average," Noll pointed out.

While teen birth rates have declined for the past two decades, the United States still has one of the highest teen birth rates among all industrialized nations, according to the release. This may be partly because risk factors for teen pregnancy are often not included in prevention strategies, particularly those targeting abused or neglected teenage girls, the researchers say.

"Because victims of maltreatment are processed through child protective service agencies, caseworkers have a golden opportunity to educate these teen girls about the risk for, and consequences of, teen childbirth," Noll concluded.

Women face same health related problems from alcohol consumption as men, finds a new study.According to the study, women are catching up with men in terms of their alcohol consumption and its impact on their health. The trend, known as 'sex convergence', is most evident among young adults, the findings show.

Historically, men have been far more likely than women to drink alcohol and to drink it in quantities that damage their health, with some figures suggesting up to a 12-fold difference between the sexes.

In a bid to quantify this trend over time, the researchers pooled the data from 68 relevant international studies. All the studies included explicit regional or national comparisons of men's and women's drinking patterns across at least two time periods.

The researchers from the University of New South Wales used the following criteria to choose the participants for their study: lifetime and/or current alcohol misuse or dependence; alcohol related problems; treatment for alcohol issues; and the time-frame of use and the development of related problems.

And they used 11 key indicators of alcohol use and associated harms for their analysis.

These were grouped into three broad categories of: any use, which included quantities and frequency; problematic use, which included binge/heavy drinking; and the prevalence of associated harms.

The pooled data showed that the gap between the sexes consistently narrowed across all three categories of any use, problematic use, and associated harms over time.

Men born between 1891 and 1910 were twice (2.2) as likely as their female peers to drink alcohol; but this had almost reached parity among those born between 1991 and 2000 (1.1), suggested the study published in the journal BMJ.

The same patterns were evident for problematic use, where the gender gap fell from 3 to 1.2 times and for associated harms where the gender gap fell from 3.6 to 1.3 times.

After taking accounts of potential mathematical bias in the calculations, the gender gap fell by 3.2 per cent with each successive five year period of births, but was steepest among those born from 1966 onwards.

But among the 42 studies that reported some evidence for sex convergence, most indicated that this was driven by greater use of alcohol among women, and 5 per cent of the sex ratios were less than 1, suggesting that women born after 1981 may actually be drinking more than their male peers, say the researchers.

Traditional treadmill tests used to estimate heart disease risk might not provide accurate results for women, a recent study suggests. These assessments have been used for decades to determine patients’ risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. But the results can be inaccurate because the scoring system was developed based on experiments done only in middle-aged men, said senior study author Dr. Leslie Cho, director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

“There has been no good data to support its use in women,” Cho said by email. “The score was likely underestimating risk for some women, while overestimating it for others, based on their age.”

At the same time, scores from the most commonly used version, known as the Duke Treadmill Test, focus primarily on exercise ability and don’t account for health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure that can influence the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Cho noted.

For the current study, Cho and colleagues examined results from a new assessment designed to better estimate the risk of death from heart disease in both men and women.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 100,000 adults seen at Cleveland Clinic from 2000 through 2010 or the Henry Ford Health System from 1991 through 2009.

All of the study participants had exercise tests.

Researchers could also see medical records to determine other risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity or elevated cholesterol levels.

Among the subset of almost 60,000 people seen at Cleveland Clinic, half of the patients were at least 54 years old. They ranged in age from 45 to 63, and half of them were followed for at least seven years.

Roughly 60 percent of participants were men. The men generally had higher exercise capacity and higher odds of a history of coronary artery disease than the women, researchers report in JAMA Cardiology.

In this group, 1,779 men, or 5 percent, died during the study period, compared with 742 women, or 3.1 percent.

For both sexes, death was associated with older age, lower body weight, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, a current or previous smoking habit, and history of health issues like heart attack, artery disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

When researchers developed sex-specific risk scores, however, they found a history of diabetes was associated with mortality in women, while a history of heart failure and hypertension were associated with mortality in men.

Researchers tested the accuracy of their sex-specific risk scores by applying these ratings to a separate group of more than 49,000 patients seen at Henry Ford.

While exercise capacity was still the biggest predictor of risk, accounting for these other patient characteristics offered a more accurate picture of individual risk in men and women, the authors conclude.

One limitation of the analysis is that researchers focused on deaths from all causes rather than mortality tied only to cardiovascular disease, the authors note. They also lacked access to imaging data that might help verify, for example, the extent of artery disease.

Even so, the testing criteria proposed in the study may more accurately reflect women’s risk of dying from heart disease because the traditional scores generally didn’t account for the fact that men tend to have better exercise capacity than women, noted Dr. Armin Zadeh, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who wasn’t involved in the study.

“It's not so much that their risk factors are different but that an important component of the exercise treadmill testing is the exercise capacity which tends to be greater in men than women,” Zadeh added by email. “Therefore, the old criteria set an unfairly high bar for women to clear for the same prognostic value.”

Looking at women separately can offer a more accurate picture of how well women perform on exercise tests based on what would be considered a good or bad performance for their female peers, Zadeh noted.

“When not separating scores, women will be held to a higher standard, which will bias results,” Zadeh said.

Dr. Ganesh Pachkawade
Dr. Ganesh Pachkawade
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Cupping Therapist Dermatologist, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shyamsundar Jagtap
Dr. Shyamsundar Jagtap
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Yogesh Patil
Dr. Yogesh Patil
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. S K  Toke
Dr. S K Toke
DNB, Pulmonologist General Physician, 11 yrs, Pune
Dr. Smita Shah
Dr. Smita Shah
MD - Allopathy, Obstetrics and Gynecologist, 29 yrs, Pune