Summer Brings A Host Of Other Perils Besides The Heat

Fruits and juices might be among the best ways to manage the scorching heat but exercising a little caution is necessary to keep health problems at bay. Doctors, while stressing the need to increase fluid intake during summer, also insist on the importance of avoiding contaminated water and being cautious of artificially ripened fruits.

“People should take plenty of boiled water to avoid dehydration. Drinking juices and other cool drinks outside is not advisable as the water could be contaminated” said a senior doctor at the Government Hospital at Tirupattur.

Problems such as urinary tract infection and heat stroke can be prevented by taking sufficient water. “The body needs minimum of five litres of fluid per day. Water content fruits such as water melon, ‘vellari pazham’ could be consumed,” he added. [Read more...]

Fruits: The key To Good Health

Our grandmothers and mothers were onto something when they kept telling us to eat our fruits. Research through the years has proven that fruits are an important source of essential vitamins and minerals.

Dietician Namrata Mirchandani says that the thing to remember with fruits is their colour. Each colour is rich in a particular mineral or vitamin. Red fruits like apples, cherries and pomegranates are full of nutrients such as lycopene, vitamins A and C and folate. Orange and yellow fruits such as papayas, oranges and mangoes contain beta-carotene, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. Green fruits like green apples, grapes, avocados have an abundance of chlorophyll, fibre, calcium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene.

“For those who do not particularly enjoy biting into a fruit, you can have fruit juices, fruit smoothies or an extra helping of brightly-coloured vegetables. In the latter case you must be sure of eating enough vegetables to make up for the fruits. Also good are dried fruits such as raisins, dried apricots and berries,” she says. [Read more...]

Coffee ‘Can Cure Hangover’

Scientists have finally confirmed what many suffering drinkers have long suspected — a cup of hot coffee is the best cure for a hangover.

A new study has revealed that drinking a cup of hot coffee in the morning, along with an aspirin, can help one get over a hangover and the traditional morning-after boost is better than modern alternatives like organic honey or raw egg.

In fact, according to the scientists, the caffeine in coffee and anti-inflammatory ingredients of aspirin combat the alcohol, the ‘Daily Express’ reported.

For the study, a team, led by Philadelphia researcher Michael Oshinsky, induced headaches in laboratory rats using small amounts of ethanol or pure alcohol. The animals then had doses of caffeine and anti-inflammatories which cleared pain.

“None of the commonly cited cures for hangovers could have caused this response,” Oshinsky was quoted as telling the ‘New Scientist’. [Read more...]

Got A Bad Hangover? Try Honey On Toast!

This festive season, merriment will be aplenty, and so will be alcohol – but if you want to avoid that really bad feeling of nausea and headache the next morning try honey on toast, says a new study.

The Royal Society of Chemistry claim that the natural sweetener is one of the best way to treat toxins in the body post-binge. It contains fructose, which can also be found in golden syrup, which is essential to help the body break down alcohol into harmless by-products.

“The happiness comes from alcohol. The hangover comes from acetaldehyde. This is the toxic chemical into which alcohol is converted by the body and it causes a throbbing headache, nausea, and maybe even vomiting,” the Telegraph quoted Dr John Emsley of the Royal Society, as saying.

“The hangover disappears as the acetaldehyde is slowly converted to less toxic chemicals,” he added. [Read more...]

Alcohol Consumption May Increase Amphetamine Abuse

Stimulant drugs, which can increase energy and concentration, are widely abused by young adults. One such drug are amphetamines, which in addition to being widely accessible, has been shown in previous studies to have a significant relationship between its abuse and the amount of alcohol consumed.

The results will be published in the March 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

Craig R. Rush, senior author of the study and Professor of Behavioral Science, Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Kentucky, said that there is a direct epidemiological link between drinking alcohol and the misuse of prescription drugs. Rush and his fellow researchers wanted to build upon previous research that showed that moderate drinkers were more sensitive to some of the effects of amphetamines when compared to light drinkers. [Read more...]

Biscuit, Soft Drink Cos Feel Sugar Price Pinch

biscuit, softdrink cos feel sugar price pinch_It’s not a sweet beginning to the new year. Sugar prices have touched a record high of over Rs 4,200 per quintal in certain wholesale markets, building input cost pressures for the makers of biscuits, soft drinks, confectionery and other food products.

“Sugar is a very important ingredient for our products such as ice creams, baby food and beverages and any increase in the price of the commodity can result in cost pressures. We are monitoring the situation to see if the trend continues in the next few days. We will then decide whether or not to take prices up,” said RS Sodhi, chief general manager, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets the Amul brand of milk and milk products.

The percentage of sugar content in GCMMF products ranges between 10% and 20%. There is, however, one catch for companies which market seasonal products. They cannot increase product prices during the lean period even though there is pressure on input costs.

“We will have to evaluate the situation in summer to take a relook at prices. However, since the dollar dropped marginally today, we will also have to follow the dollar parity as this may bring prices down,” said Piruz Khambatta, CMD, Rasna Ltd.

However, Parle Agro, the maker of Frooti, Appy Fizz, LMN and Saint, is not increasing prices, said companys joint managing director Nadia Chauhan.

Sugar prices are going up due to high international prices on account of demand-supply gap. As a result, the retail price for the consumer has shot up to more than Rs 42 per kilo from Rs 35 a few weeks ago. By Namrata Singh, The Times Of India

FDA Intends to Forbid Caffeine in Alcoholic Drinks

fda intends to forbid caffeine in_U.S. health officials requested information from nearly 30 makers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages proving safity of their products.

Among the companies targeted were Constellation Brands Inc (STZ.N), which makes the drink Wide Eye, and the North American unit of Diageo plc (DGE.L) (DEO.N), which makes Smirnoff Raw Tea.

The companies have 30 days to send data showing how caffeine can be “safely and lawfully” added to alcoholic drinks, Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said on Friday.

The FDA took action after 18 attorneys general from states, including New York and Arizona, wrote the agency raising questions about the drinks’ safety. A city attorney from San Francisco also signed the letter.

A group of five scientists who study college students’ drinking habits also wrote a letter saying there was no evidence to support the claim that caffeine was “generally recognized as safe” for use in alcohol drinks.

“Being wide awake and drunk at the same time increases the risk of engaging in several forms of violent or other high-risk physical behaviors that can cause injury,” wrote the scientists, who come from such institutions as Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The FDA only approves caffeine as an additive for soft drinks and has not approved its use in alcoholic beverages.

In the past year, Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) and MillerCoors LCC have agreed to discontinue their caffeinated alcoholic drinks, including Sparks, the FDA said. Pravda RU