Showing posts from May 20, 2018

‘Low-Calorie Sweeteners Promote Fat Accumulation’

By   Chioma Umeha Low-calorie, artificial sweeteners appear to play havoc with the body’s metabolism, and large consumption of these sugar substitutes could promote fat accumulation, especially in people who are already obese, preliminary research suggests. The study results will be presented Monday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. “Many health-conscious individuals like to consume low-calorie sweeteners as an alternative to sugar. However, there is increasing scientific evidence that these sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction,” said Sabyasachi Sen, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and the study’s principal investigator. Sen and his colleagues tested sucralose, a popular low-calorie sweetener, on stem cells- cells that could change into mature fat, muscle, cartilage or bone cells – taken from human fat tissue. They placed these cells in Petri d

Preimplantation Of Genetics Screening Reduces Miscarriage Rate – Bueno

Monique Bonavita Bueno is an embryologist from Brazil who visited Nigeria recently. In this interview with CHIOMA UMEHA, Bueno speaks on s perm washing and freezing, preimplantation of genetics diagnosis and screening (PGD/PGS), their implication in fertility treatment. What is the job of Embryologist? Well we work with the garments, basically with the garments of the patients. We do ovary stimulation and IVF treatment. So we work with eggs and sperms and embryos. The sperm and eggs are placed into incubators and examined carefully at intervals to ensure that fertilization and cell division have taken place, after which the fertilized eggs are then known as embryos. Two to five days after egg retrieval, embryos are ready to be placed in the woman’s uterus. What is the difference between sperm washing and sperm freezing? Sperm washing is the process in which individual sperms are separated from the semen. Washed sperm is used in artificial insemination usin

Benzoic Is Universal Food, Drink Preservatives, Not Harmful – NIFST

By Chioma Umeha It was Hippocrates, the ancient Greek Physician who became known as the founder of medicine that said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates aligns with the axiom which says – ‘Health is wealth.’ Therefore, the controversies trailing the safety of Benzoic preservatives in foods and beverages in the country did not come as a surprise. As the saying goes, “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” This explains why many Nigerians are still worried and confused about safe consumption of foods and beverages with Benzoic preservatives. However, the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) has finally dismissed the idea of carcinogenicity of consuming carbonated beverages together with Vitamin C, which have been reported to be poisonous. Speaking with the media weekend in Lagos, the first Vice National President, NIFST, Dr. Oluwole Toye s

Lagos Worries Over Increasing Suicide Rate

..Will Soon Commence Depression Treatment In 57 PHCs By Chioma Umeha Worried about the increasing rate of suicide in the state, the Lagos State Government has rolled out new plans to tackle the menace, even as it said that the current recession has made mental condition a public health concern. Announcing this to journalists on Friday was Dr. Jide Idris, the Commissioner of Health, who also said the State Government will soon start treatment of depression and other common mental health disorders in all 57 flagship primary healthcare (PHC) centres. He spoke at the press conference to mark the World Health Day, with the theme: “Depression: Let’s Talk.” Idris stressed that the growing cases of suicide in Lagos was worrisome and that efforts must be made to nip it in the bud. “As evidenced by the recent disturbing news of suicide and suicidal attempts, a densely populated and metropolitan city- state like Lagos is not exempt from the challenges associated w

Stress, Depression Have No Link With Genes – Study

By Chioma Umeha A recent study published in PLOS One led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has dismissed the result of an influential 2003 study about the interaction of genes, environment and depression. The new study said that the 2003 study “may have missed the mark.” Since publication of the study in Science, that original paper has been cited by other researchers more than 4,000 times, and some 100 other studies have been published about links between a serotonin-related gene, stressful life events and depression risk. It indicated that people with a particular variant of the serotonin transporter gene were not as well-equipped to deal with stressful life events and, when encountering significant stress, were more likely to develop depression. Such conclusions were widely accepted, mainly because antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) help relieve depression for a significant percentage of cli

Japan Donates US$3.5m To WFP For Emergency Needs In Northeast

By Chioma Umeha The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US $3.5 million contribution from the Government of Japan to provide desperately needed food assistance to tens of thousands of internally displaced people in Northeast Nigeria. The funding allows WFP to deliver food to more than 160,000 people in Borno and Yobe States, where the Boko Haram insurgency has left many people severely food insecure, and experts warn of a credible risk of famine in some places. “We commend the Government and people of Japan for their continued contributions to WFP’s operations in Northeast Nigeria,” said Ronald Sibanda, WFP Country Director and Representative ad interim in Nigeria. “This generous contribution from Japan will help WFP continue scaling up its response to reach more families in the region with food and nutrition support.” Currently, some 4.7 million people are in dire need of food assistance in the three most conflict-affected states – Borno

Meningitis Deadly, Be Alert, Ensure Hygiene – Lagos Tells Residents

By Chioma Umeha The Lagos State Government has alerted residents on the dangers of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis and urged them to observe high standards of personal and environmental hygiene as preventive measures against Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM). Idris in a statement on Monday signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs Adeola Salako, warned that the decease is deadly. The commissioner said that no case of CSM had been recorded in the state contrary to what had been published “However as a responsive government, we deem it fit to alert the public, “ he said. Idris said preventive measures should include washing of hands with soap and water frequently. “It is strongly advised for people to avoid overcrowding in living quarters, provide cross-ventilation in sleeping and work-rooms and other places where many people come together. “People should also get vaccinated with CSM vaccine when you are travelling to areas where

Misdiagnosis Bane Of Improper Endometriosis Treatment – Zurawin

Dr. Robert K Zurawin, is an Associate Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in the United States(US). In this interview with CHIOMA UMEHA, Zurawi   spoke on endometriosis in adolescent girls, its symptoms, health implication and treatment. What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is a medical condition that occurs when the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, grows in other places, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries or along the pelvis. When that lining breaks down, like the regular lining in the uterus that produces the menstruation, it has nowhere to go. This causes cysts, heavy periods, severe cramps and even infertility. Can you explain the symptoms of endometriosis? The symptoms include, painful periods, dysmenorrhoea which is pain usually in the pelvis or lower abdomen. The second symptom is severe crippling pain especially while having sexual intercourse; these are the two major symptoms. So, the third is infertility. If a woman has pain

How Eggs, Sperm Preservation Can Rescue Infertile Couples

By Chioma Umeha Ask Mrs. Precious Bassey, she will tell you that her greatest regret in life is wasting her reproductive years instead of settling down early for marriage. Mrs Bassey said: “I was thirty-six, and was dating a lot. I was more interested in meeting up with groups of friends for after-work drinks and lingering over dinners at the latest hot spots than I was in nesting at home with one man or starting a family. “Getting serious in a relationship that would lead to marriage was in the back of my mind, but I was in no rush,” she added. Thank goodness, she finally tied the nuptial knot with Mr. Bassey, one of her numerous male admirers in October 2013. Formerly Miss Precious Obong, now became Mrs. Precious Bassey. Now that she is in her early 40, she has another huddle to cross. Getting pregnant has become a herculean task to achieve. “As I speak to you there is pressure on my husband to throw me out and get another wife. My husband’s people a

‘Adopt Cleaner Lagos Initiative To Spend Less On Disease Treatment’

By Chioma Umeha By Dada Jackson Iya Loja General of Nigeria, Chief Folashade Tinubu-Ojo has urged market men and women and the people to support the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) of the Lagos State Government, saying that the programme is in the best interest of Lago sians. Speaking with reporters at the commissioning of network of roads, Link Bridge and health centre in Alimosho area of the State, the market leader said there was no question about the good intention of government with the initiative, revealing that when fully implemented, the people would spend less on treating all kinds of diseases. Tinubu-Ojo, who described the initiative as timely and necessary, noted that the Governor deserved to be commended for the huge plan to massively address the issue of cleanliness of the environment. Her words: “The initiative is very good and it is a welcome development. There is no question about the fact that we need to keep our environment very clean ev

Meningitis: Liberalise Importation Of Essential Medicines, Vaccines – PSN

By Chioma Umeha Following the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) which is spreading like wildfire across the country, experts have said that collaboration is critical to ensure available and affordable safe as well as effective medicines and vaccines to tackle the menace. Stating this on Monday were pharmacists who spoke under the platform of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) who regretted that the persistent fatalities from outbreak of Meningitis is a preventable one. Specifically, PSN blamed the recurring epidemics in the country to improper medicine management and protocols especially in the area of immunisation. According to them, a well-structured and lawfully constituted regulatory agencies involved in drug distribution would address the improper medicine management and protocols especially in the area of immunisation. The agencies which are critical in the drug distribution network, PSN said are mainly, National Agency for Food and Dr