Displaying items by tag: Health

Life-saving device for all hotels pushed

  • Published in Health

The executive members of the Friends of the Filipino/American Community (FFAC), a not for profit political action committee (PAC) of the greater Northern California met with Philippine Consul General Henry S. Bensurto Jr. and his staff at the San Francisco office on May 11 to discuss and advocate for Hotels in the Philippines to have in their establishment a life saving device known as a "Defibrillator". Defibrillation is a treatment for life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias, specifically ventricular fibrillation (VF) and non-perfusing ventricular tachycardia (VT). A defibrillator delivers a dose of electric current (often called a countershock) to the heart. In attendance for FFAC was former Union Vice Mayor Jim Navarro, Atty. Ben Reyes, Atty. Cesar Fumar, Evelyn Centeno and Rose Pavone.

Each year, many Filipinos die from sudden cardiac arrest during their stay at the Philippine hotels because the device was not available during the cardiac event that could otherwise have saved their lives.

The key to survival is timely initiation of a "chain of survival", including CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Because of recent technological advances, a portable lifesaving device, called an "automated external defibrillator" or "AED" has recently become an important medical tool. Trained non-medical personnel can use these simplified electronic machines to treat a person in cardiac arrest. The AED device guides the user through the process by audible or visual prompts without requiring any discretion or judgment.

FFAC will work closely with the Consulate General Office (CGO), the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Health (DOH) to bring this very important issue to the forefront and advocate to become a law that having an AED will be a standard of operation (SOP) in all the hotel industries in the Philippines.

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Facts about coconut water

Facts about coconut water

Coconut water (buko juice) is a popular drink in Asia and South America. The top ten countries on the list of world-leading coconut producers according to volume are: Indonesia, Philippines, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. The Philippines export more than $1 billion worth of coconuts to the United States alone.

What actually is coconut water?

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside coconuts which, in early development, “serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase” of growth. The endosperm matures into “cellular phase and deposits into the rink of the coconut meat.” The coconut water and the soft meat of young coconut is a delicacy, popular among locals and tourists in those tropical countries and others where coconuts thrive. They are sold fresh on the street by vendors with machetes who cut a hole at the top for drinking, with or without a straw. They are also available bottled, soft-packed, and canned, usually consumed chilled.

What are the other coconut products?

Besides its water and meat, other coconuts products include copra, coconut oil and coconut milk (gata) for cooking and for cosmetics, palm sugar, flower syrup, butter, desiccated coconut, powdered sugar, jelly, cream, kefir (probiotic), flour, vinegar, nata de coco fruit jelly, etc. Indeed, coconut is a versatile fruit, nut, and seed, all in one.

Can it reverse Alzheimer’s?

The popular claim that coconut oil products can reverse Alzheimer’s disease is baseless and unfounded. There is no scientific evidence to this effect. The same is true with the other medicinal claims for other illnesses, like depression, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, allergies, As a matter of fact, there is a controversy that coconut oil and products can be detrimental to the consumer’s blood cholesterol/lipids levels and cardiovascular health, if consumed regularly. Fresh uncontaminated coconut water is deemed acceptable and safe. Scientifically, the use of coconut oil for hair, skin, and lips, as conditioner-moisturizer has been proven to be of good cosmetic value.

What are the nutritional values of coconut water?

Coconut water is 95 percent water and 100 ml provides only 19 calories, 4 percent carbohydrates, under 1 percent protein and fat. It does not contain any vitamin or dietary minerals of any significant value. Unless contaminated by a handler, fresh coconut water is sterile, free of microbes.

While this has been marketed as “natural energy drink or sport drink,” claiming it has significant electrolyte content, this is not true. The potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium in unprocessed coconut water per 100 ml are insignificant and not balanced. The health benefit claims, that it is antiviral, that it lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar, are false, and the US Food and Drug Administration has warned producers against misleading marketing.

Various firms have faced class action lawsuits over false advertisements that coconut water was “super-hydrating,” nutrient-packed,” and “mega-electrolyte” source. The suit was settled with a US$10 Million award in April 2012.

Was coconut water used as IV fluids?

During World War II, coconut water was used as intravenous fluids for rehydration when medical fluids was not available during emergencies. It is actually not similar in composition as our plasma. Intravenous coconut water is not accepted as within safe standard of care today and must not be performed at all as it would be malpractice. Drinking it occasionally is the safer way to take coconut water.

Is excessive consumption safe?

No, drinking a large amount of coconut water is unsafe. As a matter of fact, coconut water is used in southern districts of Tamil Nadu, India, for senicide of the elderly, a traditional accepted practice performed by family members called thalaikoothal, an involuntary euthanasia for those incapacitated and seriously ill, where “the elderly is made to drink an excessive amount of coconut water, eventually resulting in fever and death.” Besides pulmonary (excess water in the lungs, as in drowning) due to fluid overload, the exact mechanism causing the demise is not clear.

Are coconut food products healthy for us?

Olive oil is preferred over coconut oil for cooking and overall use. The virgin variety of each is considered better than their regular form. While olive oil is universally recommended as a healthy oil, there is a lot of controversy about coconut oil because of its high saturated fat content (albeit from non-meat source). The use of virgin coconut oil in cosmetics (skin moisturizer and hair conditioner-shiner, lip balms, etc.) has been proven beneficial, but not as a food or as a cooking ingredient for DAILY consumption. Advocates, including some physicians, think differently. While the controversy lingers, occasional indulgences and in moderation are safe. For many, the great unique appetizing taste of coconut milk (gata) in main courses (red meat/chicken/vegetables) and in desserts is hard to resist. I confess, I am one of them.

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Chocolate tied to decreased risk of irregular heart rhythm

  • Published in Health

By Andrew M. Seaman | Reuters

Eating a small amount of chocolate every week or so may decrease the risk of a common and serious type of irregular heart rhythm, according to a new study of people in Denmark.

People who ate chocolate one to three times per month were about 10 percent less likely to be diagnosed with atrial fibrillation than those who ate the sweet treat less than once a month, researchers found.

“As part of a healthy diet, moderate intake of chocolate is a healthy snack choice,” said lead author Elizabeth Mostofsky, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

The study cannot say for certain that it was the chocolate that prevented atrial fibrillation, however.

Mostofsky and colleagues write in the journal Heart that eating cocoa and cocoa-containing foods may help heart health because they have a high volume of flavanols, which are compounds that are believed to have anti-inflammatory, blood vessel-relaxing and anti-oxidant properties.

Past studies have that found eating chocolate – especially dark chocolate, which has more flavanols – is tied to better measures of heart health and decreased risk for certain conditions like heart attacks and heart failure, they add.

There isn’t as much research on whether chocolate is also linked to a lower risk of atrial fibrillation, which occurs when the upper chamber of the heart beats irregularly.

At least 2.7 million people in the U.S. have atrial fibrillation, which increases their risk for blood clots and resulting strokes, heart failure and other complications, according to the American Heart Association.

For the new analysis, the researchers used data collected for a long-term study of 55,502 people in Denmark. The men and women were between 50 and 64 years old when it began, and they provided information about their diets when they entered the study between 1993 and 1997.

The researchers then linked that diet data to Denmark’s national health registries to see who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

Overall, about 3,346 cases of atrial fibrillation occurred over an average of 13.5 years.

Based on their diets at the beginning of the study period, people who ate one serving, about 1 ounce (28.35 grams), of chocolate per week were 17 percent less likely to be diagnosed with atrial fibrillation by the end of the study than people who reported eating chocolate less than once a month.

Similarly, those who ate 2 to 6 ounces per week were 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed with atrial fibrillation while those who ate more than an ounce of chocolate a day were 16 percent less likely to have the condition.

Among women, the biggest risk reduction was tied to eating one serving of chocolate per week. For men, the biggest reduction came with eating two to six servings per week.

“I think our message here is that moderate chocolate intake as part of a healthy diet is an option,” Mostofsky told Reuters Health.

The researchers caution that they can’t account for unmeasured factors, such as kidney disease and sleep apnea, that may influence the risk of atrial fibrillation. They also didn’t have data on the type of chocolate or the amount of flavanols participants ate. Their diets may have also changed over the nearly 14 years of data collection.

The data also suggests the participants who ate the most chocolate consumed more calories but had a lower body mass index – a measure of weight in relation to height – than people who ate the least chocolate, noted Alice Lichtenstein, director and senior scientist at the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston.

“It’s very likely – if I had to bet – that these people were more physically active,” said Lichtenstein, who was not involved in the new study.

She said people likely can’t get around the fact that they need to have a healthy diet, be physically active and not smoke to optimize their health.

“There is no quick fix,” she told Reuters Health.

Drs. Sean Pokorney and Jonathan Piccini write in an accompanying editorial that the study’s findings are interesting and warrant further consideration despite their limitations.

“A double-blind randomized controlled trial is needed to evaluate the true efficacy of chocolate for the prevention of (atrial fibrillation) and such a trial would need to incorporate quantified doses of cocoa,” write Pokorney and Piccini, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

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