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What Pets Can Teach Us about Mindfulness

Women with Dog
Photo is taken from Internet

I wake up some mornings and am about to turn over to check my phone when I notice that my dog, Meerie, is precisely curled into the crook of my thighs. Her rib cage rises and falls as she snores lightly. As a result, I wait. I sense her warmth, hear her breath, and realize how at ease I am. I’m no longer asleep, but it’s OK to just be comfortable and still.

Being with pets can help with mindfulness in a variety of ways. Even observing animals, especially with the assistance of a therapist, can help us break free from our thoughts and into full awareness of the present moment.

“Interacting with an animal and enjoying each other’s company can be a mindfulness exercise,” says Andrea Beetz, a psychologist and inclusive education professor at the IU International University of Applied Sciences.

Beetz has investigated how dogs, cats, fish, birds, and horses help humans cope with stress. Interacting with animals has been shown to lower stress hormone cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. Physical contact or eye contact with a creature with whom you have formed a link — even birds! — might cause your brain to release oxytocin, the relaxing “cuddle” hormone.

Stress is reduced by oxytocin, which promotes emotions of well-being and empathy. Of course, oxytocin can also be obtained through human relationships. Animals, on the other hand, appear to induce calm and build trust in a more global, interspecies fashion, according to studies. Human pulse rates decreased lower when petting a dog than when conversing with friends, according to Beetz’s meta-analysis of animal-human interaction studies. Similarly, having a dog in an elderly home alleviated loneliness more effectively than simply having other people around.

It is necessary for people to learn it. This is something that all animals do naturally.

Bringing your pet back to the present can happen in a number of ways. Perhaps you’re out walking your dog, listening to your cat purr, watching your goldfish swim, or watching your hamster go around in its wheel. Walking, paying attention to repetitious sound and motion, and enjoying nature are all recommended strategies to unleash mindful moments, and it’s no coincidence.

“Attention, intention, compassion, and awareness are the cornerstones of mindfulness,” Dr. Ann Berger, a National Institutes of Health researcher who teaches mindfulness to those suffering from pain, told the NIH’s News in Health email. “Animals bring all of those things to the table,” says the narrator. It’s something that people have to get used to. This is something that animals do naturally.”

Of course, many of the advantages of being around animals are contingent on the animal being calm and well-behaved. Having a dog with behavioral issues might make it more difficult to practice mindfulness since it adds more stressors to your life. In a recent episode of the popular dog-training podcast Drinking from the Toilet, Grisha Stewart, a dog trainer who focuses on positive training methods, remarked, “It’s hard to get our baseline of calm when we have dogs with sensitivity.”

Even a difficult animal, though, provides an opportunity to develop mindfulness. Stewart explained, “Sometimes I’ll regulate my breathing so they [dogs] relax.” “If we learn to pay more attention to our breath, we’ll be able to pay more attention to our dogs and see what they really want.”

Beetz warns that we shouldn’t expect animals to transform us into mini-Buddhas on their own. “It is possible to naturally take up awareness from the example of an animal,” she explains. “However, humans nowadays are so preoccupied with so many technological devices, communication, and knowledge, that truly taking the time to be in the moment outside in nature or at home with their dogs is unfortunately not very possible,” Beetz added. “Most people require some kind of help to learn mindfulness.”

Meerie chooses a bright seat on the patio after breakfast on sunny days. She sits with her head held high, definitely paying attention but also appearing to be at ease. I can feel how warm her fur is if I come out to pet her. When I sit in the sun, I consider how frequently I grab for my phone or allow my mind to wander to whether I’m too hot or chilly, or whether I should be doing something constructive. Is there enough sunscreen on my body? Is this going to cause me wrinkles and spots? My thoughts are clearly on the future, and I am not appreciating the tranquility of the present.

Listen up: sunscreen is crucial. But sitting under the sun’s rays with a mild mental focus on nothing, in particular, might be relaxing at times. That’s something Meerie has taught me. What can you learn today from your pet?

Information Credit: Mashable

‘Weight Reduction does not Enhance the Odds of Becoming Pregnant’

Pregnant Woman
Photo is taken from Internet

According to a new study, losing weight has no effect on fertility. The study’s findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal ‘PLOS Medicine.’

In a randomized trial of 379 obese women with unexplained infertility, extensive lifestyle adjustments that resulted in weight reduction had no greater chances of pregnancy and good deliveries than merely increased physical activity without losing weight.

“We’ve known for decades that obese women have a hard time getting pregnant,” said University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Daniel J. Haisenleder, Ph.D., of the Center for Research in Reproduction.

“As a result, many doctors recommend losing weight before getting pregnant. However, few studies have compared a healthy lifestyle — that is, exercise — to exercise plus weight loss.”

The FIT-PLESE trial, which took place at nine academic medical centers throughout the country, split individuals into two groups: half-used meal replacements, drugs, and increased physical exercise to lose weight. Without attempting to reduce weight, the other half just increased their physical activity.

Both groups got three rounds of conventional infertility treatments after finishing the programs.

Women who participated in the weight-loss program lost an average of 7% of their body weight, whereas those who merely exercised maintained their weight.

However, there were no significant differences in the frequency of healthy deliveries between the two groups in the end.

Overall, 23 of the 188 women who finished the 16-week intense weight-loss program gave birth, whereas 29 of the 191 women who completed the exercise-only program did.

However, the ladies who finished the intense dietary regimen reaped health advantages.

They noticed a significant reduction in metabolic syndrome, a group of illnesses that raises the risk of serious health issues such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Based on their findings, Haisenleder and his colleagues conclude that the weight-loss program did not enhance fertility or birth outcomes in women when compared to merely exercising.

They cautioned that the health advantages of losing weight may not necessarily transfer into an improved chance of becoming pregnant.

“In these people, losing weight improved their metabolic health. Regrettably, the observed modifications did not boost fertility “According to Haisenleder.

“Infertility in this group is still a major health concern, and additional research will be needed to address the issue.”

Mental Health Issues at Workplace: All You Need to Know

Mental Health
Photo Credit: Pixabay

According to an Assocham survey, over 43% of private-sector employees in India suffer from mental health concerns at work. In addition, according to a 2017 WHO report, India is responsible for 18% of global depression cases.

While mental health concerns in the workplace are a reality for most businesses, the stigma surrounding mental health issues often hinders employees from seeking help. Stigma is the product of unfavorable views and prejudices regarding mental health concerns, and it indicates a lack of knowledge about these issues. External stigma frequently consists of other people’s harsh ideas, judgments, comments, and assumptions; internal stigma occurs when a person with a mental illness internalizes these negative signals.

Why Is Stigma Such a Serious Issue?

Despite the fact that most mental health issues are widespread and treatable, the stigma or negative preconceptions connected with mental illness sometimes prevent employees from discussing the problem. Even in progressive companies, some people keep their mental health difficulties hidden for fear of harming their reputation, jeopardizing professional relationships, or jeopardizing their careers.

Employees with untreated mental health disorders are more likely to have major and expensive health problems in general. People with mental health disorders, for example, have a twice-as-high risk of heart attacks and strokes and are twice as likely to acquire type 2 diabetes. This all adds up to missed workdays and lost productivity, which can have a substantial impact on an organization’s success.

How Can Companies Eliminate Stigma in the Workplace?

Aiding in the improvement of mental health and well-being at work benefits not only employees but also the organization and society as a whole. Here are some ways that businesses can help to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness:

Open Discussions and Public Awareness

The less effective stigma becomes as more people become aware of mental health concerns and the challenges that people with mental health disorders confront. Through education on mental health, employers can eliminate stigma, discrimination, unfavorable preconceptions, and fear in the workplace. It’s also critical to develop safe areas where employees may communicate about their problems without fear of being “judged.” Employees should not be afraid of being fired if they speak up in this way. By sharing their personal experiences, leaders may set the tone for this.

A Greater Focus on Language

It is a widespread practice in several organizations to refer to people with mental health conditions as “Downy,” “Scary,” or “Schizo.” This can contribute greatly to the stigmatization of mental illnesses. It’s past time to eliminate this practice and replace it with ones that lessen prejudice, discrimination, and stigma against people with mental illnesses.

Increasing the number of people who have access to resources and programs

Employee assistance programs (EAP) are widely used to support mental health in the workplace. Some employees may be hesitant to use this resource because of embarrassment or a lack of knowledge, but they may help to build a workplace that treats all employees equally and is free of prejudice and stigma. Companies can also give employees direct access to mental health information, applications, and even mental health doctors, making them feel more supported and cared for.

Mental Health Education

It is critical for every organization to foster a culture that values each employee and recognizes that mental health issues are common. Employee mental health training can help them recognize the indicators of someone coping with a mental health issue and connect them to resources for treatment. They can provide direction on how to listen nonjudgmentally, offer reassurance, and assess the risk of suicide or self-harm through plays and other activities.

Making mental health stigma a thing of the past is imperative for businesses. The common human connection that every person has with another person is more significant than the differences that divide us. Doubt and anxiety are a part of everyone’s life. Empathy, on the other hand, is required to recognize common ground and build on it in order to generate opportunity and hope for all.

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Remedies for Reduce Eye Strain While Working from Home

Reduce Eye Strain

People have been forced to work from home due to an extraordinary catastrophe in the form of a pandemic. Work from home sounded like a welcome respite from the typical 9-5, but it came with its own set of obstacles. Work from home did not prove to be the relaxation that it was supposed to be, due to the extended working hours caused by the lack of a clear line between personal and professional life.

According to the CMR survey, Indians’ average screen time has climbed by 25%. In addition, 23% of respondents said their eyesight has deteriorated as a result of working longer hours.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science that focuses on restoring balance and healing the whole body.

Ritika Krit, Founder, Kamree, has given some key Ayurvedic herbs and techniques that people can employ in their daily life to reduce eye strain caused by electronics.

Icing or Sheeta Satmya: Icing, also known as Sheeta Satmya, is a condition in which the eyes become hot and the eyelids become dull and fatigued as a result of prolonged usage of electronics. Soak cotton balls in chilled milk or rose water and apply them to your eyes for a few minutes to counteract the effects of overwork. The workout will provide much-needed eye relief.

Palm Exercise: Palming, also known as palm exercise, is an old Ayurvedic method for massaging and relaxing the eyes. In a cupping gesture, rub your arms together for 10 seconds and place it over your closed eyelids. Avoid putting pressure on your eyes. Repeat the procedures 2-3 times while slowly inhaling and exhaling. The Ayurvedic exercise is wonderful for your eyes and also for getting a good night’s sleep.

Mudras: Mudras are basic hand gestures that are always considered a healing method. The majority of Mudras for enhanced vision can be performed while lying down and breathing normally. Diverse Mudras have different impacts on the body, and when paired with a breathing exercise, they can help restore body equilibrium while strengthening and repairing all required sections holistically.

Prana Mudra is one of the most common Mudras. Keep your spine erect and your body relaxed while practising Prana Mudra with open palms on your lap. For 15 minutes, connect the tip of your pinky finger to the tip of your thumb and breathe normally. The Mudra will help you see clearly and soothe irritated eyes.

Herbs for stronger eye vision

Fennel –

Fennel is high in Vitamin A and C and helps to sharpen your vision. You can drink it as tea or use it to clean your eyes with fennel water, which is soothing to the eyes.

Triphala –

Triphala is made up of three fruits: Haritaki, Amla, and Bibhitaki. It balances the body’s energy and is high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, which helps to reverse the indications of inflammation and oxidative stress.

The Ginkgo Biloba –

Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgo Biloba) is a kind of Ginkgo Biloba is a Chinese herb that is particularly beneficial in the treatment of deteriorating vision.

Calendula – 

Calendula, often known as “Pot Marigold,” is an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial herb that aids in the treatment of eye disorders such as redness, swelling, mild irritations, and infections.

Almonds – 

 A good source of Vitamin E, which stimulates the growth of healthy tissues and good vision, almonds are the most prevalent component in Indian households.

Lifestyle Changes

  • 3-5 times a day, splash water on active facial nerves and arteries.
  • During meals, take a break from electronics.
  • Maintain a cool demeanour since anger and irritation cause the flow of blood to increase, enlarge the pupils, and create eye strain. Pranayama can also help you find more tranquilly in your daily life.
  • Showering with hot water might induce an imbalance of fire elements in the body. Instead, whenever possible, use lukewarm water.
  • When using electronics, wear protective spectacles to avoid direct contact with blue light.
  • In a dark room, avoid reading or using electronics.
  • It’s best not to massage your eyes too hard.

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Top Yoga Exercises for Old People [Step-by-Step Guide]

Yoga Exercises

Fitness ambitions do not have to be abandoned as you become older. Old age may limit body movement to some extent due to weakening muscles and bones. Physical activity, on the other hand, can aid improve mobility in old age to some level. Exercise can assist keep numerous health difficulties such as cardiovascular illnesses at bay, in addition to enhancing bone and muscular health. Yoga is a well-known form of exercise that is practised in many regions of the world. It has the ability to relax the body, soothe the mind, and increase energy levels. It can also help you stay on track with your exercise goals.

Yoga for senior citizens

Here are some yoga exercises that can assist the elderly maintain their health:

1. Badhakonasana

The butterfly position is another name for this yoga practise. This exercise can be completed in the following manner:

  • Sit with your legs folded in a comfortable position.
  • Bring your feet together so that their soles are aligned and touching.
  • Straighten your back and hold your feet with your hands.
  • Hold the pose while relaxing your body.

2. Katichakrasana

Standing spinal twist stance is another name for this yoga practise. This exercise can be completed in the following manner:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your legs shoulder-length apart.
  • Extend your arms in front of you.
  • Maintain a straight spine, twist your torso, and glance back.
  • Put one hand on your opposite shoulder and the other behind your back as if embracing the body while doing this.
  • For each side, repeat the steps.

3. Bhujangasana

The cobra stance is another name for this yoga. This exercise can be completed in the following manner:

  • Lie completely flat on your stomach.
  • Place your palms beneath your shoulders and relax.
  • Slowly raise your chest until it is arched forward.
  • Relax your shoulders and regulate your breathing.
  • Return your body to its original position.
  • At least 5 times, repeat the steps.

4. Shavasana

The corpse pose is another name for this yoga practise. This exercise can be completed in the following manner:

  • Place yourself on a yoga mat.
  • Relax your body and keep your breathing in check.
  • From your head to your toes, concentrate on each aspect of your body.
  • Allow the power of yoga to work on your body by lying peacefully in this position for at least 5 minutes.

5. Virabhadrasana

The warrior position is another name for this yoga. This exercise can be completed in the following manner:

  • Standing with your legs apart is a good idea.
  • At a 90-degree angle from the floor, stretch one leg backwards and the other forward.
  • Make sure you’re in a lunge-style position.
  • Extend your arms outward and maintain the stance.
  • Return to your starting position and repeat the step on the opposite side.

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COVID Case in Your House, What do You do?

Covid

With COVID-19 still present at high levels in the United States and millions of people staying indoors throughout the cooler fall and winter months, scientists say knowing what to do if the virus enters your home is critical.

You can be caring for yourself or loved ones while also attempting to safeguard people around you. But how do you do it, especially if you live in a small space?

What are the recommendations for vaccinated people, who, while better protected against the virus, are nonetheless vulnerable to outbreak infections?

Because of the risk to people with whom they live, experts say it’s vital to isolate those with the virus at home.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ top medical correspondent, said, “Data does support the fact that household contacts are at higher risk.”

Anyone who has signs of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should be checked with a fast test or a PCR test.

If the test comes back positive, here are six things to keep in mind when attempting to stay safe in a public setting.

1. Create as much space as possible

Although maintaining space between family members can be challenging, there are methods that people can take to reduce the risk as much as possible.

“In an ideal world, [the individual with COVID-19] would have their own bedroom and bathroom,” says Dr. Simone Wildes of South Shore Health, an infectious diseases specialist.

If that isn’t possible, the sick individual should “isolate themselves as much as possible.” The goal is to reduce contact between people in the house as much as possible, to avoid sharing objects, to wash hands frequently, and to keep high-touch surfaces clean.

2. Improve the home’s ventilation

Another important aspect of risk reduction is ventilation.

“If at all feasible,” Ashton advised, “improve ventilation in the house or apartment.” If the weather permits, open the windows as much as possible.

With temperatures in some areas already decreasing, even a gap in the window, according to Wildes, would be beneficial.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends filtering the air in your home either with a central system or by utilising a portable high-efficiency particulate air cleaner. The CDC also suggests that fans be pointed outside to exhaust viral particles.

3. Everyone who can should mask up

According to the CDC, everyone who is capable, especially the person who tested positive, should wear a mask.

Individuals who test positive, even toddlers, are “actively infectious,” according to Ashton, and “may transfer this virus with just simple breathing and talking.” The CDC considers someone infectious if they haven’t had a fever in at least 24 hours and haven’t taken any fever-reducing drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Masks with two or more layers of permeable fabric, that completely cover your nose and mouth, fit well on your face, and have a wire over the nose that stops air from seeping out the top are recommended by the CDC. Masks for children should be correctly fitted and not worn by children under the age of two. For certain people with disabilities, there are other exclusions.

4. If possible, designate one person as the caretaker

Any sick individual, but especially a sick child, will require assistance to overcome their illness.

Wildes recommends that one of the parents or guardians be appointed as the caretaker in a two-parent or guardian household to restrict exposure as much as possible. This person should ideally be immunised. This includes giving them over-the-counter pain relievers and making sure they’re getting enough fluids.

When caring for someone who has COVID-19, it’s critical to keep an eye out for warning signals that the condition is progressing. These include difficulty breathing, new perplexity, inability to stay awake or wake up from sleep, or a change in lip, fingernail, or skin colour to pale, grey, or blue.

5. When to quarantine

If you’ve been exposed to a virus, you’ll need to quarantine yourself from the rest of the population. Experts believe it will be determined by vaccination status.

“I believe the most critical factor is immunisation status,” Wildes added. “You would not need to quarantine if you are vaccinated, but you should watch for symptoms if you are not.”

If someone in your home has COVID-19, the last time they were exposed was when they were no longer considered contagious and no longer isolated. Even if you are asymptomatic, the CDC recommends being tested five to seven days after your last exposure for fully vaccinated people.

The CDC recommends quarantining unvaccinated people for 10 days after their last test or symptom, or seven days if they have a negative COVID-19 test but no symptoms.

6. Vaccinate yourself

Finally, the best way to avoid additional illnesses within a household is to ensure that all members who are eligible are vaccinated.

“The best approach to protect ourselves and people around us is still vaccination,” Ashton added. Unvaccinated people are six times more likely to test positive for HIV and more than 11 times more likely to die than those who have been vaccinated, according to the CDC.

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Superfoods can Give You Boost of Energy at Winter

Superfoods

It may be difficult to comprehend how we are already in November and only one month away from the start of a new year. The cool breeze, on the other hand, serves as a powerful reminder to prepare for November and the upcoming winter season. Winter brings with it several unique dishes, in addition to the cold weather. Some of these foods are legitimately considered superfoods and should be included in one’s diet. Seasonal fruits and vegetables have their own set of advantages. Some advantages can be found here.

Winter superfoods

Superfoods are foods that assist the body get the nutrients it needs while having little or no negative side effects. Here’s a list of winter-only superfoods you should include in your diet:

1. Ginger:

Ginger, also known as adrak, is a popular spice in India and around the world. In many Indian households, drinking a strong adrak wali chai (ginger tea) is nearly a regular winter habit. Aside from its flavor-enhancing properties, ginger has a slew of health benefits and should be on everyone’s winter grocery list. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial characteristics that can assist with sore throats, viral infections, congestion, and other winter-related ailments.

2. Honey:

Honey is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. But did you know that honey can be a useful element throughout the winter months? Honey, also called as shehed, can be used in a variety of ways during the winter months. Treating a sore throat, hydrating dry skin and chapped lips, increasing immunity, and more uses are possible.

3. Cinnamon:

Cinnamon, also known as dal cheeni, is a powerful antidote to the winter blues. Treat your sore throat, enhance your digestive health, and warm your body with a steaming cup of tea with a dash of cinnamon.

4. Citrus fruits: 

Fresh juicy and delicious citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and lime are abundant during the winter months. These high-in-vitamin-C fruits can be great winter superfoods. Vitamin C can help enhance immunity, the water content can assist keep the body hydrated, and fibre can aid improve digestion, to name a few benefits.

5. Peas:

Peas, also known as matar, are readily available during the winter months. It is wonderful winter food since they are high in fibre, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Overeating peas, on the other hand, can induce gas, bloating, and other digestive issues.

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Orange Juice Helps Fight Inflammation, Oxidative Stress: Study

Orange Juice
Photo Credit: Pixabay

According to a new study, 100% orange juice has the potential to assist people to battle inflammation and oxidative stress. The research findings were published in the journal. Advances in Nutrition.’ Despite its limitations, the study found that drinking 100% orange juice decreases interleukin 6, a well-known marker of inflammation, in both healthy and high-risk persons.

Two other inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were also decreased, but the results were not statistically significant. The findings of this study, which was funded by an unrestricted grant from the Florida Department of Citrus, are consistent with a previously published FDOC-funded review that found that hesperidin, the primary bioactive compound found in oranges and 100% orange juice, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Chronic inflammation may play a role in the development or progression of certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. “We know that 100% orange juice has a variety of nutrients, such as vitamin C, as well as helpful bioactive chemicals that have the ability to lower inflammation and oxidative stress,” Gail Rampersaud, a registered dietitian with the Florida Department of Citrus, stated.

“According to this analysis, several researchers have found benefits from 100% orange juice, but additional data and big, well-designed studies are needed to draw more clear results. This study will be especially useful as we and others plan future orange juice research “Rampersaud added.

The study looked at research that looked at 100 percent orange juice and inflammation and oxidative stress indicators. The Think Healthy Group and experts from Tufts University and George Mason University collaborated on the study.

A qualitative scoping review of 21 studies with a total of 307 healthy adults and 327 adults at risk for disease; a systematic review of a subset of 16 studies that measured the six most commonly reported biomarkers related to inflammation and oxidative stress in the body; and a meta-analysis of 10 studies with sufficient data.

The researchers also looked at the papers’ overall quality and potential bias. According to the broad scope and systematic reviews, 100% orange juice had either favorable or null (no detrimental) effects on oxidative stress and inflammation.

The researchers emphasized that because the studies had a limited number of participants, a poor level of evidence, and a moderate risk of bias, the conclusions should be regarded with caution.

Obesity, Diabetes are Driving Causes behind Silent Pandemic of Fatty Liver Disease: Study

Obesity

Obesity and diabetes are the main drivers of the silent pandemic of fatty liver disease, according to a new study.

According to a study, people with extensive liver scarring caused by obesity, diabetes, and other diseases die of liver disease. To analyze their outcomes, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University tracked over 1,700 patients for a median of four years, with some staying for as long as ten years.

Patients with severe fibrosis are more likely to die, according to the researchers, especially after gastrointestinal hemorrhaging or fluid accumulation in the abdomen, as well as increasing impairment of brain function due to liver illness. The findings, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicated that persons with severely scarred livers are the ones who are most likely to die.

“This is the first clear picture of genuine rates of outcomes in patients with (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease),” said Arun Sanyal, a VCU Health liver disease specialist. “Moreover, the study backs up the American Diabetes Association’s new guidelines to begin screening for liver disease in order to make the screening more mainstream,” he added.

Many people believe that liver damage is caused solely by excessive alcohol usage. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a disorder in which excess fat is deposited in the liver and is more directly associated with obesity and diabetes than alcohol usage, affects a quarter of adults globally. The majority of people are unaware that they have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or are at high risk of developing it.

If left untreated, the condition can progress to an advanced stage, in which fat deposition in the liver causes inflammation, scarring (fibrosis), and full-blown cirrhosis, which irreversibly damages the liver. Patients are usually diagnosed after their condition has progressed to the point when a transplant is the only choice.

“In the past, many primary care physicians and diabetes specialists believed that because the disease’s roots are in insulin resistance, treating diabetes would solve the problem,” Sanyal said.

“And what this demonstrates is that people with severe fibrosis are dying of liver disease, even in an obese, diabetic society. Simply treating diabetes will not suffice “Added he.

Scientists Identify New Antibody For Covid, Variants: Report

Coronavirus 3D

Scientists from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill collaborated to find and test an antibody that reduces the severity of infections caused by a range of coronaviruses, including those that cause COVID-19 and the initial SARS sickness.

A team at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) found the antibody, which was then evaluated in animal models at UNC-Chapel Hill. The findings were reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“This antibody has the potential to be therapeutic for the current epidemic,” stated Barton Haynes, M.D., director of DHVI, who was also a co-senior author. “If or when other coronaviruses move from their normal animal hosts to humans, it could be available for future outbreaks.”

Haynes and colleagues at DHVI discovered the antibody by comparing blood samples from a patient who had been infected with the original SARS-CoV-1 virus, which triggered the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, and a current COVID-19 patient.

They discovered over 1,700 antibodies produced by the immune system to attach to particular locations on viruses and prevent them from infecting cells. Many binding sites are altered or removed when viruses mutate, rendering antibodies ineffective. However, despite alterations, there are often places on the virus that remains unaltered. Antibodies that target these locations were chosen because they have the potential to be extremely effective across diverse viral lineages.

The Duke researchers discovered 50 antibodies that may bind to both the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, which cause COVID-19, among the 1,700 antibodies collected from the two people.

Further research revealed that one of the cross-binding antibodies was particularly effective, binding to a variety of animal coronaviruses as well as the two human-infecting diseases.

“This antibody attaches to the coronavirus in a conserved site across several mutations and variants,” Haynes explained. “As a result, it has the ability to destroy a wide variety of coronaviruses.”

After isolating the antibody, the DHVI team turned to UNC experts who specialize in animal coronaviruses. The UNC research, led by co-senior author Ralph S. Baric, Ph.D., an epidemiology professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, tested it in mice to see if it might effectively prevent or reduce infections.

It did both, they discovered. The antibody protected mice against SARS, COVID-19 and its variations, such as Delta, and many animal coronaviruses that have the potential to trigger human pandemics when given before they were infected.

“The findings serve as a blueprint for developing universal vaccine tactics that are variant-proof and give wide protection against known and new coronaviruses,” Baric added.

In comparison to mice who were not treated with the antibody after infections, the antibody minimized severe pulmonary symptoms.

“The therapeutic activity even after mice were infected suggests that this could be a treatment used in the current pandemic, but also stockpiled to prevent the spread of a future outbreak or epidemic with a SARS-related virus,” said David Martinez, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in UNC’s Gillings School’s Department of Epidemiology.

“It’s possible that this antibody may be used to prevent SARS-CoV-3 or SARS-CoV-4,” Martinez said.