Tea for Health

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Why is tea good for us?

Tea, especially the green variety, is good for us because it contains a lot of flavanoids, like garcetin, kaemptenol, myricetin. Studies have shown that regular intake of these compounds by drinking tea reduces the rate of acute heart attack by 40% and also significantly lowers risk of a fatal heart attack. Coffee, cola drinks and other caffeine-rich beverages have adverse, albeit subtle, effects on health.

Does crossing the legs help fainting spells?

One of the most frequent causes of fainting spells is vagovagal reflex that causes less blood from going to the brain. When feeling faint, one should cross the legs and keeping the muscles of the legs, buttocks and abdomen tense. Studies have shown that this maneuver helps minimize the lightheadedness by pushing blood out of the extremities, buttocks and abdominal muscles, thereby channeling more blood circulating to the brain. A person who faints becomes weak and lands on the floor. This is nature's way of protecting the person. The supine position brings the head on level with the rest of the body, allowing more blood to get to the brain. So, do not prop up a person who feels faint, which is a mistake all of us often see. Having the head lower than the rest of the body (Trendelenberg position) is even better.

Does cutting lettuce reduce its nutritional value?

Cutting or shredding lettuce and other green leafy vegetables for salad and exposing them to light severely reduces their nutritional value. The best strategy is to cut them or shred them at the last minute before eating them. At salad bars, it is best to take the whole (uncut) lettuce and other greens. For better health, we need to have 5 servings of green leafy vegetables a day.

Does calcium help lower blood pressure?

The Mediterranean diet, which is high in calcium has been found to reduce high blood pressure. Healthy calcium-rich foods include green spinach, kale, green soybeans, among others. Taking calcium supplement (1000-1200 mgm) daily is also a good source. Besides this, high blood pressure patients should stay away from salt and salty foods, and caffeine-containing beverages like coffee, cola drinks, chocolates, etc. Regular medical check-up, monitoring blood pressure at home regularly, and taking the prescribed medication religiously can ward off complications of high blood pressure, like stroke and heart attack.

Are microwave plastic wraps carcinogenic?

The plastic wraps that cling to the dishes, often used to cover microwave wares when heating food, contains DEHA, di(ethylhexyl) adepate, which is considered carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Plastic wares contain the chemical dioxin, a substance also known to cause cancer. The recommended practice is to use glass wares, ceramic or corning wares, and paper towel for cover, when heating food in the microwave oven.

Does sleeping with wet hair cause blindness?

No, this is a myth passed on from one superstitious generation to the other. There is no scientific evidence to give credence to this belief. The same is true with the old wives' tale which claims that washing the face when one is perspiring and feeling hot from the scorching outside temperature, or washing the face when one lacks sleep, causes blindness. And so with having frequent sex, as we have "debunked" in a previous article. These are all baseless and nothing but popular myths at best.

Does hepatitis cause liver cancer?

Yes, chronic hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) is largely the cause of the high incidence of hepatoma (liver cancer), and more recently, chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been found to be an important factor in the transformation of the liver inflammation to liver cancer. Alcoholics are also more prone to develop hepatoma. These virus infections are the reason why prevention, including vaccination, is most prudent. Vaccination for HBV confers an almost universal response in normal recipients and a dramatic decrease (about 90%) in the prevalence of HBV infection. Vaccine against HAV (major transmission by fecal-oral mode or by eating contaminated raw shellfish, like oysters, mussels, etc.) became available only recently. There is no vaccine against HCV.

Is there such a thing as cancer of the heart?

The heart is not exempt from developing cancer. Unlike malignancies of other organs, cancer of the heart occurs mostly in children, rarer among adults. These are called cardiac sarcomas, the most common tumor of the heart, and 30% of this are angiosarcomas, which usually originate from the right side of the heart. The heart could also be a target organ for metastatic (spreading) cancer from other organs, like cancer of the breast, the lungs, and also melanoma (cancer of the skin), which has one of the highest rate of metastases to the heart.

Is leg elevation a good habit?

Yes, elevating the legs (with the feet higher than the knees) when one comes from work, or when resting after a long walk or after a tiring day, helps improve the circulation by gravity. The blood in the legs flows more easily back to the lungs for oxygenation and to the heart for pumping to all parts of the body. The "emptying" of the legs of blood also helps prevent varicose (ugly, distended) veins, hence leg elevation is beneficial in more ways than one. The use of elastic support stockings, which squeeze the leg muscles as one walks, has a similar "emptying" action as elevation. These two are most beneficial for everyone, and more especially so for those who already have varicose veins.

What is a widow-maker lesion?

Widow-maker lesion refers to a tight cholesterol plaque (blockage) within the left main coronary artery, severely reducing the blood flow to the left ventricular muscles of the heart. Sudden cardiac death is frequent among undetected, neglected or untreated obstruction of the left main coronary artery. The incidence of sudden demise is between 40%-50% in 6 months, among those with severe left main artery stenosis. Since many men have died from this type of condition, resulting in a lot of widows, the pathology has been metaphorically termed "widow-maker" lesion.

Is egg good for us?

Eggs contain a lot of cholesterol in its yolk (the yellow core), but nil in the egg white. Cholesterol is, without any question, the main culprit in arteriosclerosis (hardening of the artery) adversely affecting arteries all over our body, including the carotid (neck) arteries, cerebral (brain) arteries, coronary (heart) arteries, thoracic (chest) artery, abdominal aorta, and femoral (leg) arteries. Stenoses (blockages) in the respective arteries can cause stroke, heart attack, aneurysm (ballooning of arteries) in the chest or in the abdomen, intestinal gangrene, leg gangrene, etc. Having an egg (not fried) once a week, or once a month, or better yet, none at all, would be beneficial in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Contrary to the infomercials, eggs (the yolks) are not good for us.

Is viagra a heart medication?

Sildenafil Citrate (viagra) was originally investigated as a medication to dilate coronary (heart) arteries to prevent heart attack. However, in the research lab, by serendipity, the drug was found to have the good side effect of penile engorgement among the male subjects. Hence, the study was redirected to determine its efficacy as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (poor erection) in men. Indeed, it was most effective. The rest is history.

©2003Raoul R. Diez, M.A.O.D.