Friday, August 31, 2012

Midlife exercise can boost heart health

New study demonstrates that regular moderate exercising lowers the risk of heart diseases in middle-aged people.

According to the article published in the Circulation, people who were engaged in the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise a week had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood.

Inflammatory markers are important because their high levels have been linked to increased heart risk, experts say.
Researchers believe exercising should not be limited to hard toil in a gym, suggesting that activities such as gardening, brisk walking and many other similar activities may have similar effects.

Conducted by Professor Andrew Steptoe and Dr Mark Hamer from UCL Epidemiology and Public Health, the study of over 4,000 people showed that even those who start exercising in their late 40s and 50s can benefit from the advantages.

The results confirmed that people who had consistently performed the recommended amount of exercise for the entire 10-year study period had the lowest inflammatory levels overall.

Lower levels of inflammatory markers were also seen in those who had started doing the recommended amount of exercise in their 40s. The result is considerable particularly when compared with people who had never performed enough exercise.

"We should be encouraging more people to get active for example walking instead of taking the bus. You can gain health benefits from moderate activity at any time in your life," said Dr Hamer who led the research.

Vitamin C reduces air pollution harmful effects on lungs

New study suggests that following a vitamin C-rich diet can protect patients suffering from chronic lung diseases against harmful effects of air pollution.

Researchers at Imperial College in London found that vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant, could have a protective role for lungs.

They observed more than 200 patients admitted to hospital for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They also measured the severity of air pollution on the days before and after the patients’ admission by assessing the levels of "course particulate matter," which is largely produced through the combustion of fossil fuels.

According to the study published in Epidemiology, patients with low levels of vitamin C were at an increased risk of developing breathing problems on days when outdoor air pollution levels were high.

"The protective effect of vitamin C was still present after excluding smokers and elderly subjects, implying that the effect of this antioxidant was not explained by smoking or age," explained Dr Cristina Canova said.

The results uncovered that each 10 micrograms per cubic meter (mcg/m3) rise in the amount of course particulate matter was associated with a 35 percent increase in the risk of hospital admission for patients with asthma or COPD.

"This study adds to a small but growing body of evidence that the effects of air pollution might be modified by antioxidants," said environmental health scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada Michael Brauer.

Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, may protect the body from harmful molecules called free radicals, counteracting them before they damage cells and cause heart disease, cancer and even respiratory ailments.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

War against Russia is a road to hell

War against Russia is a road to hell

War against Russia is a road to hell. 47390.jpeg
On June 22, Russia remembers the summer day of 1941 - the day when the Great Patriotic War began. There was also the Patriotic War, the 200th anniversary of which will be marked this year too. It was almost the same time of the year, when Napoleon crossed Russia's borders and threatened to destroy the country. Napoleon and Hitler had to experience very hard times when they dared to attack Russia.
Many people will find these coincidences highly interesting.
Napoleon was born in 1760 - Hitler was born in 1889 (a difference of 129 years).
Napoleon came to power in 1804 - Hitler came to power in 1933 (a difference of 129 years).
Napoleon entered Vienna in 1812 - Hitler went to Vienna in 1941 (a difference of 129 years).
Napoleon lost the war in 1816 - Hitler lost the war in 1945 (a difference of 129 years).
This information seems to be very surprising indeed. It was available during the Soviet years. However, one had to search thick textbooks on history and encyclopedias to be able to make such comparisons. Nowadays, it is enough to search the Internet.
Just try to realize: Napoleon and Hitler came to power when they were 44 years old. They both attacked Russia when they were 52. The Emperor and the Fuhrer lost their wars when they were 56.
Many researchers point out similarities in the origin of Napoleon and Hitler, who did not belong to the title nation. Corsica became a French territory a few months before the birth of Napoleon. Austria became a part of Germany as a result of Anschluss, which was conducted under Hitler as a politician. The same cane be said about Stalin too.
However, it is clear that there are more differences than similarities between the two politicians. There was only one major similarity in their lives - they attacked Russia and they had to pay for that.
"The peace that we will conclude will put an end to the disastrous influence, which Russia has been showing on Europe for 50 years. I am going to Moscow, and I will finish it all off in one or two battles. Emperor Alexander will be begging for peace on his knees. I will burn Tula and disarm Russia," Napoleon said.
Adolf Hitler said: "We continue where things ended six hundred years ago. We stop the endless German procession to Southern and Western Europe and turn our eyes towards the land in the east. We finally complete colonial and economic politics of the prewar period and move on the territorial politics of the future. But when in today's Europe we speak of new land, we can think only of Russia and the states bordering on and subordinate to it." "German Armed Forced must be prepared to destroy the Soviet Russia in a short-term campaign before the war against England comes to an end," he wrote in the directive for Operation Barbadossa.
Adolf Hitler did not listen to his country-fellow and the creator of the Second Reich, Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck wrote: "Even the most favorable outcome of the war will never lead to the decomposition of the main forces of Russia, which is based on millions of faithful Russians ... The latter, even if they become separated as a result of international treaties, they will quickly re-connect with each other, as the particles of the cut piece of mercury. This indestructible State of the Russian nation is strong for its climate, territories and its simplicity, as well as for the need to defend its borders constantly. This State, even after complete destruction, will turn into a revengeful enemy."
The above was written more than 50 years before Operation Barbadossa. So it was Hitler, not Napoleon, who did not learn the lesson. Napoleon did not listen to his generals and ministers either. French general and diplomat Caulaincourt strongly strongly advised Napoleon to renounce his proposed expedition to Russia. "The war against Russia is a road to hell," he said.
There are many reasons to explain the death of the Great French Army and the German Wehrmacht on vast Russian territories. "Different nations gave different examples of human ideals. For Chinese - it is a wise man, for Hindu - it is an ascetic, for Romans, it is an emperor, for England and Spain - an aristocrat, for Prussians - a solider. Russia is seen for the ideal of its woman," German researcher Walter Schubart wrote in his work "Europe and the Soul of the East."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Left side of face more emotional, appealing

A new study says the left side of the human face expresses more emotion that the right side and is therefore more attractive and appealing to others.

James Schirillo and Kelsey Blackburn of Wake Forest University asked 37 male and female students to rate photos of 10 male and 10 female faces.

The photos were presented to participants as originally taken and in mirror image form, so that an original right-cheek image appeared to be a left-cheek image and vice versa.

According to the findings published in the journal Experimental Brain Research, students rated the left sides of faces more “pleasant” than the right sides.

“Our results suggest that posers' left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing," wrote researchers.

“Our findings provide support for a number of concepts--the notions of lateralized emotion and right hemispheric dominance with the right side of the brain controlling the left side of the face during emotional expression.”

Scientists say their study also suggests people to show more of their left cheek to the camera.

“Practically, people should turn slightly so that they show more of their left, than right, cheek when being photographed," says Schirillo."Others will find these images more appealing than the reverse (more right cheek exposed).”

Party Secretary General urges struggle against ideology erosion

Party Secretary General Mr Choummaly Sayasone has urged all Party members and government officials to strengthen the Party by preventing the erosion of political ideology.
Mr Choummaly, who is also President of the Lao PDR, made the call on Saturday while addressing the 9th Nationwide Organisational-Personnel Meeting in Vientiane.
Mr Choummaly Sayasone speaks at the meeting.
“To date, we can confirm that the directions and policies formulated by the Party are basically correct, especially the renovation policies, while we should properly implement propaganda, education and training, and realise the breakthrough approach on knowledge and imagination in order to achieve fruitful results of the implementation of our directions and policies,” he said.
President Choummaly acknowledged the importance and attention the Party gives to its personnel, building and strengthening officials to ensure the Party's continued existence and growth.
However, the Party has also realised its weaknesses and deficiencie s such as insufficient dedication by Party organisations and units to implementing the two national strategic missions, with a central focus on economic development .
“This requires Party oganisations at al l levels to strengthen their leadership and the knowledge and skills of their personnel. However, what we have done doesn't meet the requirements,” Mr Choummaly said.
He noted issues of concern about which public criticism is on the rise, saying this pointed to the erosion of political ideology, diligence of heart and ethics among civil servants, as evidenced by non-transparent livelihoods, opportunism and corruption.
Recognising that these problems directly affect the Party's role and power, stability and political strength, he called on Party members and all involved officials to study the issues properly in depth, to identify comprehensive measures and tools for solutions.
Mr Choummaly stressed the need for political ideology training to be conducted in the right direction, to achieve the correct understanding of Party directions and policies, success in political alertness, and activeness in national defence and development, and poverty reduction. He also highlighted the need for officials to earn a living legally for the enrichment of their family and nation.
He recommended that political ideology training should be conducted alongside a struggle against negativity and the erosion of ideology and revolutionary diligence of heart, and other undesirable behaviour. “Conducting political ideology work should involve both building and struggling against erosion. This means we should summarise, conclude and widely disseminate the lessons learned and the good and progressive models we have, while persistently uncovering, preventing and minimising antagonist ideology and beh aviour,” he said.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Optimism reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases: Harvard study

Happier folks with more optimistic view of life are less likely to experience heart diseases or strokes compared to those with negative worldviews.

A Harvard School of Public Health review of more than 200 studies found a significant association between positive psychological characteristics-- such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness-- and cardiovascular health.

While many prior findings disclosed ties between stress, anxiety and anger with health problems such as heart disease, the new study has provided a better understanding of positive mental status and health.

“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) regardless of such factors as a person's age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight,” said senior researcher Julia Boehm.

“For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50 percent reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers,” added Boehm, whose study was published in Psychological Bulletin.

The study says people with a sense of well-being are more engaged in healthier behaviors such as exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting sufficient sleep.

Furthermore, greater well-being is associated with better biological function, such as a lower risks of obesity, high blood pressure and LDL or bad cholesterol level.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Remains of revolutionary leadres

Remains of revolutionary leaders interred at National Cemetery
Thousands of people turned out on Saturday to watch a procession taking the remains of the country's first generation of revolutionary leaders from various resting places to the National Cemetery in Vientiane.
A procession bearing revolutionary leaders' remains heads to the National Cemetery in Vientiane on Saturday, as onlookers pay their respects. -- Photo Khamphanh
Holding flowers, candles and incense, local residents lined the road from the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum at Km6 to the cemetery at Km24 to show their respect for the leaders who devoted their lives to securing national liberation in 1975.
Traffic jams did not deter hordes of people from coming to pay tribute to the leaders, whose past contributions brought about the freedom and well-being of all Lao people today.
Among the gathering at the cemetery were Party and government leaders as well as relatives of the deceased leaders, police, soldiers, and representatives of various sectors.
Lao President Choummaly Sayasone addressed the gathering, delivering a speech that recalled the good deeds of the leaders for the benefit of the Lao people.
The relocation of the leaders' remains assembles them in one place, reuniting them as comrades in death as in life. The move also makes it easier for the younger generations to pay tribute to these great men and recall their good deeds.
The event also marked the official opening of the National Cemetery and the 57th anniversary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.
During the ceremony, most participants stood with their heads bowed to mourn the leaders before a religious service took place and a guard of honour from the Lao People's Army carried the leaders' remains to be placed in stupas.
The first generation of departed revolutionary leaders included the late President Kaysone Phomvihane, President Souphanouvong, former President Nouhak Phoumsavanh, former Acting President Phoumy Vongvichit, Mr Phoun Sipaseuth and Mr Sisomphone Lorvanxay.
The later generation of leaders included Mr Saly Vongkhamxao, Mr Maychantan Sengmany, Mr Oudom Khatthiya, Mr Somlath Chanthamath, Mr Osakan Thammatheva, Mr Khambou Sounixay, Mr Sompheth Thipmala and Mr Vaenthong Luangvilay.
Uncle Noi, 63, from Somsavan village in Xaythany district, said most people from his village turned out to pay their respects to the remains of the beloved leaders.
“I was a soldier when we were fighting against the French. I was proud that we had wise leaders who encouraged solidarity and instilled a spirit of patriotism as we joined forces against the powerful colonialist s,” he said. Ms Khone from Don Noun village in the same district said “The sacrifices, great patriotism, honesty and endeavour of our leaders impressed me, and I think that the younger generation can learn from them to ensure our country develops more quickly.”
The relocation of the revolutionary leaders' remains started with a religious ceremony on Friday at the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum, which was led by 120 monks, giving devotees the opportunity to make merit and show their respects. On Saturday morning, an almsgiving ceremony took place at the museum where thousands of people came to make merit for the departed leaders. The event was also attended by 120 monks.
In the afternoon of the same day, the remains were transported and placed in stupas at the National Cemetery.
Construction of the National Cemetery began in 2008 on an area of 52 hectares.
The government has spen t 150 billion kip on the project, with the aim of showing gratitude to the revolutionary leaders and soldiers who devoted their lives to fight for our country.
By Times Reporters (Latest Update March 26, 2012)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Important nutrients for children

However, lots of information and advice are available and it may be tough to decide which direction to follow. Among others, the following are five basic, important nutrients to boost your child's growth and development.


Protein is an important component of every cell in our body which is essential for healthy growth and development. Protein provides calories and amino acids the body really needs for building new cells and the compounds that direct bodily processes, including enzymes and hormones. Protein needs are highest during infancy and increase again just before adolescence as the body readies for another growth spurt.

Protein is found mainly in animal products such as dairy, eggs, seafood, and meats. And in somewhat lesser amounts, it is also found in beans, nuts, vegetables, and grains. Protein intake is usually not a problem for most kids, even those who don't eat meat consistently. For example, just 453g of milk or yoghurt, or 56g of meat, chicken, or seafood, and an egg satisfy a 3-year-old's daily protein needs.


Calcium helps make strong bones and teeth, maximises bone growth and shores up the skeleton during childhood and beyond. The body withdraws the calcium it needs from bones to maintain blood levels, which is partly why children need adequate calcium every day.

Dairy foods are concentrated calcium sources including milk, cheeses, and yoghurt. Calcium is also plentiful in plant products, such as fortified orange juice and soy beverages, tofu, and certain cereals.


Fibre is a complex carbohydrate without calories. We can't digest dietary fibre to get the energy. But adequate fibre intake provides many benefits for growing a child. It helps to keep the digestive system working well. Fibre's confirmed benefits for kids include preventing constipation and promoting fullness. High-fibre foods, including whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, keep kids fuller for longer in addition to its richness in vitamins and minerals.

Make whole grains, fruits, and vegetables available to your child every day to get the fibre your child needs


Antioxidant nutrients, including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, etc, are named "superheroes" by many experts They help defend the body against harmful substances, the free radicals, that can damage the cells, which could minimise the risks of chronic conditions including cancer and heart disease.

Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, including berries, broccoli, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and cherries are among the produce offering the most antioxidants.


Red blood cells need iron to ferry oxygen to every cell in the body and keep the body energised. Iron also plays a role in brain development and function.

Both animal and plant foods provide iron, including meat, eggs, fish, poultry, seafood, spinach, beans, dried fruits, and iron-fortified grains.

Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron and you can do it by simply offer kids foods such as oranges, orange juice, tomatoes, kiwi, or strawberries with each meal to make the most of iron

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Poor English skills could leave Thais out in cold


Thailand may find itself at a disadvantage because of inferior English skills when Southeast Asia becomes a single community, academics and an industrialist have warned.

The launch of the Asean Community in 2015 will see a free flow of professionals and skilled workers among the 10 member states of the grouping.

Once the community is formed, Thais will be able to look for jobs outside the country but they will have to brace themselves for challenges from regional competitors over positions in multinational and international organisations based in Thailand that require English as the working language.

This could pose a particular challenge for university students who will be first-time job seekers by that time.

"People from other Southeast Asian countries will compete with Thais for jobs. It's a fact," said Paron Israsena, who sits on several university councils including those of Chulalongkorn and Chiang Mai.

"If we want to be able to compete with other Southeast Asian countries, we have to start at universities now," said Mr Paron.

He pointed to English skills as an obvious weakness of Thai university graduates that needs to be urgently addressed.

"Most Thai students coming out of universities cannot communicate in English," said Mr Paron, who is also the president of the Darunsikkhalai School for Innovative Learning.

The old way of teaching English, which starts with grammar, must be scrapped and replaced with an emphasis on listening and speaking skills so that students are encouraged to speak up, Mr Paron said.

He says the country needs to adopt a lifetime learning process and knowledge-based society vision to make it more competitive in the face of increasing regional competition.

"Competitiveness is the key success factor for Thailand in the Asean Community," he said.

The Education Ministry is apparently aware of the challenges to come when the Asean Community takes off. Its website _ _ reminds readers of the move towards one community.

The Association of University Presidents agreed on Dec 25 that they will adjust their semesters to be in line with the system used by other universities in the region.

By 2015, the first semester will run from September to December, instead of from June to October as is currently the case.

The second semester will run from January to May.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra last month urged the ministry to improve the tertiary curriculum to better prepare university students for competition in the job market in 2015.

More importantly, the ministry has set 2012 as the English Speaking Year. Its aim is to encourage students to converse in English every Monday.

Chinnapat Bhumirat, secretary-general of the Office of the Basic Education Commission, admitted that English skills were not a competitive advantage for Thais but hoped the country still had enough time to prepare itself for the eventual change.

"We have a problem with the English language. Countries such as Singapore and the Philippines hold an edge," Mr Chinnapat said at a forum on Thai education and the Asean Community held in September.

"We still have three years to go to produce qualified personnel."

At the same forum, however, Thavorn Chalassathien deputy secretary-general of the Federation of Thai Industries, called for a broader-based skills improvement.

He urged the government to boost skills for workers and technicians to help keep industries in Thailand and to compete with other countries that can offer cheaper labour costs as their advantage to lure investors away from the Kingdom.

"Don't think only about the [English] language. What we really need is skills development," he said.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Healthy diet keeps brain sharp

Eating a diet rich in certain vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids and low in trans fats can help keeping brain healthy and prevent Alzheimer's disease.

A new US research has found a direct link between healthy diet and slower brain aging and shrinking process in elderly people.

A team of researchers from Oregon Health and Science University studied 104 people with an average age of 87, testing the levels of various nutrients in their blood, as well as their memory and thinking skills.

Findings showed that people whose regular diet contained high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids and levels of C, D, E and B vitamins were less likely to experience brain shrinkage, a natural aging process during the grey matter volume reduces.

People with such a diet also showed on average higher mental performance scores than those with diets low in those nutrients, says the report published in the journal Neurology.

“The combination of the B vitamins, the antioxidants C and E, plus vitamin D was the most favorable combination of nutrients in the blood for healthy brain aging in our population,” said senior author Dr. Gene L. Bowman.

Researchers also found that the most unfavorable diet was the one high in trans fats which are most often found in packaged baked goods and fast foods, including cookies, crackers, and potato chips.

“It is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” Bowman said.

Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D are primarily found in fish, while B vitamins and vitamins C and E can be obtained from meat, fruits and vegetables, scientists noted.