Indian medics find way to ‘fix’ insulin without needles

Indian researchers create breakthrough method of delivering the  insulin pill. The days of injections seem truly numbered now
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Insulin Pills Image Courtesy: israel21c.org
Insulin Pills
Image Courtesy: israel21c.org

This is probably the sweetest bit of news for diabetics around the world, and it is coming from India.

A report in the Medical News Today says that Indian researchers have figured out a way to ‘fix’ the insulin pill in the body.

Till now, one of the biggest obstacles was in delivering the insulin pill to the gut in a way that it can be absorbed by the body. A team of researchers at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research have found a method to do this: wrap insulin in little sacs of liposomes, which are made of the same material as cell membranes. Continue reading Indian medics find way to ‘fix’ insulin without needles

An open letter to Arvind Kejriwal on aam aadmi’s health

By Santanu B
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Arvind Kejriwal (Image Courtesy - indiatoday.intoday.in)
Arvind Kejriwal
(Image Courtesy – indiatoday.intoday.in)

Dear Arvind Kejriwal:

Now that you are going to be the chief minister of Delhi (with Congress support, of course), we at Savetime have a few concerns and requests for the Aam Aadmi Party. To begin with, you deserve a round of applause for taking on the money machine politics of Delhi and showing them that people are not stupid. Now a word of caution: please do not degenerate into an aam party. With the Congress behind you that is a possibility. Of course, we understand that in politics there are compulsions and, in order to change things, it is better to be in power. We do not know how quickly or effectively the system can be changed, but we cannot be sure until somebody gets a fighting chance. So, while we look to a brighter future (what’s the new year for, anyway?), we know that we have to tread lightly because the fact is, your party is yet to be put to the governance test. While people’s revolutions work well, the brains behind it may or may not make great administrators. Look what happened to Assam. After the Assam Accord was signed by Rajeev Gandhi and the revolutionary students’ body, AASU, took the reins of governance as the AGP, it screwed up the state’s future because the leaders could not handle the power (and the dough that comes along) humbly and sensibly – a very common story. Continue reading An open letter to Arvind Kejriwal on aam aadmi’s health

“Get up and start moving”

A rendezvous with Dr. Suchitra Mankar, general physician.
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Dr. Suchitra Mankar
Dr. Suchitra Mankar

A veteran of medicine, general physician Dr. Suchitra Mankar studied at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune. I spoke to her last evening about her work and life. She told me that she worked for the Indian Air Force as a doctor for 30 years. Her stint in the Air Force allowed her to experience many interesting events. In fact, she has been invited by the Rotary Club to talk on ‘Anecdote of my Life in Air Force’ on January 17, 2014. So I felt lucky to have found her for this interview and talk about her life back in the days. When she talks about those days, her voice is filled with both – emotion and power. The enthusiasm with which she narrates a few of her experiences makes one feel like it’s so fresh that it just happened.

So here’s what we spoke about. Continue reading “Get up and start moving”

Sex up your health

How many of you talk about sex? And how many of you know the health benefits of sex? It’s much, much more than fun
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Couple Lying on a Beach

Talking about sex is a taboo, but in itself it is as natural as feeling hungry. We know this, yet we don’t know it. I mean, if sex has the potential to give birth to a new life, just imagine the healing powers of sex. This means that the stuff that life is made of comes from sex. Now, how is that for a perspective?

Sexy Health Facts

  • One of the reasons why this caught my attention: sex can help you lose weight. Yes! One sack session can burn 200 calories. That’s as good as a 15-minute run. Who wants to run these winter mornings anyway? Just get jiggy inside your quilt.
  • According to worldlifeexpectancy.com, frequent orgasms, at least a hundred per year can add 3 to 8 years to your life. That’s about 0.28 orgasms a day. While the stat may sound weird, two orgasms per week is achievable. In any case, forget the longevity factor, it is pure pleasure. Continue reading Sex up your health

“Toothpastes are only for placebo effect”

Dr. Abhinav Talekar in a tête-à-tête with Avanika Mote. They talk about toothpastes, fluoride and dental health
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Dr. Abhinav Talekar BDS, MDS
Dr. Abhinav Talekar
BDS, MDS

This afternoon, we caught Dr. Abhinav Talekar, child dental specialist, for a quick 20-minute interview. He was in a rush between patients and appointments. Here’s what we heard from him.

How can we take care of baby teeth without brushing (since they don’t have teeth)?

Dr. Talekar: If your baby is between 0-6 months, a white sterile sponge with water can be used to clean his/her gums. These days there are toothbrushes available for kids between different age groups; Pigeon and MeeMee, to name a few. Also, it is not about which toothbrush or toothpaste to use, but more about correctly brushing the child’s teeth.

Do we really need to take care of milk-teeth?

Dr. Talekar: There should not be any doubt about this. Obviously we should give a lot of attention to a child’s milk-teeth. The child’s last milk-tooth exfoliates at around 14 years. Carrying a decayed tooth for that long can have long-term harmful effects. Healthy baby teeth are important for chewing and eating, so your child can get the nutrition that he or she needs to grow. Teeth are also important for learning to speak properly. Apart from this, a nice smile helps build a child’s self-esteem and social connectivity.

What do you advise for parents who feel scared that their child will not sit for dental procedures?

Dr. Talekar: If adults feel scared about dentistry, how can they expect their child to be fearless on a dental chair? That’s why Pediatric Dentists are there. We work with them like friends, make them comfortable with us on a human note and we always end up getting much better co-operation from children than their parents (smiles).

Since you are a Paediatric Dentist, I want to ask you an interesting question. Is chocolate really bad for your teeth?

Dr. Talekar: (laughs) The blame goes to chocolate. But to be honest, anything that contains sucrose, be it milk cookies or chocolates or chips, if consumed during the night without brushing your teeth afterward, anything can cause plaque. But since chocolate is more popular among kids, it takes the blame! It doesn’t matter what you eat, it matters how long you keep it in your mouth.

What is the most common dental problem in kids you come across in your practice?

Dr. Talekar: Teeth caries are the most common among kids here in Pune and parents lack awareness about this.

What is your take on fluoride in toothpastes?

Dr. Talekar: See, fluoride is always debatable. Yes, it is true that excessive fluoride in water is harmful and may cause fluorosis but use of fluoride for the prevention and control of caries is well-documented to be safe and effective. According to a recent policy passed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, children below two years of age can use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. From two to five years onwards, a pea-sized amount should be used.

Which is your personal favourite toothpaste for kids and adults? 

Dr. Talekar: I knew this question was coming (smiles). I don’t want to come off as someone who is marketing toothpastes. Yet, if I have to answer this question, my personal picks for kids would be: Kidodent, Pigeon and MeeMee. For adults, Colgate Total is a good toothpaste but as I said, it doesn’t matter which toothpaste or toothbrush you use. What matters is the  number of times you brush and more importantly, the way you brush your teeth. Otherwise toothpaste is just for a placebo effect according to me.

On a candid note, which is your favourite holiday destination?

Dr. Talekar: Goa with friends and Karde Beach (Maharashtra) with my better half

(Dr. Abhinav Talekar is a paediatric dentist practicing in Pune since 2009. His clinic is located in Khopkar Heights, Opposite YMCA Club, Quarter Gate Chowk, Camp)