Mar 13, 2010

- Green Tea & Kidney Stones

Drinking green tea may help prevent painful kidney stones. A new study shows compounds in green tea extract make it more difficult for certain kidney stones to form.
Kidney stones affect about 5% of the world's population. They occur when abnormally high concentrations of minerals, such as calcium, accumulate in the urinary tract and clump together to form crystals and potentially painful stones.

Most kidney stones contain calcium, and the most common stone type is calcium oxalate. Chinese researchers found that green tea extract bonds to calcium oxalate and makes the resulting crystals a different shape, which makes them less likely to clump together and form large kidney stones.

The smaller crystals and stones are then passed harmlessly through the urine.
In the study, published in CrystEngComm, Xudong Li of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, and colleagues examined the effects of green tea concentrate on calcium oxalate crystallization using a variety of advanced scanning and imaging techniques.
The results showed that as the amount of green tea extract applied increased, the calcium oxalate crystals became flatter and flatter.

Researchers say flatter crystals form less stable kidney stones that break up more easily.


- Plavix -- Warning Again

Genetic Test IDs 'Poor Metabolizers' of Plavix but Time, Cost Are Issues
March 11, 2010 - The FDA has put a new "black box" warning on the anti-clotting drug Plavix, the second best-selling drug in the world.
The new label warns that normal doses of Plavix have a potentially deadly lack of effect in 2% to 14% of patients.

Such patients are so-called "poor metabolizers" who carry a variant CYP2C19 gene affecting the enzyme that converts Plavix into its active form.
A less strident warning about poor metabolizers first appeared on the Plavix labels in May 2009. Based on new information from a drugmaker-funded study and other research, the FDA has now strengthened the warning.

A genetic test can tell whether a person is a poor metabolizer. The test costs about $500, according to Courtney Harper, PhD, director of the FDA's division of chemistry and toxicology devices. But cost isn't the only issue.
"The time to get a test result varies. It may be a few hours to a day or two, or other labs may take a few weeks," Harper said at a news conference held to discuss the FDA action.
For many patients at risk of a second heart attack or stroke, time is of the essence, noted Robert Temple, MD, director of the FDA's office of medical policy.

"Unfortunately, waiting to see if Plavix will work isn't easy. This drug is to keep you from having a heart attack or stroke or dying, so waiting is not a good idea," he said at the news conference. "And this drug is used acutely, when a person is having angioplasty. So you really can't wait for the test results in that case. But for people who had a heart attack some time ago, they might want to wait for the test."
Different races are more or less likely to carry the CYP2C19 gene that makes them poor metabolizers.

"The frequency is about 2% of Caucasians, 4% of blacks, and 14% of Chinese," Mary Ross Southworth, PharmD, deputy director for safety in the FDA's division of cardiovascular and renal products, said at the news conference.
People carry two copies of each gene. Those who inherit two copies of the CYP2C19 gene are poor metabolizers of Plavix, and those with one copy are intermediate responders. There is also a variation of the gene that makes a person a "hyper-responder" to Plavix.
The FDA wants doctors to discuss Plavix options with patients. Right now, those options include using Effient, another anti-clotting drug that is not affected by the CYP2C19 gene. Another option is to use a double dose of Plavix.

"The data are not clear. There is more uncertainty than we wish we had about exactly what to do for these patients," Temple said.

Plavix, from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi Aventis, is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It's particularly useful in preventing deadly blood clots in patients who have received stents to reopen blocked arteries.

Mar 9, 2010

- Five Rules for Life - Cont'd


1.) Follow your passion.
Nothing great has ever been achieved without passion! Passion is what gives you the strength to overcome the obstacles which block success. Passion is the fuel that will take you to your destination. Every successful person has discovered their passion, and they’re following it.

2.) Never give up.
Nothing worth achieving is ever going to be easy. To become your best is going to take commitment, discipline, dedication, hard work, and a "no-give-up" attitude. So never give up - through perseverance the turtle reached the ark.

3.) Have faith.
You must believe in your ability to succeed. The famous poem is true, "If you think you’re outclassed, you are, you must think high to rise, you must be sure of yourself, before you will ever win a prize." You must be the biggest fan in your fan club; you must believe in "you" more than anyone else.

4.) Visualize your success daily.
Napoleon Hill said "whatever the mind can conceive and believe, you have the ability to achieve." You must see your success in your mind daily. If you can consistently hold thoughts of success, you will begin to believe that it’s possible for you. Once you believe it’s possible, you will begin to take the actions that will make those thoughts a reality.

5.) Keep a balanced life.
Success in life means having a balanced life. Always keep your life in balance, don’t work so hard on your career that your family falls apart. Define what success is for you, and be sure to work towards that image, every single aspect of that image, from financial success to family success.


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