Eat this to prevent that
‘Hey eat X and prevent Y!’ One in every three
Sri Lankan are suffering from ABC so you have to drink XYZ to avoid ABC
in your old age! “Hi...I am a very busy actress doing shooting all day,
I take D to stay energetic whenever I get a headache!
Too much can lead to too big
“Hey is it very difficult to feed your kids?
Given them ABCXYZ! They eat it greedily and it gives them all the
required vitamins and minerals.” You and I are not telling any of these.
But we hear and see those things everyday whenever we switch on the
television. We are going to talk about food advertisements
There are thousands of advertisements that flash on the screen of our
television set whenever we switch it on, whether it is day or night. All
those advertisements force us to buy certain medications and varieties
of food no matter what our economic status is. The children in needy
families force their parents to buy such food as a result of the strong
impact those advertisements are made on them. It is all right if such
food items are natural, fresh and nutritious but all of them are
processed and artificial.
Do you ever think how healthy it is to buy and consume those
medications and food items that are advertised on television and radio
all the time? Do you ever think how true the contents in the
advertisements are and how genuine the famous figures who come on these
advertisements and beg us to check on the products that they are (may be
pretending) using are?
Children get addicted instantly
Here is a very valuable piece of information for you. Some of those
advertisements and products have been already banned by the Health
Ministry and some cases are still pending in the courts. Maybe more
products are to be banned soon. So be careful when you buy things that
is not recommended by your doctor and dietitian! If you go through your
own experience, you know that certain products instantly get rid of your
pains, aches and many other health problems. But do you have any
assurance from the producer that you will not have any side effects in
future and there is no long-term negative impact on your health? Do you
ever consider about the actual content of those drugs and how they work
inside your body? Maybe you do not have time and enthusiasm to do so
when you are suffering from some sort of discomfort. But you cannot
overlook the long-term impacts of what you consume to get an immediate
The other problem is what you get from your school/office canteen.
Most of the time it is unhealthy and processed food. You hardly get
fresh and natural food from a canteen. Relevant authorities have put
certain rules and regulations to school canteens and some school
canteens are following them. Such canteens offer healthy (to a certain
extent) food to school children while other school canteens still offer
unhealthy processed food to them. No wonder 15 percent of school
children from Colombo suffer from diabetics at the moment. There is no
point of talking about office canteens. Some private and state sector
institutions in Sri Lanka have superb canteens which offer employees
fresh, natural healthy food. Such canteens have various food items and
have the same food prepared in different ways according to the
requirements of the employees. Those private companies have a proper
system to monitor their canteen in order to ensure that it serves
healthy food to employees. Outlets opened by Milk Board is another good
example for offering healthy food.
But some private and state sector institutions have the world’s most
unhealthy canteens. Sometimes they cannot be named as canteens because
they are that much dirty and offer unhealthy and unhygienic food to
employees. There is no one to monitor such canteens. The canteens offer
whatever they like in whatever way they want. Most of the times it is
the cheapest and easiest fast food. The employees have to pay money and
eat their unhealthy and unhygienic food containing cooked cockroaches or
other insects. Sometimes it is used medicated plaster of someone using
it to cover a wound during cooking that you find in your plate.
These canteen owners force people to eat unhealthy food using their
‘powers’. No matter where you work and what type of work you do, you
have to eat healthy and hygienic food. It is one of your rights to have
healthy and hygienic food. Therefore make sure that you bring your food
from home or your employer provides healthy and hygienic food for you.
Living with a new liver
This is an exclusive interview conducted with
Prof. Mandika Wijeratne the doctor who led the team which carried out
the first ever liver transplant in Sri Lanka recently.
Q. What type of patients need liver transplants?
A damaged liver
A. Those with severe liver failure are usually treated with
medication. When this is insufficient liver transplantation is
necessary. When there is a kidney failure, dialysis is possible but when
it comes to the liver there is no similar machine to support the failing
liver. Chronic liver diseases that lead to irreversible scarring of the
liver, or cirrhosis of the liver is the main reason for liver failure.
Common reasons for cirrhosis are alcohol consumption and liver virus
infections. Liver cancers in a diseased liver are also being treated
with transplantation because removing a part of the liver with the
cancer may not be safe. Paracetamol over dose can cause severe liver
damage and is another reason to consider transplantation. Finally some
children who are born with liver problems also need transplantation if
they are to live.
Q. How can he or she get a liver?
A. When the brain stem has died there is no chance of recovery
even though the other organs can be kept alive on breathing machines for
a few days.
In such instances commonly after head injuries and bleeding in to the
brain organs such as kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and pancreas can be
removed and transplanted to another who has the same blood group.
Some operations conducted in the liver
The other type of donor is a living donor who can donate a portion of
his or her liver to another with the same blood group. But this is a
major operation with serious risks to donors unlike for living kidney
Q. What should be done after the surgery? How can he/she can
take care of the new liver?
A. No alcohol should be consumed after the liver transplant.
Drugs should be taken to prevent the rejection of the liver as long as
the new liver is there and this is common for any type of transplant and
not only for liver transplant. When a viral infection comes, anti viral
drugs should be taken and viral infections should be avoided as much as
Q. How can a normal person can take care of his / her healthy
A. There are three ways of damaging a healthy liver. They are:
alcohol consumption, fatty deposition in the liver and infection with
Fat deposition in the liver occurs when you are over weight, due to
wrong food habits, lack of exercise and poorly controlled diabetes.
Fatty liver cause cirrhosis without consuming alcohol. Hepatitis B and C
can cause permanent liver damage leading to cirrhosis.
Hepatitis B and C spread through exposure to contaminated blood.
Unprotected sex is a method by which hepatitis virus is spread.
Q. What are the possibilities of transplanting other organs in
A. The first liver transplant took place in Sri Lanka a few
days back and kidney transplants have been going on since 1985. Hearts,
lungs and pancreas are other organs that can be transplanted.
Transplant of all these organs is possible, provided the medical
professionals, the public and the Government work together with a clear
The Sri Lankan public should be educated on donating organs.
They have to be educated on the concept of brain death. We were world
leaders in eye donation. So the concept of donation is not new to us.
But eye donation is different to the other organs. Eyes can be removed
after the death of the person. But all the other organs including the
liver need blood circulation to survive and worthy of donation.
Therefore, the liver should be removed from the deceased before
taking him or her off
the life support machines if the person is willing to donate organs.
Off-the-shelf body parts soon to become reality
Surgeons could soon use ready-made human body parts to repair
injuries or patch-up worn out organs of patients, scientists have
claimed. They are perfecting in developing bare “scaffold building
blocks” of body parts which, they said, could be used as a frame for a
patient’s own cells to grow around.
Experts said the scaffold for the most commonly used parts could be
created in advance and stored ready for use when needed, The Telegraph
reported. The technique, which has already been successful in creating a
new section of windpipe for patients, involves taking a piece of dead
donor or animal body part and removing all the soft tissue so just the
bare structure is left.
Human body parts
Then, stem cells from the patient can then be placed on the frame and
will regrow into a new body part for them, according to the scientists.
Prof. John Fisher from the University of Leeds said banks of
scaffolds of all kinds of body tissue can be created to facilitate
doctors in transplants.
Speaking at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting
in Nottingham, Prof. Fisher said that he and his team have been working
on to create the scaffolds from dead donors or animals.
He said, “If you take a natural tissue and strip off all of the
donor’s cells you’re left with a biological scaffold made mostly of a
protein called collagen, which is compatible with the patient receiving
“That scaffold is good from an engineering perspective because it’s
strong, flexible and retains the properties of the natural tissue.
It also has the appropriate shape and size and from a biological
perspective is good because a patient’s cells can bind to it and
repopulate it easily.”
According to the scientist, the advantage of the method is that the
patient will not reject the transplanted tissue as foreign because the
scaffold is stripped of all material that can trigger rejection and the
soft tissue is grown from their own stem cells.
It means patients can avoid powerful immunosurpressant drugs which
shorten life expectancy and can increase the risk of cancer, he said.
Press Trust Of India
Obesity Indicators :
BMI and neck circumference
While the medical community has long relied on Body Mass Index to
gauge body fat, they have acknowledged that this simple procedure has
its shortcomings. Body mass index (BMI) is a calculation that uses a
person’s height and weight to estimate how much body fat they have. A
BMI less than 18.5 is categorized as underweight, 18.5 to 24.9 as normal
or ‘healthy,’ 25 to 29.9 as overweight and 30 or higher as obese.
However, the basic problem with this calculation is that it is solely
dependent upon height and weight, and makes assumptions about a person’s
proportion of muscle and differences in bone density. It therefore may
overestimate adiposity on athletes and those with more lean body mass
while underestimating adiposity on the elderly and others with less lean
BMI also doesn’t give information on the location of the body fat,
which is important in determining obesity-related risk for disease.
A new obesity indicator may have been found to complement BMI and add
accuracy to the measurement. HealthNews.com
Lack of vitamin D linked to metabolic syndrome - study
Foods containing Vitamin D
A new study has linked lack of vitamin D to metabolic syndrome in
“Because the metabolic syndrome increases the risk of diabetes and
cardiovascular disease, an adequate vitamin D level in the body might be
important in the prevention of these diseases,” study co-author Marelise
Eekhoff, of VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam said.
The study included subjects who were participating in the
Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam.
It consisted sample of nearly 1,300 white men and women ages 65 and
older. Through the study, it was revealed that subjects with blood
levels of vitamin D (serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D) lower than 50 nanomoles
per liter, which is considered as vitamin D insufficiency, were likelier
to have the metabolic syndrome than those whose vitamin D levels
exceeded 50. It also concluded that the increased risk for the syndrome
was due to the presence of two risk factors - low HDL, or “good”
cholesterol, and a large waistline. The Nation, Pakistan
Doctors’ Wives Association Reading glasses for the needy
The Doctors’ Wives Association Sri Lanka last week donated reading
glasses to a large number of needy women and children in the Ratmalana
The glasses were donated by Fonterra Brands Lanka for the project Dr.
Lalith Wijeratne (Ophthalmologist) checked the eyesight of the needy for
Picture shows DWASL President Chrissy Aloysius (2nd from right) with
a group of the needy recipients wearing their glasses at the event. - EA