blood


The search for the viagra alternative is relentless. On the natural approach, besides Tongkat Ali, now the attention is switching to我的美人(wo3de1mei3ren2, “My Belle” in Chinese), pun for Watermelon.

It is now believed that watermelon is richer in citrulline than previously thought. Citrulline is the amino acid which converts to arginine in the body. This boosts nitric oxide which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra and other ED(erectile dysfunction) drugs.

Watermelon is one of the most common and favourite fruit in Singapore and around the region and most probably worldwide. It is not uncommon to see people savouring pieces of watermelon during lunch hours at those public eating places. Did these people feel the anti-ED or extra sensation ?

Surely not. According to the report, Dr Bhimu Patil of the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M University disclosed that although the flesh has citrulline, most of the citrulline is found in the watermelon rind.

Who will eat that ?

During your next lunch hour, start looking out for those people bitting the watermelon rind or those asking the juice vendor to grind the rind together with the red or yellow juicy flesh. Sweet and no side effect, you know ?

Hang on !

No one including the researcher can tell how many “Belle” one will need to achieve the desired effect.

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Its advertisements were pretty attractive in English and Chinese. Its target market is practically the whole world of people (yes, it has Halal certification to cater to the world’s Muslim community) with “Symptoms of Cell Deterioration” – nocturia, lethargy, urinal disability, arthritis, incompetence, fatigue, skin aging, obesity, cold-averse). Its news coverage is all over the Internet. It had been sold through the Internet and possibly through multi-level-marketing (MLM).

Some of its online promotions have even stated that a certified laboratory in Singapore has tested that it is not adulterated withAphrodisiac Western Medicines or Illegal Drug Ingredients” and that it was “categorized as food and no MAL number is required” (MAL number is a approval number issued by the Ministry of Health of Malaysia). As listed on some promotional pages, it is stated that its main ingredient is the “Ginseng of The Desert” (Cynomorium Songaricum ) which “Helps invigorates the kidney and supplements essence for kidney YANG and insufficiency of blood manifested as impotence, nourishes the intestine and relaxes the bowels“. Other ingredients include “Ginseng Extract, Hydrolysed Protein, Enzyme, Pomegranate, Polyphenol, Malt“.

Why then would post-market analysis by the Health Science Authority (HSA) of Singapore proved otherwise for Mentalk, “The World First Energizing Candy” ? HSA’s press release on their website stated they found the presence of “Aminotadalafil, which is chemically similar to tadalafil,” It “can cause serious adverse reactions such as heart attacks and strokes in susceptible individuals. Heart patients who are on nitrate drugs may suffer severe hypotension which may be fatal.

What is more worrying as HSA put it was that As the product is marketed as a food-like item, there is potential danger to the wider population if the candy is unwittingly eaten by consumers, including teenagers and young children. . One of its advertisement stated “One world, One Candy”.

As of this writing, follow-up actions by HSA and relevant authorities are underway.

Is it a case of trying to cheat passed the health authorities by submitting a truly safe sample for the lab test and then launching the adulterated version ? If so, it really took guts to have so many ads and one of them to state that “Mentalk does not contain any steroid, western or illegal drug ingredients”.

Or is this a case of product that fell short of its effectiveness after launching and thus with the pressure to maintain the growth plan after pouring some much into the marketing of it, a decision was made to “refine” the product resulting in the adding of extra undeclared ingredients into the formula? If so, it is really foolish to do it in countries like Singapore where our HSA and AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority) are very proactive in conducting post-market survey and analysis of products, especially those that are too good to be true. HSA has been doing public education and awareness campaign.

Oh, I am surprised that Mentalk had included the actual Singapore ALS Laboratory report in their advertisement. Didn’t the report has the same statement “This report cannot be used for advertising purposes.” printed at the top of each of their test reports just like those from laboratories of HSA and SGH (Singapore General Hospital), etc.

Well, Members of the public are strongly advised not to buy or eat ‘Mentalk’ candy. If they have already purchased the candy, they should throw it away immediately. If they feel unwell after eating this candy, they are urged to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

For more update on this candy issue, visit http://www.hsa.gov.sg

Like a Garfield poster I seen a decade ago, “Don’t talk to me until I have my morning coffee”, coffee has been Morning Savor for many in the world. In Singapore and many neighboring countries, kopi (thick coffee with sugar and milk), kopi-O (thick coffee with sugar only), kopi-C (thick coffee with evaporated milk) are the switches that turn on the human machinery before each day begins.

coffee.jpg

Now, contrary to previous research which said that people who drank coffee had a reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, and those who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk, the Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina is reporting that Caffeine appears to disrupt glucose metabolism in a way that could be harmful to people with type-2 diabetes’. It may interfere with the process that transports glucose from the blood into muscle and other cells in the body to be burned as fuel and that also triggers the release of the hormone adrenaline, which can elevate blood sugar levels.

Will all the coffee sellers alert diabetics and ask them to settle for decaf ? Will this research be reversed again in the foreseeable future ?

The only RED Dragon Fruit (aka pitaya or pitahaya or strawberry pear) that I am used to were those with RED SKIN and WHITE FLESH (Hylocereus undatus). It tasted a bit bitter to me and I didn’t like the after-taste. Other reports said it tastes like a mix of kiwi fruit and watermelon.

I didn’t take notice of it other than eating what was being served to me until a friend shared about its benefits and salad recipe. As it is beneficial to health, I posted it here under “Why Dragon Fruit?“. Only then did I notice that there is a RED SKIN Dragon Fruit with RED FLESH (Hylocereus polyrhizus) variation.

Now I also found out that there is YELLOW SKIN variety (Selenicereus megalanthus) and with only white flesh.

3 types of Dragon Fruits

The taste of the red flesh variety is sweeter and the after taste is great to me. Other reports said it tastes like raspberries. I will usually eat 1 whole fruit (about 300-500gm) willingly which I normally won’t with other fruits. However, it is not that common as they are in Malaysia.

Yesterday, at a neighborhood market, I saw red Dragon fruit selling at a stall and as usual, only white flesh variety was on sale at S$1.50 (approx. US$1) per fruit. When asked, the seller said that white flesh variety is preferred by most consumers because those who consumed are paranoid about the reddish variation of urine or stools that they will pass out after consumption. They are apparently worried that the red flesh is a result of genetic modification, adding of artificial coloring or preservatives, etc.

This red “symptom” happened only if one eats quite a bit, a fruit or so as I have experienced myself.

Exporters in Malaysia for pitaya explained that the color is 100% natural and that it is not genetically modified or dyed red. The color comes from natural pigments known as hylocerenin and isohylocerenin and is also known to have natural florescent property. That makes the red flesh variety prettier when served.

If one were to eat a lot of blackberries or those fruits with such pigmentation, the output into the toilet bowl will be similar. However, how many people eat 0.5kg or more of such berries?

Yet, red flesh variety is more expensive and they are sold here in kilogram (S$4-S$5 per kg) instead of by quantity. I recently bought 2 red flesh fruits for close to S$4.00 (approx US$2.80).

Malaysian exporters justified the higher cost to its benefits. One reported that “Eating red-fleshed pitaya fruit was reported to increase bone density, prevent colon cancer and ease constipation. This can explained why red pitaya cost more expensive as compared to white pitaya“.

It was also reported that the red flesh variety is believed to be rich in antioxidants and has an exceptionally high content of soluble fiber. It is considered a good source of vitamin C and its vitamin C is more easily absorbed than vitamin C from a pill supplement. Some bloggers swear that it helps to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

Well, anyone out there got a health benefit comparison report between the red and white flesh? Ahh, don’t forget the yellow skin.

Meanwhile, I will still go for the Red Flesh Red Dragon Fruit whenever possible.

 

Dragon fruit
Also known as the Dragon Fruit, the Pitaya is a stunningly beautiful fruit with an intense colour and shape, magnificent flowers and a delicious taste. The fruit, apart from being refreshing and tasty, contains a lot of water and minerals with many different nutrition ingredients. It tastes light sweet and it’s good for liver, laxative, supplementing fiber and very suitable for diet.

Besides, dragon fruit is also good for person who has a high blood pressure. According to popular experience, obese person who has eaten dragon fruit regularly can reduce his/her weight naturally and have a beautiful balanced body but it does not influence on his/her health. Moreover, eating this fruit can stop and reduce diabetes. Hence, dragon fruit is a favorite fruit of many people especially Asian customers.

Benefits of eating the Dragon Fruit

1. Enhance the body metabolism (Protein)
2. Improve digestion (Fiber)

3. Reduce Fat (Fiber)

4. Improve memory (Carotene)

5. Maintain the health of the eyes (Carotene)

6. Strengthen bones and teeth development (Calcium)
7. Tissue development (Phosphorus)

8. Help to metabolise carbohydrates and produce energy (Vitamin B1)

9. Improve appetite (Vitamin B2)

10. Moisturise and smoothen skin and decrease bad cholesterol level (Vitamin B3)

11. Improves the immune system and promotes healing of cuts and bruises (Vitamin C)

USEFUL TIPS:

How to Select and Store
They should be full-colored and free of moldy spots. Dragon Fruit should be refrigerated, unwashed, for up to 5 days. Serve chilled.

Dragon Fruit Salad recipe
Dragon fruit salad
Ingredients needed :

1 package of ready to use pre-made sugar cookie dough
8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 dragon fruit, peeled and sliced

3 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1/4 cup apricot glaze

Directions
Rolled out cookie dough into a 12 inch round.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare fruit by washing and slicing it into 1/4 inch slices.

Cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice.

When the crust is cool, top with the cream cheese mixture.

Lay fruit in a circle on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Spread apricot glaze over fruit.

Chill until ready to serve.

Increase in obesity and diabetes but decrease in deaths from Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) 

Epidemiologists at the University of Liverpool and the Heart of Mersey have found that approximately half the recent fall in coronary heart disease deaths in the US is due to positive life style changes and a further half to medical therapies.

The team found that a decrease in smoking, cholesterol, blood pressure and physical inactivity contributed to the fall in deaths from coronary heart disease, yet this decrease could have been substantially more had it not been for the increases in obesity and diabetes cases.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) death rates in the US almost halved between 1980 and 2000. To understand how this fall occurred scientists combined information on medical treatments with national changes in the levels of major risk factors, such as smoking and high cholesterol. The UK has seen similar falls in heart disease, but this fall is mainly attributed to healthier diets rather than medication.

From 1980 to 2000, the US death rates for CHD fell from 543 to 267 per 100,000 population among men and from 263 to 134 per 100,000 population among women. Overall there were 341, 745 fewer CHD deaths in 2000 than in 1980.

The team found that this decrease was attributed to reductions in risk factors such as total cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, smoking and physical inactivity. However, they found that this reduction could have been 15% more had it not been for an increase in obesity and diabetes. Approximately half the fall in CHD deaths was also attributed to medical treatments, including medications for heart failure and emergency treatments for heart attacks and angina.

Professor Simon Capewell, from the University of Liverpool’s Division of Public Health and Trustee at CHD prevention charity, Heart of Mersey, said: “Using a sophisticated computer model called IMPACT we were able to combine and analyse data on the uptake and effectiveness of specific cardiac treatments and changes in risk factors among adults aged 25 to 84 years in the US. Data included results from trials, official statistics and national surveys.

We found that CHD death rates halved, and 47% of the fall was attributed to medical treatments and approximately 44% to changes in risk factors. Prevalence of smoking, for example had fallen by 12%. Decreases in physical inactivity however, were offset by increases in body mass index and diabetes.

Robin Ireland, Chief Executive at Heart of Mersey, added: “We have recently seen similar falls in heart disease here in the UK. These changes mainly reflect healthier diets, not tablets. However the increase in obesity and diabetes are a wakeup call. They reflect the increasing consumption of large helpings of junk food. We need legislation to encourage food manufacturers and supermarkets to provide healthier food options.

Source:  News release issued by University of Liverpool.

Erectile dysfunction has gone nutty !

During the Canton Fair 2007 in Guangzhou in April, I first saw the new wonder-pill that is supposed to help erectile dysfunction and “enhance sexual ability”, just like what Viagra or Cialis has been doing for the hundred of thousands of men around the world.

This pill is not created from drug but from walnut kernel extract.

Today, in our local newspapers,The Straits Times, it printed a report by The Star newspapers of Malaysia that a team of Malaysian researchers has just developed a similar tablet name N-Hanz which is comparable to Viagra. Like the one I saw in China, this N-Hanz has to be taken 1 hour prior to sexual performance and will last for about four hours. This looks like going to outshine Tongkat Ali, the potent herb of Malaysia that was supposedly a safe alternative to Viagra.

The active ingredients they found inside the walnut which will cause the enlargement of the blood vessels and enhances blood flow in the male sexual organ is “arginine, an amino acid that is absorbed into the body and converted into nitric acid”

It was also said that “because it is not a drug, it is safe for those with hypertension or diabetes or (those) who have recently had heart bypasses”.My salute to those who recently had heart bypasses and still wanting to go for such sexual thrill! They can sure shout “I’m coming” because Heaven’s waiting.

What is amazing is that it said that “a person would need to eat about 3.3kg of walnuts for the same effect as one tablet”. I wonder if the Romans and French had been eating so much regularly to achieve such effect since one of the researchers said that he read about them which led him to conduct the research.

Did the Malaysian researchers know that the Chinese had launched the products 2 months before?

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