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Can Vitamin C Prevent or Treat COVID-19?

Since years ago, vitamin C has gained its popularity to be used for various functions from prevention of illnesses, alleviating symptoms for illnesses, and even in the cosmetics industry for skin care purposes. It has becoming popular after the Nobel prized scientist Linus Pauling started to consumed it (1). Following that there are many studies conducted on vitamin C and many people started to question its effectiveness and there are also many people who started to consume vitamin C for various purposes.

With regards to COVID-19 pandemic, many people started wanting to boost their immune system thus making the demand for vitamin C supplementation and food products containing vitamin C is even higher. However, is it true that vitamin C can boost immune system and prevent or treat COVID19?

 

 

What is vitamin C and how does it improve immune system?(2)

 

Vitamin C or also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. It can also act as antioxidant, which helps in protecting cells against free radicals thus helps with various kind of diseases. Vitamin C improves our white blood cells  (WBC) which function in fighting the viruses, bacteria, and generally foreign materials in the body. There are various studies with regards to this, one of it is the study that compare the administration of vitamin C and vitamin E as antioxidant, finding of the study noted that vitamin C give greater effect on body immunity as compared to vitamin E.


 

 

Vitamin C supplementation (4,5,6,7)

 

Vitamin C is found abundantly in fruits and vegetables especially citrus food. Also, if you look closely on the food labelled, there are food that is fortified with vitamin C such as breakfast cereal, milk etc. Local fruit that is high with vitamin C is guava, the amount of vitamin C in guava is even higher than in the orange.

 

As for cold, vitamin C has been a long popular remedy for common cold, which is why many people started to consume it when the pandemic strikes. Research shows that vitamin C does not reduce risk of getting common cold. Well, being sick once in a while, or get common cold once in a while is a good thing actually, it helps  antibodies to fight against pathogen (bad bacteria and viruses) and improve the immune system naturally. However, the consumption of vitamin C can lead to  a shorter period of common cold with milder symptoms. But the consumption of vitamin C after the symptoms of common cold is showing does not appear to be helpful.

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than physical distancing, also known as social distancing, and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19. However, since the symptoms is the same as common cold thus it is thought that it can be used to alleviate the same symptoms present. Currently researchers and physicians are studying the effect of vitamin C via (high dose intravenous) (IV) and also on the effect of supplementation taking on the new COVID19.

 

In conclusion, 

 

It is safe to say that, there is no harm in consuming vitamin C with the purpose to boost immune system in this pandemic situation, but also it has to be hand in hand with the other safety precautions such as only go out when it is necessary, must always adhere to the one meter social distance measure, must always wear mask when you are outside, must wash hands frequently using soap or hand sanitizer.

 

 

 

References

 

  1. Oregon State University. Pauling Recommendation (2004).https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C/pauling-recommendation (Accessed on November, 16, 2020).
  2. Healthline. 7 Impressive ways Vitamin C benefits your body. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits ( Accessed on Nov 16, 2020)
  3. 8 Nutrients that will optimize your eye health. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-nutrients-for-eyes. (Accessed on Aug 26, 2020)
  4. All About Vision. Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Eye and vision benefits. https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/lutein.htm (Accessed on Aug, 26, 2020)
  5. Simonson W. (2020). Vitamin C and coronavirus. Geriatric nursing (New York, N.Y.)41(3), 331–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gerinurse.2020.05.002
  6. Medical News Today (MNT). Can Vitamin C Prevent or Treat COVID19.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/can-vitamin-c-prevent-or-treat-covid-19 (Accessed on November 16, 2020).
  7. Healthline. Can Vitamin C Protect you from Vitamin C. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-coronavirus (Accessed on November 16, 2020)

 

 


Probiotics and COVID-19

World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host. It can be found in fermented food (E.g.: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi), dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

Probiotics may contain variety of microorganisms. The most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are also other bacteria being used as probiotics (e.g.: Saccharomyces boulardii.)

 

According to studies, different types of bacteria exert different effect to human body. Therefore, choosing the right strains and types of probiotics is essential for it to works on the said health concern.

 

How does probiotics help to maintain health?

 

There are variety of ‘bugs’ that coexist naturally in the body such as bacteria, fungi, parasite and viruses, these are what scientists refer to as microbiome. In the body of a healthy person, all these bugs coexist peacefully. The role of the microbiome is to promote smooth daily operation of human body. However, conditions such as infectious illness, certain diet, prolonged use of antibiotics and/or other bacteria-destroying medications, can lead to body becoming more susceptible to diseases.

 

Due to this, scientists believe that consumption of probiotics influence bacteria colonization process, which can lead to speedy restoration of healthy microbiome and lower risk of being sick. 

 

Probiotics and COVID-19?

 

Probiotic is link with COVID19 due to its ability to boost the immune system. Currently, most extensive researched on probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia Coli, Enterococcus, etc. Although probiotics mechanism profoundly focuses on the gastrointestinal tract, the effect of probiotics is not confined to the digestive system only. Probiotics can act on the entire body via immune modulation. Not only that, it also facilitate the immune system development and maturation and regulate the interaction between host and pathogen by killing the pathogen and regulate the immune responses towards it.

 

One might argue that, but COVID-19 is a viral infection unlike others. A systematic review described probiotics’ efficacy against viral diseases where more than 20 strains of probiotics showed the anti-inflammatory effects on the body and antibody production against viruses.

 

Moreover, study found out that viral loads were lowered upon probiotics supplementation, it is postulated due to immune modulation by microbiota that fights against COVID-19 directly and decrease the risk of secondary infections due to prolonged antibiotics exposure from multiple experimental COVID19 treatment.

 

China’s National Health Commission recommended probiotics for severe COVID-19 patients to restore the intestinal balance and protect from secondary infections. Moreover, gut microbiota’s role in modulating lung diseases has been demonstrated.

 

In conclusion, scientists in this study suggest that many more studies should be established on the effectiveness of using probiotics as prevention and especially treatment of COVID-19. As of now, apart from practicing social distancing, wearing mask, adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP), individuals may also benefits from probiotics rich foods and supplementation for its boosting immunity properties and fight against COVID-19.

 

Reference


Kurian, S. J., Unnikrishnan, M. K., Miraj, S. S., Bagchi, D., Banerjee, M., Reddy, B. S., Rodrigues, G. S., Manu, M. K., Saravu, K., Mukhopadhyay, C., & Rao, M. (2021). Probiotics in Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19: Current Perspective and Future Prospects. Archives of medical research52(6), 582–594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2021.03.002

Asthma in Children

What is asthma in children?

 

Asthma is a major non-communicable disease (NCD), affecting children and adults. It is a condition in which the airway in the lung narrows due to inflammation and tightening of the muscle surrounding the small airway. As a result, asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness developed. These symptoms are usually on and off, while the asthma disease itself is a long-term condition. Asthma triggers vary from person to person, but they can also be due to a viral infection (cold), dust, smoke, fumes, changes in the weather, grass and tree pollen, feathers, strong soap, perfume, animal fur, and many more.

 

Causes of asthma in children. 

 

Although it is often difficult to find a single, direct cause, it is believed to have multiple complex causes. Many factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing asthma, such as

  • Have a close family member with asthma and/or eczema, such as parents or siblings
  • Have other allergic conditions such as rhinitis, etc.
  • Urbanization is associated with increased asthma prevalence, probably due to multiple lifestyle factors.
  • Events in early life affect the developing lungs and can increase the risk of asthma. These include low birth weight, premature birth, exposure to tobacco smoke and other sources of air pollution, as well as viral respiratory infections.
  • Exposure to a range of environmental allergens and irritants is also thought to increase the risk of asthma, including indoor and outdoor air pollution, house dust mites, molds, and occupational exposure to chemicals, fumes, or dust. 


Prevention & Control of asthma

 

Asthma cannot be cured, but good management with inhaled medications can control the disease and enable people with asthma to enjoy a normal, active life.

 

There are two main types of inhalers:

 

  • Bronchodilators (such as Salbutamol), that open the air passages and relieve symptoms
  • Steroids (such as Beclomethasone), that reduce inflammation in the air passages. This improves asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of severe asthma attack and death.

People with asthma may need to use an inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the types of inhalers available.

 

It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler, especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a "spacer" device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine reach the lung more effectively.

People with asthma may need to use an inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the types of inhalers available.

It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler, especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a "spacer" device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine reach the lung more effectively. 

Other than this, it is also best to avoid triggers for asthma. Triggers vary from person to person; as asthmatic children grow; parents should be able to identify things that trigger their asthma attack. It can be as simple as changes in weather, temperature, etc.

In conclusion, since asthma is a lifelong disease, it is best to manage or control it by avoiding triggers in children and by adhering to the medication based on a doctor's suggestion.

References

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  2. Mayo Clinic. Childhood Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  3. Better Health Chanel. Asthma in children. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/asthma-in-children#causes-of-asthma-in-children

 

 

Your Immunity Booster!


What to consume to boost immune system ?!

Since 1970s vitamin C has been used widely to fight and prevent against common cold. Nowadays, everyone knows that taking vitamin C is able to helps in preventing and fighting against common cold (1).

 

 

Study shows that vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular function. Vitamin C helps  phagocytes ( cells that ingest harmful bacteria to body) to move, increase uptake, engulf and kill microbes (which can cause harm to body) thus improving immune system and protect against diseases(2).

 

The almost similar ways vitamins C works in improving immune system, probiotics does too.

 

But, what is probiotics?

 

Probiotics  is the live microorganism which when administered in adequate amount confer health benefits on the host (human body). Study found out that, long term consumption of probiotics could stimulate and improve the immune system. With regards to current pandemic novel Coronavirus, how can probiotics help with virus like corona? Well, corona is the virus that attack lung thus;

 

Probiotics is able to help lung health, but, how?

 

The truth is, the physiology and pathology of respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts are closely related. This may explained why smoker who is diagnosed with chronic obstrutive pulmonary disease (COPD) usually have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as well(3).

 

The mechanism in which it works is actually once oral probiotics is administered it will then interact with cells in the gut and improve the composition and activity of microbiota in the gut, this will then sends signal to activate Immunoglobulin A (antibody that have protective function) in the intestine, bronchus (part of lung) and mammary gland and suppress the pathogen (bad bacteria) which in return will improve the respiratory system and overall immune health(4).

 

Using probiotics alongside with taking precaution measures such as frequently wash hands, use sanitizers, use mask and avoid contacted people is the go to way to prevent the widespread of the disease and at the same time improving immune function, since probiotics is ubiquitous and affordable!

 

References

  1. WebMD. Vitamin C for the common cold.
  2. Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients9(11), 1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111211
  3. Esmaeil Mortaz, Ian M. Adock, Gert Folkters, Peters J. Barnes, Arjan Paul Vos and Johan Garssen (2013). Probiotics in the management of Lung Disease. Hindawi, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/751068
  4. Carolina Maldonado Galdeano, Silvia Ines Cazorla, Jose Maria Lemme Dumit, Eva Velez, Gabriela Perdigon      (2019). Beneficial effect of Probiotic consumption on the Immune System. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism     74(115-124). DOI: 10.

Colostrum is beneficial for baby, but does it work for adult as well?

Colostrum is a breast milk produce by mammals including human, before breast milk is released, it is usually thicker in consistency and containing high levels of antibodies. This high nutrient in the colostrum is aimed to promotes growth and health of the newborn mammals, which is why it is the most nutritious form of milk (1).

 

 

For human, the consumption of colostrum for newborn is very much encouraged, apart from the exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months and 2 years promotion by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), mothers are as well encouraged to give skin to skin support while breastfeeding newborn for the colostrum few hours after delivery.


The colostrum is said to have various benefits on the newborn life as they get older (2).

 

 

But what about for adult? Is the consumption of bovine colostrum in adult have the same effect as colostrum from mother to newborn?

 

Bovine colostrum is nutritious than the regular milk. It has higher protein, fat, carbohydrate, magnesium, A, C, B, and E vitamins than the regular milk. Due to this, studies found out that the consumption of bovine colostrum in adult is useful in boosting the immune system and as well as in improving gut health (1,3).

 

The linked between colostrum and immunity is due to the content of lactoferrin in the colostrum. Lactoferin is a naturally present protein in the body. It is a very versatile protein, where it is a bi-lobed protein that has the ability to bind an atom of iron (4). This iron binding glycoprotein from the transferrin family is the major component of the mammalian immune system. Due to this, it provides lactoferrin with protective effects which range from direct antimicrobial activities to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities (4).

 

 

Apart from this, colostrum also contains antibodies. Antibodies are proteins, also known as immunoglobulins, used by the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. Bovine colostrum is rich in the antibodies IgA, IgG, and IgM (1, 2). This is as well essential in fighting pathogen and improve immune system.

 

Since bovine colostrum is loaded with nutrients that fight disease and promote growth, it is able to boost immunity, treat infections, and offer more related benefits in humans throughout life. Thus, the consumption of bovine colostrum may have the same effect as human colostrum, it is just that the absorption of colostrum from bovine to human body is different, but with all the spectacular ingredients that colostrum possess it may possess the same effect as to boost immunity!

 

References

1. Healthline. What is the colostrum? Nutrition, Benefits and Downsides. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bovine-colostrum (Accessed on July 9, 2020).

2. Bloomlife. Breastfeeding Tips To Know Before the Baby Arrives.https://bit.ly/3Qz10sR (Accessed on July 9, 2020).

3. WebMD. Bovine Colostrum.  https://wb.md/3RctYPx (Accessed on July 9, 2020).

4. Bioquad Lifesciences.https://bit.ly/3QEsrle (Accessed on July 9, 2020).

Cordyceps, more than just for cough!

Cordyceps is a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects. When these fungi attack their host, they replace its tissue of long sprout and slender stems that grow outside the host’s body. The remains of the insect and fungi have been hand-collected, dried, and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat fatigue, sickness, kidney disease and low sex drive (3).

 

Since there is now increase shifting of attention from synthetic drugs to natural herbal product, not only to treat common cold and flu but as well as to prevent chronic diseases, thus people start to consume various kind of  traditional medicine in the effort to prevent diseases or to control diseases (2).

 

Since, cordyceps lives only on certain caterpillar in the high mountain regions of China, thus natural cordyceps is hard to get and is expansive. Most supplements are made with cordyceps grown in the laboratory, which is also known as cordyceps, CS-4. People start to market the products containing cordyceps in the supplement form or as functional food since many studies start to dig on its benefits. Of more than 400 species of cordyceps discovered only two types of cordyceps are commonly used, which is cordyceps sinensis and cordyceps militaris (3).

 

Traditionally people use cordyceps for various purposes, until now certain people whom able to get wild cordyceps still used this in their daily life. Some people mix it with milk, it is said to improve sex drive, it is also sometimes mix with alcohol, which refers to as ‘chang’ where people drink it in the morning as tonic (5).

 

As for the modern studies apart from the usage of cordyceps in the cough syrup, cordyceps also  have various other health benefits, such as anti hyperglycemic. Study on diabetic rats found out that,  4g/kg/day that is administered to diabetic rats does not effect  its fasting insulin level. When oral administration of cordyceps at 150 mg/kg/day and 500mg/kg/day are ingested by mice for 4 weeks it significantly prolonged the swimming time of mice by about 20 to 24 minutes, respectively, thus showing that consumption of cordyceps also improved fatigue condition. It is due to the involvement of cordyceps in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (energy)  production that accounts for a decrease in physical fatigue when it is administered. Apart from that, the administration of cordyceps decreased the airway inflammation in ovalbumin-induced mice, thus ease breathing for individuals with cough and flu (6).

 

 

However, most of studies with regards to cordyceps is conducted the mice subject not human subject thus the findings is considered as to have insufficient evidence (1,3,4).

 

However, it is safe to consume cordyceps supplement with other medication if you have any other medical condition, since the government of China use cordyceps as the natural drugs in their hospital to treat patients (1,3,4).

 

References

1. Mehra A, Zaidi KU, Mani A, Thawani V. The health benefits of Cordyceps militaris a review. Kavaka. 2017;48(1):27-32.

2. Nxumalo W, Elateeq AA, Sun Y. Can Cordyceps cicadae be used as an alternative to Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis?-A review. Journal on Etnopharmacology. 2020 Apr 16:112879.

3. Healthline. 6 Benefits of Cordyceps all backed by Science. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cordyceps-benefits (Accessed on Oct 23, 2020).

4. WebMD. Cordyceps. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-602/cordyceps (Accessed on Oct 23, 2020).
5. Pradhan BK. Caterpillar mushroom, Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Ascomycetes): a potential bioresource for commercialization in Sikkim Himalaya, India. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 2016;18(4).
6. Bao-qin Lin and Shao-ping Li. Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Can Vitamin C Prevent or Treat COVID-19?

Since years ago, vitamin C has gained its popularity to be used for various functions from prevention of illnesses, alleviating symptoms for illnesses, and even in the cosmetics industry for skin care purposes. It has becoming popular after the Nobel prized scientist Linus Pauling started to consumed it (1). Following that there are many studies conducted on vitamin C and many people started to question its effectiveness and there are also many people who started to consume vitamin C for various purposes.

 

 

With regards to COVID-19 pandemic, many people started wanting to boost their immune system thus making the demand for vitamin C supplementation and food products containing vitamin C is even higher. However, is it true that vitamin C can boost immune system and prevent or treat COVID19?

 

 

What is vitamin C and how does it improve immune system?(2)

 

Vitamin C or also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. It can also act as antioxidant, which helps in protecting cells against free radicals thus helps with various kind of diseases. Vitamin C improves our white blood cells  (WBC) which function in fighting the viruses, bacteria, and generally foreign materials in the body. There are various studies with regards to this, one of it is the study that compare the administration of vitamin C and vitamin E as antioxidant, finding of the study noted that vitamin C give greater effect on body immunity as compared to vitamin E.

 

 

Vitamin C supplementation (4,5,6,7)

 

Vitamin C is found abundantly in fruits and vegetables especially citrus food. Also, if you look closely on the food labelled, there are food that is fortified with vitamin C such as breakfast cereal, milk etc. Local fruit that is high with vitamin C is guava, the amount of vitamin C in guava is even higher than in the orange.

 

As for cold, vitamin C has been a long popular remedy for common cold, which is why many people started to consume it when the pandemic strikes. Research shows that vitamin C does not reduce risk of getting common cold. Well, being sick once in a while, or get common cold once in a while is a good thing actually, it helps  antibodies to fight against pathogen (bad bacteria and viruses) and improve the immune system naturally. However, the consumption of vitamin C can lead to  a shorter period of common cold with milder symptoms. But the consumption of vitamin C after the symptoms of common cold is showing does not appear to be helpful.

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than physical distancing, also known as social distancing, and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19. However, since the symptoms is the same as common cold thus it is thought that it can be used to alleviate the same symptoms present. Currently researchers and physicians are studying the effect of vitamin C via (high dose intravenous) (IV) and also on the effect of supplementation taking on the new COVID19.

 

In conclusion, 

 

It is safe to say that, there is no harm in consuming vitamin C with the purpose to boost immune system in this pandemic situation, but also it has to be hand in hand with the other safety precautions such as only go out when it is necessary, must always adhere to the one meter social distance measure, must always wear mask when you are outside, must wash hands frequently using soap or hand sanitizer.

 

 

 

References

 

  1. Oregon State University. Pauling Recommendation (2004).https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C/pauling-recommendation (Accessed on November, 16, 2020).
  2. Healthline. 7 Impressive ways Vitamin C benefits your body. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits ( Accessed on Nov 16, 2020)
  3. 8 Nutrients that will optimize your eye health. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-nutrients-for-eyes. (Accessed on Aug 26, 2020)
  4. All About Vision. Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Eye and vision benefits. https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/lutein.htm (Accessed on Aug, 26, 2020)
  5. Simonson W. (2020). Vitamin C and coronavirus. Geriatric nursing (New York, N.Y.)41(3), 331–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gerinurse.2020.05.002
  6. Medical News Today (MNT). Can Vitamin C Prevent or Treat COVID19.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/can-vitamin-c-prevent-or-treat-covid-19 (Accessed on November 16, 2020).
  7. Healthline. Can Vitamin C Protect you from Vitamin C. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-coronavirus (Accessed on November 16, 2020)

Ministry of Health Malaysia is using Vitamin C in treating COVID19 patients?

Vitamin C or its actual name is ascorbic acid, is the antioxidants used for various reasons. It becomes famous after the ‘Linus Pauling effect’ all around the world. The Nobel Laurette scientist claims that the consumption of vitamin C can treat various kind of diseases. Starting from that many manufacturers claim various benefits of Vitamin C consumption. Many researchers have then started to publish articles and studies on the benefits of vitamin C, but so far, in Malaysia the studies are still somewhat lacking for it to be used partly in treatment of a particular diseases.

 

Pandemic COVID-19

 

The outbreak of Coronavirus disease began at Wuhan, China in December 2019, thus far it has infected more that 46 million of individual all around the world and has caused more than 1.2 million of deaths. The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, dyspnoea, and myalgia. Some proportion of confirmed cases also developed severe diseases which involves acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which can precipitated into multiple organ failure and death. This is also one of the reasons why infection occur to the high-risk individuals are more likely be getting serious or lead to complications as compared to healthy individuals.

 

 

It has been reported that the condition is called ‘cytokine storm’, a condition where the host immune response becomes dysfunction due to the attack from the virus to body’s immune system. In the absence of approved vaccine to prevent this from happening, management of critically ill COVID19 patients include administration of azithromycin (antibiotic) and hydroxychloroquine (malaria medicine), this is due to that there is no specific medication yet for COVID-19.

 

However, growing study interest is seen on the administration of COVID-19 recently, where even in Malaysia, Ministry of Health has conducted few studies to see whether the usage of vitamin C among critically ill COVID-19 patients is beneficial. The first study was conducted among 17 patients, the critically ill patients were given 1g of vitamin C in every 8 hour for three days. Although the findings are promising, but according to Deputy Health Minister, Datuk Dr, Noor Azmi Ghazali, it cannot still be used as management of critically ill COVID-19 patients as the sample size of the studies is too small for the result to be used.

 

Another study involving critically ill COVID-19 patients, divide between two groups of critically ill patients, the one administered with Vitamin C and the one without administration of vitamin C. The result found out that group with vitamin C administration has 57% lower on mortality rate, 9 days shorter of hospital stay, 5.6 days faster in successful extubating, and 7.5 days faster in weaning off oxygen support.

 

 

There is another unpublished study that was conducted among critically ill COVID-19 patients in two different tertiary hospital in Malaysia comparing individual treated with vitamin C against those who are not treated with vitamin C. Both groups show similar clinical background, comorbidity, illness severity, and severity score on admission. The finding shows that the vitamin C group has lower mortality rate (14.3%) as compared to the group without vitamin C (71.4%). Duration of days on the ventilator were also shorter in vitamin C groups compared to non-vitamin C group (14 vs 19.6 days). Similarly, the duration to complete weaning of oxygen therapy was also shorter in vitamin C group (16 vs 23.5 days). Since the result is very promising currently, a multicenter randomized controlled trial is underway in evaluating the effectiveness of high dosage of intravenous vitamin C for the treatment for severe COVID-19 patients.

 

Usage of Vitamin C as prophylaxis to COVID-19 for general population

 

Apart from vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin it is also a potent antioxidant. It acts as free radical scavenger and has its anti-inflammatory properties, which influence cellular immunity and vascular integrity. Which explain why it is being studied as one of the treatments for COVID-19. As for general population, National Health Service (NHS) U.K. treatment guideline stated that for non critically ill COVID-19 individuals and for non-COVID19 individuals there is insufficient data to recommend usage of high dosage of vitamin C in combating COVID-19. This being stated because, in critically ill COVID-19 individuals they experience high oxidative stress and severe inflammation, which may be helpful with the administration of vitamin C but unlike non COVID19 and non critical COVID19 individuals.

 

 

In general, sufficient consumption of vitamin C and healthy eating habit may helps with combating COVID-19 pandemic. A proper diet can help to ensure that the body is in the strongest possible state to battle the virus. Certain precaution with regards to food safety as well may helps in combating the virus although researchers have found that there is no source of virus contamination via food packaging or food. However, good food practices are always recommended to minimize the risk of contamination and to ensure that there is no window for the virus to weaken immune system.

 

  • Eat plenty of fruits daily ( such as guava, apple, banana, strawberry, cantaloupe melon, grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, orange, Longman fruit, blackcurrant, pumelo) these are fruits have high vitamin C.
  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables daily (such as green bell peppers, garlic, ginger, kale, lime, coriander, broccoli, green chili pepper). Do not overcook vegetables as it leads to the loss of important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
  • Eat whole grains and nuts, which have high amount of good fats! Limit intake of red meat, processed and fast foods.
  • For snacks, choose fresh fruits and raw vegetables rather than foods that are high in sugar, salt or fat.
  • Limit the salt intake to less than 6g/day.
  • Drink 8–10 glasses of water every day. It helps to transport nutrients in the blood, gets rid of waste, and regulates the body temperature.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle of exercise, meditation, and regular sleep. Adequate sleep will help to support immune function.
  • Eat at home to avoid contact with other people and try to reduce the chance of being exposed to COVID-19.
  • Wash vegetables and fruits before eating.
  • Wash, rinse, and disinfect objects and surfaces every time before and after use.
  • Keep cooked and raw foods separate, as it would prevent the harmful microbes from raw foods spreading to cooked foods. Use different chopping boards and utensils for cooked and raw foods to prevent cross-contamination.

 

References

  1. Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). Kajian dan Penyelidikan MahTAS COVID-19 rapid evidence update. Intravenous Vitamin C for COVID-19. Based on the availa le evidence up to 16 November 2020. http://covid-19.moh.gov.my/kajian-dan-penyelidikan/mahtas-covid-19-rapid-evidence-updates/12_INTRAVENOUS_VITAMIN_C_FOR_COVID-19_editted.pdf (Access on Feb 2, 2021).
  2. New Straits Times (NST). Vitamin C injections not used in COVID-19 treatment in Malaysia. https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/11/637714/vitamin-c-injection-not-used-covid-19-treatment-malaysia (Accessed on Feb 2, 2021).
  3. National Institute of Health (NIH). Vitamin C usage and COVID-19. https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/adjunctive-therapy/vitamin-c/ (Accessed on Feb 2, 2021).
  4. Feyaerts, A. F., & Luyten, W. (2020). Vitamin C as prophylaxis and adjunctive medical treatment for COVID-19? Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)79-80, 110948. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2020.110948
  5. Aman, F., & Masood, S. (2020). How Nutrition can help to fight against COVID-19 Pandemic. Pakistan journal of medical sciences36(COVID19-S4), S121–S123. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.36.COVID19-S4.2776

Can EPA & DHA help with COVID19?

Unsaturated fat can be divided into two, Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), usually rich in food such as olive oil, canola oil, cashew, and groundnuts, whilst another type is polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which can further be divided into Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are also referred to as omega 3 Fatty acids. It can be found in fatty fish and algae.

 

Benefits of EPA and DHA

 

There are various benefits of EPA and DHA, among well studied one is its relation to cardiovascular disease. Many studies show that consuming food high with EPA and DHA or consume it from dietary supplement is able to reduce level of triglycerides. Which is why American Heart Association (AHA) recommend people who have high risk of getting heart disease consuming about 1g of EPA plus DHA daily. According to Joseph C. Maroon, MD, professor of the department of neurological surgery at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and author of Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory book; large enough amount of omega 3 will reduce the inflammatory process that leads to many chronic conditions. Which is why many other diseases which have the genesis of inflammation such as arthritis problem, dry eyes, age related macular degeneration (AMD), dementia, Alzheimer and cognitive problem may also help with the consumption of omega 3 for it has the anti-inflammatory effect. But what about COVID-19?

 

 

 


EPA & DHA with COVID19?

 

As COVID-19 is a new disease, there are many things that is not yet discovered about the disease by the scientist but among potential management and treatment that scientist is looking at is regarding the relation between EPA and DHA with COVID19. Since many well documented studies suggest that EPA and DHA have potential benefits for COVID19 due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

 

COVID19 is a disease where it attacks body’s immune system. The attack causes the body to activate its immune system and fight the disease. During the war, body defense system work by releasing cytokine. This is what scientist refers to as ‘cytokine storm’. The higher the cytokine in the body, the less possibility for the body to win the war. This is based on study that was conducted previously among sepsis (a condition when body’s response to an infection damages its own tissue) patients. When EPA and DHA is administered, resolvin is release which involve in promoting restoration to the cellular function following inflammation that occurs after tissue injury. Which explains why administration and consumption of diet high with EPA and DHA is being studied as a potential mechanism for COVID19. Other than this study, a meta-analysis study also reported that significant reduction in ventilator-free days, organ failures, length of stay in the ICU and low mortality rate among individuals with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is also seen with the administration of high EPA and DHA through parenteral and enteral nutrition. Since ARDS is one of the complications occur to COVID19 critically ill patients thus the same outcome is postulated to be seen.

 

 

Other parameter that is use in measuring severity of COVID19 especially among critically ill COVID19 patients are their body’s coagulation ability. It is said that, among non-survivor of COVID19 patients are those who has higher ability of platelet aggregation and activation. Easily translate, the patients’ blood are easily clump which makes it have higher risk of thrombosis (clotting) which will result in death threatening condition. An investigation using moderate amount of three species of high omega 3 (EPA & DHA) fish in 18 days by 23 healthy men revealed that it can improved bleeding time and decreased platelet aggregation which will reduce risk of thrombosis among COVID19 patients. Another study also noted that healthy subject that is supplemented with EPA for 4 weeks also showed reduction of platelet activation (an early step of platelet aggregation).

 

In conclusion  

 

 Administration or consumption of EPA and DHA may help with critically ill COVID19 patients’ conditions. However, the usage of EPA and DHA among healthy individuals as prophylaxis to COVID19 must be investigated since little known about the virus pathology and how the characteristics of the patients are involved in the recovery. Thus, studies suggest that randomized and controlled trials need to be carried out, taking into account the type of supplementation, dosage, individuals’ characteristics, adverse effects and the combination of medication and antioxidants using.

 

References


  1. National Institute of Health (NIH). Office of Dietary Supplements. Fact sheet for consumer. Omega 3 Fatty Acids. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/ (Accessed on Feb 4, 2021).
  2. National Institute of Health (NIH). Office of Dietary Supplements. Fact sheet for Health Professionals. Omega 3 Fatty Acids. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/ (Accessed on Feb 4, 2021).
  3. Nourish by WebMD. What to know about Omega 3 and fish? Annie Stuart. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/what-to-know-about-omega-3s-and-fish#1 (Accessed on Feb 4, 2021).
  4. Rogero, M. M., Leão, M. D. C., Santana, T. M., de MB Pimentel, M. V., Carlini, G. C., da Silveira, T. F., … & Castro, I. A. (2020). Potential benefits and risks of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation to patients with COVID-19. Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
  5. Bistrian B. R. (2020). Parenteral Fish-Oil Emulsions in Critically Ill COVID-19 Emulsions.  Journal of parenteral and enteral nutrition44(7), 1168. https://doi.org/10.1002/jpen.1871.

 


Can Diet Helps with Immunity?

With regards to COVID19, many people have started to consume food which they believe will help with their immune system. Citrus fruits, chicken soup, tea with honey, probiotics & prebiotics and many others are among examples of foods that commonly associated with immune booster. However, research have shown that the design of our immune system is rather complex and influenced by an ideal balance of many factors, and NOT JUST DIET, and especially not by any one specific food or nutrients. However, a balanced diet consisting of a range of vitamins and minerals, combined with healthy lifestyle factors like adequate sleep and exercise and low stress, most effectively primes the body to fight infection and diseases including COVID19!

 

 

What is immunity?

 

Immunity is referring to the system in the body which protects body from harm. Immune system is a network of intricate stages and pathways in the body, that protects us against these harmful microbes as well as certain diseases. It recognized foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, and parasites thus take immediate action towards it. There are two type of immunity in human body: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is referring to body first line defense from pathogens that try to enter body, achieved through protective barriers, such as skin, mucus that traps pathogens, stomach acid that destroys pathogens and enzymes in our sweat and tears that help to create antibacterial compound. While adaptive of acquired immunity is a system that learns to recognize a pathogen. When a foreign substance enters the body, our body create antibodies which fight the foreign substance, and not only that it also adapts by remembering the foreign substance so that if it enters again, these antibodies will be more efficient and quicker to destroy it.

 

 

Immune boosting diet?

 

Well, frankly speaking as mentioned above, not a particular food can prevent individual from getting disease. It is through variety, moderate, and balanced diet where individual may achieve diet that will prevent from getting various kind of diseases be it chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases or infectious diseases like COVID19. However, certain dietary patterns may better prepare body for microbial attacks and excess inflammation. Each stage of the body’s immune response relies on the presence of many micronutrient, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein. And all these nutrients can be found in variety of foods.

 

 

 

Diet that are limited in variety and lower in nutrients, such as processed food can negatively affect a healthy immune system. Research also shows that typical western diet, that is high with refined sugar and red meat and low in fruits and vegetables can cause disturbances in healthy intestinal microorganism, resulting in chronic inflammation of the gut, and associated with suppressed immune health.

 

 



Steps to support healthy immune system.

 

  1. Eat a balanced diet that is rich with whole fruits (guava, orange, kiwi) vegetables (green leafy vegetables) lean, fresh protein, whole grains, and plenty of water.
  2. If a balanced diet is not readily accessible or your lifestyles does not promote healthy eating, consider taking a multivitamin containing nutrient sufficient for everyday use. Talk to your healthcare provider for the advice on suitable multivitamin for you. You may talk to use as well!
  3. Do not smoke (it will increase inflammation) and drink alcohol in moderation.
  4. Perform regular exercise (30-45 minutes of exercise in most of the days in a week is sufficient).
  5. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Try to keep a sleep schedule, waking up and going to bed around the same time each day will help with our body clock (circadian rhythm), having a good circadian rhythm makes it easier for individual to enter deep sleep (a restful sleep).
  6. Manage stress. This is easier said than done but try to find some healthy strategies in managing your stress, it can be exercise, meditation, journaling, talking to a trusted friend. Another tip is to practice regular conscious breathing when feeling of stress/ overwhelm/ anxiety arise.
  7. Wash hands throughout the day especially after touching surfaces, when coming in form outdoors, before and after preparing food, after using the toilet, after coughing or blowing your nose.
  8. Lastly, practice social distance and wear mask when you are outside.

 

References

  1. Harvard Health. Nutrition and Immunity. www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/    (Accessed on Feb 9, 2021)
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Health essentials. 3 Vitamins that are best for boosting your immunity.  https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-vitamins-best-boosting-immunity/ (Accessed on Feb 9, 2021).
  3. 9 Ways to boost your body’s natural defences. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-boost-immune-health

Boost your kids’ immune health

In this pandemic COVID19 era, people have started to consume foods which can boost their immunity. People have started to practice wearing mask in public, normalize social distancing and some even goes to the extent of not exposing children in public places for the fear of virus spreading. We know that children are even fragile than us adult, thus taking extra care for them especially children who fall sick easily is a must for parents in this COVID19 situation. Here we share with you some tips that you can practice to boost your children immunity system!

 

  • Guard against germ spread.

 

Fighting germs does not technically boost immunity, but it is a great way to reduce stress on your child’s immune system. Make sure your children wash their hands often (with soap) especially before and after using toilet, before and after meals, after playing outside, arrive home from day care, handling pets, or blowing their nose. To cultivate the habits, you may also let them pick up their own choice of handkerchief, soap, and scents!

 

You must also always make sure that your hands are clean before you touch them!

 

Whenever you are bringing them outside make sure you carry antibacterial disposable wet wipes with you for your quick clean ups. Oh, you may also practice to let your children wear face shield if you are outside or in public area if they cannot wear mask yet! Make sure to sanitize or clean the face shield frequently and keep it properly as well!

 

 

Another key germ busting strategy according to health professionals is whenever your child is sick throw away their toothbrush as the germs from outside or from the toothbrush can hop from toothbrush to toothbrush infecting other family members. If it is a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, your child can reinfect themselves with the same germs that got them sick in the first place. In that case, tossing the toothbrush protects both your child and the rest of your family.

 

  • Make sure your children eat healthily.

 

It is normal for kids to dislike healthy foods if the parents dislike it, or rarely consume it! If you feel like your children eating habit are more into unhealthy habit check back your food preference most of the times it is a reflection!

 

Try to eat healthily as much as you can, make sure that every main mealtime there is vegetables and fruit serve for your whole family, it can be just a simple blanched carrot and broccoli, or it can be stir fried vegetables or it can be simply raw salad with dressings! If your children are okay with consuming vegetables and fruits in every main mealtime, start introducing healthy snacks using fruits and vegetables as well.

 

 

They may eat cakes, biscuits, and dessert occasionally still! If your children are still below 6 months young, try to breastfeed them as much as you can, as breastmilk has naturals antibody which is passed from mothers to baby which is beneficial for children during this pandemic situation.

 

Apart from vegetables and fruits, consuming yogurt which contains high amount of probiotics and prebiotics also helps with immune health.

 

  • Boost sleep time!

 

Studies show that sleep deprivation make individuals more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells (immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells). Required sleeping hours for children is vary according to their age, but on average children need to nap during the day for at least one hour and sleep throughout the night for at least 10 hours.

 

Try to help your children into having a fixed routine helps with their sleeping time. Try to tone down screen time and makes them do a lot of physical activity in the evening also helps with sleeping earlier during the night. Children who does not nap during the day may sleep even earlier at night according to expert, but still nap is important for children, which is why try to cultivate habits which makes them easier to nap during the day. This will not only be beneficial for their immunity but as well as for their growth and development.

 

 

 

References.

  1. 7 Ways to Boost Immunity for your child’s Immunity. https://www.parents.com/health/cold-flu/cold/boost-childs-immunity/ (Accessed on Feb 15, 2021).
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Health Essentials. How to boost your kids’ immunity heading into the new school year. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-boost-your-kids-immunity-heading-into-the-new-school-year/ (Accessed on Feb 15, 2021).
  2. Grow by WebMD. Immunity bosting snacks for kids. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/immune-system#1 (Accessed on Feb 15, 2021).

Children and repeated infections

Whenever a child frequently being infected it makes parents worry a lot. According to study on average children get infected about 4 to 8 times annually. A big why for this is because they spend most their time at school or in day-care centers where they are in close contact with other kids most of the day. Also, it partly because kids are not conscientious enough about covering sneezing with elbow or frequent hand washing. Apart from this, it is also because their young immune systems are still developing and not strong enough to fight colds.

However, it is not practical to avoid your children from all the exposure altogether since exposure to all these things are somewhat things that build up their immune health stronger and better, but we must control the exposure and make sure that their immune health is strong enough to fight the infection.

 

Here are some of the tips which you may practice to help your children to stay as healthy as possible:

 

  • Make sure that your child get all the required vaccines under the National Immunization Program. You may also add more vaccines based on your child condition and needs but talk to your pediatrician first!

 

 

  • Make sure that your child is getting the nutrition that they need to help them with their immune system. Ensure that your child get enough protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Minimize sugar and processed foods as their tummy is only little if they fill it with all these unhealthy stuff they will have no appetite anymore for nutritious foods. Encourage children to consume fruits such as orange, kiwi, and guava that is rich with vitamin C. Limit the intake of dessert, sugary drinks, sausage, meatballs etc.

 

 

  • Discourage the habit of thumb sucking or using pacifier as your infant gets older, as a contaminated finger, thumb, or pacifier can be a route for germs transmission which can lead to infection.

 

  • Always keep your child’s utensils and bottle clean. If you are still breastfeeding your child, or is using breastmilk pump, make sure you frequently boiled it, or steam all the equipments.

 

  • Try to instils good hygiene practice since young, such as wash hands as soon as reach home, after going to the toilet, and whenever they sneeze or cough and covered it with their hand.

 

 

Most importantly, understand that frequent infections are very common in the first two years of life especially if they are in day care with many other children and after they no longer breastfed. All in all, all these will help them to make their immune health better but at the same time as a parents we need to help the children to build their immune health by providing nutritious foods, clean environment and instill good hygiene practice.


Probiotics and COVID-19

World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host. It can be found in fermented food (E.g.: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kimchi), dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

Probiotics may contain variety of microorganisms. The most common are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are also other bacteria being used as probiotics (e.g.: Saccharomyces boulardii.)

 

According to studies, different types of bacteria exert different effect to human body. Therefore, choosing the right strains and types of probiotics is essential for it to works on the said health concern.

 

How does probiotics help to maintain health?

 

There are variety of ‘bugs’ that coexist naturally in the body such as bacteria, fungi, parasite and viruses, these are what scientists refer to as microbiome. In the body of a healthy person, all these bugs coexist peacefully. The role of the microbiome is to promote smooth daily operation of human body. However, conditions such as infectious illness, certain diet, prolonged use of antibiotics and/or other bacteria-destroying medications, can lead to body becoming more susceptible to diseases.

 

Due to this, scientists believe that consumption of probiotics influence bacteria colonization process, which can lead to speedy restoration of healthy microbiome and lower risk of being sick.

 

 

 

Probiotics and COVID-19?

 

Probiotic is link with COVID19 due to its ability to boost the immune system. Currently, most extensive researched on probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia Coli, Enterococcus, etc. Although probiotics mechanism profoundly focuses on the gastrointestinal tract, the effect of probiotics is not confined to the digestive system only. Probiotics can act on the entire body via immune modulation. Not only that, it also facilitate the immune system development and maturation and regulate the interaction between host and pathogen by killing the pathogen and regulate the immune responses towards it.

 

One might argue that, but COVID-19 is a viral infection unlike others. A systematic review described probiotics’ efficacy against viral diseases where more than 20 strains of probiotics showed the anti-inflammatory effects on the body and antibody production against viruses.

 

Moreover, study found out that viral loads were lowered upon probiotics supplementation, it is postulated due to immune modulation by microbiota that fights against COVID-19 directly and decrease the risk of secondary infections due to prolonged antibiotics exposure from multiple experimental COVID19 treatment.

 

China’s National Health Commission recommended probiotics for severe COVID-19 patients to restore the intestinal balance and protect from secondary infections. Moreover, gut microbiota’s role in modulating lung diseases has been demonstrated.

 

 

In conclusion, scientists in this study suggest that many more studies should be established on the effectiveness of using probiotics as prevention and especially treatment of COVID-19. As of now, apart from practicing social distancing, wearing mask, adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP), individuals may also benefits from probiotics rich foods and supplementation for its boosting immunity properties and fight against COVID-19.

 

Reference

  1. Kurian, S. J., Unnikrishnan, M. K., Miraj, S. S., Bagchi, D., Banerjee, M., Reddy, B. S., Rodrigues, G. S., Manu, M. K., Saravu, K., Mukhopadhyay, C., & Rao, M. (2021). Probiotics in Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19: Current Perspective and Future Prospects. Archives of medical research52(6), 582–594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2021.03.002

Asthma in Children

What is asthma in children?

 

Asthma is a major non-communicable disease (NCD), affecting children and adults. It is a condition in which the airway in the lung narrows due to inflammation and tightening of the muscle surrounding the small airway. As a result, asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness developed. These symptoms are usually on and off, while the asthma disease itself is a long-term condition. Asthma triggers vary from person to person, but they can also be due to a viral infection (cold), dust, smoke, fumes, changes in the weather, grass and tree pollen, feathers, strong soap, perfume, animal fur, and many more.

 

Causes of asthma in children. 

 

Although it is often difficult to find a single, direct cause, it is believed to have multiple complex causes. Many factors have been linked to an increased risk of developing asthma, such as

  • Have a close family member with asthma and/or eczema, such as parents or siblings
  • Have other allergic conditions such as rhinitis, etc.
  • Urbanization is associated with increased asthma prevalence, probably due to multiple lifestyle factors.
  • Events in early life affect the developing lungs and can increase the risk of asthma. These include low birth weight, premature birth, exposure to tobacco smoke and other sources of air pollution, as well as viral respiratory infections.
  • Exposure to a range of environmental allergens and irritants is also thought to increase the risk of asthma, including indoor and outdoor air pollution, house dust mites, molds, and occupational exposure to chemicals, fumes, or dust. 


Prevention & Control of asthma

 

Asthma cannot be cured, but good management with inhaled medications can control the disease and enable people with asthma to enjoy a normal, active life.

 

There are two main types of inhalers:

 

  • Bronchodilators (such as Salbutamol), that open the air passages and relieve symptoms
  • Steroids (such as Beclomethasone), that reduce inflammation in the air passages. This improves asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of severe asthma attack and death.

People with asthma may need to use an inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the types of inhalers available.

 

It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler, especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a "spacer" device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine reach the lung more effectively.

People with asthma may need to use an inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the types of inhalers available.

It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler, especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a "spacer" device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine reach the lung more effectively. 

Other than this, it is also best to avoid triggers for asthma. Triggers vary from person to person; as asthmatic children grow; parents should be able to identify things that trigger their asthma attack. It can be as simple as changes in weather, temperature, etc.

In conclusion, since asthma is a lifelong disease, it is best to manage or control it by avoiding triggers in children and by adhering to the medication based on a doctor's suggestion.

References

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  2. Mayo Clinic. Childhood Asthma. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma
  3. Better Health Chanel. Asthma in children. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/asthma-in-children#causes-of-asthma-in-children

 

 

COVID19 – Masa Untuk Berhenti Merokok!

Pertubuhan Kesihatan Dunia (WHO) telah mewartakan bahawa merokok merupakan risiko yang spesifik bagi mendapatkan COVID19 (1,2). Hal ini adalah kerana, merokok merupakan penyebab kepada komplikasi sistem pernafasan dan organ badan yang lain. Justeru itu, jika virus korona ini menyerang tubuh badan individu yang merokok, peratus untuk individu tersebut pulih lebih rendah berbanding dengan individu yang tidak merokok manakala peratus untuk individu tersebut untuk mengalami kegagalan paru – paru yang serius pula adalah tinggi.


Umum mengetahui, COVID19 adalah virus yang menyerang sistem pernafasan, jadi, individu yang merokok atau yang mempunyai masalah pernafasan dan/atau sakit – sakit kronik yang lain seperti masalah jantung, buah pinggang, kencing manis dan lain -lain jika terdedah kepada virus ini, mempunyai sebanyak 80.7% lebih risiko untuk terdedah kepada kematian berbanding individu yang tidak menghidapi penyakit kronik (3).

 

Statistik juga menunjukkan bahawa, warga emas yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas mempunyai 62.6% risiko terdedah kepada kematian jika terdedah kepada virus ini berbanding individu yang di bawah usia 60 tahun (3). Lebih menakutkan lagi, jika individu yang berusia 60 tahun ke atas, dan mempunyai sejarah penyakit kronik terdedah kepada virus ini, risiko menghadapi kematian adalah sangat tinggi berbanding dengan individu yang yang berusia kurang dari 60 tahun dan tidak mempunyai sejarah  penyakit kronik.

 

Tabiat merokok itu sendiri yang menyebabkan individu  berisiko terdedah kepada pelbagai jenis komplikasi kesihatan, akan tetapi sebelum ini mungkin perokok menghadapi kesukaran untuk berhenti merokok disebabkan faktor rakan sekeliling, tekanan kerja dan sebagainya. Akan tetapi oleh keranan dunia diancam dengan wabak COVID19, individu yang merokok mempunyai lebih sebab untuk berhenti merokok kerana anda mempunya risiko yang lebih tinggi terdedah kematian jika terdedah kepada virus ini.

Antara cara untuk berhenti merokok, yang telah dikumpulkan oleh Pengkalan Data Cochchrane Edisi Istimewa, mengenai cara – cara berhenti merokok adalah dengan menggunakan terapi kombinasi, iaitu penggunaan ubat dan juga sokongan moral (4).

 

Penggunaan Ubat – Ubatan seperti Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) telah digunakan sebagai salah satu cara untuk berhenti merokok sekian lama. Terapi ini adalah bagi tujuan untuk menggantikan kebergantungan perokok kepada nikotin dan seterusnya menggurangkan motivasi perokok untuk terus merokok. Ia juga membantu mengawal kesan sampingan akibat berhenti rokok/ kurang merokok (4).

 

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) ini memberikan nikotin dalam dos yang rendah kepada perokok tanpa apa apa bahan merbahaya yang lain seperti yang terdapat di dalam rokok. Terdapat pelbagai jenis Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) dipasaran, iaitu sama ada dengan menggunakan  gula getah nikotin (nicotine gum), ‘nicotine inhaler’, ‘nicotine lozenge’, ‘nicotine patch’ atau ‘nicotine nasal spray’. Kesemua jenis produk ini mempunyai dos, cara, dan kekuatan yang berbeza (5).

 


Produk bagi terapi nikotin telah direka dengan pelbagai jenis mekanisma untuk penyerapan dan perembesan nikotin di dalam badan. Sebagai contoh bagi gula getah nikotin, inhaler nikotin, lozenge nikotin dan nasal spray nikotin, ia memberi kesan kepada otak dengan lebih cepat berbanding nicotine patch akan tetapi mempunyai  proses perembesan yang lebih lambat  berbanding merokok (5). Nicotine patch pula merembeskan nikotin dos secara perlahan – lahan dan secara pasif, oleh kerana itu terapi  nicotin patch biasanya digunakan bersama produk yang lain.

 

 

 

 

Kepelbagaian produk bagi membantu perokok berhenti merokok memberikan perokok beberapa pilihan untuk berhenti merokok dengan kaedah yang paling sesuai, berdasarkan kekerapan perokok merokok dan kebergantungan perokok kepada rokok tersebut (4,5). Kesemua produk ini berkesan jika digunakan mengikut kesesuaian terhadap tahap aktiviti merokok seseorang individu. (5).

 

Selain daripada penggunaan ubat – ubatan, terdapat beberapa langkah yang biasanya disyorkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), iaitu yang pertama ialah dengan membaca atau mendapatkan informasi mengenai bahaya rokok dari sumber yang sahih, berkenaan bahaya merokok dan kelebihan berhenti merokok.

 

Terdapat banyak kelebihan berhenti merokok kerana merokok memberi banyak keburukan kepada diri sendiri dan orang sekeliling terutama ahli keluarga, sebagai contoh kanak – kanak yang selalu terdedah kepada asap rokok atau asap rokok basi akan lebih sering sakit seperti batuk – batuk, selsema serta jangkitan telinga, hidung dan tekak. Merokok juga boleh membuatkan paru – paru lemah dan penyakit seperti asma (6).

 

Selain daripada aspek kesihatan bagi orang yang tersayang, merokok juga boleh menyebabkan anda mendapat pelbagai jenis penyakit seperti, kanser paru – paru,  penyakit paru – paru yang kronik, strok dan ulser di bahagian bawah lapisan kulit perut. Individu yang merokok juga mengikut statistik mati lebih awal, kerana statistik menunjukan satu dari dua orang perokok mati disebabkan penyakit berkaitan merokok (6).

 

Tabiat berhenti merokok juga dapat menjimatkan wang, labur wang anda berbanding membeli rokok sebagai contoh

Wang untuk membeli rokok = RM5.00/sehari

Sebulan = RM 150.00

Setahun = RM 1800.00

 

Jika anda melabur untuk 10 tahun, anda sudah mempunyai RM18,000.00 dalam akaun simpanan anda) (6).

 

 

Selain, Ia juga dapat melindungi alam sekitar – Puntung rokok dibuang oleh perokok boleh menyebabkan kebakaran (6).

 

 

Terdapat pelbagai kaedah untuk berhenti merokok. Faktor yang paling penting adalah keinginan anda untuk menjadikannya satu kenyataan. Mula dengan menetapkan tarikh untuk berhenti merokok dan pastikan tarikh tersebut boleh dicapai. Dalam pada masa yang sama, anda mesti yakin dengan keupayaan diri untuk berhenti merokok. Katakan pada diri anda “saya bukan perokok” Ulang beberapa kali sehingga menjadi semangat untuk berhenti merokok. Sentiasa berfikiran positif dan dapatkan sokongan daripada orang sekeliling.

 

Teknik berhenti merokok yang paling selalu digunakan dan disyorkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) ialah dengan mengamalkan Teknik 12M (6).

 

1. Melengah – lengahkan

Sebagai contoh jika anda terasa seperti mahu merokok, lengah – lengahkan tabiat tersebut seperti  tunggu 5 minit atau katakan kepada diri sendiri sebentar lagi “saya akan merokok”.

 

2. Menarik Nafas Panjang

Tarik nafas 3 kali secara perlahan-lahan. Ulangi perkara yang sama sehingga hilang rasa untuk merokok.

 

3. Minum air

Anda juga boleh mencuba untuk minum air masak bagi mengalihkan perhatian anda dari tertumpu kepada ketagihan rokok.

 

4. Menyibukan diri

Buat sesuatu bagi mengalih fikiran untuk melupakan rokok. Buat perkara yang dapat mengalihkan tumpuan anda seperti bersenam atau bermain permainan video.

 

5. Menjauhkan diri daripada individu yang merokok

Oleh kerana  musim PKP ini adalah masa yang terbaik untuk berhenti merokok. Anda boleh menjauhkan diri anda dari rakan – rakan dan ahli keluarga yang merokok, gunakan masa yang ada untuk bersama keluarga tersayang.

 

6. Mengelakkan diri daripada suasana atau situasi yang mendorong kepada merokok

Seperti keadaan berseorangan tanpa berbuat apa – apa (keadaan bosan) atau keadaan tertekan.

 

7. Mengunyah sesuatu seperti gula getah atau buah-buahan.

Mengunyah dapat membuatkan rongga mulut sibuk dan mengalihkan perhatian dari ketagihan rokok. Elakkan makanan yang manis kerana ia memberi risiko kepada penyakit – penyakit kronik yang lain pula.

 

8. Membasuh tangan selalu

Membasuh tangan dengan kerap juga dapat menghilangkan ketagihan kerana kita telah mengalihkan perhatian kita daripada keinginan untuk merokok.

 

9. Mandi dengan kerap

Mandi dengan kerap menyebabkan badan menjadi segar dan dapat melupakan ketagihan yang di alami, seketika.

 

10. Meregangkan otot

Senaman yang atau regangan otot apabila ketagihan untuk merokok datang dapat menghindarkan diri dari merokok.

 

11. Meditasi

Meditasi menyebabkan kita ingat kembali sebab – sebab untuk kita berhenti merokok dan boleh membangkitkan kembali semangat kita untuk berhenti merokok.

 

12. Memohon doa

 

Memohon doa agar rasa ketagihan dihilangkan dan dipermudahkan urusan untuk berhenti merokok seperti dihindarkan dari perkara – perkara yang boleh menyebabkan keinginan untuk merokok untuk kembali.

 

Selain daripada Langkah – Langkah yang telah disyorkan anda juga boleh mendapatkan maklumat yang lebih lanjut di laman sesawang KKM. Terdapat banyak bahan – bahan rujukan cara untuk berhenti merokok yang boleh di muat turun di laman sesawang yang sahih seperti di Portal MyHealth Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM)(5). Selain dari bahan – bahan sokongan yang boleh di muat turun, terdapat juga nombor QuitLine yang boleh dihubungi di nombor 03-88834400 bagi keterangan lanjut mengenai cara berhenti merokok dari kaunselor berhenti merokok atau layari laman web jomquit.moh.gov.my (4,5).

 

Rujukan


  1. The Star. Stub It Out Now, Smoking and Added Health Risk for COVID19. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/13/effective-ways-exist-to-quit-smoking-while-under-mco (Diakses 17 April 2020).
  2. The Star. Smokers face high infection rate. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/13/smokers-face-higher-infection-risk (Diakses 17 April 2020).
  3. Ketua Pengarah Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). From the desk of the Director General of Health Malaysia. https://kpkesihatan.com/2020/04/16/kenyataan-akhbar-16-april-2020-situasi-semasa-jangkitan-penyakit-coronavirus-2019-covid-19-di-malaysia/ (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  4. Cochrane. COVID-19 Resources. https://www.cochrane.org/news/special-collection-effective-options-quitting-smoking-during-covid-19 (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  5. Portal Rasmi My Health Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/nicotine-replacement-therapy-nrt/ (Diakses 17 April 2020)
  6. Info Sihat. Bahagian Pendidikan Kesihatan. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/isu-semasa/42-tips-berhenti-merokok (Diakses 17 April 2020)


What happen to your stomach when you fast?

Fasting has long been a part of many religious traditions, including the Jewish and Muslim holidays of Yom Kippur and Ramadan, respectively. As you read this, billions of Muslims around the world are participating in this act of faith, which involves fasting from dawn to dusk. While fasting for Ramadan is based on spiritual beliefs, many of us fast because we believe it benefits our health. However, what happens to our bodies when we fast? 

The primary source of energy for a person is glucose, which is obtained from carbohydrates such as grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans, and even sweets. 

 

The glucose is stored in the liver and muscles and released into the bloodstream when the body requires it. This process, however, changes during fasting. The liver will deplete its glucose reserves after about 8 hours of fasting. At this point, the body enters a state known as glucogenesis, which marks the transition into fasting mode.

 

Glucogenesis has been shown in studies to increase the number of calories burned by the body. Without carbohydrates, the body burns its own calories. When there is no carbohydrate available, the body produces its own glucose, primarily from fat.

 

The body eventually runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then transitions into the more serious starvation mode. A person's metabolism slows down at this point, and their body begins to burn muscle tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known term in the dieting world, true starvation mode occurs only after several days or even weeks without food. So, unless other health conditions exist, it is generally safe to go without eating for a day after breaking their fast after 24 hours. (1)

 

“A detoxification process also occurs, because any toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body,” he adds, noting that after a few days of fasting, higher levels of endorphins – “feel-good hormones” are produced in the blood, which can have a positive impact on mental well-being. As mentioned previously, the study by Dr.Longo and colleagues suggests prolonged fasting may also be effective for regenerating immune cells. “When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Dr.Longo explains. In their study, publish in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the team found that repeated cycles of 2 – 4 days without food over a 6-month period destroyed the old and damaged immune cells in mice and generate new ones.

 

Furthermore, the team discovered that cancer patients who fasted for three days prior to chemotherapy were protected against immune system damage caused by the treatment, which they attribute to immune cell regeneration. "The good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting," says Dr. Longo. "Now, if you start with a system that has been heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can literally generate a new immune system." (2)

 

Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, is associated with numerous health risks, according to the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

 

People who fast frequently become dehydrated, owing to their bodies' inability to obtain fluid from food. As a result, it is advised that Muslims consume plenty of water prior to fasting periods during Ramadan. Other people who follow fasting diets should stay hydrated during their fasting periods.

 

On the other hand, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), there are numerous health risks associated with intermittent fasting.

 

Fasting can also cause heartburn; lack of food leads to a reduction in stomach acid, which digests food and destroys bacteria. But smelling food or even thinking about it during fasting periods can trigger the brain into telling the stomach to produce more acid, leading to heartburn.(2)

 

Finally, to sum up, moderation is the key. Know the precaution step to avoid the potential risk. A person must understand his or her current health condition before proceeding to any sort of diet plan.

 

Fasting can also cause heartburn because a lack of food reduces stomach acid, which digests food and destroys bacteria. However, smelling food or even thinking about it during a fast can cause the brain to tell the stomach to produce more acid, resulting in heartburn. (2)

 

To summarize, moderation is essential. Understand the precautionary measure to avoid the potential risk. Before beginning any diet plan, a person must first understand his or her current health situation. 

 

References


Medical News Today (n.d). What Happens If You Don’t Eat For A Day? Timeline And Effects. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322065#can-fasting-promote-weight-loss [Accessed 29 April 2020].


Medical News Today (n.d). Fasting: Health Benefits And Risks. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295914  [Accessed 29 April 2020].

 

Organic food, Is it healthier?

Globally, there is increasing demand for organic food (1). In Malaysia, the organic food industry is still small, as more than 60% of organic food products are imported (2).

However, the demand is increasing as well, due to consumers are increasingly concern about nutrition, health and food quality. Major concerns appear also due to food crisis involving pesticide residue on fresh produce, food contamination by chemicals in dairy and seafood products and the unregulated use of additives in processed food (2).

 

Furthermore, with the rise of obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease people are becoming more aware of the effect of their eating habits on health. Some people opt for organic produce food also due to the environmental awareness and threat posed by pesticides use in the conventional farming activities (2).

 

Generally, consumers perceive and understand that organic produce food is mostly based on not using fertilizers and pesticides thus it is healthier, but is this true? Is this mean that food that is safe is equivalent to food that is healthy?

 

 

But first, let us see what organic produce mean….

 

“Basically, organic farming utilises natural ways to manage crops. When planting crops, natural fertilisers such as manure or compost are used to feed the soil and plants instead of synthetic fertilisers. Some fastidious parties would even go as far as to ensure that the manure comes from organically bred animals, and that the compost is produced from waste material of organic locations. Instead of using chemicals and insecticides to control pests and reduce plant disease, organic farms use natural ingredients such as enzymes or plant-based pesticides. They also practised companion planting, where certain plants that are known to repel insects (such as marigold or bunga tahi ayam) are planted close to crops (3,4)”

 

In Malaysia, Malaysia Department of Agriculture (DOA) is the body responsible for the National Standard of Organic Food Industry, they also conduct regular checking on all the organic produce food, and certify it, whilst Malaysia Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) is the body who actively conduct activities to educate farmers on organic farming etc (2).

 

Thus, from the above statement we know that organic produce food is not necessarily healthy but has safe level of pesticides since the farming method use is more environmentally friendly as compared to conventional produce food. Studies show that organic produce food have one third of the pesticides residue as compared to the conventional produce food on the market (4). However, both produce foods have safe level of pesticide residue, so to said it is safe to consume.

 

Whether a particular food is healthy or not, it cannot be judged on whether it is grown organically or not only. For a food to be consider healthy, there are many factors that play along. It is very important to remember that, there is no “healthy food like really healthy” food, what might be healthy for you might not be healthy for others, and the same food can also be considered healthy and not healthy merely on the portion consumption. (E.g: chicken is healthy but if you consume two whole chicken per day, then its hard to say that it is healthy anymore). So, to say healthy food itself is a concept comprising eating in moderation, food that has high nutritional value, eat variety of food, eat a balance diet and of course food that is safe to be eaten anddd at the same time food must be eaten according to individuals’ health/ medical condition.

 

 

But, if we are looking at the effect of organic food to see whether the consumption of organic food has actually improve health, there is a systematic review on the nutritional – related health effect of organic foods that collect all the studies on the effect of organic food published based on the hypotheses organic food production method results in higher nutrient concentration and that these compositional difference would result in different health responses, such as markers of carcinogenesis (cancer marker) or the bioavailability of phenolic substance (compound use to fight cancer) (1).

 

The result of the comparison between 12 studies in this review concluded that, antioxidant activity (compound use to fight cancer) was the most common reported primary outcome. Although antioxidant activity is a useful biomarker that maybe relevant to human health it is not direct health outcome itself. In fact, the mechanism of action that link between the effect of concentration of antioxidant and human health is mixed, thus care must be taken in interpretation of such data (1).

 

So, it is safe to say that, organic food is safer to eat as compare to conventional produce food in terms of pesticides residue but in terms of healthiness of the food, it is healthy to consume food in moderation, variety and balance.

 

 


References


  1. Dahgour D., Lock K., Hayter A., Aikenhead A., Allen E., Uauy R. (2010). Nutriton – Related Effects of Organic Foods: A systematic Review. American Society for Nutritions Journal. 2020; 92: 203-10
  2. Somasundram C., Razali Z., Santhirasegaran V., (2016). A Review on Organic Food Production in Malaysia. Horticulturae (MDPI)
  3. Datuk Dr, Nor Ashikin Mokhtar. The Star. Understanding Organic labels (2014). https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/viewpoints/womens-world/2014/01/12/understanding-organic-labels  (Accessed May 4, 2020)
  4. Is Organic Food Better For You (n.d). https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/organic-food-better#1 (Accessed May 4, 2020).

Tips to eat healthily while fasting in Ramadhan


Ramadhan is the month where Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk. Healthy Muslims need to fast, begin with the pre-dawn meal called ‘suhoor’ and break the fast at dusk which call ‘iftar’. Apart from Ramadhan, there are many other occasions where other religions around the world are also practicing fasting. The difference is only the method and the do’s and don’ts during the ritual. Since according to World Health Organization (WHO) there is evidence suggests that fasting have positive effects on health (1), there are also people who fast in order to lose weight (E.g: Intermittent fasting) and for health purposes.

What happened to your body during fasting?

 

During fasting, when no food and drink is consumed, body uses its stored carbohydrate (in the liver and muscles)  provide energy. Once all the calories from foods consumed have been used up, body will use the excess food that we consume in the form triglycerides (fat) to provide us with energy. This is when people usually loss weight.

 

Our body cannot store water so during fasting the kidneys conserve as much water as possible by reducing the amount lost in urine. However, body cannot avoid losing some water during certain process in the body such as through your skin (perspiration) and when you breathe (2).

 

Due to all these changes during fasting, we must to make sure that we practice healthy eating during fasting in order to make sure body that our body is able to cope with all this changing process by not losing nutrient needed but instead loss the unwanted fats, sugars, and cholesterol in the body.

 

4 Tips to eat healthily while fasting in Ramadhan

 

1.Do not skip ‘suhoor’

 

This is especially for special groups such as older people, adolescents, pregnant women, nursing mothers and as well as children who choose to fast. The meal for ‘suhoor’ must include vegetables, high fiber food can slow down the empty rates on the stomach and make individuals feel satiety. A serving of carbohydrates such as rice or bread (whole grain product is better) and protein – rich food such as egg or/ and dairy product are also a must.

 

Since ‘suhoor’ is very early in the morning and mostly people do not bother to cook for long time, thus people opt to fry their food, it is healthier to fry using air fryer where less fat (oil) is used, but apart from frying it is actually recommended to use other cooking method such as steaming or just stir fry since it use less oil.

 

During ‘suhoor’ also people tend to cook processed food such as sausages, nuggets etc, all these processed food actually contain high salt, it is better to avoid food that is high in salt, cause it will also makes one very thirsty later, thus food such as pickle, processed foods, salted meat and fish products, salty cheese and various types of ready-to-eat foods are best to avoid (1,2).

 

2. Keep hydrated



Make sure to drink 8 glass of water per day, still. Here is tip on how to drink 8 glass of water in Ramadhan according to Ministry of Health Malaysia (3).


Other than this, you can also increase water intake by consuming hydrating food. Try to add hydrating food such as watermelon, cucumber, tomato and green salad. You must also avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola, because caffeinated beverages are diuretic (which means it makes one urinate more often when consumed) this will lead to dehydration as well. Soupy food also rich in water thus it is suggested to consume this kind of food when break the fast. During the day of the fasting period, when the temperature is high (E.g: noon) it is important to remain in a cool and shaded place and to avoid the sun (1,2).


3. Break the fast gently

 

When it is time for break the fast, avoid filling up on greasy foods in the form of cakes and deep-fried savory snacks. It is best to go for dates, fruit or nuts to satisfy your hunger. If you often get caught in the rush hour traffic, consider keeping these preferred choices handy in small containers in your handbag or backpack so you do not have to delay your breaking of fast. This will prevent you from getting overly famished at dinner after the prayers, where you risk overeating and causing indigestion (4).

 

In Islam also, it is a sunnah habit to consume dates when break the fast;

 

 

You may also try to consume date and water to break fast and perform maghrib prayer first, then only begin to eat  heavy meals, just as the suggestion from Ministry of Health Malaysia.

 


4. Moderation and variation

 

The changes to eating habits and lack of fluids during the day may cause constipation for some people. When you can eat and drink, consume plenty of high fiber foods, such as wholegrains, high fiber cereals, bran, fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, dried fruit and nuts alongside plenty of fluids will help to ease constipation. Do some light physical activity, such as going for a walk after iftar or right before iftar in the evening will also helps with the constipation and indigestion after iftar.

 

While Ramadhan is time for people to reunite however during the pandemic of COVID19 it is best for people to not make a celebratory feast together. Iftar meals are often a time for celebration (of the day that you have successfully refrain yourself from eating and drinking) but it is still important not to go overboard when eating during Ramadan. Consuming a lot of deep fried, creamy and sweet foods may cause you to gain weight during Ramadan. Ramadan can be a good time to make changes to improve the balance of your diet that you can sustain in the longer term.

 

Be moderate in preparing ‘iftar’ and ‘suhoor’ menu. Moderation is the key when you go for grocery shopping as well. You can also practice ‘suku – suku separuh’ during ‘suhoor’ and ‘iftar’.

 

References



  1. World Health Organization (WHO) (2020). Dietary Recommendation for the month of Ramadhan. http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/nutrition-infocus/dietary-recommendations-for-the-month-of-ramadan.html (Accessed May 8, 2020)
  2. British Nutrition Foundation (n.d). A healthy Ramadhan. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/seasons/ramadan.html?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=75c06dff67f5c87204c0dc2cdd8343844c35c78f-1588901425-0-ATZP71yUnOxiGwGcgpUyrLmtTJ-b_aVnqESs0dUhbMEwJx2CMSYck_sO8RxelwmxumL_jHJv2_mGOGvWSHlXaS_XwkdLczerYyCCTS6sjsdD9iRqqIt7I_CiM5BqvX8mnxfvPxXSNRGVErKJz0u9Z-jdTIY4PV0TvLNPbbPWNeZ0FpQCI0OKjcEl-s-fgzbwiWzuJ6jfRtpYYwc37XdkKv5wE3APFD-rODoj4wdkXGHByASPcLGaYNiPWa_9x1AS7n4g0TY5EsWp3OHEeCmtpv3c4VZ3rn5QKzrtx788z_k0_J4rluYZx1CbGz3DcFaQIdFXGyIZAPcr2CYlI1MMnmlD-genvQspQrMxHnrOn6Ix2p7QlmZSgD0RKHKOIeG80w (Accessed May 8, 2020)
  3. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Pulau Pinang. https://web.facebook.com/jknpenang/posts/3729048157168283?_rdc=1&_rdr  (Accessed May 8, 2020).
  4. Indra Balaratnam (2018). New Straits Times (NST). Eat Well Healthy Eating for Ramadhan. https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/heal/2018/05/367119/eat-well-healthy-eating-tips-ramadan (Accessed May 8, 2020).

5 Tips for Hari Raya Aidilfitri to be celebrated with the new norms!


It has been almost two months that Malaysians persevered under the Movement Control Order (MCO), and then the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).The order by the government, enforced since March 18, was to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection in the country. As for now, the curve is getting flatter, with Malaysia ranked fourth out of 105 countries in terms of people’s satisfaction with the government’s efforts in addressing the pandemic (1,2).


With this being said, the number of cases daily is also decreasing and the number of people whom have cured from COVID19 also is increasing,  with many new cluster has been surfaced, thus on May 11, 2020, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin, announced that the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is extended until 9 June 2020 (1,2).

 

This brings sadness to many as the Hari Raya Aidilfitri is approaching, and the interstate travel is banned thus for the first time in history, the norms of the Hari Raya celebration are going to change 360 degrees, with the absence of the ‘balik kampung’ and the open houses culture (1,2).

 

Here are some of the tips you may practice during Hari Raya Aidilfitri new norms since World Health Organization (WHO) expert in Medical Emergency, Dr. Mike Ryan stated that, once the MCO is getting less strict people will still maintain the social distance but the risk of infection will increase:

 

1.’Balik Kampung’ (1,2,3)

 

 

If your ‘kampung’ is in the same state and everyone is healthy. If you must travel interstate, do not ‘balik kampung’ stay where you are. Make sure the place you visit has not more than twenty people with everyone is healthy in the family. The Director General of Health also said that the “20 visitors per home” rule for Aidilfitri is not an absolute number and must take into consideration the size of one’s domicile to ensure social distancing above all. There is also 3Cs rule that is suggested by Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), which is confined spaces, crowded spaces and closed conversation that need to be avoided during Hari Raya period. Furthermore, if the house you are going to visit has elderly who is sick or baby, do not visit that house. Also before you actually visit a particular house, call to inform or seek permission first, whether they are ready to accept people for Hari Raya or not, because we might not know someone might just have the symptoms on the hari raya itself, thus want to avoid people during hari raya.

 

2. Practice 3C (4)

 

While you are visiting one another during hari raya make sure to adopt the new norm such as according to Centre of Disease Control (CDC) three steps you can take to keep yourself and your community healthy and safe amid the coronavirus outbreak are Clean, Cover and Contain. Frequently clean your hand by washing it with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. During this hari raya period, avoid the handshake culture, instead to show respect just put your hand on the chest. Avoid touching other people and surfaces After every visit that you make, make sure to clean hands before you enter the premise and after you enter the premise. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. The CDC also recommends cleaning and disinfect regularly touched surfaces daily. These surfaces include but are not limited to: doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.


Cover your mouth and nose, during your visit. Make sure to cover your mouth and nose either by wearing mask or cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. If you are using tissue, throw the tissue in the covered dustbin and immediately wash your hands after with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer as instructed above.


Contain the spread of germs and the virus by staying home if you feel sick except to get medical care. Self-isolate and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people for at least 1 meter, especially people who are at a higher risk of getting sick. These include elderly and anyone who has serious underlying medical conditions.

 

3.The usage of new technology among elderly

 

Until early last year many of the elderly have problem with regards to the usage of the internet, usage of the gadget and all that. However, since Movement Control Order, many elderly have learnt and know how to even make video call and buy things online. With Hari Raya that is going to be celebrated during CMCO period, it is the new norm for us to adopt this technology and be far from eyes but not in the heart. Call your loved ones during hari raya, if they do not know, get someone in the area to teach them on how to accept the call and call them during Hari Raya.


4. Scan for ‘duit raya’

As for duit raya, it has been a tradition for not only Malay to be giving and accepting ‘duit raya’ during hari raya, however it is not wise to be giving cash anymore. With the use of e – wallet and ‘duitnow’ we now able to transfer ‘duit raya’ contactless and easier. Set aside an amount of your money for ‘duit raya’ and you are set to give duit raya for your loved ones either through transfer or just scan it!

 

5.Warn

 

It is also a good practice, to warn or advise one another during hari ray since sometimes people might forget the do’s and don’t’s because we are so happy meeting everyone during hari raya. Hence, a reminder from one another is very important to make sure everyone is safe.

 

Lastly, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri from us Megalive Family to you and your family, may this Hari Raya brings you lot of happiness and makes you closer in the heart with your loved ones.

 

References



  1. http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/cmco-extended-hari-raya-be-celebrated-new-atmosphere-242517
  2. https://www.bernama.com/en/general/news_covid-19.php?id=1838724
  3. https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/05/11/health-d-g-20-visitors-during-aidilfitri-refers-only-to-family-members-must/1865158
  4. https://kwwl.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-the-three-cs/

 

7 Tips Penyediaan Menu Sihat & Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya!

Setiap tahun Hari Raya Aidilfitri ialah pada 1 Syawal tahun Hijrah. Perayaan tersebut juga dikenali sebagai Hari Raya Puasa atau Hari Raya Fitrah atau Hari lebaran. Hari Raya Aidilfitri merupakan sambutan yang diraikan oleh umat Islam di seluruh dunia setelah berjaya menjalani ibadah puasa sepanjang bulan Ramadhan.

Antara amalam – amalan tradisi yang dilakukan semasa Hari Raya ialah amalan ziarah – menziarahi sanak – saudara dan jiran tetangga. Amalan mengeratkan silaturahim ini sangat digalakkan dalam Islam bagi memohon kemaafan di antara satu sama lain. Akan tetapi oleh kerana Hari Raya Aidilfitri tahun ini ialah pada musim Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat maka, ikutlah saranan untuk beraya dengan selamat dalam kita menjauhi wabak COVID19. Walaupun sesetengah daripada kita ada yang telah mendapat vaksin tetapi masih ramai yang belum, dan sudah divaksin bukan bermakna anda tidak boleh dijangkiti wabak COVID19.

 



Semasa bulan Ramadhan sebelum ini, ramai di antara kita mengambil kesempatan menurunkan berat badan dan makan secara sihat. Walau bagaimanapun, apabila tiba musim perayaan, kebanyakan kita mengalami penambahan berat badan. Berat badan yang berjaya diturunkan sepanjang 30 hari menjalani ibadah puasa mungkin meningkat semula hanya selepas 15 hari menyambut Hari Raya. Hal ini adalah kerana, hari raya adalah masa untuk menikmati juadah hari raya yang hanya setahun sekali dimasak dan dimakan bersama – sama oleh kerana itu ramai yang mengambil kesempatan ini untuk makan juadah raya tanpa mengira jumlah kalori dan panduan pemakanan sihat (1).


Sebenarnya pemakanan sihat sangat mudah diikut walaupun ketika hari raya. Makan dengan sihat bukan bermaksud kita tidak dapat menikmati juadah hari raya akan tetapi makan dengan kadar yang betul dan dengan cara penyediaan makanan yang lebih sihat. Kita dapat bahagikan amalam pemakanan sihat ketika hari raya kepada dua kategori iaitu semasa penyediaan makanan dan semasa menikmati hidangan hari raya.

 

7 Tips Sediakan Hidangan Sihat di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Kurangkan gula, minyak dan lemak dalam penyediaan biskut dan kek.

 

Gunakan ½ atau ¾ daripada kuantiti gula yang biasa digunakan semasa menyediakan biskut dan kek. Jika perlu, gunakan gula gantian bagi mendapatkan biskut atau kek yang sempurna tekstur dan rasanya.

 


2. Gunakan daging yang telah dibuang lemak atau ayam yang telah dibuang kulit.


3. Kurangkan mensajikan makanan yang bersantan, bergoreng dan berminyak.

 

4. Gantikan penggunaan santan dengan susu rendah lemak dalam penyediaan rendang dan kuah lontong.


5. Potong ayam atau daging dalam size yang kecil.

 

6. Gunakan ramuan tinggi serat untuk membuat  biskut dan kuih raya seperti tepung bijirin penuh, oat dan buah prun.


7. Kurangkan penggunaan pewarna tiruan dalam penyediaan kuih-muih, kek dan puding. Sebaliknya gunakan pewarna semulajadi seperti dari sumber daun pandan dan sebagainya.

 

7 Tips Makan Secara Sihat Di Hari Raya (1,2,3)

 

1. Makan dalam saiz hidangan atau kuantiti yang kecil.

 

Pemilihan pinggan yang lebih kecil membantu dalam mengurangkan pengambilan makanan lebih – lebih lagi jika anda makan secara buffet.

 

2. Pilih makanan yang rendah kalori seperti buah-buahan serta makanan yang kurang minyak, lemak dan santan.

 

3. Pilih makanan tinggi serat untuk mengelakkan sembelit.

 


4. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang manis dan berlemak seperti biskut raya dan dodol.

 

Anda juga boleh mengehadkan pengambilan kuih-muih atau kek semasa hari raya kepada hanya 5 biji kuih raya sehari dan kurangkan pengambilan makanan manis yang lain.

 


5. Pilih buah- buahan segar sebagai pencuci mulut.

 

6. Hadkan pengambilan makanan yang tinggi kandungan garam seperti kerepek

 


7. Minum air kosong berbanding minuman berperisa, minuman berkarbonat dan minumam yang manis.

 

Senang bukan? Ikutilah panduan pemakanan sihat semasa hari raya ini, agar usaha anda untuk menurunkan berat badan sepanjang bulan Ramadhan tidak sia – sia. Bagi individu yang mempunyai masalah kesihatan, hari raya bukanlah tiket untuk anda menikmati juadah tanpa mengambil kira faktor kesihatan ya!

 

Akhir sekali, selamat menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri, semoga hari raya ini memberi keceriaan kepada kita semua!

 

Rujukan


1. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Perancangan dan Pemilihan Menu Sihat Rumah Terbuka Aidilfitri. http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/wpcontent/uploads/penerbitan/buku/Menu%20Rumah%20Terbuka%20Hari%2 0Raya%202013.pdf


2. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM). Bahagian Pemakanan. Makan Secara Sihat di Hari Raya. https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/multimedia/bukukecil/item/makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya


3. Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Perak. Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM), bahagian Pemakanan. Makan secara sihat di hari raya. http://jknperak.moh.gov.my/v4/index.php/my/arkib-berita/69-informasikesihatan/509-makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya.html Makan secara sihat di hari raya. http://jknperak.moh.gov.my/v4/index.php/my/arkib-berita/69-informasikesihatan/509-makan-secara-sihat-di-hari-raya.html

Loss of Appetite among Elderly, How to Improve?

Worldwide, people are living longer. With the advancement of medical technology, people in this era are expected to live into their sixties and beyond. By 2050, China alone will have as many as 2 billion people in this age group, compared to about 120 million in the rest of the world. Today, 125 million people are aged 80 years old and older, worldwide. 

 

While in Malaysia, the number of Malaysians aged 60 years and above is estimated to be 1.4 million and is projected to increase to 3.3 million in the year 2020. The percentage of the population that is 60 years of age or older has also increased over the years: 5.2% in 1970, 5.7% in 1990, and 6.3% in 2000. In the year 2020, this percentage is expected to be 9.8% of the population. Between 1990 and 2020, the population of Malaysia is expected to increase from 18.4 million to 33.3 million, an increase of 80%. The aged population, however, is expected to increase from 1.05 million in 1990 to 3.26 million over the same period, an increase of 210% (2).


 

 

 The population is ageing at a much faster rate than in the past. All countries face significant challenges in ensuring that people's health and social systems are prepared for this demographic shift. The healthcare system and technology must keep up with people's health and needs (1,2).

 

Many more literatures on the topic of geriatric (elderly) health must be discussed. According to research, the elderly face issues such as frailty, which is frequently exacerbated by issues such as urinary incontinence, instability, falls, and acute confusion states. Furthermore, as people get older, they are more likely to develop chronic diseases (2).

 

 

All these issues contribute to elderly malnutrition; in addition, poor dentition, changes in dietary habits, and the types of food available all play important roles in this situation. Thus, if you have an elderly person with a poor appetite, make sure to rule out all physical issues before attempting to improve the elderly person's appetite (2,3).

 


Ways to stimulate the elderly's appetite as a carer or ways for the elderly to try it themselves (3,4):

 

  • Share a meal with your loved one or encourage them to join others for a weekly lunch or dinner. According to studies, seniors who eat with others eat more and make healthier food choices.
  • Keep in mind that your loved one's preferences may change. Make nutritious meals that are bright and colourful, as well as high in vitamins and minerals. However, do not overburden your loved ones with large portions, as a plate piled high with food may overwhelm them and discourage them from eating at all.
  • Eating meals on a set schedule makes it a routine part of your loved one's day. Every day of the week, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks should be served at the same time.
  • Serve higher-nutrient foods in smaller portions. When they see a large amount of food in front of them, some seniors become overwhelmed. Serve smaller portions instead of a large plate. You could even implement a daily routine in which your senior consumes 5 small meals rather than 3 larger ones.
  • You can still cook in larger batches to save time. Simply store it in smaller individual containers to make it easier to reheat.
  • Put down your utensils. The frustration of not being able to use a spoon, fork, or knife may cause some elderly people to refuse to eat at all. Serve foods that can be eaten without utensils to make eating easier for them.
  • Have plenty of easy-to-eat snacks on hand. Some seniors would rather graze throughout the day than eat full meals. That is also acceptable. Make sure you have plenty of healthy, delicious, and easy-to-eat snacks on hand.
  • Whip up some milkshakes or smoothies. Consider serving more liquid-y foods if chewing is difficult or tiring, even with small pieces of food. You can also try making this liquid diet with different fruits and vegetables. Do not be concerned about fat or cholesterol unless your elderly relative has specific health issues. After all, the challenge is to get enough calories into them.
  • Consumption of complete milk formula such as Nutrasure and multivitamins such as Ginviton can help bridge the gap between poor food consumption/highly nutritious food and their health needs!
  • Keep track of what works for you. Take notes so you can remember what foods your senior likes, what they don't, and what might be bothering their stomach. You can also observe when they are more willing to eat or when they have a stronger appetite. Keeping track allows you to experiment more with what works and avoid what doesn't.

 

 References


1.   World Health Organization (WHO). Key Facts. Ageing and Health. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health

2.   Mafauzy M. (2000). The Problems and Challenges of the Ageing Population in Malaysia. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3406209/

3.   American Senior Communities. Is Loss of Appetite in Elderly is the Sign of Something Else? https://www.asccare.com/loss-appetite-elderly-sign-something-else/

4.   Daily Caring. 6 Ways for Seniors with No Appetite to Eat. https://dailycaring.com/6-ways-to-get-seniors-with-no-appetite-to-eat/

TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?


TINJAUN KEBANGSAAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA (NHMS), Kenapa perlu kita khuatir?

Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan Malaysia atau Nama Inggerisnya, National Health Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS) adalah survei kesihatan yang dibuat setiap empat tahun oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti status kesihatan rakyat Malaysia. Tinjauan ini adalah tinjauan yang melibatkan negeri di seluruh Malaysia.

 

Tinjauan ini mengkaji beberapa perihal aspek kesihatan yang terpenting seperti penyakit tidak berjangkit yang dialami oleh rakyat Malaysia iaitu obesiti, kencing manis, darah tinggi, dan masalah kolesterol. Ia juga merangkumi aspek pemakanan seperti  pengambilan makanan dan minuman sihat, aspek kesihatan mental, kesihatan seksual dan pengambilan dadah. Selain daripada itu, tinjauan ini juga mengkaji aspek yang melibatkan perkhidmatan kesihatan di Malaysia.

 

Terdapat beberapa perkara serius menurut hasil dapatan ini iaitu;

 

1 daripada 2 dewasa di Malaysia adalah obese!

 

Obese atau obesity adalah masalah lebihan berat badan yang di alami oleh individu, yang berpunca daripada pelbagai faktor. Namun, apa yang lebih membimbangkan adalah, menjadi obese ini sendiri adalah merupakan risiko utama kepada masalah kesihatan seperti kencing manis, darah tinggi, kolesterol, masalah jantung serta masalah kesihatan yang lain – lain lagi.

 

Jika perkara ini berterusan, bayangkan setiap orang yang anda jumpai separuh daripadanya adalah obese dan mempunyai kencing manis, darah tinggi dan sebagainya!! Menurut kajian ini, inidividu yang mengalami obesity tertinggi adalah wanita iaitu sebanyak 57.6%, kaum india iaitu sebnayak 63% dan dalam kalangan mereka yang berumur 55 – 59 tahun.

 

 

Antara lain perkara yang membimbangkan ialah masalah kencing manis dalam kalangan rakyat Malaysia.

 

1 daripada 5 dewasa mengalami masalah diabetes!

 

Diabetes atau kencing manis adalah keadaan di mana paras gula dalam darah menjadi tinggi. Hal ini berpunca daripada kekerapan pengambilan makanan yang tidak sihat. Makanan yang tinggi karbohidrat, gula dan lemak dan gaya hidup yang tidak aktif.

 

Selain daripada peratusan obesity yang semakin meningkat saban hari, yang mengeruhkan keadaan ini juga adalah pengambilan minuman yang manis, menurut tinjauan,sebanyak 53.2% individu di Malaysia minum minuaman manis yang disediakan sendiri setiap hari, 4.2% individu minum minuman berkarbonat setiap hari dan 6.7% individu minum minuam 3 dalam 1 setiap hari.

 

Menurut tinjauan ini, seramai 3.9 juta dewasa berusia lebih dari 18 tahun menghidapi penyakit kencing manis. Kebanyakkan dari mereka yang berumur 18 – 40 tahun tidak tahu bahawa mereka menghidapi kencing manis.

 

Antar negeri yang mempunyai prevalen kencing manis yang tinggi adalah Negeri Sembilan (33.2%), Perlis (32.6%), dan Pahang (25.7%).

 

Antara gejala yang melibatkan masalah kencing manis ialah, keletihan, kerap membuang air kecil, kehausan yang melampau, penurunan berat badan, dan kerap mengalami jangkitan kuman. Sekiranya anda tidak mempunya gejala seperti ini, anda juga boleh melakukan saringan kencing manis jika anda mempunyai berat badan yang berlebihan, BMI melebihi 23 kg/m2 atau ukur lilit pinggang melebihi 80 cm untuk wanita dan 90 cm untuk lelaki.

 

Kegagalan mengenal pasti masalah kencing manis dengan lebih awal akan menyebabkan komplikasi yang lebih serius di masa akan datang.

 

 

4 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami masalah kolesterol

 

Seramai 8 juta rakyat Malaysia mempunyai masalah tinggi kolesterol, iaitu 4 daripada 10 orang mengalaminya. Bacaan kadar bagi tinggi kolesterol ialah sebanyak 5.2 mmol dan ke atas. Mereka yang berumur 40 – 59 tahun adalah individu yang paling ramai tidak mengetahui bahawa mereka mempunyai tahap kolesterol yang tinggi. Hanya 63% daripada individu yang mempunyai masalah kolesterol yang tinggi Berjaya mengawal tahap kolesterol dengan pengambilan ubat – ubatan.

 

3 daripada 10 dewasa mengalami  Hipertensi

 

Hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak dikawal boleh mengakibatkan serangan jantung, strok dan pelbagai penyakit kardiovaskular yang lain. Bacaan kadar tekanan darah tinggi yang tidak terkawal ialah bacaan yang melebihi 140/ 96 mmHg. Lelaki yang berumur 30 tahun ke bawah adalah mempunyai 3 kali ganda lebih ramai menghidapi hipertensi berbanding wanita. Dalam 6.4 juta rakyat Malaysia yang mengalami hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi, hanya separuh yang menyedari bahawa mereka menghidapi penyakit ini.

 

Kesimpulannya, masalah seperti obesity, kencing manis, darah tinggi dan tinggi kolesterol mempunyai perkaitan rapat antara satu sama lain. Penyakit – penyakit ini membawa komplikasi yang lebih serius dalam jangka masa panjang dan merupakan risiko kepada masalah kardiovaskular yang juga merupakan penyebab kematian nombor satu di Malaysia. Seramai 1.7 juta individu di Malaysia mempunyai tiga faktor risiko manakala seramai 3.4 juta individu di Malaysia mengalami faktor risiko utama.

 

 

 

 

Bagi mengatasi masalah ini, individu perlu mengawal bacaan tekanan darah iaitu bacaan perlu kurang dari 140/ 90 mmHg. Individu juga perlu mengamalkan diet yang seimbang dan sihat bagi mengekalkan berat badan yang ideal, selalu bersenam dan menghindari rokok dan alkohol.

 

Rujukan

  1. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Penemuan Utama, Infografik Booklet. Institut Kesihatan Umum.

 

  1. Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (2009). Lembaran Fakta. Penyakit tidak berjangkit, permintaan jagaan kesihatan dan literasi kesihatan. Lembaran Fakta. Institut Kesihatan Umum.

 

 

  1. Portal Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2016). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Bagaimana Diabetes dikesan? http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/

 

  1. Portas Rasmi Pendidikan Kesihatan Malaysia (MyHealth) (2008). Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia. Obesity and Overweight. http://pendidikanpesakit.myhealth.gov.my/bagaimana-diabetes-dikesan/

DURIAN!!! Eat whole durian is equivalent to 3 bowl of rice?


DURIAN!!! Eat whole durian is equivalent to 3 bowl of rice?

Durian or ‘King of fruit’ is a well-known fruit for its smell. Anthony Bourdain, the late renowned food critic describes durian as “It smelled like you buried someone holding a big wheel of Stilton (cheese) in his arms, then dug him few weeks later” (1). That is to describe how horrible the smell of durian is, but to certain people who like to eat durian the smell of durian to them is heaven!

 

Durian actually has more than 30 species but the one that people usually eat are about 8 species only, due to its exotic nature, people have started to commercialized durian even to the international level. The most common durian being exported and widely consumed is Durio Zibethinus (2).


Due to its popularity, people started to questioning about durian health benefits, whether it is good or bad for health? Unlike apple, orange, guava and many other common fruits where people always equate it to “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” which means, consuming all these fruits are going to make you healthier, since it is packed full with nutrients that is good for body. For durian, the opinion regarding its health effect is mixing, some people say that it is good for health and can even be used to alleviate infertility or PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  and some people say that it is heaty thus cannot be consumed too much etc. (3).

 

In general, durian is considered a safe fruit to eat just like any other fruit, but since durian has high calorie value, thus it is not advisable to consume in large amount unlike other fruits. Look at the infographic below to understand, calorie in durian in comparison with other fruits (4).

 


Here is the calorie of durian per seeds, surprisingly eating  5 seeds of durian is equivalent to a bowl of rice! ANDDDD IF A DURIAN CONSISTS OF 15 SEEDS IT IS EQUIVALENT TO 3 BOWL OF RICE! Thus, the recommended intake of durian is only 2-3 seeds, which is equivalent to about per serving of fruits or 90 kcal.

 


Though, it is crystal clear here that it is safe to eat durian within recommended amount, but there are people who should be even more cautious in consuming durian, that is people who are obese, people who have diabetes and people who have kidney problem. As for people who are obese and diabetes, it is due to its high calorie, high carbohydrate and high fats value thus should be extra careful on the consumption of durian. Whereas for people with kidney problem or undergoing dialysis, due to high potassium content in durian and it is difficult for their body to excrete potassium, thus, they must avoid eating TOO MUCH durian at all cost (4)!

 


Albeit durian has many health benefits, when it comes to its consumption with other foods and beverages such as alcohol, it is said that it can interfere with liver function. In detail, durian contain sulphur-containing volatiles which can inhibit the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (enzyme that helps in process alcohol), thus explaining why consuming durian together with alcohol is a deadly mixed (4).

As for the consumption of durian with paracetamol, there is no study on human has been conducted, so far. But there is study on lab rat regarding this. The study shows that, rat that receive paracetamol and durian gives sign of hypothermic effect (significant drop in temperature) thus explain that the two mixture is toxic. However, the mechanism of toxicity is still unknown. To be safe, it is not safe to consume durian together with paracetamol (5).

 

In conclusion, for people who does not have any health concerns, consume durian within the recommended intake and consume it in moderation, is very much advisable. While for those who have health concerns, eat durian very minimally, it is advisable to eat other types of fruit that have lower calorie count as compared to durian, but since it is in the season thus consume it very minimally with caution towards calorie intake from other food types as well is recommended.

 

 

References

  1. The Star. Benefits of eating durian? Its rich in antioxidant but its fattening (2019). https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2019/09/10/eating-durian-healthy-or-not/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Tan M.C & Shyamala A. (2018). Exploring the Nutritional Content and Benefits of Durian (Durio Zibethinus). Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Mara. https://www.utm.my/ibd/project/exploring-the-nutritional-contents-and-benefits-of-durian-durio zibethinus/#:~:text=Durian%20is%20widely%20celebrated%20for,and%20protect%20against%20cardiovascular%20diseases. (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. Reshma M. Ansari (2016). Potential Use of Durian Fruit (Durio Zibenthinus linn) as an Adjunct to treat Infertility in Polycystic Ovarian Synrdome (PCOS). PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26778225/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. International Medical University (IMU). Can A Durian A Day Keep the Doctor Away? http://imunews.imu.edu.my/people/can-a-durian-a-day-keep-the-doctor-away/ (Accessed on June 17, 2020).

 

  1. A. Chua., H. Nurhaslina., S.H. Gan. (2008). Hyperthermic Effect of Durio Zibethinnus and Its Interaction with Paracetamol. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19271022/#:~:text=Because%20durian%20(Durio%20zibethinus)%2C,a%20risk%20of%20toxic%20effects 

Latok? Is the New Hype Really Good for Health?


Latok? Is the New Hype Really Good for Health?

On the social media recently, many people starts to sell grape seaweed or better known as latok. It is said that, latok has many health benefits, but to people from the Peninsular of Malaysia, latok is the new hype. Since many people saying that it is good for health, so people have starting to try and consume it. But how true is the claimed?

 

 

Latok, grape seaweed or its scientific name is Caulerpa Lentilifera, is a common ‘ulam’ for Sabahan. Study on latok in Malaysia is still very little perhaps because previously there is only small number of people who consume it regularly, but there are actually extensive studies conducted in Philippines on this latok, since it is a very common food in Philippines as well (1).

 

Surprisingly, according to studies, latok has various health benefits! However, the nutrient content in latok, is vary from one another based on its size, the location where it breeds, the ecosystem of its habitat and the maturity of latok when it is harvest (2).

 

Previously in Asian countries, seaweed has been utilized as a source of phycocolloids, thickening and gelling agents in the food industry. Since people have not yet discover it health benefits, perhaps it is about time for people to commercialized latok for its health benefits. Since studies shows that, latok is high with iron, zinc, calcium and fibre (2,3).

 

 

Latok is even recommended to be consumed by pregnant women, adolescents, and teenagers for its high calcium content, since these two groups of people is at the stage of needing high calcium for their growth and development (2,3).

 

Apart from its micronutrients, latok also has large amounts of polysaccharides, most of which cannot be digested by humans without the required enzymes for degradation. These polysaccharides can therefore be regarded as excellent source of dietary soluble fibre. This property therefore can lower the risk of constipation (2,3).

 

There are also studies claiming that, latok has the ability to lower the cholesterol, thus preventing heart disease and it has anti-cancer property (2,3). However, what more important is how people consume it. It is such a culture in Malaysia where people eat ‘ulam’ or vegetables with various kind of gravies such as sambal belacan, budu, cincalok, kicap and many others. It is such a waste to all these high content of nutrients where is supposed to be given benefits to the body but in returns give harm because all these gravies contain high salt content thus can even pose high risk for hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

 

References

  1. Fadzilah A.K., Mohd Fadzely A.B., Maryati M., Noratiqah N., (2018). Utilization of natural resources: Preliminary study on ethnopharmacological application of ‘ulam’ or traditional vegetables among Sama- Bajau of Kampung Menunggui, Kota Belud, Sabah. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5055431

 

  1. James David S. Alacantra., Nancy L.L., (2020). Mineral Availability, dietary fiber contents and short chain fatty acid fermentation product for Caulerpa Lentilifere and Kappaphycus Alvareezii Vol. 31 (1). KIMIKA.

 

 

 

  1. Cherry P., Cathal O’Hara., Pamela J.M., Emeir M.M., and Philip J.A., Risk and Benefits of Consuming Edible Seaweed. Nutrition Review. Vol 77(5): 307 -329


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