Saturday, February 29, 2020
This is a promising technology which uses a magnetic tool that can pull leukemia, Poisons, pathogens, viruses, bacteria and malaria out of the blood is expected to start trials next year.
The first disease to be tested is malaria. Next, trials will be conducted to see whether the nano particles can remove sepsis-causing bacteria and tone down the deadly immune response.
George Frodsham is a designer of this blood filtering system which he discovered while studying how magnetic nano particles can bind to cells to make them detectable during imaging.
This technology works in a similar way to dialysis. Blood is taken from a patient and infused with the MediSieve particles, which attach to specific targets so that they can be captured by a magnetic filter and removed from the blood before it is pumped back into the body. The particle size, magnetic properties, and number of binding agents coating the nanoparticles are all engineered to ensure maximal capture and removal by the filter. The whole process is likely to take only two to four hours.
The blood can be repeatedly passed through the system until the disease target is at such a low concentration that the immune system or a short course of medication can remove it.
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Fatty liver disease is becoming increasingly common in many parts of the world, affecting about 25% of people globally
It is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other disorders characterized by insulin resistance.
Fatty Liver and its Treatment
Fatty liver occurs when too much builds up in liver cells. Although it is normal to have a tiny amount of fat in these cells, the liver is considered fatty if more than 5% of it is fat
While drinking too much can lead to fatty liver, in many cases it does not play a role.
A number of fatty liver conditions fall under the broad category of non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD), which is the most common liver disease in adults and children in Western countries
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who consume little or no alcohol. It is a common condition in obese individuals or people with diabetes. There is currently no medication available to treat the condition
In the study, the researchers examined what happens on a cellular and molecular level in mouse and human livers overloaded with fat, and what may be done to help restore the damage. They found that liver macrophages, a type of white blood cells important for the immune system, respond to the unwanted fat by trying to burn it. In the process, these immune cells end up producing excessive amounts of oxidants that cause damage to the liver. Further investigation revealed that an antioxidant protein called NRF2, which usually protects the body from harmful oxidants, was completely shut down in the liver of the obese patients and mice.
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This lack of NRF2 protein tells us that obese individuals do not have the ability to properly respond to oxidative stress induced by fat accumulation in the liver," says Valerio Azzimato, a researcher at the Department of Medicine in Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet.
The researchers also found elevated levels of a small non-coding RNA molecule, or a microRNA, called miR144 in the livers of obese individuals and mice. Both the immune cells and the liver's most abundant cells, the hepatocytes, produce more of this specific microRNA in response to oxidative stress. The miR144 molecule affects the NRF2 gene by decreasing its protein levels, which leads to a weaker antioxidant response, according to the researchers.
Using a technology that enables the silencing of specific genes in liver macrophages, the researchers were able to suppress the expression of miR144 in the immune cells. This lowered the amounts of oxidants produced in the whole liver and restored the antioxidant response, suggesting crosstalk between the macrophage and hepatocyte liver cells.
Given that using exogenous antioxidants has been associated with long-term side effects in several tissues, researchers believe that targeting miR144 to increase the endogenous antioxidant response represents a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of liver diseases in obese patients including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis which is becoming a major cause of liver cancer worldwide and currently has no pharmacological treatment.
Infertility is an issue that can deeply affect an individual and their relationship. Advice is most often focused toward women, so in this Spotlight feature, we focus on infertility in men and provide some science-based tips for dealing with it.
When the word “” rears its worrisome head, most people first think about female infertility.
However, males are responsible for of cases of infertility and “contribute to 50 percent of cases overall.”
Men and women tend to respond to the experience of infertility differently: historically, women have thought that men deal with the issue easier, but in reality, men are simply less likely to open up about their emotions.
Finding out that you are infertile can be a devastating experience. A man might feel less male and as if they have failed. Some men believe that their masculinity is wrapped up in their ability to give their partner a child, and so feeling that they have lost that ability can produce strong negative emotions.
What causes male infertility?
Firstly, it is worth defining infertility. The (WHO) define it as “the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in 1 year.”
In the majority of cases, male infertility is due to abnormal sperm. Sometimes there are low numbers of sperm, while sometimes there are none at all. Or, the sperm may not be great swimmers or be deformed in some way.
These issues can be caused in a number of ways, including:
- testicular infection
- testicular surgery
- varicocele, or in the scrotum
- hypogonadism, or deficiency
- some medications, including anabolic steroids
The list goes on. But often, there is no well-defined reason for the defective sperm. And in many cases, despite healthy sperm and no obvious issues with the partner’s reproductive health, conception remains difficult to achieve.
Crack a window and let some hope in
In some cases, it is impossible for a man to impregnate a woman, but this is relatively uncommon. In most situations, there is still a chance. If you have been trying for a particularly long time, it might feel as though there is no hope — but, generally, there is.
If you haven’t been to see an infertility specialist yet, you should consider it. They can pin down where the problem might lie and give general tips and advice. Talking with an expert also helps you to realize that you are not alone.
Also, there are options. For instance, many couples now conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In fact, in the past 30 years, IVF babies have been born in the United States. It is vital to remember that there are other roads to be taken as you go through this troubling time.
The remainder of this article offers tips to deal with the emotional and practical side of infertility.
1. Get the facts
First and foremost, find out what’s going on. If you just think that you are infertile, or making a baby hasn’t happened despite a year or so of trying, it’s time to get checked. There is no point beginning a journey into sorrow without knowing if it’s even justified.
Go to an expert, and get your sperm tested. Ask questions. Read as much as you can. Understand what your particular issue is, and what that means for your chances of conception.
2. Make plans
One of the toughest parts of dealing with male infertility is not knowing how long it will last. Making plans where possible can help you to feel that you are still in charge.
Set targets and limits. With your partner, discuss what procedures you are prepared to go for, and what emotional and financial levels you can both handle. Pregnancy is often the result of repeated efforts, whether through natural intercourse or fertility treatment. It will help no one if you both end up as financially ruined, dessicated emotional husks.
Consider all options. Talk through all the options — adoption, IVF, or donor sperm. Understanding and talking about potential avenues will help should you face any setbacks further down the road — and if one thing doesn’t work, you’ll know what you’re trying next.
3. Take control
There are some scientifically proven ways to improve sperm quality. Often, the simple act of taking back some control can go a long way to help deal with infertility; it fights off that creeping sense of helplessness.
The following list is by no means exhaustive but provides some simple (and scientifically supported) measures that can be taken to give your sperm the best chance of meeting and greeting an egg.
Eat right. In short, lay off meat products and stock up on veg. Understanding the exact impacts of overall food intake is difficult, but a diet including lean meats, vegetables, legumes, and grains sperm motility.
Maintain the right weight. There are between being overweight and male infertility.
Reduce stress. No, I’m not kidding, even though it sounds like a joke. Infertility is stressing you out, which, in turn, might be making . And sadly, says that it’s probably true. The section on coping strategies below offers some advice on minimizing the impact of …and breathe.
Get active. Although the link between physical fitness and sperm quality has not been , being physically active will prevent , which is certainly linked. Exercise also helps to relieve stress, so it’s worth getting sweaty. According to , bicycling for just 5 hours per week could do the trick.
It’s worth noting that there are a host of companies that offer “magic” pills and supplements to turn your sperm into tiny athletes, but, as I’m sure you are already aware, evidence for these types of products is lacking.
There are also some behaviors to avoid in order to improve sperm health:
- smoking,as it lowers sperm count and increases the risk of misshapen sperm
- alcohol, asitreduces testosterone production — it is therefore sensible to moderate drinking
- don’t use lubricants during sex, as some may hinder sperm
- keep your balls cool, ashot testicles, , may be at producing sperm — so avoid hot tubs, tight underwear, and saunas
Speak with a doctor about medications that could interfere with sperm production, such as channel blockers, tricyclic , and anabolic steroids.
4. Talk about it
According to traditional stereotypes, men don’t like to talk about their problems. Although this stereotype does often hold true, it is not the case for everyone. As clichéd and trite as it might sound, “a problem shared is a problem halved.”
Keep communication channels open. You don’t have to broadcast it far and wide, but speak with someone: a doctor, a nurse, a friend, a counselor, a support group — anyone. It will ease your burden, and they might offer a new perspective.
If any of the following signs crop up regularly, it is important to talk with a doctor or counselor who is trained in infertility:
- abusing drugs or alcohol
- thoughts about harming yourself or others
- becoming angry or abusive easily
- losing interest in things that you once enjoyed
- or sleeping much longer than usual
5. Develop healthy coping strategies
It’s easy to let stress build up until you crack. Some people handle it better than others, but everyone can let it get the better of them sometimes.
It is therefore important to find ways to loosen the stopcock every once in a while. The following coping strategies may help to keep your mind on the straight and narrow.
Keep moving. It doesn’t matter what you do — be it weight lifting, running, swimming, or basketball — whatever it is, get sweaty a couple of times each week. Exercise has to help reduce stress. Moving about costs nothing, so take advantage.
Relax. Men, in general, are to get a massage than women, but times are changing. Even if a massage isn’t something that you’d normally consider, it is a really good way to de-stress. Meditation and are other good options.
Sure, “moderate” doesn’t sound amazing, but in the context of a JAMA review, it means that a genuine, statistically significant effect was measured. So, if added alongside other coping mechanisms, it could really help.
Write. Not everyone is a natural author, and most people haven’t tried writing anything substantial since they were at school. However, no one is telling you that it needs to be published anywhere. The simple act of writing out your thoughts can help you to work through how you are feeling, and to start the process of dealing with it.
Whether you choose to write it and immediately set fire to it or keep it stored away for a future you to discover makes no difference. It is the act of writing itself that is important.
And this isn’t just another one of those wishy-washy interventions; “writing therapy” . Otherwise known as written disclosure therapy, it is not used particularly widely, but there is some evidence to suggest that it can have positive effects on and even .
Cry. Again, the male stereotype dictates that we should never shed a tear — at least not when anyone is looking. But nowadays, plenty of men are prepared to cry every now and again. And, if you are in private and you know that you will not be disturbed, open the floodgates. It’s a genuine cathartic release.
Dr. Judith Orloff, who is a psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles with 20 years of clinical experience, , “Typically, after crying, our breathing and heart rate decrease, and we enter into a calmer biological and emotional state.”
Laugh. You can’t force it, and it may feel like the last thing on earth that you want to do — but it can help. It counts as exercise and at the same time. Put on a movie that you know will , or hang out with your friends for a bit. Don’t hide away in a darkened corner.
The last word
Infertility affects people in a range of different ways — both physically and emotionally. However you are dealing with it, it is important to remember that you are not alone and that there is help available. Keep active, talk, and treat your mind and body well.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Sperm count refers to the average number of sperm present in one sample of semen. Fertility doctors assess sperm count during routine semen analyses and consider it to be an important factor for fertility.
Based on the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, experts consider a healthful sperm count to be 15 million per milliliter (ml), or at least 39 million per ejaculate.
Doctors consider a sperm count under 15 million per ml to be low, and it may cause fertility issues.
Overall, health professionals believe that factors that influence levels have the most significant impact on sperm number and quality.
Certain sperm count. — including inherited genetic disorders, infections, and tumors — can also impact
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However, some lifestyle choices and natural remedies can help support the hormones that control sperm production, which may aid the healthy development of sperm and improve sperm count.
In this article, we look at natural remedies, dietary changes, and medicines that may improve sperm count.
For several decades, researchers have known that sperm quality and fertility rates have been declining in most Western nations.
According to one 2017 study, the average sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand dropped by between 1973 and 2011.
Despite studies having identified this, scientists still do not fully understand the reasons for this decline. Research into reliable methods for reversing a low sperm count is ongoing.
Practitioners of ancient, herbal, and traditional medicine have used several nonpharmacologic remedies to increase sperm count and improve sperm health for thousands of years. What is more, researchers have suggested that most of these remedies can actually influence sperm count in some way.
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The following are some natural ways to increase sperm count.
1. Get enough exercise and sleep
Several studies have suggested that weight loss and exercise among people with overweight or can lead to an improved or increased sperm count. However, the science linking a healthy body mass index ( ) to a healthy sperm count is still weak.
One examined the benefits of performing a 16 week aerobic exercise program of at least three 50-minute sessions per week. The participants reached 50–65% of their peak heart rate.
In the study, regular exercise increased sperm count and motility in 45 men with obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
2. Quit smoking
A that reviewed the results of over 20 studies with a total of nearly 6,000 participants found that smoking consistently reduced sperm count.
The researchers found that people who smoked moderate or heavy amounts of tobacco had a lower sperm quality than people who smoked tobacco less heavily.
3. Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use
The number of controlled studies to have explored the link between sperm health and drugs is limited. This is because testing illicit substances can lead to ethical problems.
However, has linked the worldwide use of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine to decreased sperm production. Some evidence is conflicting, so further research is necessary to confirm this link.
4. Avoid certain prescription medications
Some prescription medications can potentially decrease healthy sperm production. Once the male stops taking the medication, however, their sperm count should return to normal or increase.
Medications that may temporarily reduce the production and development of sperm include:
- anabolic steroids, which may continue to affect sperm count for up to 1 year after stopping the medication
- exogenous or supplementary testosterone
Males should seek consultation with a healthcare provider if they believe that a medication they are currently taking may be reducing their sperm count or affecting their fertility.
5. Take a fenugreek supplement
Fenugreek has long been in use as a natural remedy for poor sperm health, and advocates suggest that it may help improve sperm count.
In fact, found that the patent-pending compound Furosap, which manufacturers developed from fenugreek seeds, significantly improved overall semen quality and sperm count.
6. Get enough vitamin D
Researchers are not entirely sure why, but blood levels of and appear to impact sperm health.
In a of 18 studies, researchers found a significant association between improved fertility in male participants and a higher level of in the blood.
However, the study authors do advise caution when interpreting these results, and they recommend further clinical trials to confirm their findings.
Research shows that a deficiency in may also adversely impact sperm count.
7. Take ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, or Indian , has long played a role in traditional medicines as a remedy for several forms of sexual dysfunction.
found that 46 males with low sperm counts who took 675 milligrams of ashwagandha daily for 90 days saw a 167% increase in their sperm count.
8. Eat more antioxidant-rich foods
are molecules that help deactivate compounds called free radicals, which damage cells.
Several and minerals act as antioxidants, and some studies have linked antioxidant consumption with increased sperm count.
According to a 2019 review, antioxidants that may to a healthy sperm count include:
- vitamin C
9. Increase healthful fat intake
Polyunsaturated fats are crucial for the healthy development of the sperm membrane. Such fats include and omega-6.
A of three studies found that males with who supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids experienced a significant improvement in sperm motility and concentration, compared with males who did not take omega-3 supplements.
10. Reduce unhealthful fat intake
A surveyed 209 healthy Spanish males aged 18–23 years. The researchers found that as they increased their consumption of trans fatty acids, their sperm count decreased proportionately.
11. Limit exposure to environmental and occupational contaminants
As pollution and congestion increase, researchers often link environmental factors such as air quality and exposure to toxic chemicals to reduced sperm health and count.
Specifically, linked living in highly industrial areas with heavy air pollution to lower sperm counts.
Avoiding environmental toxins as often as possible also contributes to better overall health.
12. Limit the consumption of soy and estrogen-rich foods
Some foods, especially soy products, contain plant . This can reduce testosterone bonding and sperm production.
A of 1,319 males in China found that higher concentrations of plant in the semen meant lower quality sperm.
Many canned and plastic products are also high in synthetic forms of estrogen. Bisphenol A is a compound that binds to estrogen receptors in the body and may also impact male fertility after exposure, according to .
13. Get enough folate and zinc
suggest that consuming and in combination may improve the overall health of sperm, including concentration and count.
Foods to improve sperm count
For the most part, taking supplements is a safe way for a person to reach their daily requirement for most vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, the body does not always easily absorb them.
Most studies suggest that eating foods that provide good amounts of specific compounds and chemicals allows the body to use them more efficiently.
The best way to increase sperm count naturally may be to increase the consumption of foods high in sperm-friendly nutrients, such as vitamin C, antioxidants, and polyunsaturated fats.
highlighted several dietary patterns that could lead to a low sperm count. These included:
- eating high quantities of red and processed meat
- not eating enough polyunsaturated fatty acid
- having a high intake of energy
- consuming low levels of antioxidants
- consuming high levels of saturated fats
- eating limited amounts of fruits and vegetables
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According to a2012 review, no specific food is the key to increasing sperm count through the diet. Instead, considering the diet as a whole is the best way to improve fertility.
The review did, however, highlight cantaloupe melon as a particularly powerful food in relation to improving sperm count.
A doctor may prescribe medication for males with very low sperm counts and those who have additional health factors or considerations.
Medications that doctors sometimes prescribe to treat a low sperm count :
- serophene oral, though this is more common in female infertility
- Gonal-F RFF Redi-ject (follitropin alfa or gonal-F)
- antibiotics, if a low sperm count occurs due to a urinary or reproductive tract infection
- human chorionic gonadotrophin (Choragon or Pregnyl)
- letrozole or anastrozole
- exogenous androgens
Most research supports the use of lifestyle changes, natural remedies, and dietary adjustments to help a male manage and improve a low sperm count.
Such lifestyle changes include adopting a regular exercise regimen and sleep schedule, as well as avoiding tobacco, excess alcohol, and illicit drugs. It may also help to avoid particular prescription medications.
Taking herbal supplements, such as fenugreek and ashwagandha, may also help.
Dietary changes that promote a higher sperm count include reducing the intake of trans fatty acids and increasing polyunsaturated fatty acid and vitamin D intake.
Maintaining a healthful, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is the best way to boost sperm count through the diet.
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