Top 5 most dangerous viruses
The novel corona-virus—officially called COVID-19 might become the most deadliest Virus attack in the Human era. Since we do not have the final outcome of the COVID-19 Virus attack, the information about the Covid-19 is not included in this article.
Both the Marburg and Ebola viruses are members of the filovirus family and are characterized by hemorrhagic fever. Other symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, myalgia, arthralgia, epigastric pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. In 1967, the Marburg virus was discovered to cause human illness by researchers in Marburg, Germany, following exposure to green monkeys endemic to Uganda. Bats are thought to be the natural reservoir for the virus, but this hypothesis has yet to be confirmed. The death rate for the Marburg virus is as high as 90%, with infected people usually dying of bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract and skin, shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and multiorgan failure. No antiviral therapy or other vaccine exists for the Marburg virus.
The first known Ebola outbreaks in humans struck simultaneously in the Republic of the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976. We all know about the 2014–2016 Ebola virus outbreak that occurred in West Africa. More than 11,000 people died during this outbreak. The bats carrying the virus can transmit it to other animals, such as primates, spreading it to the human population. Human-to-human exposure and transmission are also possible via direct contact with infected blood and body fluids. Symptoms of Ebola virus can be sudden, and include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and internal and external bleeding. Of note, the average case fatality rate is approximately 50%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) first gained wide attention in the U.S. in 1993, when a healthy, young Navajo man and his fiancée living in the Four Corners area of the United States died within days of developing shortness of breath. A few months later, health authorities isolated hantavirus from a deer mouse living in the home of one of the infected people. More than 600 people in the U.S. have now contracted HPS, and 36% have died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lassa Fever Virus
Discovered in 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria, this pathogen causes hemorrhagic fever and multiorgan failure. Mortality due to the virus is high (15% to 50%), with death due to vascular collapse. The disease can also be spread via inhalation of air contaminated with infected rodent secretions. Specifically, airborne transmission may occur during cleaning activities such as sweeping. Lassa fever virus causes about 5000 deaths a year in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and deafness is its most common lasting symptom.
The virus is found worldwide in more than 150 countries and territories. Rabies infections cause tens of thousands of deaths globally, mostly in Africa and Asia. Fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord usually develops as the virus progresses to the central nervous system. Dog bites are the most common cause of infection, followed by bats. Immediately after a bite, rabies shots are curative. Additionally, after contact with a rabid animal, it is important to wash the wound with soap and water, as infection usually occurs upon exposure of the mucous membrane to saliva.
World Human Spirit Day Thoughts
February 17 is observed as the World Human Spirit Day to encourage mindfulness through meditation. World Human Spirit Day was started in 2003 by Michael Levy to serve as the day to promote a human spirit that lives a creative, peaceful, and loving life.
Here are a few quotes for the World Human Spirit Day
The human spirit was the strongest medicine on earth. And sometimes all it needed was a little encouragement to pull off a miracle.
The human body has limitations; the human spirit is boundless. – Dean Karnazes
Man never made any material as resilient as human spirit. – Bernard Williams
The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. – C C Scott
Difficulties are meant to rouse not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. – William Ellery Channing
Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit. – Ronald Reagan
You have to, in some ways, trust in the human spirit and in human ingenuity. – Ariel Garten
Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things are easy, things are free, things that you can do every day. Civility, respect, kindness, character. – Aaron sorkin
Ways to develop Human Spirit
- Talk to yourself
- Fill with positive words
Vitamin B3 Protects Skin Cells From The Effects Of UV Exposure, New Research Finds
We all know just how important eating our vitamins are. Vitamins are essential nutrients that nourish our body and keep vital organs functioning smoothly. While some help with immunity, others regulate the skin and hair.
And turns out a few of them can even keep you safe from cancer. In fact, a recent study found that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3 can protect the skin from the ill-effects of UV rays, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers.
Researchers in Italy isolated cells (human primary keratinocytes) from the skin of patients with non-melanoma skin cancers. These cells were treated with three different concentrations of nicotinamide (NAM), a form of vitamin B3, for 18, 24, and 48 hours and then exposed to UVB rays.
Vitamin B3 can work wonders when it comes to protecting the skin:
Results show that pre-treatment with 25mM of NAM 24 hours before UV irradiation protected the skin cells from the effects of UV-induced oxidative stress, including DNA damage. Furthermore, it decreased antioxidant expression and blocked local inflammation by showing decreased nitric oxide release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and reduced iNOS protein expression.
Lara Camillo, a research student from the dermatological unit of AOU universitaria Maggiore della Carita, Novara, Italy says: “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure.”
Research presented today at EADV’s 29th Congress, EADV Virtual, shows hope that a form of vitamin B3 could protect skin cells from the effects of ultraviolet (UV) exposure: the main risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancers.
Researchers in Italy isolated cells (human primary keratinocytes) from the skin of patients with non-melanoma skin cancers. These cells were treated with three different concentrations of nicotinamide (NAM), a form of vitamin B3, for 18, 24, and 48 hours and then exposed to UVB.
Results show that pre-treatment with 25μM of NAM 24 hours before UV irradiation protected the skin cells from the effects of UV-induced oxidative stress, including DNA damage. NAM enhanced DNA repair, demonstrated by decreased expression of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1. Furthermore, it decreased antioxidant expression and blocked local inflammation by showing decreased nitric oxide (NO) release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and reduced iNOS protein expression.
Lara Camillo, a research student from the Dermatological Unit of AOU Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy says: “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure.”
Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common malignancies in the Caucasian population and incidence is increasing worldwide. The main risk factor is UV radiation exposure, which damages the DNA, increases ROS production, activates local inflammation, and depletes cellular energy, leading to genomic instability and cell death.
About skin cancer:
There are two main types of skin cancer: non-melanoma skin cancer (which includes basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and other rare types) and melanoma skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell cancers are most often found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, and arms, but they also can occur elsewhere (2). They are very common but are usually very treatable (2). Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown colour) start to grow out of control (3). Melanoma is much less common than some other types of skin cancers but is more dangerous because it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early (3). Non-melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, with over 1 million diagnoses worldwide in 2018.4 Melanoma of the skin is the 19th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, with nearly 300,000 new cases in 2018.
Founded in 1987, EADV is the leading community to further the knowledge of health professionals and advocates in the field of dermatology and venereology. It is a non-profit organization with over 7,000 members, across 113 different countries in the world, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologists professional. The EADV is committed to improving the quality of patient care, continuing medical education for all dermato-venereologists within Europe and beyond, and advocacy on behalf of the specialty and patients.
About EADV Virtual:
This year’s Congress is a first in EADV’s history. EADV Virtual – New Frontiers in Dermatology and Venereology provides an exceptional opportunity for colleagues from around the world to explore the latest developments in science and patient care that are at the heart of the academy’s mission. The user experience is immersive and simple to follow.
Passion fruit: what are the health and medicinal benefits of passion fruit? What do you know about passion fruit?
Modern lifestyle diseases, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome (MS), may lead to many complications, including hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease. They also accelerate the aging processes. Appropriate dietary interventions may help to regulate glucose and energy metabolism, and thus improve the outcome for affected individuals.
Among the interventions are caloric restriction, which helps reduce insulin resistance by preventing sustained hyperglycemia. This often requires long-term control of dietary choice and portion size, which is difficult to maintain for a majority of overweight subjects. For this reason, functional foods, such as passion fruit are being studied for their potential contribution to reducing weight and insulin resistance.
One compound in passion fruit, which has garnered plenty of interest is piceatannol, an analog of resveratrol. The latter is a polyphenol, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, and to increase stamina, in several rodent studies.
A clinical study on resveratrol in humans with excessively high body mass index (BMI) confirmed these results, as well as its ability to produce a reduction in blood pressure and higher mitochondrial respiration in muscle tissue, as well as the activation of several muscle kinases. Piceatannol shares many of these benefits, improving metabolic parameters and glucose breakdown, reducing vascular tone, increasing eNOS levels (which is vaso-protective), promoting collagen synthesis, and reducing ultraviolet damage to the skin. In fact, its activity is higher than that of resveratrol.
One study showed that insulin levels in serum were significantly reduced in the fasting state in overweight men with piceatannol supplementation, as well as a fall in the blood pressure and the heart rate. This was not seen in women or in men with a normal BMI. Another study in mice showed inhibition of postprandial rises in blood glucose levels as well, which points to the potential for anti-diabetic activity with piceatannol supplements. Further studies are needed to understand the variation in effect with body composition and gender, as well as to perform more sensitive and long-term evaluations of the changes in glucose and insulin parameters.
The cardiovascular effects of piceatannol seem to be mediated by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the polyphenol. It is known that failure of vasorelaxation, which is mediated by eNOS activity, is a characteristic of endothelial dysfunction. This would lead eventually to atherosclerosis via lipid oxidation and inflammation of blood vessels. It also activates dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase, and thus inhibits the natural deactivation of eNOS. Again, it increases eNOS stability, thus prolonging its half-life. It has other mechanisms of vascular anti-inflammatory action as well. Piceatannol thus has profound cardioprotective effects, and a central mechanism of action cannot be ruled out as well. In addition, it may help to stabilize cardiac myocytes.
Each 100g serving of passion fruit supplies about 30g potassium, or a quarter of the daily requirement. This is one of the best things to do to reduce cardiovascular risk. Potassium is a vasodilator, and it is necessary for the operation of the vital ion channels in the cell membranes.
Passion fruit also contains many other antioxidants, such as C-glycosyl flavonoids, chlorogenic acid, isovitexin, caffeic acid, quercetin, rutin, and luteolin. These also play a role in glycemic and lipid control, but the exact effects and doses have to be elucidated through further study. A single serving can contain about 30g of vitamin C, and significant amounts of carotene and cryptoxanthin, all of which are powerful antioxidant molecules lowering the risk of age-related degeneration, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen synthesis and improves epithelial health, as well as being an immunomodulator to boost innate immunity.
Passion fruits also contain large amounts of dietary fiber (98% of the daily recommended intake), which helps improve intestinal health, reduces the pH and ammonia levels in the colon and thus encourages healthy intestinal microbiota, and relieves constipation and flatulence. Again, fiber reduces appetite and this again leads to lower insulin levels and reversal of the metabolic syndrome. It also results in lower levels of cholesterol in the blood. The rind of the fruit is also rich in soluble fiber, which has independent anti-diabetic and anti-dyslipidemic effects. Fiber also lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Piceatannol also counteracts colonic irritation leading to intestinal inflammation.
The large amounts of vitamin A in passion fruit can safeguard eye health against age-related macular degeneration, prevent cataracts, and lower the rate of skin aging and wrinkling.
Passion fruit also contains appreciable amounts of copper, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, contributing to bone health and to normal RBC counts, which helps to counter anemia.
Some rodent studies found a marked anxiolytic and sedative effect upon supplementing the diet with passion fruit, due to the alkaloid harman. This can also help to relieve insomnia.
Anticancer effects include apoptotic actions upon human cancer cell lines, as well as inhibition of migration and epithelial anchoring of metastatic cells in breast and prostate cancer. Piceatannol also inhibits HDL uptake by neurons to which ecto-F1-ATPase autoantibodies are bound. It may thus may slow the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It may also inhibit antigen-induced WBC degranulation and thus prevent allergic reactions.
Passion fruit is not just a delicious tropical addition to the menu, but a powerhouse of several potential health benefits and should become a part of a varied and rich diet whenever available in season.
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