Melatonin, commonly known as the sleep hormone is responsible for our cicardian rythm. But, it has some fascinating facts to be known.
1. The pineal gland, located at the base of the brain, is known to produce 5% of the total quantity of melatonin. Surprisingly, in all of the cells throughout the entire body, the mitochondria generate the remaining 95% of melatonin.
2. Our body cells’ mitochondria typically serve as the energy-generating organelles. They absorb glucose and oxygen to create water and ATP, which serve as the body’s power source. Free radicals are created during this procedure. However, the free radicals can be neutralised by our body’s defence systems. Melatonin acts as the potent anti-oxidant which causes free radical damage.
3. The melatonin which is produced in the body cells due to the sunlight, especially the infra red rays trigger the release of glutathione and other potent anti-oxidants. Melatonin also has anti -inflammatory properties and anti cancer properties too.
4. Since, melatonin is an effective anti-oxidant, it helps to prevent eye and ear damage. Research shows that it is effective in prevention of age related macular degeneration and retinopathy.
5. Melatonin protects the brain. Melatonin serves to promote the growth of new brain cells and improves memory, according to studies. Melatonin levels were discovered to be low in those with Alzeihmers disease. Thus, it is possible to prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease from becoming severely disabling by increasing melatonin levels.
6. Research shows that melatonin stimulate growth hormone production. Evidences showed that oral administration of melatonin increased the level of growth hormone, two fold times.
7.Melatonin production declines noticeably as we get older. Therefore, in order to maintain melatonin levels in our everyday lives, we must get enough sun exposure during the day and turn off lights at night so that darkness can help to stimulate melatonin production.
8. Sub-cellular melatonin which is produced in the body naturally is more effective than taking melatonin pills. Melatonin pills do work on short term basis and should be taken only if clinically recommended.
9. Aside from the infrared radiation that comes from sunlight, which is typically present in the early morning, other sources of infrared radiation that contribute to a sufficient amount of melatonin production include candlelight and being in front of a fire.
10. Incadescent light bulbs, spending time in greenery parks, outdoors all help to boost melatonin production.
1. The human body in which each of us lives is made up of around 37 trillion cells, to be precise. And every day, about 1-2 percent of the cells are renewing. So, exactly after 90–100 days, a new “me” appears. We remain so busy with our routine lives that we hardly acknowledge this fact, and many of us are not even aware of it. So, ‘change’ is the constant tune, not just within the universe but also within us.
2. Now that we understand that our bodies undergo transformation on a daily basis, So, the question is: how does this self-renewal occur? Let’s go back to our past a little bit. The human body develops from the human embryo, which is fertilized by an oocyte and a sperm cell. This embryo is made up of stem cells. The stem cells are the basic cells (undifferenciated cells) of the human body, which, through the process of mutation and transformation grow into different cells like nerve cells, bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells and so on. Throughout our lifespan, these stem cells undergo cell division and keep replicating; that’s how self-renewal happens.
3. Under normal physiological self-renewal processes, different cells in the body have differing rates of cell division. So, the replication process of various tissues, organs, and blood cells in the body has a different time frame, like the skin epidermal cells, which can take around 10–30 days, whereas a bone cell takes 3 months, or a hair grows about 1 cm in one month, and so on.
4. Though our body is constantly changing due to the continuous self-renewal process through different cell cycles like shedding the old skin cells, renewal of intestinal cell lining, and growing hair or nails on a routine basis, this isn’t a simpler process. The human body is still very complicated and has exceptions. Some cells, such as those in the brain (cerebral cortex), eyes (such as lenses), and heart, do not change from birth to death.
5. But then, why is self-renewal important and must be maintained? Under normal physiological conditions, stem cells have two functions: proliferation and differentiation. Though stem cells have a natural proliferative capacity throughout our lives, disease conditions can affect their physiological self-renewal ability and behavior due to factors such as damage or an unhealthy lifestyle (obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, or a poor diet).
6. A lack of an appropriate environment within the body or poor maintenance of the human body might eventually lead to the exhaustion of the capacity of stem cell proliferation, which causes premature aging or tissue atrophy. With aging, stem cell activity, tissue regenerative and haemeostasis is significantly declined.
7. Sometime, due to the unhealthy environment within the body, mutations lead to aggressive stem cell division without going through the natural cell differentiation process. This can lead to abnormal tissue growth or cancer in the body. Therefore, the physiological process of stem cell division and the natural stem cell behavior can be affected by four disease conditions, like degenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular, and inflammatory conditions.
8. Regenerative medicine and therapies have arisen as a result of the discovery that defective self-renewal mechanisms in the body are the root cause of malignancies and abnormal cell proliferation. Many disorders are being treated with regenerative medicines based on stem cells. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the use of stem cell treatment to treat a variety of diseases like cancer and disorders including type 1 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, burns, osteoarthritis, by regenerating cells, repairing tissues, and transplanting organs.
9. The fact about regenerative medicine is that, though it has helped many patients around the world, the cost of treatment is quite high as the procedure is complicated and the failure rate is high. Human stem cell treatment requires culturing human stem cells in a laboratory setting for a longer period of time, which is quite difficult.
10. The market is flooded with products that promote cell regeneration, anti-aging, and longevity. The lofty claims made by these items are still quite dubious. But it is true that some supplements do work to improve health, lower inflammation, and increase immunity. But in the end, having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, a calm mind, and exercising regularly is all that’s necessary for good health.
Hello everyone! Greetings 🖖 This is my first post after a year long break…
True enough, life is indeed unpredictable. It gives you the most dreadful unexpectedness when you least expect it. That’s what happened to me. Today, when I look back and remember, I still get the goosebumps, the tremble and chill. The misery I went through, will most likely follow me all throughout my life, or for a very long time. The past year was the most challenging and overwhelming for me. In those days, I used to put down my thoughts and feelings to my husband throughout his absence during the difficult times.
When we were about to go to bed, on the evening of 8th January 2021, around10.30 PM, after dinner and are routine talk, you complained of a headache. I advised you to take a pain reliever, and go to bed. But to my astonishment, you behaved a little different when you were lying on the bed. You asked me to get the tablet and water for you. When I was back from the kitchen with the glass of water, you couldn’t get up from the bed to have the medicine.The water gushed out from your mouth because you were unable to swallow. Then, all of a sudden, I could understand that something was wrong with you. You began to slur your words. Being a doctor myself, I came to know that you were having a transient ischaemic attack or maybe a stroke. I, immediately called emergency service and requested for an ambulance. I fumbled while speaking as I was very nervous. In the interim, I also called our next-door neighbour Jan, a 72 year old retired dutchman who is quite friendly and is fluent in English. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics examined you and noticed that your left side of the body was immobile. However you were still trying to communicate and was conscious. They hurried you to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Eindhoven where we reside. Both, Jan and I accompanied you to the hospital. In the ER, I was not allowed inside. We were both waiting outside. At around 11 o’clock, I asked Jan to go back home as he was quite tired and had recently recovered from cancer.
A little later, I was told that they gave you a Morphin injection for your headache and a CT scan was done. Although I was completely shaken, somehow I was calm, still holding on to my gut that things would be all okay. Once the CT scan report came, they confirmed to me that it’s a right brain hemorrhage, which is quite huge and with some strange findings. I was told that they had planned to shift you to a hospital in Tilburg, which is a nearby city, about 45-minute drive from Eindhoven. On top of my shock and cold shivers, I was confused and petrified by this whole chain of events. I was informed that they don’t have the expertise, so that is why you have to be referred to the Tilburg Hospital, which has a better neurological service. Moreover, I was told that your CT scan findings were quite confusing and the bleeding was huge.
Within minutes, the ambulance came and rushed us to Tilburg. Inside the ambulance, you were lying down, still in your senses, tired and awake, complaining of the headache and discomfort. I was sitting next to you and asking you to rest and reassuring you. By almost 12.30 am, we reached Elizabeth Hospital, Tilburg. They rushed you again to the ER. I was allowed to accompany you there. The neurosurgeon on duty examined you and did a scan again. She, too, told me about the right brain hemorrhage and some strange discovery that resulted in the massive bleeding. All the while, I was very worried and heartbroken from inside. I could not hold my tears, cried and felt so helpless. At that moment, I felt that I would lose you and that I had lost everything in life.
Still awake and tired, you were transferred to a medium-care unit to be kept under observation. You asked the nurse if I could stay with you in the room. I know I won’t be allowed in, so I assure you that I will keep waiting outside. During those painful hours, I called your father, back home in India, to inform him about the whole episode. He was totally shocked. I could not hold my tears and was crying on the phone. Then, I called and informed our son too. He was confused and could not believe his ears. He was terrified as well, as he knew that his dad was the fittest one in the family and had never had any kind of illness. I have no idea what went through him at that stage, as he was all alone at home. Due to COVID, he was in our apartment and not in his college hostel. I also informed my sister and my brother-in-law. By that time, it was almost 1.30 AM. I was told to go back home as you were kept under supervision and it was quite stable.
So, while boarding a taxi from Tilburg to Eindhoven, I realised that the coming days were going to be the toughest to handle.That whole night, after reaching home, I cried and cried, just loitering around the house in anguish and pain. I had the impression that I was in for a long, dark journey with no idea what lay ahead.
The following day ,on the 9th of January was even scarier. I was informed earlier that you would be taken to the Operation Theatre for brain angiography. I was in the hospital, waiting to hear about the outcome of your brain angiography. Till 6 o’clock in the evening, there was no news concerning you. I kept enquiring the OT nurse about you. She informed me that you hadn’t been taken out of the OT. My mind was beginning to crawl with fears and anxieties. I was distraught and in panic. The OT nurse then called me at around 6:30 pm and took me to a room. I could sense the worst as I was sitting alone in the room. At that moment, I was terrified and utterly shaken.
Two doctors entered the room and sat in front of the table where I was sitting. One doctor started talking to me about the procedure they had to perform on you. They said that you had an atrioventricular fistula in your right brain which had to be repaired, otherwise the bleeding was profuse. The procedure went well, but you have not yet regained your consciousness from the anesthesia. They were very uncertain about the outcome and that you might have slipped into a coma. They told me that they were expecting the worst scenario, maybe brain death. My whole world was shattered at that moment. I was almost lost and could not stop myself from crying. I was in a complete state of shock. The doctors and staff did try to console me. Jan, our elderly friend, explained to me to take things practically and control my emotions. I called our son, your brother, and my family and informed them regarding your state. I was told to return home and was assured to be informed of any further developments regarding your state. When I got home, it felt like the longest night, the darkest and scariest night of my life. That whole night, I grasped onto my mobile, waiting for any news about you.
On January 10th, I came to the hospital and was informed that you had been shifted to the ICU. The doctors told me that they had to drain a huge bulk of fluid from your brain and that your vitals were stable. I was informed that your MRI scan showed a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, which got worse due to a congenital defect of the AV fistula. Such cases are rare.The condition was worse as you had hydrocephalus, so the fluid had to be drained to reduce the pressure.
The first time I saw you in the ICU with a ventilator and machines, drains, and drips all over, it was really hard for me. I went near you and called your name. You did respond with a little movement of your right hand. I was relieved and was happy as I could see little hope of light after these 2-3 hard days. That day was quite positive for me as the doctors were happy with you for being responsive to the treatment and procedure. But then, they still reminded me about the uncertainty of your condition. There was still a huge amount of fluid left in your brain which had to be drained continuously. You were still in a comatose state, with a low score on the neurological scale. I was told to call our immediate family members from India as your chances of survival were low. I called our son, back in India, and asked him to pack his bag to come to the Netherlands. I also informed your family and mine regarding your present state. I called your employer and informed them because they had been trying to reach you for the last 2-3 days due to your professional obligations. I also informed my project coordinator and let go of the project that I was doing.
After going through all the procedures of an emergency visa, our son arrived on January 14th. This was a life-changing event for him as well, as he had been very close to you, his father. He did go through an emotional roller coaster during those turbulent days. And, seeing you in that state, he had acted very mature and calm. He has been my biggest support through this storm. Our neighbors and friends have also been very supportive through the difficult time. Your employer has been a great support system for me and our son. We will always remain grateful to everyone who has been there for us through those difficult hours.
You stayed in the ICU for almost 2 months. Everyday, I visited twice, once in the morning and then in the evening. During my time spent with you in the ICU, your eyes remained close most of the time, but you do respond to my touch with right-hand finger movements. Some days were good and positive, while some days were scary. Our son, too, visited you in the ICU. But, he had to leave as his exams were approaching. Your neurological state improved slowly and your vitals were stable. You had gotten out of the ventilator. They decided to shift you to the rehabilitation centre after you regained consciousness.
I was initially quite optimistic and excited about your development and recuperation during your time in the rehab facility. However, because the prognosis was poor, we, also had to deal with a number of setbacks in that situation. Your severe cognitive impairment and short – term memory problems were not responding well to therapy. Your left side is completely paralysed, and there is no recovery. You still struggle with a few cognitive issues. However, you continue to make good progress in terms of your awareness, speech, memory, and physical development every day. Your speech is clear and concise at present.
After more than a year, you are still residing in the rehabilitation facility, and your therapies are still ongoing. I see you almost every day of the week. While we converse and laugh on certain days, other days are sad when therapy doesn’t work out. As I’ve come to terms with your situation, I’ve begun to feel content. My greatest satisfaction comes from watching you smile while I am with you.The hardest lesson life has taught us today is to be cheerful in the moment we share together right now because we don’t know what the future has in store for us. When I see you now, hope is the only thing in which I will still believe and live.
Everybody in this world has a deep longing for love and affection. From the new born to the older adult, everybody yearns the sense of belonging, love and compassion. Social acceptance, being valued, and recognition is longed for by one and all in the human community. Infact, we all deserve our inherent birthright of being loved, happiness, vitality, freedom, fearless and growth. So, then, from where does the negativity arise? A child being born is always happy and cheerful. It is the environment, caregivers, parents, teachers, elders, peers, and the competetive nature of this material world that pushes the child towards negativity, egoistic, pain, fear and unhappiness. These growing years, his interaction with the people around him, the environment that slowly programmed his subconscious mind with doubts, anxiety, worries, sadness, lacks and unhappiness. So, like you and me, every individual has grown up with our share of fear, limitations, and inadequacy.
Trapped emotions impact on physical health…
Within this paradigm of limitation and inadequacy in our subconscious mind, we move forward with the life journey. We are then, bombarded with challenges of day-to-day stress, relationship stress, work pressure, financial strain, and other constraints that affect our emotional health even more. Maybe, bad experiences, conflict with parents, loss of a closed one, heartbreak, deep trauma due to a failure, a toxic boss, rejection, and anger can all be overwhelming and add to our emotional baggage. We may think that emotions come and go. We can get over it, quickly or healed after some time. But, the truth is, certain emotions are’nt so superficial. Infact, it has a lasting impact on both our physical and mental health. Studies have shown that certain intense emotions get trapped in particular organs of our body. Like, anger gets trapped in the liver, while hurt, fear get trapped in the heart and so on. Ancient Ayurvedic science which is 5000 years old has rightly pointed out that too much of trapped emotions like anger, worry, chronic stress can create too much heat (Pitta) in the body which may affect the hameostasis and start creating physical illness. So, the emotional component is critical in the overall wellbeing. In reality, it is the emotional health and wellbeing that transcend physical health. Hence, the term disease means (dis-ease, absence of ease).
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017: 7618419.
Fundamentally, our mind and body are designed to be in a state of growth, restore, repair and relax. Yes, in times of potential threat and danger, the body reacts to the survival mode of fight and flight response. But, then as evolutionary, the body naturally comes back to its state of homeostasis when the threat is gone. The parasympathetic mode’s natural restoration mechanism is greatly affected by the daily’s state of chronic stress, being on the run, and always being overwhelmed. Moreover, this everyday struggle within our emotional health of mental barriers, mindset, limitations, fears, and worries added to day-to-day stress. So, leading a healthy lifestyle and caring about physical fitness has not stopped people from falling sick. People follow the best possible diet, take their best supplements, and follow an exercise routine, yet they fall into various illnesses like chronic diseases, mental issues and autoimmune diseases. Now, it has become very crucial to consider emotional health, a priority before everthing else. Maybe, this is the most critical component in our path of mental, physical, spiritual wellbeing and being a successful person we all longed to be.
It is vital to slow down... It is essential to annalyse our emotional and mental state daily, introspect at times, and slow down to understand what affects us the most. It is crucial to change the way we think, elevate our vibration, be in the positive mind space and overcome the mental barrier if we want to take charge of our mental and physical heath and wellbeing. As, for all of us, it is much easier said than done. But, indeed, we have to put some efforts on our own to make our life the way we want it to be. To take control of our physical and mental wellbeing and be in a happy, comfortable space that we all longed for.
Some ways that we can work towards for self-improvement: 1. Self-acceptance:Being aware and acceptance is an essential and fundamental change. Any circumstances, any issue or conflict that we are facing, in terms of physical or mental health, needs self-acceptance. Self-resisting, self-denial, result in more stress, conflict, and high cortisol release, which makes us unfavourable to heal or change. So, self-acceptance and being self-aware is an essential step towards change. It is necessary to accept, share with a closed one or a therapist and let go the emotional baggage. Sharing with somebody or writing down the emotions and thoughts helps us acknowledge them better and give ourselves time and space to change. Meditation and mindfullness practices also helps us in emotional growth.
2. Victimhood:Instead of living in victimhood mentality, or self-blaming, starting to explore ways and methods to be part of the healing process. Suppose, somebody is being affected by a physical or mental issue must be an integral part of the healing process. Taking responsibility and works towards healing instead of surrendering yourself fully in caregivers’ hands. It is crucial to actively partcipate in the healing process.
3. Self-compassion and patience:It is vital to approach onself with self-compassion. Being compassionate towards self, putting oneself in the right frame of mind dramatically counts. Because failing or falling is the very essence of human nature. Having faith in the Higher Power and a lot of patience is beneficial in the healing process. Because, like good times, adverse times, doesn’t last long too.
1.You have a bodyweight within the range of average weight, according to the height and not being overweight. 2.You have a routine, regular bowel habit. 3.You have clean and clear skin. 4.You get up fresh and remain energetic. There is an absence of laziness. 5.Experiencing a sense of hunger once or twice a day. 6.You don’t have general body ache except with injury or heavy exercise. 7. You experience a sense of wellbeing and generate positive thoughts. 8. You experience deep sleep at night.
These are general signs that indicate that your body is functioning optimally and your immunity is intact. Our body’s immunity and vitality is not acquired by having a glass of smoothy, or daily going to the gym and having a load of supplements. It is the result of what you eat, how you think and how you live.
Three simple ways to build up a strong immunity is:
1.Fasting: Fasting is the simplest and easiest way of building your immunity. Ideally,15 to 16 hours of fasting every day are good enough. It is also the easiest way of losing weight. Having everyday dinner at around 6-7 PM, and not having any meal or snacks in between except water. Then, followed by having breakfast, the next morning around 10 to 11 AM gives you fasting of at least 16 hours quickly.
2. Food:Having food which is as much as close to Mother Nature. Fruits and vegetables, in their natural form or cooking minimum to restore their nutritional value. Preferable having a one-grain meal a day like brown rice or whole wheat and having meals (1-2 times /per day) with enriched portions of fibres, healthy saturated fat, protein and carbohydrate. It is necessary for avoiding processed, refined food altogether. Limiting the intake of beverages, alcohol and having more water, instead is ideal.
3. Mind and body care: Exercising every day is a must. Instead of heavy workouts in the gym, simple exercises like walking in nature, running, jogging are ideal. Physical activity throughout the day is good enough to give you a good night sleep. It is essential to maintain a positive attitude and a calm mind, to keep stress at bay. So, meditation, yoga, mindfulness practices, spiritual practices helps to build a positive and healthy mind.
Hello everyone ! Have a great and safe Sunday ☀️🙋🏻
Our hair is the crown, we never take off. So, hair is a significant part of our physical appearance; hence it is crucial. Structurally, hair consist of a protein called keratin. A hair follicle supports each hair shaft. The root of each hair follicle lies the hair bulb. It is in this hair bulb; new cells develop and grow and give rise to the latest hair follicle. The hair bulb contains the blood vessels which nourishes and supply necessary nutrients to the cells to grow and develop. The colour of the hair depends upon pigment cells called melanin. The structure and texture of the hair are related to genetic predisposition. Each hair grows through a cycle of 3 phases:
Growth phase: In this phase, the hair is growing in prominence. Transitional phase: When the hair stops growing, matures and the hair follicle start to shrink. Resting phase: When the old hair fall, cells die, and new cells start to develop and grow.
Typically with ageing, the hair pigment cells die, and hair begins to turn grey and fall. But, in the recent decade, due to environmental pollution, harmful UV rays, unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy hair treatment, hair thinning, hair greying and hair fall has become very common even in the young age group.
Some common causes of hair thinning and hair fall:
1.Poor nutrition:Unhealthy eating habits like eating junk food, processed food, artificial sweeteners, cola, juices does not provide any nutritional value but instead add to empty calories to the body. Again, some people go on a crash diet, leaving behind necessary nutrient-dense food like healthy fat has to suffer hair fall. When the body does not get enough nutrient-dense food, it transports the remaining nutrients to the vital organs. It is the hair which is left neglected. Hence hair fall, hair thinning and low growth.
2.Poor Blood circulation: Sometimes, even if you have a well balanced nutritious diet, yet you may face hair issues. Hair problems happen because the blood nutrients are unable to reach the cells in the hair bulb. So, massaging the scalp is essential to stimulate the blood circulation and enrich the hair bulb with the necessary nutrition.Even physical exercise is critical. Daily routine exercise, causes proper movement in the body which ensures efficient blood circulation in every part of the body, including the scalp. Women suffering from hormonal imbalance and thyroid issues, suffering from hair fall, exercise is highly recommended.
3.Excessive stress: This is important because, in a chronic state of stress, the body tends to remain in the sympathetic mode, which blocks the body’s normal functioning of growth and renewal mechanism.
4.Heat and chemicals: Heat is very harmful to hair. Hot water baths, use of excessive hair styling methods like hair drying, hair straightening, hair curling are all harmful. Tying hair too tightly all the time may affect the hair root. Avoiding too many hair products, colouring agents, and toxic chemicals like sulphate can cause hair damage. Fragrance hair products may contain alcohol which is harmful also.
Measures to protect and keep hair healthy:
1.Nourishment:It is vital to keep the scalp healthy and clean to have healthy hair. So, cleaning the scalp 2-3 times a week with a mild shampoo is essential to remove pollutants and impurities. Massaging the scalp gently 5-10 mins, 3-4 times a week will improve the blood circulation drastically. Natural oil like coconut, almond or jojoba oil is nourishing and can be used for hair massage.
2.Exercise: Regular exercise is essential to ensure proper blood circulation to provide necessary nutrients to the body, including the scalp.
3.Drinking water is overall healthy and good for hair too. 4. Five Superfoods for hair:
Eggs: They are in rich in protein and biotin. Keratin which is protein is present in each hair strand, so protein intake is crucial for hair. Biotin gives strength to hair and promotes hair growth.
Green leafy vegetables:Dark green leafy vegetables and spinach are rich sources of iron, vitamin A and C. Adequate iron is required to produce haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin is essential to transport oxygen to cells, and hence, it is suitable for scalp and hair growth. Other rich sources of iron are beans, pulses, soya, seeds, nuts, broccoli and cabbage.
Vitamin B12: It helps in hair growth and texture. The sources are meat, fish, salmon, milk, dairy products, eggs.
Fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamin D, E, A, K are all essential for hair health. Consuming healthy fat of omega-three fatty acid is not only good for hair health but also help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A helps in the production of sebum which nourishes the hair. Sources are sweet potatoes, carrots, seeds and nuts. Vitamin C and E are potent antioxidants and prevent free radical damage. Therefore, they are protective of hair. Sources are Lemon, berries, almonds, avocados, spinach, guavas.
Zinc: Zinc promotes hair growth and repair and prevents hair loss. Sources are meat, shellfish, sprouts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.