“Anne’s oils have been a worldwide phenomenal online success with thousands of customers reporting a drastic reduction in hair loss within the first few weeks of using the Anne’s hair oils. Customers suffering with alopecia have reported a marked improvement and hair growth”
New year, new hair? I do not know about you but one of my new year’s resolutions for 2017 is to take better care of my skin and hair and for me it’s none other than the amazing Anne’s Hair Thickening and Nourishing Growth Oil for my hair.
You may have already read up my past blog posts on these fab products and they still never fail to amaze me even to this day and it is now the only hair oil I reach for time and time again.
So, what is it I hear you ask? Now, you may have seen the little orange coloured pump oil bottles splashed everywhere across social media and girls rocking their heads (and hair!) out of amazement fit for a L’Oreal TV ad.
The miracle in a bottle contains pure Olive, Almond and Castor oil, Vitamin A and E as well as Omega 3, 6, antioxidants and Q10 which is essentially everything your hair needs to be fed to nourish, shine and delay premature greying. These come in both a day version and night time one, which can be purchased as a twin pack and is suitable for both men and women of all ages. The new lighter day oil needs to be applied to wet/dry hair and styled as usual. It can also double up as a finishing oil to banish frizz and add shine and you only need the tiniest amount.
The application process? “It's a twin thing!”“, states Anne, Shahreen Akhtar, the founder and wonder woman behind these oils. “Use in conjunction with one another for best results”. she says.
Directions? Use the night oil 3 times per week, apply this deep intense treatment overnight and massage well into roots, apply all over the hair and on to the tips. Tie your hair in a loose bun and leave in overnight. Wash and condition your hair as normal in the morning. Apply the day oil on wet hair after towel dry. Apply a small amount into roots and style as usual. A tiny amount can be used on your hair tips as a finishing oil to tame any frizz and add shine especially if using heat styling. To maximise results? Mix a few pumps of both day and night oil and apply using the night method application.
The difference? The difference between the night and day oil is that the day oil is lighter in texture with extra vitamins to ensure your hair is nourished at all times in between washes and protects against environmental damage. The Night oil is a thicker in texture with specialist oils and omega fats to strengthen hair follicles reduce hair fall and with regular use promotes hair density and growth as well as repairs and restores damaged hair.
The lighter day oil or finishing oil can be used in between washing and styling alongside the overnight oil. It is slightly lighter in texture again with an odourless non greasy feel which is what first won me over about the overnight oil. It claims to protect from heat/styling and environmental damage and and UV rays which my poor hair is definitely guilty of.
The oils have no nasty ingredients or hidden harmful chemicals that may potentially cause damage in the long run, it is perfectly safe to use even on the most sensitive of scalps. One of the main things that appealed to me was that the oil is odourless, if there is one thing that is slightly off putting for me when it comes to hair oils are strong smells that linger on and stain fabrics. Let’s face it we all hate the oils that smell of furniture polish! The good news? The product is free from alcohol which will go down well with those that observe their prayers and perform ablution.
Now for a bit of nitty gritty, the all important disclaimer: “The Anne’s oils have been approved and certified by Advena Medical Limited UK and complies with the Cosmetic Regulations EU 1223/2009. The oils are manufactured and produced in a UK facility which has a comprehensive quality management system in place and is designed specifically for the production of high quality products. The facility has received more than a dozen industry accreditations and quality certifications and meets the strict UK Health and Safety Legislation. Not tested on animals and contains no alcohol. “In other words? This isn’t some home job it has all been carried out through the proper channels and you have that guarantee and just know you are using a high quality product. Shahreen has worked awfully hard on this oil venture and clearly her hard work has paid off as she has been shortlisted as a nominee for beauty product of the year award!
Truthfully speaking, I was a little dubious at first. Was it too good to be true? Did it really do what it said on the tin? Over the years, like many girls and women, I had tried absolutely everything and anything that claimed to work magic on my hair with nothing that actually did sadly. So what stood out? There was a time where my Facebook news feed was full of pictures and reviews of this oil and all the amazing things it did to women (and men!) and their hair. These pictures and reviews had then rapidly moved over to Snapchat and Instagram with even some well known bloggers and social media influencers swearing by it. You know how they say you see something that many times you actually believe it? Here are just a few others who have shared their honest views of the oils.
Anne’s Oils both come in a sturdy plastic pump bottle with a secure lock lid that is child proof and can prevent any accidental spillages which I thought was an excellent feature to have. The product ingredients and directions are clearly listed on the front of the bottle with an expiry date. I really like the consistency of the oil, it is not too thick or runny, it has just the right consistency which makes it very easy to use and apply to the hair. The packaging has also had a little makeover since I last used it with the lids now a glossy black colour which I love!
I have tried both the lighter day and night oils numerous times now (in fact, I have lost count) and still get amazed at the results every time. I have noticed a huge difference to the overall condition of my hair. It feels smoother, thicker, more nourished and has fewer breakages. Another amazing discovery is that when blow-drying my hair with a large paddle brush, it dries straight and frizz free so I do not need to reach out for my hair straighteners. I absolutely love how this product is so versatile and has multiple uses. Men are also able to use the oil, it can be applied to strengthen nails, eyebrows and even eyelashes (being careful not to get any product into the eye) since it claims to nourish and thicken the hair.
These oils have now taken the world by storm with users from all over the world swearing by it and the great things it has done for their hair. Some users have also claimed that their alopecia has reduced by using these oils and that is not hard to believe, these oils really do what they promise. I am certain with continued use of the oil, as well as adequate water and a good balanced diet, the length of my hair will increase over time too.
Currently, the oils are only available online; however with them becoming so popular in such little time, there are now selected agents who the oils can be purchased from! Convenient right? The oils have now even moved to the Middle East! There is currently a website under construction too which will all be up and running in no time so keep an eye out for that.
These oils have worked such a treat for me that I am hoping a similar skin oil range will be launched. We will keep watching this space! It may be useful to know that Shahreen is also a qualified fitness instructor and Nutritional advisor so you are definitely in good hands. Be sure to follow on Facebook at Shahreen Akhtar as well as good old Instagram (@annesoils).
For those looking for a hair miracle look no further, but be mindful for some the process takes time and commitment so patience is key! Keep on oiling and you will soon see the magic in no time!
** All images are the copyright of Shahreen Akhtar.
3D printing has come to the rescue of severe cases of a childhood disease in which the windpipe is softened, leading to collapse of the airway and breathing failure. Previously lacking any adequate intervention, tracheobronchomalacia has found an innovative fix in three babies whose condition presented them with little chance of reaching young childhood.
Researchers at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor say the three boys have become the "first in the world to benefit from groundbreaking 3D-printed devices" to stent their airways in such a way as to allow the supports to keep up with their growth.
A follow-up of all three patients published in the journal Science Translational Medicine shows the personalized bioresorbable splint implants have worked with "promising results."
Pediatric tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) sees excessive collapse of the airways during breathing that can lead to life-threatening cardiopulmonary arrests (halted heart and breathing).
The cartilage supporting the airway can strengthen as children with the condition grow, the study paper goes on to explain, but severe cases of the disease require aggressive treatment - and those children are at "imminent risk of death."
Before this new approach to provide an early treatment option for TBM, the only conventional therapies available also carried life-threatening complications of their own.
Babies needed tracheostomy tube placement with mechanical ventilation, requiring prolonged hospitalization, and complications often led to cardiac and respiratory arrest. For example, the rate of respiratory arrest owing to tube occlusion runs as high as 43% of pediatric tracheostomy procedures a year.
But none of the newly developed 3D-printed devices have caused any complications for the three children treated, including Kaiba, who at 3 months old was the first to receive the new technology, 3 years ago. The stents were also inserted into 5-month-old Ian and 16-month-old Garrett.
Designed to accommodate airway growth while preventing external compression over a period of time before bioresorption, the technology allows for the particular problem of radial expansion of the airway over the critical period of growth. "If a child can be supported through the first 24 to 36 months of tracheobronchomalacia, airway growth generally results in a natural resolution of this disease," write the authors.
Senior author Dr. Glenn Green, associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at C.S. Mott, says: "Before this procedure, babies with severe tracheobronchomalacia had little chance of surviving. Today, our first patient Kaiba is an active, healthy 3-year-old in preschool with a bright future." Dr. Green adds:
"The device worked better than we could have ever imagined. We have been able to successfully replicate this procedure and have been watching patients closely to see whether the device is doing what it was intended to do.
We found that this treatment continues to prove to be a promising option for children facing this life-threatening condition that has no cure."
Dr. Green strives enthusiastically for the lives of babies born with the condition, which he says in a post on the hospital's Hail to the little victors blog is often misdiagnosed as treatment-resistant asthma.
He adds that it is a rare congenital condition affecting about 1 in 2,200 births, and the severe cases are even rarer, with most children growing out of the milder cases by 2 or 3 years of age.
"Kaiba's parents, April and Bryan, were left watching helplessly each time he stopped breathing, praying that something would change and doctors' predictions that he would never leave the hospital again weren't true," writes Dr. Green in 2013.
The 3D-printed splints were computational image-based designed to be customizable so that the following parameters could be made bespoke to the individual patient's anatomy on "the submillimeter scale:"
Not being a closed cylinder, the design of the tubes gave an opening to allow placement but also expansion of the radius as the airways grew. All the inserts placed around the airways were made of polycaprolactone, a polymer that harmlessly dissolves in the body at a rate to allow the technology time to support the growing cartilage.
For Garrett's bespoke device on his left bronchus, the opening had a spiral shape to it, to allow a device to be fitted concurrently around, and grow with, his right bronchus, too.
The Michigan team also share findings showing that the success of the devices meant the young children were able to come off of ventilators and no longer needed paralytic, narcotic and sedating drugs.
There were improvements in multiple organ systems and problems that had prevented the babies from absorbing food, so now they could be free of intravenous therapy.
The research doctors had received urgent approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to do the procedures, but it is early days for the strategy to become routine for babies with TBM. The case report published today was not designed to test the safety of the devices - so it may yet be possible that rare complications are found to result from treatment in some cases. Dr. Green says:
"The potential of 3D-printed medical devices to improve outcomes for patients is clear, but we need more data to implement this procedure in medical practice."
The specialist surgeon performing the operations, Dr. Richard Ohye, head of pediatric cardiovascular surgery at C.S. Mott, believes the cases provide the groundwork for a potential clinical trial in children with less-severe forms of TBM.
Chemotherapy can be very effective against small prostate tumors. Larger prostate tumors, however, accumulate cells that suppress the body's immune response, allowing the cancer to grow despite treatment. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine now find that blocking or removing these immune-suppressing cells allows a special type of chemotherapy -- and the immune cells it activates -- to destroy prostate tumors. This novel combination therapy, termed chemoimmunotherapy, achieved near complete remission in mouse models of advanced prostate cancer.
The study is published April 29 in Nature.
Advanced or metastatic prostate cancer does not typically respond to chemotherapy. Prostate cancers also fail to respond to a promising new type of immunotherapy drugs, called checkpoint inhibitors, which disable cancer cells' cloaking mechanism so that a person's own immune system can better fight the tumor. This specific resistance is likely due in part to immunosuppressive B cells, which are more common in larger prostate tumors in mice, as well as in advanced and metastatic prostate cancer in humans. As the name suggests, these cells keep the immune system at bay, rendering most therapies ineffective and allowing malignant tumors to grow unchecked.
In this study, researchers worked with three different mouse models of advanced prostate cancer. All three models were resistant to low doses of the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin, which has the unique ability to activate cancer-killing immune cells. But when the researchers blocked the development or function of immunosuppressive B cells or removed them entirely before treating the mice with low-dose oxaliplatin, the prostate tumors were almost completely destroyed by the mice's own immune cells. The team got similar results when low-dose oxaliplatin was combined with a checkpoint inhibitor.
"The presence of such B cells in human prostate cancer calls for clinical testing of this novel therapeutic approach," said Shabnam Shalapour, PhD, postdoctoral researcher and first author of the study.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in American men. About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetimes.
"In addition to prostate cancer, similar immunosuppressive B cells can be detected in other human cancers," said senior author Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology at UC San Diego. "This indicates that B cell-mediated immunosuppression might be the reason several other cancers are also unresponsive to checkpoint inhibitors, raising the hope that chemoimmunotherapy will have broader applications for many cancer types."
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy shows promise for advanced prostate cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150429132753.htm>.
The adaptive immune response is split into 2 pathways: the humoral response & the cell mediated response. The cells related to these pathways also vary: in the humoral response involves B lymphocytes (B cells), while the cell mediated response involves T lymphocytes (T cells).
B cells are derived from the bone marrow and circulate through the blood stream, spleen and lymph nodes. B cells produce antibodies and each antibody is specific to that B cell. Antibodies can be in two forms: excreted (IgG, IgA) or expressed on the cell surface of the B cell (IgM, IgD). B cells also have receptors on the surface, this receptor along with the antibody form signalling complexes. The receptor is made up of two proteins: Igα & Igβ- antigen binds to Ig – Igα & Igβ initiate intracellular signalling events to activate B cells.
T cells are produced in the thymus however precursor T cells are produced in the bone marrow and migrate to the thymus located in the mediastinum, once matured T cells will travel around the body. There are two types of T cells that derive from the thymus which can be distinguishable based on the molecules present on the cell surface. Helper T cells express a molecule called CD4 on their cell surface, therefore known as CD4 T cells (T helper cells). The other type of T cells express a molecule called CD8 on their cell surface, therefore known as CD8 T cells (known as cytotoxic after activation).
CD4 & CD8 T cells use a receptor called T cell Receptor (TcR) to recognise antigens. The TcR is different to the antibody and the genes that code for it are on different chromosomes. The TcR is made up of two glycoprotein chains called α & β. Both chains have a similar structure to Ig, as the TcR has a variable and constant domain. TcR is always present on the surface of the T cells.
Different T cells will recognise different antigens as each TcR will have different variable regions. T cells recognise antigens that are associated with molecules on the surface of cells called ‘major histocompatibility complex’ (HMC).
MHC refers to a region of the DNA and is located on the chromosome 6 in humans. All vertebrate species have an HMC, and a unique name is given to it. In humans the MHC is called HLA (human leucocyte antigen). MHCs are split into 3 classes: class I, II & III. The CD4 &CD8 bind to the non-polymorphic region of the MCH to get stronger bonding.
Once infected the first response will be dealt with B cells (primary response). All B cells differ from each other depending on the Ig variable region of the antibody. The antibody of the cell will bind to the antigen of the pathogen or foreign particle. Once activated, the B cell will undergo clonal selection (create the specific antibody), it will proliferate and differentiate into plasma B cells (effector cells) and B memory cells. The effector cells are involved in the phagocytosis of the pathogen. The B memory cells stay in the body and activate during the secondary response, if the same pathogen was to infect again.
Once the B cell has ingested the pathogen it will go through antigen processing and presentation. Endogenous antigens are produced within the cell (viral proteins) and are processed and presented by Class I MHC. Exogenous antigens derive from outside the cell and are processed and expressed by Class II MHC molecules.
All nucleated cells express class I MHC. Proteins are fragmented in the cytosol by proteosomes. The fragments are then transported across the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum by transporter proteins. Synthesis and assembly of class I heavy chain and beta2 microglobulin occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum and transported to the cell surface.
A limited group of cells express class II MHC, which includes the antigen presenting cells (APC). The principal APC are macrophages, dendritic cells, and B cells. The exogenous proteins are taken in by endocytosis are fragmented by proteases in an endosome. The alpha and beta chains of MHC class II are synthesized and assembled in the endoplasmic reticulum. Then transported through the Golgi to reach an endosome where the peptide fragments from the exogenous protein are transported to the cell surface.
Infected cells present foreign antigen to CD8 T cells. The MHC Class I (antigen) is recognised by TcR (CD8 T cell). This activates the CD8 T cell; it then proliferates and differentiates to cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL). The CTL produces cytoplasmic granules containing enzymes (granzymes) and perforin. The CTL releases perforin that makes holes in the plasma membrane of target cell, the granzymes enter the target cell (via perforin pores) and triggers aptosis of the target cell.
CD 4 T cells specialise in antigen presenting cells (APC) present antigen to CD4 T cell. The MHC Class II (antigen) is recognised by TCR (CD4 cell) but this does not activate the CD4 T cell yet. Another signal is required which is the interaction of CD80/CD86 on APC with CD28 on T cells.
Once activated the CD4 T cells synthesises and secretes cytokine (interleukin 2 (IL2)) and expresses receptors for IL2. The IL2 causes proliferation of activated CD4 T cells and differentiation of CD4 T cells into either Th 1 or Th2. Th1 help macrophages and B cells, Th2 help B cells.
Th1 secrete IFNγ, this IFNγ activates macrophages that increase expression of MHCII and increase antigen presentation to CD4 T cells activating more CD4 T cells. The overall effect of this will be the amplification of the immune response.
The immune system is the body’s way of fighting off invading pathogens. The immune system is composed of two parts: the innate immune response & the adaptive immune response. It is called the innate immune response as it is the pre-existing defence mechanisms that help prevent infection by pathogens or to create defence against an infectious agent. ‘Innate’ because it is present before an infection is occurs. The innate response in non-specific (whatever the pathogen: the response is always the same). It can be defined as the body’s first line of defence against pathogens. The physical, chemical & biochemical barriers are part of the innate response.
It is divided into 5 stages:
(1) Awareness of the infection
(2) Immediate response to the infection
(3) Delayed response (if immediate is not effective)
(4) Elimination of pathogen
(5) Provision of immunity
Many cells and proteins in the body are part of the innate immune system. They provide two functions: 1) they are able to recognise the presence of invasion 2) provide immediate cellular response.
One of the main types of cell involved is macrophages: these are created in the bone marrow and are found in most tissues. Another is neutrophils, which can also leave the blood stream and enter damaged or infected tissue. Mast cells and dendric cells are also involved.
Cells related to the innate response have receptors that recognise pathogens based on their characteristics. One type of receptor is called ‘mannose receptor’, which is a C-type lectin carbohydrate binding protein that recognises complex carbohydrates. CD-14 is another type of receptor that acts as a Co-receptor with TLR4 (toll like receptor) in detecting bacterial liposaccharides. TLR are a family of receptors that recognise a variety of pathogens (TLR1 – bacterial lipopeptide, TLR2 – peptidoglycan, TLR3 – dsDNA).
Recognition is only useful if it helps in the elimination of the pathogen or if it limits its replication. The response once recognition is achieved is phagocytosis. Phagocytosis is the ingestion and destruction of the microbe. Phagocytosis is done by macrophages & neutrophils. Phagocytosis is split into four steps: attachment of the phagocyte to the particle to be phagocytosed, ingestion : by extending the membranes around the particle and engulfing it taking it into a vacuole, then killing the phagocyte and degrading it by using the enzymes present in the vacuole.
Instead of phagocytosis, another process that can occur is the secretion of proteins known as cytokines, which are produced in response to pathogen stimuli. Sometimes there are not enough macrophages present to eliminate the pathogen, so additional phagocytes are called that have a variety of proteins. This response is known as the inflammatory response. Leukocytes have a unique ability to move around the body, in & out of blood vessels & tissues. The control of where these cells go is very important and is achieved by adhesion molecules & chemotactic agents.
Adhesion molecules bind to each other in a specific manner and enable cells to interact with each other. Adhesion molecules include: glycoproteins (lectins –super binding molecules that can be expressed on leukocyte or endothelial cells) & Integrins (hetrodimeric proteins consisting of alpha & Beta chains that are expressed on the leukocytes).
Extravasation is the process of cells leaving the bloodstream, crossing the endothelium layer and entering the tissue. This is split into 3 stages:
(1) Rolling neutrophils: normally travel in the centre of the blood stream away from the endothelium. Once inflammation occurs, it will cause vasodilation disturbing blood flow causing the neutrophils to bump along the endothelium (rolling motion). Inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α, the endothelial cells are activated to express P-selectins & E-selectins on their surface. These selectins bind to sialyl-Lewisx on the surface of the neutrophil slowing it down and making it roll along the endothelium.
(2) Activation and Firm attachment: the binding of the sialyl-Lewisx is not strong enough for the neutrophil to adhere to the endothelium. To achieve a strong attachment, a LFA-1 integrin on the neutrophil binds to the ICAM-1 on the endothelium. Before the LFA-1 can bind, it has to go through a conformational change. To do this it must bind to IL-8 (interleukin). IL-8 is a chemokine and produced in response to an inflammation. Some of the IL-8 are in the extracellular matrix on the endothelial surface and can bind to IL-8 receptors present on the neutrophil surface. Once conformation has occurred, LFA-1 can firmly bind to ICAM-1 on the endothelium.
(3) Transendothelial migration: Once the neutrophil is attached to the endothelium, it squeezes between the endothelial cells making contact with the basement membrane and releases enzymes that digest away the membrane allowing the leukocyte to enter into the tissue.
Complement system is made up of a number of plasma proteins that play a role in resistance to infection. It consists of pro-enzymes and other factors that activate each other in order to produce a variety of active proteins. The proteins involved are called C1-C9. Different complement pathways exist: classical, lectin & alternative. All pathways start off differently but have a common end stage. The end product is to form a MAC (membrane Attack Complex). This is the generation of a pore in the membrane that will result in the lysis of the cell. The pores allow ions and small molecules through, but not proteins. There is an influx of water into the cell leading to the lysis ‘bursting’ of the cell.
The function of the circulatory system is to transport materials around the body. There are many materials that need transporting. These include oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients (such as glucose and amino acids), hormones and waste chemicals such as urea. These substances are transported in blood through blood vessels. The blood is forced around these vessels by a pump - the heart. There are different types of blood vessels.
Arteries - take blood away from the heart.
Veins - take blood towards the heart.
Capillaries - small vessels connecting arteries & veins. (1mm thick).
Venules – smaller vessels of the veins.
Arterioles – smaller vessels of the arteries.
The blood travels around the circulatory system in a series of parallel circuits so that the blood travels from the heart, through an organ before returning to the heart. If the blood went through each organ in turn the organs near the end of the chain would not receive as many nutrients as the organs first in line. This is because the first organs would take out the nutrients leaving fewer for the organs that follow.
There is one exception to this. The blood leaving the stomach & intestines first goes through the liver. The Liver receives its own blood supply, but this second supply gives the liver a chance to absorb any extra nutrients the body needs to store as well as neutralising any toxins that have been absorbed before they can wreak havoc throughout the body.
The heart is really two pumps stuck together. There are two chambers to each side of the heart. The first chamber is called the atrium (atria - plural) and is the smaller of the two chambers. The larger one is called the ventricle. This chamber is the more powerful of the two as it forces blood out of the heart. The left-hand side receives deoxygenated blood from the body. The job of the left-hand side of the heart is to pump blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. As the lungs are close by the pump does not need to be very strong. The right-hand side receives the newly oxygenated blood from the lungs and has to pump it around the rest of the body. As the distances are greater and in the case of the upper body, blood flow is against gravity, the right-hand side needs to be more powerful.
When the heart beats it takes in blood from the veins and forces it into the arteries. The heart is really two pumps stuck together. Each pump has two chambers. When the right atrium contracts, the same happens to the left-hand side. The same is true when the right ventricle contracts. The blood must flow through the heart in one direction. Blood enters the atria from the veins and is then forced into the ventricles. The ventricles force the blood into the arteries. There are a number of sphincter muscles and valves that prevent blood flowing the wrong way. The valves are a little like parachutes. When blood flows the wrong way the valves bulge out, blocking the path.
Heartbeat involves three distinct stages:
1) relaxation phase - diastole
2) atria contract - atrial systole
3) ventricles contract - ventricular systole
Events in Phase Diagram (only one side shown)
1) The atria and the ventricles relax.
2) The semi-lunar valves close, preventing back flow into the ventricles.
3) The elastic walls of the aorta & pulmonary artery contract, forcing blood towards the body & the lungs.
4) Blood from the veins flows into the atria, which begin to fill. Deoxygenated blood enters the right atrium, and oxygenated blood flows into the left atrium.
1) The atria contract, forcing blood into the ventricles, which fill.
2) Sphincter (ring) muscles closing off the vena cava and the pulmonary veins prevents backflow from the atria into the main veins.
1) The ventricles contract, forcing blood into the aorta & pulmonary artery.
2) The main heart valves (tricuspid & bicuspid) are forced shut, so preventing backflow into the atria. This happens because the pressure of blood in the ventricles is higher than the pressure in the atria. The valve cords prevent the valve being pushed back too far.
3) The walls of the aorta & pulmonary artery expand.
Blood vessels are tubes, which carry the blood around the body. There are different types of blood vessels.
Arteries carry blood away from the heart. These vessels split up into smaller ones called arterioles. Arterioles split up into tiny blood vessels called capillaries. It is from these vessels that movement of particles to & from the blood takes place.
Capillaries join together to form larger vessels called venules which join together to form veins .
There are a number of problems the heart can suffer from. Heart Murmur A leaky valve causes this. This means that some blood actually flows the wrong way. In minor cases this is not too much of a problem. If the leak is very bad it can cause major problems with blood flow around the body and may need corrective surgery.
There is a special part of the heart found in the wall of the right atrium, which helps control, the speed and regularity of heartbeat. This region is called the Pacemaker as it helps control the speed of heartbeat. Sometimes problems can occur with this making the heart beat irregularly.
An artificial pacemaker can be fitted to help correct this problem. An electrode is fitted to the atrium and another to the base of the ventricles. The artificial pacemaker sends out regular pulses of electricity down these electrodes to stimulate the heart to beat regularly.
The heart is a muscle, which needs a good supply of food & oxygen in order to keep working. This is brought to the heart by the blood. If the supply of blood is halted or restricted in anyway the heart can quickly tire and then stop. This is a cardiac arrest (heart attack).
A cardiac arrest can occur for a number of reasons. A high calorie diet results in excess fat in the body. Some of this fat ends up being deposited on the lining of the blood vessels. These fatty deposits can become calcified. This causes the vessels to become narrower. This problem is known as atherosclerosis. Having narrower blood vessels raises the blood pressure & the heart must work harder. If the blood vessels of the heart become blocked the blood flow to the heart will be reduced or stopped completely.
Stress can increase the risk of heart failure. When under stress the heart has to beat faster. If this situation goes on then the heart is put under a great deal stress and this can lead to the heart stopping due to fatigue. Lack of exercise also increases the risk of heart disease. This is because the heart needs to be exercised like any other muscle. If it is not exercised the heart may not be able to cope when it needs to beat quickly (like running for a bus).
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease because chemicals in smoke make it more likely for the blood to clot, even when still inside the body. This can cause blockages and so lead to heart failure. There is also a genetic factor. If there has been a history of heart disease in your family then this increases your chance of getting the disease.
A high-tech comparison of the breast milk of humans and their close primate relatives is revealing just how nutritious the human variety is.
The research was led by Danielle Lemay, a nutritional biologist at the University of California, Davis' Genome Center. Her team used a new technique for identifying proteins found in breast milk.
The researchers found that human breast milk has far more protein content than the breast milk of one of humans' closest primate relatives, the rhesus macaque monkey.
"The higher levels of these proteins in human milk are consistent with the well-established perspective that human babies, compared to other primate infants, are born at a slightly earlier stage of development and require higher levels of specific proteins that will nurture them as they mature," Lemay said in a university news release.
In other words, human breast milk might be even more protein-rich because human babies rely on its nutritional benefits to a larger degree than other primates.
Lemay and her colleagues published the findings online this month in the Journal of Proteome Research.
The new research relies on a new means of molecular analysis that enabled the team to spot more than 1,600 distinct proteins in human milk, of which more than 500 were spotted for the first time.
This compared with just over 500 proteins found in rhesus macaque milk.
The breast milk of humans and rhesus monkeys also share 88 proteins in common, the team noted. However, 93 percent of those shared proteins were still found in higher quantities in human milk.
Some of those proteins aid in the digestion of fats, Lemay's team said, while others boost babies' ability to absorb iron and vitamins B-12 and D.
Current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics urge women to breast-feed their baby exclusively for the first six months of life, and then combine breast milk and other foods until at least 12 months.
Going forward, Lemay suggested that "proteins that appear to have neurodevelopmental significance for human babies will be key targets for future research focused on enhancing infant formula."
“A mans true wealth is the good he has done in this world” Prophet Muhammad (Peace be with him)
If there is one thing that all human beings have in common, it is that we contain rich red blood nourishing us all with life. A bountiful source for some and desperate need for others.
With the necessity for the fortunate people in our world to gear their efforts in dedicating their energies to helping those of us in strife, voluntary blood donation nurtures unity amongst a community, a nation and the human race and it only starts with one drop.
Blood banks highlight that the importance of blood donations for hospitals and health care service providers is to have continuous availability of varied blood types that are safe suitable and effective for patient use. This minimises the chances of delay of blood transfusions day to day especially during emergencies. According to the NHS U.K, doctors, surgeons and health care practitioners depend on blood donations to perform life-saving procedures and life-enhancing treatments every day. Around the world, HIV/AIDS, malaria and maternal mortality rates decrease due the availability of blood donations.
The most incredible thing is that every average healthy person weighing (above 50kg) between the age of 17 and 66 has around 5 trillion red blood cells in one litre of blood. Therefore approximately 25 trillion red cells in the average amount of blood in an adult which accounts to 5 litres! The NHS confirms that about 450mls of your 5 litre store is taken for donation. Not much at all for your healthy body but a lot for 3 people suffering. In addition to the remarkable ways of our blood stores, is that our body makes about two million new red blood cells every second, which goes to show our stores are replenished very quickly after donating.
Top uses of Blood donations
Cancer and blood diseases- 34%
Gastro intestinal bleeding- 11%
The main uses of blood are;
· Red blood cell transfusions are used to make up for heavy blood loss usually as a result of accidents, surgery and childbirth. In other cases it is effective in treating severe anaemia.
· White blood cells work to fight infection. Transfusions of this kind in cases of leukaemia- The cancer of the bone marrow which is due to the replication of abnormal white blood cells which over time takes the place of the normal functioning cells, known as leukaemia cells, impairing the role of blood cells in fighting life threatening infections.
· Platelets assist our blood to clot after injuries. If they are not functioning normally or are low then the patient may suffer a lot from bruising and bleeding.
· Plasma consists of two essential components i.e. Albumin which plays a role in transport of essential molecules in the blood. Incase a large amount of blood is lost by a patient it must be made up for to maintain normal functioning of the body. And clotting factors which are important in clotting of blood.
· Immunoglobulins are a type of antibody that protects you from future infection and disease. For example a child who has suffered from chicken pox will have a supply of chicken pox antibodies therefore their plasma will be ideal for children with leukaemia who have been exposed to chicken pox, and also to prevent any potentially life-threatening diseases.
Who can donate?
· Be at least 16 or 17 years of age
· Weigh at least 110 pounds
· Be in good health
Who cannot donate?
· Low blood cell count
· During pregnancy and until 6 weeks after giving birth
· Having received a tattoo or any body piercing within the past year
Brief donation procedures:
Before the donation it is recommended to;
· Eat regular meals rich in Iron
· Rest well
· Drink plenty of liquids and abstain from alcohol
During the blood donation you will receive check up on your;
· Blood pressure
· Body temperature
Note: Who can donate or cannot as well as the donation procedures depends on your doner servie provider. The above information is just a guidance of what to expect.
QUICK BLOOD FACTS
1. Highest use of blood donations is for cancer and blood diseases- 34%
2. B-, AB+ and AB- are the rarest blood types
3. 25 trillion red cells in the average adult boy which equals 5 litres!
4. 450mls of your blood will help 3 people
5. Blood cannot be manufactured but it can be given for free
In conclusion, the opportunity to donate one’s blood is a step into a transforming lifesaving venture which is worthy of emulation today and generations to come. YOUR blood can be the reason someone you know or do not know; breaths longer, hugs tighter and smiles wider. With a constant need to get blood there is an instant happiness in giving it <3 Give blood. Give life!
Save a life. Give blood!
Energy drinks might give you some pep — but they might also be priming you for heart problems, a new study finds.
Researchers found that energy drinks can raise blood pressure to potentially unhealthy levels. The effect was far more prominent in young adults who did not consume caffeine regularly, according to the study, presented March 14 at an American College of Cardiology meeting in San Diego.
In this study, the research team — led by Dr. Anna Svatikova, a cardiovascular-diseases fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota — gave a can of a commercially available energy drink to 25 healthy volunteers, whose ages ranged from 19 to 40. On a different day, the participants drank the same amount of a placebo drink. The researchers measured the participants' heart rate and blood pressure before and after the drinks.
The participants experienced a more marked rise in blood pressure after consuming the energy drink than after drinking the placebo, according to the findings. The participants' average systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) increased by 3 percent more after they drank an energy drink, compared with after they drank the placebo drink.
The effect was most dramatic in people who did not typically consume more than a small cup of coffee or other caffeinated drink daily. In this so-called "caffeine-naive" group, the blood pressure increase was twice as high as the increase seen in the people who drank at least the equivalent of a cup of coffee on a daily basis, the researchers said in a statement.
Even a small increase in blood pressure can have deadly consequences, depending on your age and resting blood pressure, said Sachin Shah, an associate professor of pharmacy at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, who was not involved in the study.
"An acute, moderate increase in blood pressure is typically not a cause of worry in healthy subjects," said Shah, who has done research on the effects of energy drinks. However, in older people or those with hypertension, a moderate increase may be a cause for concern, he said.
At a population level, an increase of three or four points on a systolic blood pressure reading could mean a significant increase in deaths from stroke.
Scientists do not know whether it is the caffeine, taurine or other ingredients found in energy drinks — or a combination of ingredients — that can adversely affect the heart.
In a separate study, presented last year at an American Heart Association meeting by Maj. Emily Fletcher of the David Grant Air Force Medical Center, healthy volunteers experienced a greater increase in blood pressure after they consumed an energy drink compared to after they drank a coffee drink that had an equal amount of caffeine. This result, Fletcher said, suggests that ingredients in the energy drink other than caffeine were conspiring to raise blood pressure.
According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks.
Previous studies have associated the consumption of energy drinks with poor memory and learning, anxiety, hallucinations, abnormal heart rhythm, substance abuse, and risk-taking behaviors. A study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2011 found that children, in particular, are at high risk of cardiac abnormalities from consuming energy drinks because of their smaller body size.
Atherosclerosis is the development of atheromatous plaques in the inner arterial wall. It is the underlying reason for the pathophysiology and aetiology of many arterial diseases particularly coronary artery disease (CAD) where these plaques partially or completely block arteries. This limits the oxygenated blood supply to myocardium causing over 90,000 UK deaths a year despite rates decreasing since 1970s (BHF,2009). There are two main coronary arteries (right and left) arising from aortic sinus; the anatomy of coronary artery is shown in Figure 1a.
Atherosclerosis occurs in three major stages: fatty streak, plaque progression and disruption. Factors such as smoking cause endothelium to produce superoxide anions that interacts with other molecules. Superoxides are reactive oxygen species and free radicals of dioxygen due to unpaired electron (Widmaier,E. 2008:pp.84). This causes oxidative stress leading to endothelium dysfunction, allowing lipoproteins, calcium and fibrous tissues to enter and modify intima; Figure 1b. This initial damage increases CAD risk and initiates leukocyte recruitment primarily monocytes and T lymphocytes to enter inflammatory site. Monocytes differentiate into macrophages and secrete growth factors, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF- β), and have LDL-receptors to engulf lipids forming foam cells (Lilly,L. 2007 pp.126). These foam cells accumulate to form yellowish fatty streaks; Figure 1c.
Plaque growth progresses when smooth muscle migrates to intima. PDGF allows smooth muscle to proliferate for collagen synthesis whereas TGF- β stimulate the process losing the arterial wall’s elasticity (Lilly,L. 2007:pp.127). A fibrous cap forms protecting atheroma, causing an ischaemic condition called angina. Over decades, dispute occurs between growth factors and IFN-γ factor; an interferon released by leukocytes inhibiting collagen synthesis.
Disruption occurs when plaques rupture triggering a coagulation cascade where thrombus and fibrin deposit in arterial wall further reducing lumen and cause coronary occlusion; Figure 1d. This can lead to myocardial infarction (MI) where inadequate blood supply to part of the heart causes myocardial necrosis and can be fatal.
Other causes of CAD are risk factors that promote atherogenesis. Controllable factors include diet, exercise and obesity. Obesity increases risk because abdominal fat enhances low-density lipoproteins (LDL) production and heart workload. Studies show that a third of CAD patients in developed countries are due to obesity emphasising its impact (BHF, 2008). As well as being an independent factor, it can trigger other factors, for instance, cholesterol where high LDL and triglyceride levels inside coronary arteries increase plaque formation. Low high-density lipoproteins (HDL) levels raises risk because epidemiological studies show that high HDL levels enhances endothelium function by preventing cholesterol entry (Brubaker,P. 2002:pp.9).
There are also uncontrollable factors that contribute to CAD, for instance, gender and age. Women have higher HDL2 levels, a more cholesterol rich, than men preventing cholesterol entry and lowering CAD risk. Studies show 40% of deaths in 65-74 years old are due to CAD because myocardium cardiac function has decelerated, myocardium becomes less efficient and cardiac muscle (BJN, 2009).
Individuals at risk of CAD are diagnosed using different examinations after experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort where it spreads to arms and other areas; MI is identified when discomfort is beyond 15 minutes (Julian,D. 2005:pp.116).
Clinical history and electrocardiogram (ECG) is needed because ECG records heart’s electrical activity by placing electrodes on arms, legs and chests detecting characteristic changes. For instance, ST segment lowers when there is myocardial ischaemia but elevates when MI initiates; Figure 2.
Another diagnosis is cardiac markers where high enzyme concentrations in cardiac tissues indicate myocardium necrosis. Tropinin T and I regulate cardiac muscle contraction and are mainly tested because they are sensitive and raise their serum activity when they detect any muscle injury (Julian,D. 2005:pp.112).
Treatment of CAD aims to improve coronary circulation by dilating coronary arteries which lowers pressure and myocardial oxygen demand and this reduces heart work. Drugs like nitrates have this pharmacological effect by relaxing smooth muscle whereas other drugs like atorvastatin lower LDL cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase; enzyme responsible for cholesterol synthesis (Kendall,M. 1998:pp.109). However, atorvastatin can cause myositis which affects muscles emphasising how medications can cause side-effects. If medications fail to work, surgery is needed. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) involves using a vessel, normally saphenous vein, which bypass narrowed arteries providing an alternative route for blood flow. In 2002, mortality rate for Coronary Artery Bypass operations was 1.8% highlighting how surgery is effective (Barrett,D. 2006:pp.212). However, studies show that preventing modifiable factors by lifestyle adjustments are more effective than other treatments. Stopping smoking, maintaining healthy weight by exercising and eating low-saturated fat diet helps reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and controls glucose levels if diabetic.
Ultimately, researchers are investigating possible new factors and cardioprotective drugs which emphasises the epidemic’s extent.