Risk of heart disease reduces by taking dark chocolate

Eating dark chocolate daily for two weeks may lessen the risk of heart disease. Eating a couple of chunks daily for a fortnight is enough to ward off high blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes, both major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.More information after the break...

 Although the healthy benefits of dark chocolate have been highlighted before, this is believed to be one of the first studies to show it can have such a rapid effect in preventing illness.

The research raises the possibility that chocolate could help some patients boost their health without the need for prescription drugs.

Italian and US researchers who carried out the study deliberately chose a small group of patients who already had problems with blood pressure and the early stages of diabetes.

But they stressed only dark chocolate is good for the heart. Milk chocolate, which is more popular in Britain, does not contain the same quantities of disease-busting ingredients.

Heart disease is Britain's biggest killer, claiming the lives of one in five men and one in six women.

In recent years scientists have discovered certain plant-based foods and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, red wine tea and cocoa can protect the heart against disease.

This is because they are all rich in natural ingredients call flavanols, a type of chemical found in plants. Cocoa beans, the main ingredient for chocolate, contain relatively high levels of flavanols.

Researchers were attracted to cocoa's potential benefits in the war against heart disease by the healthy status of the Kuna Indian tribe of the San Blas islands, near Panama.

The population there has remarkably low levels of artery disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Even as they age, their blood pressure barely changes, unlike populations in more developed countries, where it tends to rise as we get older.

It's thought high consumption of cocoa is one of the key factors.

Other recent studies have found dark chocolate can protect blood vessels against damage from diabetes and could even hold the key to stopping bowel cancer in its tracks.

Volunteers included 11 men and eight women who already had high blood pressure and a condition called insulin resistance an early warning sign for type two diabetes.
Half the group were then given 100 grammes of dark chocolate over 15 days, averaging just over six grammes a day.

The other half were given the same amount of white chocolate, which contained more fat and sugar and no flavanols at all.

After the first stage of the experiment was over, the two groups swapped over to the other type of chocolate to see how they reacted.

The results, published in the latest Journal of Nutrition, showed dark chocolate triggered significant falls in blood pressure but the white chocolate had no effect.
High blood pressure is anything above 140mmHg/85mmHg.

Those on the dark chocolate diet saw their average readings drop from 142/90mmHg to 137/87mmHg in just two weeks, a significant decline. White chocolate made no difference at all.

One reason flavanols in cocoa work is by increasing production of nitric oxide, which helps relax artery walls and lets blood flow more freely.

The dark chocolate also reduced the level of insulin resistance. This means the body's cells start to make better use of insulin that is circulating in the blood, rather than let it build up and raise the risk of heart disease.

In a report on their findings, researchers from the University of L'Aquila in Italy and Tufts University, in Boston, USA, said food and drinks manufacturers should look at developing a range of healthy cocoa-based products to help fight heart disease.

'Our findings suggest flavanol-rich, low-energy cocoa food products may have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors,' they said.

Confectionery firms have already started to cash in on chocolate's healthy image.
Two years ago Cadbury Schweppes relaunched its Bourneville brand to focus on the surge in demand for healthy dark chocolate.

Some high street retailers report sales of dark chocolate have doubled in recent years as sweet-toothed consumers hope to use their favourite treat to help them live longer.

Marvels of modern engineering

This Denmark Sweden underwater bridge is half under the water, for ships to pass and then again, it comes out on the other side.More pics after the break...


The Oresund Bridge (Danish Øresundsbroen, Swedish Öresundsbron, joint hybrid name Øresundsbron) is a combined two-track rail and four-lane road bridge across the Oresund strait. The bridge-tunnel is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe and connects the two metropolitan areas of the Oresund Region: the Danish capital of Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmö. The international European route E20 runs across the bridge, as does the Oresund Railway Line.In 1991 the Denmark and Swedish governments agreed to build a bridge to connect the two countries across Oresund.  Later that year the two parliaments ratified the agreement and scheduled the design to be completed by 1994.  The 16 km long Oresund link between Sweden and Denmark is now complete. At 6 am on August 14, 1999 the final section of the Oresund bridge was placed in position by the floating crane, "Svanen". Six hours later, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark met on the bridge to mark the fact that Denmark and Sweden are linked once more - 7,000 years after the Ice Age when they were landlocked.  The project opened to traffic during the summer of 2000.The Oresund Bridge is the world's longest single bridge carrying both road and railway traffic. In the design full advantage was taken of repetition by composing the major part of the bridge of identical spans. The high bridge with its record-breaking cable-stayed span of 490m is designed to harmonize both structurally and aesthetically with the approach bridges. In the construction phase the on-site activities were completed in just 2 1/2 years due to an extensive use of prefabrication and erection of large units.


The Oresund Bridge-Tunnel is the world’s longest border crossing bridge and connects Denmark and Sweden across the Oresund Strait. An incredible engineering feat, the bridge itself comes to an end and rests on an artificial island called Penderholm, at which point a tunnel takes over and carries traffic under the strait and onto the Danish mainland. Incredibly, this nearly 8km long structure also has a railtrack underneath the 4 lane roadway.



 Satellite image of the Øresund Bridge




 View from Malmö



On the bridge



In the tunnel






kajal agarwal latest photo shoot

Kajal Agarwal is an glamorous actress and a good model.She is a very famous actress in tollywood film industry now.Kajal is the brand ambassador of tollywood film industry.More photo shoot after the break...

Birth Control: 10 Ancient Methods

This year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the birth control pill, which many considered to have empowered women and sparked the sexual revolution. But as this list will show, women have had some control over their reproductive rights for millennia, although some of these ancient birth control methods were, admittedly, more terrifying than most of the methods in use today.
1.Mercury:Civilizations the world over, from the ancient Assyrians and Egyptians to the Greeks, were fascinated by mercury and were convinced that it had medicinal value and special curative properties, using it to treat everything from skin rashes to syphilis. In ancient China, women were advised to drink hot mercury to prevent pregnancy. It was likely pretty effective at convincing a woman’s body that she wasn’t fit to carry a child, leading to miscarriage, so in that sense, it worked as a contraceptive. However, as we know today, mercury is enormously toxic, causing kidney and lung failure, as well as brain damage and death. At that point, pregnancy would probably be the least of your worries.
09 methods after the break...

 2Silphium:  Silphium was a member of the fennel family that grew on the shores of Cyrenaica (in present-day Libya). It was so important to the Cyrenean economy that it graced that ancient city’s coins. Silphium had a host of uses in cooking and in medicine, and Pliny the Elder recorded the herb’s use as a contraceptive. It was reportedly effective for contraception when taken once a month as a tincture. It could also be used as emergency birth control, either orally or vaginally, as an abortifacient. By the second century CE, the plant had gone extinct, likely because of over harvesting.

3Papaya:In South Asia and Southeast Asia, unripe papaya was used to prevent or terminate pregnancy. Once papaya is ripe, though, it loses the phytochemicals that interfere with progesterone and thus its contraceptive and abortifacient properties. The seeds of the papaya could actually serve as an effective male contraceptive. Papaya seeds, taken daily, could cut a man’s sperm count to zero and was safe for long-term use. Best of all, the sterility was reversible: if the man stopped taking the seeds, his sperm count would return to normal.
4Cotton:In the ancient medical manuscript the Ebers Papyrus (1550 BCE), women were advised to grind dates, acacia tree bark, and honey together into a paste, apply this mixture to seed wool, and insert the seed wool vaginally for use as a pessary. Granted, it was what was in the cotton rather than the cotton itself that promoted its effectiveness as birth control—acacia ferments into lactic acid, a well-known spermicide—but the seed wool did serve as a physical barrier between ejaculate and cervix. Interestingly, though, women during the times of American slavery would chew on the bark of cotton root to prevent pregnancy. Cotton root bark contains substances that interfere with the corpus luteum, which is the hole left in the ovary when ovulation occurs. The corpus luteum secretes progesterone to prepare the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg. By impeding the corpus luteum’s actions, cotton root bark halts progesterone production, without which a pregnancy can’t continue.

5Common Rue:Rue, a blue-green herb with feathery leaves, is grown as an ornamental plant and is favored by gardeners for its hardiness. It is rather bitter but can be used in small amounts as a flavoring ingredient in cooking. Soranus, a gynecologist from 2nd-century Greece, described its use as a potent abortifacient, and women in Latin America have traditionally eaten rue in salads as a contraceptive and drunk rue tea as emergency contraception or to induce abortion. Ingested regularly, rue decreases blood flow to the endometrium, essentially making the lining of the uterus non-nutritive to a fertilized egg.

 6Dong Quai:Dong quai, also known as Chinese angelica, has long been known for its powerful effects on a woman’s cycle. Women drank a tonic brewed with dong quai roots to help regulate irregular menstruation, alleviate menstrual cramps and help the body regenerate after menstruation. Taken during early pregnancy, however, dong quai had the effect of causing uterine contractions and inducing abortion. European and American species of angelica have similar properties but were not as widely used.

7Blue Cohosh:Blue cohosh, traditionally used for birth control by Native Americans, contains at least two abortifacient substances: one mimics oxytocin, a hormone produced during childbirth that stimulates the uterus to contract, and a substance unique to blue cohosh, caulosaponin, also results in uterine contractions. Midwives today may use blue cohosh in the last month of pregnancy to tone the uterus in preparation for labour. The completely unrelated but similarly named black cohosh also has estrogenic and abortifacient properties and was often combined with blue cohosh to terminate a pregnancy.

8Pennyroyal:Pennyroyal is a plant in the mint genus and has a fragrance similar to that of spearmint. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it as a cooking herb and a flavoring ingredient in wine. They also drank pennyroyal tea to induce menstruation and abortion—1st-century physician Dioscorides records this use of pennyroyal in his massive five-volume encyclopedia on herbal medicine. Too much of the tea could be highly toxic, however, leading to multiple organ failure.

9Queen Anne’s Lace:Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as wild carrot, and its seeds have long been used as a contraceptive—Hippocrates described this use over two millennia ago. The seeds block progesterone synthesis, disrupting implantation and are most effective as emergency contraception within eight hours of exposure to sperm—a sort of “morning after” form of birth control. Taking Queen Anne’s Lace led to no or mild side effects (like a bit of constipation), and women who stopped taking it could conceive and rear a healthy child. The only danger, it seemed, was confusing the plant with similar-looking but potentially deadly poison hemlock and water hemlock.

10 Lemons:Citric acid is said to have spermicidal properties, and women used to soak sponges in lemon juice before inserting them vaginally. Mentioned in the Talmud, this was a preferred method of birth control in ancient Jewish communities. The sponge itself would act as a pessary—a physical barrier between the sperm and the cervix. The great womanizer Casanova was said to have inserted the rind of half a lemon into his lovers as a primitive cervical cap or diaphragm, the residual lemon juice serving to annihilate the sperm. Lemon- and lime-juice douches following coitus were also recommended as a form of birth control, but this method was likely less effective, since sperm can enter the cervix—and hence out of reach of any douching—within minutes of ejaculation. Incidentally, some alternative medicine practitioners today suggest that megadoses of vitamin C (6 to 10 g a day) could induce an abortion in women under 4 weeks of pregnancy, but there’s no evidence that citrus fruits were used in this way in ancient times.

Bollywood's Miss Beautiful Skin: Tapasee

Taapsee was a participant in MISS INDIA 2008 pageant and won the two titles i.e. Pantaloons Femina Miss Fresh Face and Safi Femina Miss Beautiful Skin.13 More Images after the break...

Best viewed on Chrome, Firefox, Opera & Safari browsers, and high resolutions.

Copyright © 2014 skepseissss™. Powered by Blogger™