Dhaka, July 2 (UNB) - Millions of people in the UK are putting their sight at risk by continuing to smoke, warn specialists, rep[orts BBC.
Despite the clear connection, only one in five people recognise that smoking can lead to blindness, a poll for the Association of Optometrists (AOP) finds.
Smokers are twice as likely to lose their sight compared with non-smokers, says the RNIB.
That is because tobacco smoke can cause and worsen a number of eye conditions.
How smoking can harm your eyes
Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that can irritate and harm the eyes.
For example, heavy metals, such as lead and copper, can collect in the lens - the transparent bit that sits behind the pupil and brings rays of light into focus - and lead to cataracts, where the lens becomes cloudy.
Smoking can make diabetes-related sight problems worse by damaging blood vessels at the back of the eye (the retina).
Smokers are around three times more likely to get age-related macular degeneration - a condition affecting a person's central vision, meaning that they lose their ability to see fine details.
And they are 16 times more likely than non-smokers to develop sudden loss of vision caused by optic neuropathy, where the blood supply to the eye becomes blocked.
In the poll of 2,006 adults, 18% correctly said that smoking increased the risk of blindness or sight loss, while three-quarters (76%) knew smoking was linked to cancer.
The AOP says stopping or avoiding smoking is one of the best steps you can take to protect your vision, along with having regular sight checks.
Aishah Fazlanie, Optometrist and Clinical and Regulatory Adviser for the AOP, said: "People tend to know about the link between smoking and cancer, but many people are not aware of the impact that smoking can have upon the eyes.
"Smoking increases the risk of sight-threatening conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, which is an important reason why smokers should consider quitting."
In the UK, 17% of men and 13% of women - around 7.4 million people - are smokers. More than half (61%) of them say they want to quit.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the proportion of current smokers has been decreasing, with the largest fall since 2011 occurring among 18 to 24-year-olds.
In 2017, around 2.8 million people - 5.5% of the UK - were using e-cigarettes, and the most common reason given for vaping was to help quit smoking.
Dhaka, June 30 (UNB)- If you’ve read a fitness blog or magazine, or even peeked at the Insta #fitness scene recently, you’ve probably heard of bulking and cutting. But if you’re new to the concept of getting as big as the Hulk (well, almost) and then slimming back down Bruce Banner-style in order to tone up, it's not surprising as it was created by and for bodybuilders in preparation for competitions, reports BBC.
There is no standardised definition of bulking and cutting. Bulking involves eating more calories than you need, in order to put on weight, then building muscle via resistance training. Cutting involves eating fewer calories than you burn (and probably doing more cardio) in order to lose the fat. The theory is that you put on extra muscle and fat, but then lose the fat to look lean and shredded.
But does this work and is it a good idea? We ask the experts.
Does more food equal more muscle?
Muscles are made of protein, so eating extra protein should lead to bigger muscles, right? Sort of… but not quite.
When you exercise, you damage muscle fibres, which is a good thing. After exercise, your body repairs these fibres by fusing old and new protein strands together, making them stronger and sometimes bigger. Muscle growth occurs when the rate of protein synthesised into muscle is greater than the amount of muscle protein breakdown.
To increase muscle mass, you must “eat more calories than needed to maintain your body weight”, says personal trainer Scott Laidler. "A high proportion of your extra calories should come from foods containing protein, which will give you the necessary amino acids to build muscle mass. Without protein, you will just gain fat and little muscle", he continues. But there is a limit.
It's not as simple as protein equals muscle. "There is a genetic limitation to how much muscle mass you can put on over a given time, no matter how much you exercise and eat protein", says weight loss coach and personal trainer, Dr Aishah Muhammad. So if you eat too much, you'll just get fatter.
It’s not difficult to eat the amount of protein you need for muscle growth. The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey reveals that the average amount of protein eaten by a 19-64-year-old man is 87.4g per day and woman 66.6g – much more than the NHS recommendation of 55.5g for men and 45g for women depending on body mass and physical exertion.
Can you eat too much protein?
In 2016, BBC Three reported on a man who was hospitalised after trying to 'bulk up'. He had kidney stones, which he believed were likely to be caused by eating too much protein. He said his body couldn't process the protein and so turned it into calcified deposits in his kidneys.
The NHS links a high-protein, low-fibre diet to recurring kidney stones. The risks associated with a high-protein diet are greater for people with a pre-existing health condition, and if you have kidney or liver damage you should consult a doctor before making changes to your diet.
Back in the 1960s and '70s, when bulking first became a phenomenon, body builders relied on nutrient-dense, natural foods such as steak, milk and eggs. Nowadays, protein is available as shakes, bars and capsules, making it easy to consume vast amounts of it with additional sugar and calories without getting full.
If you want to take a protein supplement, British Dietetic Association clinical and sports dietitian Rick Miller suggests sticking to the recommended serving size and never taking more than is needed.
Can you lose fat without losing muscle?
It’s pretty tough to lose as much fat as you want to while retaining muscle when ‘cutting’.
Years ago, scientists found that a pound of fat contains 3,500 calories of energy. However, burning one pound of body fat isn’t as simple as reducing your calories by that amount – your body loves to burn muscle too.
Scott Laidler learned this from his own journey when he first started out in fitness. He said, “When I cut I took my calories too low and in the process worked off a lot of the muscle mass that I had gained. The phases would cross over for a few weeks, where I would look and feel good, but I wanted to be lean and muscular all year round. It really wasn’t satisfying.”
Bulking and cutting can affect your athletic performance. Rugby and athletic coach, Matt Thomas, told us he never recommends a bulk or cut to his players because “across the board this has been seen to have detrimental effects on athletic output. When a large amount of body weight is cut through drastic intervention, the effects on performance are very clear. Aerobic endurance, maximal oxygen uptake and muscular strength generally fall after rapid body weight reduction, but can be increased with gradual weight loss.”
Can you gain muscle without gaining fat?
Personal trainers have different opinions on the best way to build muscle and look lean. Many professionals and average gym go-ers look to build muscle without the fat gain that a bulking cycle brings.
"The constant cycle of bulking and cutting might be a good way to max out your genetic potential for muscle gain or get shredded for a photoshoot, but that's the territory of body builders," says Scott Laidler. "For a lot of people who are looking to build muscle, a 'lean bulk' or even ‘recomposition’ training phase is the order of the day. This means gaining muscle at a slightly slower rate but without the accompanying body fat.
“I would advise three total-body weight workouts each week, with a modest calorie surplus on training days. For the non-training days, if you eat enough calories to break even, or even have a slight deficit, you can avoid piling on body fat. But what you eat really matters. You also need to be eating quality, healthy fats and carbohydrate to help you perform in your workouts as well as recover.
“Using this method, you'll gradually improve your composition and eventually be in great shape pretty much year-round, which if you aren't on a competition schedule is a much more comfortable place to be,” concludes Scott. Slow and steady really does win the race.
How much should you eat?
You can work out roughly how many calories you need to eat to maintain your weight using our calculator below and adjust accordingly to your exercise schedule. Experts recommend keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks to work out how much you already eat, as it is common to underestimate your calorie intake. From there, you should start out eating at your maintenance calories and increase them very slowly until you begin to see around a one-percent increase in body weight per month with the right amount of weight training. Any more than this and you could risk gaining too much fat.
Dhaka, Jun 30 (UNB) - A study has found that the uptake of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among schoolgirls in Britain has led to plummeting cervical cancer risk. All schoolgirls in Britain have been offered the HPV vaccine at the age of 12 or 13 since 2008 and later this year, the programme will be extended to boys of the same age, reports the Indian Express.
The study, published in The Lancet medical journal looked at screening programmes involving 60 million people in 14 countries and found levels of the two strands of HPV virus – that are mainly responsible for the cancer – fell 83 per cent in girls aged 13 to 19 after five to eight years of vaccination, and 66 per cent in women aged 20 to 24. The researchers, led by Laval University in Canada, said that if the number of people having the vaccination remains high, the cancer could soon be eliminated.
Study leader Professor Marc Brisson said, ‘What we are working on now is trying to determine when elimination will occur. We don’t have a precise date but we’re trying to determine when it will occur.’
He added that Australian scientists have estimated they could wipe out cervical cancer in their country – which is similar to UK – within a few decades.
Dr David Mesher, of Public Health England, added, ‘There will be a time in the future where we will see very low rates of cervical cancer.’
Around 3,200 British women are diagnosed with the disease every year, while almost 1,000 die from it annually.
The research team also looked at the impact of the vaccination programme on levels of abnormal cells and cervical lesions, known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), which can be early warning signs of cervical cancer.
The higher the CIN grade, the higher the risk of developing invasive cancer.
The researchers found a 51 per cent reduction in CIN2+ lesions – one of the most serious forms – five to nine years after vaccination.
Professor Brisson added, ‘Because of our finding, we believe the World Health Organisation call for action to eliminate cervical cancer may be possible in many countries if sufficient vaccination coverage can be achieved.’
Robert Music, chief executive at UK’s Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said, “This is truly exciting news, which clearly shows the impact of the HPV vaccine in protecting the cervical health of future generations. We’re lucky to have the HPV vaccination programme here in the UK and this study supports the imminent roll-out of the gender-neutral HPV vaccine.”
But he added, “This study also shows the urgent need for all countries without a vaccination programme to be supported in establishing one.”
Dhaka, Jun 30 (UNB) - Preterm birth can change an infant’s brain activity while they are asleep and also affects future brain health, a study has found, reports the Indian Express.
Researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia analysed brain activity data collected from 94 infants from Helsinki in Finland.
The study group comprised 42 infants who had been born extremely premature at 27 weeks, and a control group of 52 infants who had been born at full term.
“Quality of sleep is a vital indicator of brain health, particularly in newborn infants, and our study looked at the brain process supporting distinct sleep patterns in preterm and full-term babies when measured about two weeks after the full term due date,” said Dr Luca Cocchi, senior author and head of QIMR Berghofer’s Clinical Brain Networks team.
“We found babies born at full term had marked reorganization of brain activity during different states of sleep, while it wasn’t as distinct in very premature babies,” he said.
“Our study also indicated that the differences in neural sleep activity at 42 weeks could predict a child’s ability to use visual information to solve problems at two years of age,” Cocchi said.
He said that like other behaviours, good sleep relies upon the proper organisation of dynamic patterns of brain activity during different sleep states.
For the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers used high-density electroencephalography (EEG) and other tools to map interactions between different brain regions when babies were in active sleep and quiet sleep.
“These two stages are key components of a newborn’s sleep-wake cycle, and gradually transform with age into cycles of rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep states such as deep sleep,” said Dr James Roberts, a co-author of the study and head of QIMR Berghofer’s Brain Modelling Group.
“These two stages are key components of a newborn’s sleep-wake cycle, and gradually transform with age into cycles of rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep states such as deep sleep,” he said.
“These tools have been previously used to describe complex systems such as the acoustics of musical instruments, but we’ve been able to adapt it to brain waves in sleeping babies,” Roberts added.
Dhaka, June 29 (UNB)- People should be focusing on how to prevent harmful microbes from spreading in their homes rather than cleaning the bits that look "dirty", a Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) report says.
Washing hands, cloths and surfaces at the right time is the key to good hygiene - but one in four people think it is not important, it warns, reports BBC.
Getting it right can reduce infections and antibiotic resistance.
And there is no such thing as being "too clean".
According to the RSPH report, there is confusion among the public about the difference between dirt, germs, cleanliness and hygiene.
In a survey of 2,000 people, 23% thought children needed to be exposed to harmful germs to build up their immune systems.
But experts behind the report said this was "a potentially harmful belief" which could lead to exposure to some dangerous infections.
Instead, they said people should concentrate on cleaning specific places at specific times, even if they look clean, to stop "bad" microbes spreading.
What are the hot spots for hygiene?
-preparing and handling food
-eating with fingers
-after using the toilet
-when people are coughing, sneezing and blowing their nose
-handling and washing "dirty" household cloths and clothing
-caring for pets
-handling and taking out the rubbish
-caring for a family member with an infection
Cleaning of hands is particularly important after handling food, using the toilet, coughing, sneezing, handling pets and caring for those who are sick, the report says.
Cleaning kitchen surfaces and chopping boards is vital after preparing raw foods such as meat and poultry, or before preparing food such as sandwiches and snacks.
And cleaning dishcloths and scrubbing brushes is recommended after they have been used to clean a contaminated surface.
Floors and furniture may look dirty, but they usually contain microbes which are not much of a health risk.
How does cleaning remove bacteria?
Washing surfaces and utensils with warm, soapy water removes the bacteria, allowing it to be washed down the drain.
But to kill the bacteria completely, scalding water over 70C, is needed - and for some time, the Food Standards Agency says.
What products to use?
Most fall into three categories, which each do something different.
- Detergents : clean the surface and remove grease, but they do not kill bacteria.
- Disinfectants : kill bacteria but do not work effectively on a surface covered in grease or visible dirt.
- Sanitisers : can be used to both clean and disinfect. First use the sanitiser to clean the surface, removing any dirt, food and grease then apply to the clean surface to disinfect
It is important to read the instructions carefully, experts say.
Instead of using a cloth to clean surfaces after food preparation, try using paper towels instead. This saves the kitchen cloth from becoming contaminated.
What do experts say?
Prof Sally Bloomfield, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the public should know the difference between hygiene and cleanliness.
"Whereas cleaning means removing dirt and microbes, hygiene means cleaning in the places and times that matter - in the right way - to break the chain of infection whilst preparing food, using the toilet, caring for pets etc."
Prof Lisa Ackerley, food hygiene expert and trustee at Royal Society for Public Health, said: "Getting outdoors and playing with friends, family and pets is great for exposure to 'good bacteria' and building a healthy microbiome, but it's also crucial that the public don't get the wrong end of the stick. This doesn't need to get in the way of good hygiene.
"Targeted hygiene undertaken at the crucial times and places is a way of preventing infection that is cheap on time and low effort, and still exposes you to all the 'good bacteria' your body benefits from."
She added: "Good hygiene in the home and everyday life helps to reduce infections, is vitally important to protecting our children and reducing pressure on the NHS, and has a huge role to play in the battle against antibiotic resistance."