Dental Care

BRUSHING and flossing your teeth properly along with regular dental checkups may prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. Beside giving you a beautiful smile, healthy teeth and gums.

Most people spend a lot of money on beauty products like skin care and hair products instead, or pay regular visits to beauty centres, but only go to the dentist once every six months or a year.

One of the reasons they dread seeing the dentist is because they are afraid of the drill, but oral care does not have to be much work if you follow the simple steps above.

Milk : Most Nutritionally Complete Food - God’s Greatest Gift

PEOPLE has used milk as food since very ancient times. Milk is a natural source of calcium and protein necessary for good health. It is regarded as one of the most nutritionally complete foods available on our planet. In fact, milk is nutritionally complete food for all ages and has been part of the human diet for thousands of years.

Mother's milk is best for babies and young children. Ideally, babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their life. Nothing compares to breast milk and every effort should be made to ensure babies have this highly nourishing substance but for older, already weaned children and adults, cow's milk is a great source of daily nutrition needs especially calcium.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies for the first six months, after which their nutrition should be complemented with family foods in addition to breast milk.

In order to encourage breastfeeding, mothers should refrain from placing a pacifier in the mouth of their babies as it hinders the breastfeeding process. It is interesting to note that mother's milk is the purest and most sterile milk for babies. Poisoning is highly unlikely even if the mother is infected with a disease. Breast milk could be given as frequently as possible and as long as the baby needs it. Factors like confusion, fear, pain, embarrassment and anxiety could hinder the production of milk.

Breast milk is the natural first food for babies, as it provides all the energy and nutrients that an infant needs for the first months of life. It continues to provide up to half or more of a child's nutritional needs during the second half of the first year.

Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness.

However, breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many women, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle and other specific medical considerations that they may have.

For mothers who are unable to breastfeed or who decided not to, cow or soya-based infant formula is a good alternative that will meet a baby's nutritional needs.

Once a child reaches a year's old, they can be transitioned to whole milk or cow's milk.

Milk is a great source of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and magnesium. It will build the toddler's bones and teeth and help his body regulate his blood coagulation and muscle control. Almost all milk is fortified with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb the calcium it needs.

Milk also provides protein for growth, as well as carbohydrates, which gives the child the energy he needs to toddle all day!

If the child gets enough calcium from an early age, there is evidence that he will have a lower risk of suffering from high blood pressure, stroke, colon cancer and hip fractures later in life.

True allergies to cow's milk are relatively uncommon. According to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), only two to three per cent of children are allergic to milk, and 95 per cent of them outgrow it by age 3.

The AAP recommends children eat three servings of milk, flavoured milk, cheese or yogurt a day.

Research has shown that children who regularly avoid milk have lower bone mineral density and have more bone fractures.

Parents play an important role in establishing healthy dietary habits, and this includes the practice of including dairy foods in their own diets as well.

Women should totally avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during and after their pregnancies. Breastfeeding is not merely about mutually exclusive benefits for mother and baby, as it has considerable impact on society. Mothers must understand that babies have the right to receive nothing but the best source of nutrition. Any other food apart from breast milk is not encouraged, except under certain circumstances.

Benefits to the baby:

* Mother's milk contains protein, fat and the easily digestible omega 3 fatty acid essential for the brain development of the baby.

* The milk contains antibodies which protect the baby against infection, gastrointestinal disease, respiration difficulty and ear infection.

* It could also reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer among children.

* Children who are breastfed develop resistance to allergy.

* Breast milk also reduces the risk of gastro-enteritis among premature babies.

* Breast milk is known to reduce the risk of caries, sight and speech related problems and is known to strengthen the jaw.

* Breastfeeding prevents sudden death syndrome in the baby.

* Breast milk is known to reduce the risk of heart attack in adulthood.

* Breastfed infants are not prone to diarrhoea, thus reducing medical expenses.

* Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mother and baby.

Benefits to the mother:

* Protection from breast and cervical cancer.

* Naturally reduces weight especially around the waist as the oxytocin hormone helps to shrink the uterus faster.

* This process helps to shorten the puerpurium flow period.

* Hastens post delivery wound recovery.

* Reduces the risk of osteoporosis and heart problem.

* Cost effective alternative to infant formula.

* Breastfeeding acts as a natural family planning device.

* Breastfeeding helps fulfill the responsibility of being a mother Benefits to the society:

* New parents could spend their time effectively with their family and the community.

* Reduces treatment, medical and lab test costs.

* Conserves the environment by reducing pollution and unnecessary wastage.

* Children with fewer health complaints indirectly help the parents become more productive at work.

Animals Milk

The ability to domesticate animals and reap the benefits of milk is a man's greatest success story. Ten thousand years ago, when humans were still hunters, someone was smart enough to say 'wait, don't kill these animals. Use them for milk'. Whoever that person was, he was certainly one of the greatest geniuses in human history. The success story of milk has continued undeterred since and that in itself is proof of its benefits, efficacy and safety

Yet in different parts of the world, different animals have been the source of its supply. 

In Britain and among other English-speaking people, the cow furnished most of the milk supply. In Spain, a great deal of the milk comes from sheep. The desert tribes of Arabia get milk from the camel. In Egypt, the water buffalo is a source of milk, In Lapland, reindeer furnish milk to the people.

In Peru, the Llama is a milk-producing animal. In Tibet, the people get milk from the yak. And in many countries, the goat is an important supplier of milk.

Is all milk the same? The answer is no. Each animal produces milk especially suited for its own young.

Cow's milk is intended for a calf and not for a human baby. Cow's milk has less sugar, more salts, and four times as much casein, an important protein substance, as human milk.

While milk differs a great deal, depending on the species of animal, it always contains fat, protein, carbohydrate, and minerals.

No matter which milk people drink in different parts of the world, they obtain these vital substances for nourishment.

The last milk to be drawn at each milking is richer in fat than the rest, so a good job of milking can produce richer milk from the same cow than a poor job.

Besides milk, there are other ways to ensure an adequate supply of milk in one's diet, and this is through dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, and ice-cream.

Cheese is a food consisting of proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. It is produced by coagulation of the milk protein casein. Typically, the milk is acidified and the addition of rennet causes coagulation. The solids are then separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses also contain moulds, either on the outer rind or throughout.

Yogurt is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. Fermentation of the milk sugar (lactose) produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and its characteristic tang. Soy yogurt, a non-dairy yoghurt alternative, is made from soy milk. It is nutritionally rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, combined with fruits or other ingredients.

Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners. In some cases, artificial flavourings and colour is also used. This mixture is stirred slowly while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming; the result is a smoothly textured ice cream.
Here are some essential but little known facts about milk.


* A growing body research suggests that eating dairy foods, especially low-fat varieties, may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.


* There is strong evidence to suggest that a high intake of calcium and calcium-rich foods (such as milk and dairy products) helps to lower the risk of colon cancer. Similarly, preliminary research data also suggests that drinking milk may be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.


* Contrary to popular belief, fat from milk is not a major contributor to your daily fat intake. In fact, there is far less fat in milk than many people think. Even whole milk contains only 3.9 per cent fat. With only one per cent fat, low fat milk has less than half the fat of whole milk.


* Milk and dairy products are some of the best natural sources of calcium. To obtain the same amount of calcium as a 200ml glass of milk, you will need to consume either four servings of broccoli, 7 1/2 slices of white bread, 11 servings of spinach or 15 servings of red kidney beans.

Eliminating Waste is a Serious Matter

FEELING sluggish and lethargic? Bothered by recurrent colds, flu, dull skin and the occasional breakout of pimples? These are all signs that you need to support your body's elimination system.

Waste matter is eliminated from the body through the liver, kidneys, skin, bowels and lungs. The clearance system can become overloaded when flooded with toxins.

Sources of toxins are from pesticides, food additives, agricultural contaminants in meat, crops, dairy products, heavy metals in fish, air and water pollutants.

Our body also produces toxins from the breakdown of food. If food is not properly digested, it will encourage the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast, which also release their toxic by-products.

Regular detoxification programmes can help to maintain health and deal with chronic conditions.

Don't Panic

HAVE you experienced a sudden overwhelming fear, or an intense feeling of anxiety without any real threat or danger? If you have, then you may be suffering from panic attack.

Millions of people including physically and mentally healthy people have experienced this terrifying feeling of losing control, going insane or dying, gripped by fear and panic. Whether it is a one time event or a recurring episode, sufferers can be profoundly affected by it.

Don't Let Anxiety Ruin Your Life

By Kasmiah Mustapha

ALTHOUGH it is normal to be anxious, prolonged attacks are debilitating and must be treated. KASMIAH MUSTAPHA looks at the causes of such attacks.

HAVING a panic attack or feeling anxious is normal when you're stressed or in an unpleasant situation.

Some people may be more prone to such attacks, with debilitating effects (to a point which they no longer function normally). When this happens, a panic attack becomes an illness that must be treated.

Its symptoms are typical of an anxiety disorder, a common mental illness.

The symptoms cause mood disturbances and hamper one's thinking, behaviour and physiological activity.

Major types of anxiety disorders are panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and phobia.

University Malaya Department of Psychological Medicine consultant psychiatrist Dr Ahmad Hatim Sulaiman says that although anxiety is normal, it becomes abnormal when it results in prolonged distress and impairment in function.

People who suffer from frequent panic attacks or have an obsessive tendency to do things again and again cannot function normally and their quality of life is affected.

"Those with a severe condition often refuse to leave the house as they are afraid of having a panic attack in public places.

"They eventually develop low self-esteem and become depressed. Their condition also causes distress to their families."

Common symptoms of anxiety disorders are restlessness, difficulty concentrating, extreme fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

Physical symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, a choking sensation, muscle tension, tremors, sweating and dizziness.

"Unfortunately, many who suffer from anxiety disorders are unaware that it is an illness that must be treated," says Dr Abdul Hatim.

"They think the symptoms are caused by a weak personality or mind. The disorder is caused by neurochemical structural changes in our body and brain and requires treatment."

Sufferers should seek treatment to ensure they are not suffering from heart disease or other illnesses before seeking psychiatric evaluation to determine the cause and treatment of the disorder.

"We have to look at the cause of the anxiety. Some people can be genetically predisposed to anxiety disorders. Once a diagnosis is made, effective treatments are available.

"Treatment can take weeks or months. However, if you treat it early, you can improve within two weeks."

Dr Abdul Hatim says most people do not seek treatment due to fears of stigmatisation.

"There should be no stigma. Mental health problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder affect less than one per cent of the population.

"Those who suffer from anxiety disorders and depression make up the majority."

Panic disorder is the most common type of anxiety disorder. In most cases, it lasts between 15 and 30 minutes daily. It can be triggered by simple tasks such as driving in heavy traffic or being in confined places.

"Some have panic attacks when they are thinking of one. If they are in a place where they feel they cannot escape, they will have a panic attack."

A generalised anxiety disorder is defined as having chronic worries about every detail and situation. Those who suffer from it will spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about their relationships, work, finances and health.

The constant worrying results in poor sleep, muscle strain which causes headaches, body aches and memory impairment. If the symptoms persist for more than six months, treatment must be sought.

"Their behaviour will not only cause distress to them but also to their spouse, children, friends and colleagues. If you worry about everything, you will not be able to think rationally."

Those who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder are usually victims of crime or survivors of tragic incidents, says Dr Abdul Hatim.

Victims of crime such as robbery, rape and attempted murder, and survivors of tragedies such as landslides, wars and natural disasters find it difficult to move on.

They may suffer from frequent nightmares, distress, be easily startled and find it difficult to sleep. They will have panic attacks if they hear or see something associated with the incident.

A person suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) will perform certain acts or rituals repeatedly until he is satisfied that it is done correctly. Even then he will still have doubts whether the act has been performed well.

"Not everyone who wants everything in order has OCD. It will only be diagnosed as a disease if you are obsessed about something and you do it repeatedly. Obsession is the thought, compulsion the ritual.

"OCD is one of the worst conditions in terms of causing disability. It can impair one's life. The person knows that his behaviour is irrational but he cannot resist doing it. It is beyond his control."

Fodder for Great Skin

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...Image via Wikipedia
By Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan
THE real secret to great skin may be in the wet market and not in a department store's beauty floor, writes SYIDA LIZTA AMIRUL IHSAN.

COSMETICS companies would like you to believe that what you use on your face determines the condition of your skin. But in reality, it's what you eat that has an even greater effect on your skin.

"A healthy diet leads to healthy skin. Some people may be 40 and look 30. Expensive facial products can help to a certain extent, but a healthy diet is paramount to achieving good skin," says Imperial Medical Centre cosmetic doctor Dr Abrizah Ousman.