A fasting diet reduces risk of chronic diseases

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A randomized phase II clinical trial published in the journal Science Translational Medicine February 15, 2017 has highlighted the safety, feasibility and benefits of a ‘fasting’ diet on health by reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases.

The study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology in the US evaluated the effects of a ‘fasting-mimicking’ diet (FMD) – low in calories, sugars and protein but high in unsaturated fats – on markers/risk factors associated with aging and age-related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease in 100 generally healthy participants. The study group consumed a FMD for 5 consecutive days every month for 3 months. The control subjects were then crossed over to the FMD Group for 3 months. Body weight, BMI, total body fat, trunk fat, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin‐like growth factor 1 (IGF‐1), and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) were significantly reduced, particularly in individuals at risk for diseases, while relative lean body mass (muscle and bone mass) was increased.

Fasting is not just abstaining from intake of food and water. Fasting also means avoiding negative thoughts. A ‘fast’ or ‘vrata’ purifies the mind, body and soul. It facilitates restraining of the senses and advocates a satvik lifestyle i.e. living a life full of satwa with devotion and discipline and avoiding rajsik and tamsik lifestyle.

Our ancestors made it a compulsory practice to observe fasts, which primarily meant abstaining from eating carbohydrates once a week, and during season’s change i.e. during the time of Navratras thereby preventing lifestyle diseases. Fasting helps deplete the stores of sugar in your liver.

Fasting once a day in a week gives the body a much-needed rest and time to catch up on the process of repair and/or cleaning. There is nothing better than fasting once a week to keep your heart healthy…

Public servants cannot show gifts as income from legal sources, says SC

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In its judgement pertaining to the disproportionate assets case against Smt Sasikala Natarajan, the Supreme Court of India has ruled that presents could not be counted as income from lawful sources for public servants, reported Dhananjay Mahapatra in the Times of India, February 16, 2017. The Apex Court stated “Gifts to A1 (Jayalalithaa), a public servant in the context of Sections 161 to 165A IPC now integrated into the Act are visibly illegal and forbidden by law. The endeavour to strike a distinction between “legal” and “unlawful” as sought to be made to portray gifts to constitute a lawful source of income is thus wholly misconstrued.” The Bench further said, “With the advent of the 1988 Act, and inter alia consequent upon the expansion of the scope of definition of the “public servant” and the integration of Section 161 to 165A IPC in the said statute, the claim of the defence to treat the gifts offered to A1 (Jayalalithaa) on her birthday as lawful income, thus cannot receive judicial imprimatur.” The defense of the counsel for Selvi J Jayalalithaa was also rejected by the Apex Court, which held that “To reiterate, disclosure of such gifts in the I-T returns of Jayalalithaa and orders of the I-T authorities on the basis thereof do not validate the said receipts to elevate the same to lawful income to repel the charge under Section 13(1)(e) of the PC Act.”

Accepting gifts has always posed an ethical dilemma for the doctors. They are required to maintain professional boundaries in their relationship with the patients as well as the pharmaceutical industry. Receiving gifts is one aspect of this relationship, which is fiduciary in nature.

The Eight Years Cycle of Chanakya

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Chanakya in his neti wrote that the cycle of corruption does not last for more than eight years. He said that people who acquire money by unethical means will have to pay back to the society within eight years. Right or wrong, whether you believe in Chanakya Neti or not it provides a good message for the youngsters in the society to follow the right path of truthfulness.

Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita has written that everybody has to pay the price of his bad deeds or karmas sooner or later. It is the sum total of bad and good karmas which decides the ultimate fate. Chanakya probably meant that all those who keep on earning money by unethical means and not doing simultaneously good deeds will have to suffer within eight years.

Apart from this fact of Chanakya, the eight years cycle is also seen in public bhedchal. Public cannot be befooled for more than eight years in a succession. Eight years here is an arbitrary number and may mean six years or ten years. If we see the past one can visualize the public behaviour changing every 6-10 years as far as their preference for a particular type of health wave is concerned.

There was time of Sherry Lewis weight management program which came like a storm, stayed in the market for six to eight years and then vanished all together. At that time everyone was crazy for getting their weight management done the Sherry Lewis way. Then came the era of Personal Point which saw a chain of weight management programmes lasting for a few more years. This was followed by weight management the Vandana Luthra way. She is persisting in the market as she keeps on diversifying into another fields.

Weigh management era was followed by the era of “Reiki”. During this period all the newspapers were full of reiki advertisements and every second person in the family wanted to become a reiki master. Today no such advertisements are appearing and nobody wants to learn reiki.

The latest craze is for drinking ghiya juice and doing alom-vilom Pranayama.In terms of spirituality one also saw a wave of transcendental meditation by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi but the movement did not last long as he quickly realized that selling spirituality in India was not easy and the time for the same was not ripe. But who knows tomorrow the era of selling spirituality is on its way.

In terms of public behaviour one has also seen an era of craze for cycling, exercising, jogging, aerobic dancing, western dancing, etc. From health point of view the required era is that of walking. An era where everybody from child to adult is indulged into walking. The medical science has shown that walking 10,000 steps a day, routine walking 60 minutes, or brisk walking 40 minutes a day ( continuous or divided into four walks of ten minutes each) are health friendly and can relieve the society of diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease

And now in the Yapam scam the Supreme Court has cancelled degrees of 634 doctors for corruption in MBBS admissions in Madhya Pradesh between 2008 and 2012 and said admissions obtained through a mass fraud called “Vyapam scam”+ could not be condoned.

The cycle of stents has also shown a reverse gear now with its coming under prise control.

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA and HCFI

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