Monthly Archives: May 2014
Do not take undue stress in life and enjoy better quality, fertile sperm to maximize your chances.
Psychological stress is harmful to sperm and semen quality, affecting its concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilise an egg, a significant study says.
“Men who feel stressed are more likely to have lower concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate. The sperm they have are more likely to be misshapen or have impaired motility,” explained Pam Factor-Litvak, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman school of public health.
Stress may trigger the release of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids, which could blunt levels of testosterone and sperm production.
Another possibility is oxidative stress that has been shown to affect semen quality and fertility.
“Stress has long been identified as having an influence on health. Our research suggests that men’s reproductive health may also be affected by their social environment,” added Teresa Janevic, an assistant professor at Rutgers University’s school of public health.
To understand this, researchers studied 193 men, ages 38 to 49, enrolled in the study of the environment and reproduction at the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Oakland, California, between 2005 and 2008.
The men completed tests to measure work and life stress on subjective scale (how they felt overall) and objective scale (life events behind the stress).
Measured subjectively or objectively, life stress degraded semen quality.
Workplace stress was not a factor, however the researchers say it may still affect reproductive health since men with job strain had diminished levels of testosterone.
Unemployed men had sperm of lower quality than employed men regardless of how stressed they were, said the study published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
India has an estimated 15-20 million asthmatics and doctors here feel that awareness and early diagnosis play a vital role in containing this chronic respiratory disease that has been surging fast in the last decade.
According to World Health Organisation estimates, between 100-150 million people worldwide suffer from asthma of which 15-20 million belong to India.
As per a WHO report on World Asthma Day today, the fundamental cause of asthma, that is characterised by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing is not completely understood, but the strongest risk factors for developing asthma include indoor allergens like dust mites in bedding and carpets.
Outdoor allergens that may cause asthma include pollens, tobacco smoke and chemical irritants, it said.
Dr Prahlad Prabhudesai, Chest specialist at Lilavati Hospital here cautioned that there may be some people who do not show qualities like breathlessness but may still be suffering from ‘silent Asthma’, which cannot be prevented as it is a hereditary disorder.
“There is no medicine available to prevent asthma. Only the attacks can be prevented. There are some patients who do not show any qualities of being an asthmatic. People who frequently sneeze or periodically cough may also be asthmatic. They need to get a diagnosis done at the earliest,” he said.
Speaking to PTI, Dr. Vyanketesh Joshi, Chief Trustee of Siddh Dhyan Foundation said that one can have a better chance of controlling asthma if diagnosed early.
“Asthma cannot be cured but it can be controlled. People suffering from asthma can learn to identify and avoid the things that trigger an episode and educate themselves about medication. With proper treatment, people with asthma can have fewer and less severe attacks,” Dr Joshi said.
World Asthma Day is celebrated round the world on the first Tuesday of May. It was first celebrated by Global Initiative For Asthma (GINA) in 1998 after its first ‘World Asthma Meeting’ in 1998. The Day is celebrated in order to raise awareness among public worldwide about the precaution and prevention of this bronchial condition.
The theme of this year concentrates on cause and effects of asthma: ‘You Can Control Your Asthma’.
The scientists at Arizona State University have found a rare atomic level change at the enzyme telomerase that holds secrets as to how we grow old.
The telomerase is a naturally occurring enzyme that maintains telomeres and prevents them from shortening during cell division. Telomeres are found at the ends of human chromosomes and are stretches of DNA which protect the genetic data.
“Telomerase is crucial for telomere maintenance and genome integrity. Mutations that disrupt telomerase function have been linked to numerous human diseases that arise from telomere shortening and genome instability,” explained Julian Chen, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Arizona State.
The telomeres keep chromosome ends from fraying and sticking to each other, which would destroy or scramble our genetic information.
“This shortening process is associated with aging, cancer and a higher risk of death,” scientists noted.
“We are particularly excited about this research because it provides, for the first time, an atomic level description of the protein-RNA interaction in the vertebrate telomerase complex,” Chen added.
The scientists in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai had conducted the crucial research, which will be published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.
“We know prolonged use of corticosteroids in the treatment of asthma is a risk factor of osteoporosis, but we have not had definite data showing the relationship between asthma itself and bone loss,” explained Jae-Woo Jung of Seoul National University Medical Research Centre in South Korea.
“This study has shown a meaningful association between the two conditions even in the absence of previous oral corticosteroid use,” Jung added.
For the study, researchers examined more than 7,000 patients, 433 of which had airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) or asthma.
Lumber spine and femur bone density was significantly lower in those with AHR or asthma, than those without the conditions, showed the findings of the research.
“Reasons can include corticosteroid use, low levels of vitamin D or even race,” said John Oppenheimer, an associate editor of the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology that published the study.