Earlier times witnessed women giving birth to five, six, seven or more babies and the numbers were only on the higher end of the spectrum many-a-time. This might be due to the unavailability of birth control methods and lack of awareness among the couples but it does verify one solid thing-couples during earlier days were fertile unlike now where the fertility rates have reduced tremendously and individuals opting for artificial birthing methods are on the rise. This is mainly due to our current way of lifestyle, diet patterns, eating habits, exercise routines and the effect of stress on our body.
The human body can be compared to a machine. A well-oiled machine performs its functions precisely and likewise, a well-maintained human body ensures effective working of its organs and systems. The human body works on daily, or circadian, as well as monthly and annual rhythms. Growth hormone (GH) is a small protein made by the pituitary gland and secreted into the bloodstream. The secretion of GH depends on a number of hormones that are produced in the hypothalamus of the brain, intestinal tract and pancreas. Also, GH is produced more during the night than daytime and production rates are inversely proportional to age - rates rise during childhood, attain peak during puberty and start declining from middle age. The GH secretion almost diminishes by 50% at the age of 40 compared to the quantity available at the age of 20, and by the age of 60 its only 1/3rd of what was present at the age of 20. Also, their secretion depends on various other factors such as age, gender and BMI.
The main function of the human growth hormone (hGH) is stimulation of growth, cell repair and regeneration. During adulthood hGH is mainly involved in cell regeneration and repair, regeneration of liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, bones and skin. hGH affects the sterility and fertility levels in human beings and low levels of these hormones promote ageing process and the early onset of diseases. When we find that hGH levels are lower than recommended it is possible to replenish lost levels in an injectable form but this was an option only for those who are rich enough to pay for this expensive shot. But scientists and researchers constantly keep researching to find out economical substitutes for all costly options and now, they have found substances that can trigger the release of hGH from a person’s own anterior pituitary gland and these substances are termed as secretagogues. There has also been evidence that intravenous (IV) administration of certain amino acids increase hGH levels.
Pregnancy brings in various changes in the woman’s body and there are a number of hormones which are secreted at this stage of life and the growth hormone is one of those that are found to be integral in different stages of pregnancy such as early antral follicle recruitment, subsequent follicular growth and oocyte maturation. Nowadays, fertilization using IVF has become very common but chances of pregnancy pregnant with IVF are not even close to 50% most of the times. Administering growth hormones during the ovarian stimulation phase of IVF increases this probability even higher than usual.
The invention patented here is a nutritional supplement that promotes the release of hGH. It might be an amino acid secretagogue composition that increases hGH secretion thereby helping the individual improve the chances of getting pregnant. hGH was monopolized by athletes sometime back as it enabled the formation of larger muscles, more energy production and improved performance. It also helps to reduce fat and build lean body mass.
The dosage of the hormone depends on the individual’s body condition and needs. The nutritional supplement formulated here might be administered once, twice or thrice a day, every alternate day or even once a week; administered on empty stomach and also regulated on its effects every once a while to have a positive effect on the individual. The patent was published on September 8th, 2016 and for a detailed explanation of the supplement invented please refer to any of the links given below:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=composition&s2=%22enhancing+fertility%22&OS=composition+AND+%22enhancing+fertility%22&RS=composition+AND+%22enhancing+fertility%22
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?FT=D&date=20190528&DB=&locale=en_EP&CC=US&NR=10300101B2&KC=B2&ND=4
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US177600663&_cid=P11-JXLN2C-43431-1
How many of you are aware of the fact that type 2 diabetes (T2D) was a disease of the affluent sometime back? It was almost monopolized by the West but now every single country is a victim to this epidemic. Children who were once unaware of a disease called diabetes during earlier days are very common victim to juvenile diabetes currently owing to rising childhood obesity rates and intake of processed foods. The numbers too are quite staggering believed to affect around 290 million people annually and the numbers are expected to shoot up as high as 438 million by 2030. Diseases not only affect our health but also bring up expenses and bring down quality of life. You might not believe but expenses incurred via diabetes account for almost 12% of total health expenditure and this does affect the economy of developing countries greatly.
There is no use ranting about the illness without finding its risk factors and bringing in preventing measures. A lot many risk factors have been identified including a family history of diabetes mellitus, age, overweight, increased abdominal fat, sedentary behavior, inactivity and various biomarkers such as hyperinsulinaemia, increased fasting proinsulin and decreased HDL cholesterol. Diabetes can be type 1 or type 2 and both of them show familial disposition which brings upon the idea that there might be genetics involved in this whole affair. Our job is to identify all the modifiable risk factors such as diet and exercise, analyze the genetic predisposition and come to a conclusion regarding the same with the help of studies that point towards interactions between specific dietary components and genetic variants.
Genetic Predisposition’s Effect on T2D-related Food Intake
Any genome-wide association study (GWAS) on T2D links the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on diabetes mellitus. Its been suggested that processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of T2D while the consumption of whole grain foods and coffee reduce the risk, as per different study results. One research focused primarily on identifying the predominance of T2D in the Malmo Diet and Cancer (MDC) study according to a diet risk score (DRS) of the extremely common four foods and beverages (processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, whole grains and coffee) that are always associated with T2D. The genetic risk score (GRS) and its interaction with each of these diet components was analyzed.
Participants were screened and selected for the MDC study based on various criteria and the research team was finally left with 6103 participants. Of them, 4193 were successfully genotyped for additional SNPs. The GRS for T2D was calculated from 48 T2D SNPs and an extended weighted GRS for T2D was calculated from 68 T2D SNPs. Dietary record was noted initially during the start of the study-the participants were given a 7-day menu book to record the foods and beverages consumed all through the day, a 168-item food questionnaire that asked about the frequency of consumption of common foods & drinks that were not listed in the diet book and a face-to-face interview happened for around 45 minutes. A DRS was formed based on the four foods that were increasingly associated with T2D and high points were assigned for those foods that were believed to increase the risk of T2D. Individuals were classified according to low, medium and high intake of the four foods-0 points were assigned to those with low intake of processed foods and sugary drinks, 1 point was assigned to those with medium intake and 2 points to those with high intake. Pointing system was completely opposite in the case of whole grains and coffee-no points were assigned to those with higher intake, 1 point was assigned to those with medium intake and 2 points to those with low intake. DRS was finally divided into three groups namely low DRS (0-2 points), medium DRS (3-5 points) and high DRS (6-8 points). Extended scores were formed for the intake of fruits and vegetables, fermented dairy and high-fat fish. Extended DRS were as given here: low (0-3 points), medium (4-6 points) and high (7-10 points). The final DRS score summing up both the components together include- low (0-4 points), medium (5-9 points) and high (10-14 points).
Physical activity routines, smoking habits, alcohol consumption frequencies and education levels were noted for each of the participants. Results showed that:
Genetic Determinants of Type 2 Diabetes
Twin studies in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins show that genetic determinants do contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the rates are much higher in the MZ twins. A genetic approach helps in realizing the major causes of the disease and also lays the path for better diagnostic treatment and prevention. There are two common ways to unravel these genetic factors:
Candidate Gene Approach
Genetic defects in proteins that play prominent roles in pathways associated with insulin control and glucose homeostasis are great contributors for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Defective genes are identified by singling out an association between diabetes mellitus and functional polymorphism in a candidate gene. Over 250 candidate genes are studied for their associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus but most of the studies have failed to bring about any concrete associations.
Genome Wide Scan
The previous approach is of no help when we would like to identify new genes that might be associated with type 2 diabetes. Genome wide scans performed using polymorphic markers help in identifying new genes for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In more than a decade, GWAS has helped in identifying more than 65 genetic variants that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 10-30%. Several cross-sectional studies including participants with or without diabetes showed that genetic factors showed limited scope in predicting an individual’s risk for diabetes. There are studies that show that the risk of genetic variants on T2D are neutralized by their beneficial effect on other key organs and tissues involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes or having difference responses to nutrition.
Dietary & Genetic Risk Scores & Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5956794/
Defining the Genetic Contribution of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: https://jmg.bmj.com/content/38/9/569.full
Haven’t we heard enough about the ill-effects of sitting down continuously for hours together? Of course, our desk jobs demand such extended hours of sitting down and working but the question is whether we are going to strive hard for a secure future (of diseases?) at the stake of our health! Research studies too demotivate us as many of them talk about the nullified advantaged of exercising owing to sitting continuously. Couch potatoes existed by choice during earlier decades put the present workforce have all become one with the rise of the IT dominance worldwide. People clock in exceedingly high hours of work, order pizzas for late-night dinners and again get back to work to finish up before the deadline. Whose deadline is it anyway-the client’s or our body’s? Employers started realizing the need to attend to the health requirements of their employees and started thinking on innovative terms-walking meetings became the standard and standing desks were added to each employer’s cubicle to enable him/her to get away from the sitting spree and go on a standing spree. Yet again, our researchers need something to probe into and they ultimately found that standing too long beats the ill effects of sitting continuously in terms of physical pain and other health issues. So, the ultimate solution is to find a sitting desk that allows you to stretch, bend and exercise even when you are working and the current patent invention exactly attends to this need.
Not all of us have the right posture while sitting, walking or standing. Such wrongful postures or prolonged sitting/standing can aggravate back pain and even increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. An employee is more bothered about the salary package, perks and office environment, the employer is bothered about deliverables, quality of work and more projects in hand but none bothers about ergonomics-the science of designing the workplace to optimize them for human use. There exists the dire need to design office furniture that solves the health problems related to seating arrangements that result in poor ergonomic postures and the lack of physical activity/movement. This is not something that has never been attempted by companies and there are chairs ergonomically designed but when it comes to standing desks, we lack ergonomic standing chairs that can support the employee when feeling fatigued and allow the user to take breaks from standing. The standing chairs that do exist have any of these problems-they occupy space even when they are not used, there is no smooth transition between sitting and standing or between different postures while sitting, the exercise benefits provided are almost negligible, foot rest position doesn’t suit ergonomic requirements or multiple footrest options are absent to suit the user in different positions or the seat doesn’t provide options to rotate the pelvis or support the spine in more than one healthy sitting or leaning position.
There are seating solutions provided by manufacturing companies that attend to some of the problems listed above but there is no one solution that takes care of all of them. Further, these solutions do not provide scope for any exercises while sitting nor come with an effective option to switch between sitting and standing that helps to stave off the health consequences of sitting down or standing up continuously. The present invention addresses all these problems and also enables active exercising in the form of sit-ups, back extension and stretching exercises.
The chair designed here corrects all the disadvantages of the ones available presently and also comes up with additional advantages that are not present in the ones that are available now. This chair has been rightly designed for standup use and can also be folded for compact storage and transport, promotes in-place exercising, comes with a design that allows easy transition between sitting and standing positions or even between different positions while sitting. There are provisions for doing sit-ups, back extensions and accessories can be added to address the needs of a full-body workout. Forward footrest is provided and an upper exercise bar too that helps in core body workouts. The chair has also been designed with a seating arrangement such that it provides fully adjustable pelvic rotation and the seat is ergonomically designed to suit any body shape. There are pegs at the center of the base that can support the user in a variety of standing positions. Aren’t these enough reasons to use such a chair in your office for your working purpose? The patent was published on October 4th, 2018 and for more intricate details on the invention you can visit any of the following sites:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=36&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&p=1&S1=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)&OS=health+AND+exercise+AND+fitness&RS=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20181004&CC=WO&NR=2018183738A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US231410546&_cid=P22-JY6TIZ-79168-1
Obesity is bad on any given day for anyone. It exists as the root cause of a number of health-related illnesses and problems right from cardiovascular disease to cancer. Worse is the presence of obesity in pregnant women as it poses a great challenge to patient care. Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and approximately 50% of women of childbearing age are overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9) or obese (BMI>=30). Such vagaries in weight puts both the mom and the baby at risk during pregnancy (antenatal, intra- and post-partum complications) and even after childbirth. The side effects of obesity on pregnancy is a long-standing list that includes preterm birth, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), risk of impaired glucose tolerance, high risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, thromboembolic disease and maternal death. Obese women are likelier to undergo induced labor, spend excess time in labor, have instrumental deliveries or even have a post-partum hemorrhage.
The announcement of pregnancy brings joy and happiness to the entire family, especially the couple involved. The pregnant woman is pampered and cajoled with gifts, blessings and specifically, sweets and mithais. The elders in the family bless her and treat her taste buds with oodles of high-calorie tasty treats to show their love and affection. Often the pregnancy woman is misguided with concepts such as ‘eat for two’ which induces her to double her portion sizes and increase intake. On the other side, improving health outcomes in obese/overweight individuals is an important research topic that needs answers quite soon to stop the obesity epidemic from ruining the health and well-being of the future generations.
Jumping Beyond the Weight Gain Fence
Weight gain during pregnancy is recommended and there are no second thoughts on it. Its only the range that varies depending on your existing body weight. Women with a healthy weight range (BMI 18.5-24.9) are recommended a 11.5-16 kg gain during pregnancy, overweight women are recommended to gain between 7-11.5 kg and obese women between 5-9 kg during pregnancy. Sticking to these limits forms a part of routine care during pregnancy. Weight gain beyond these stipulated ranges are dangerous and excess weight gain in obese women can result in preeclampsia, hypertension and shoulder dystocia. This is where disciplined dietary interventions are of immense help in minimizing these risks and ensuring better maternal and fetal outcomes. While dietary interventions in normal or overweight women do reduce pregnancy-related risks there have been not many successful dietary interventions reported in obese women. But episodes of mindless eating and food cravings have been commonly witnessed in obese women who aren’t pregnant. The study discussed below gives an elaborate idea of an individually tailored nutrition program for obese pregnant women which improves overall diet quality, limits gestational weight gain (GWC) and reduces complication during and after pregnancy.
Individual-tailored Nutrition program for Obese Pregnant Women
The study included women with BMI ≥30 and ≤35 and women having BMI between 35 and 37 were included if they had no other medical complications. The research ensured that all of the women involved were ≤21 weeks of gestation and ≥18 years of age. The dietary intervention group was met by a registered dietitian who consulted the women and recommended them to eat a healthy diet. They were given tips on replacing empty-calorie meals with nutrient-dense foods and also were taught to control portion sizes during every meal. Nutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin D which are of utmost importance for the development of the fetus were also advised alongside the diet menu. The other group, namely the control group did not receive any complimentary service from an RDN but only were entitled to the standard care that included a provision of verbal/written information on healthy eating during pregnancy given by their gyneac.
Volunteers’ height was measured at the start of the study and weight measures were taken during every visit to the hospital. Weight history and pre-pregnancy body weight data of the diet intervention group were collected by the dietitian at the beginning of the study. Their maternal weight at six weeks and six months post-partum were noted by the dietitian. The dietitians also noted dietary information at the start and end of the study and an improvement in diet quality was analyzed based on the median change in the intake of six food groups that included vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and legumes, milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives and discretionary items.
The control group included 119 obese pregnant women and the diet group included 92 of them. Women in the control group had a lower BMI (30.3) compared to those in the diet group (32.9). Asian women were predominantly present in the control group (39%) compared to the diet group (10.9%). 19.3% (23 of 119) women in the control group developed GDM while only 6.5% (6 of 92) women in the dietary intervention group developed GDM. GWC did not show much difference between the two groups-overall 9.7 kg weight gain in the control group and 10 kg gain in the diet group. Six weeks after childbirth 54 women (58.7%) were available for contact by phone and they had a mean weight loss of 10.7 kg and 72% of them had returned to their initial antenatal assessment weight. 18 women were available for contact six months after delivery and they had lost 14.6 kg and 83% were at their initial assessment weight. Consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly improved, intake of discretionary items declined and more women were opting for healthier meal options such as trimming fat off meat or removing poultry skin. Most individuals started consuming more whole grains and low-GI products at the final stage of assessment.
All these significant changes show that bringing in a registered dietitian nutritionist to plan a tailor-made diet for obese pregnant women is indeed useful in improving their diet quality in terms of improved consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and monitoring weight increase in them. This study also clearly showed that GDM showed improvements irrespective of GWG changes. Hence, planning your diet and executing it diligently to avoid obesity-related complications in pregnancy is essential for a healthy mother and infant.
In this research, the study team analyzed for changes in health based on healthy dietary interventions and increased physical activity comparing it to standard antenatal care in UK. The group specifically checked for incidence of gestational diabetes, large-for-gestational-age babies, preeclampsia, preterm birth, mode of delivery and physical activity ranges. Both, the dietary intervention or the control group did not show any changes in incidence of gestational diabetes nor many other measures given above. Total gestational weight was lower in the intervention group compared to the control group and individuals who received dietary guidance showed improvements in dietary pattern and exercise routines too. This trial too shows that a mixed intervention of both diet and physical activity did not show any effects on gestational diabetes and so did the LIMIT trial which included overweight and obese pregnant women. A healthy diet with lifestyle intervention reduces the possibility of weight gain during pregnancy but there is no guarantee for improvements in gestational diabetes. At the same time, statistics of weight reduction are a sign of minimal risk of getting into another pregnancy as an obese lady.
Maternal Eating Behavior
One study focused on the maternal eating pattern in obese pregnant women and identified those behaviors that contribute to the quality of the diet. This was an observational study where the participants were observed for their dietary intake and eating patterns by a validated food photography method for 6 days between 13 and 16 weeks of pregnancy. All the participants were having a BMI >30 and were aged between 18 and 40 years. Diet quality was based on macronutrients intake and intake of calcium, iron, vitamin C, sodium and fiber.
Results of the 56 participants showed that:
A Behavioral Nutritional Intervention for Obese Pregnant Women: https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/ajo.12474
Diet and Lifestyle Interventions for Obese Pregnant Women: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2213-8587%2815%2900253-3
Behavioral Determinants of Objectively Assessed Diet Quality in Obese Pregnancy: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/7/1446
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