Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Ayurvedic science shows way for new diabetic drug
Research inspired by the unique ayurvedic metallic preparations known as 'bhasmas' has led Indian researchers to propose a novel nano-particle-based drug for diabetes.
 
In a proof-of-concept study, researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) in Pune claim to have successfully used this nano-medicine to treat both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in rats.
 
Oral administration of zinc oxide nano-particles (ZON) resulted in significant reduction of blood glucose levels and increased insulin levels, they claim in a report published in a recent issue of the journal "Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine".
 
"These results, reported for the first time, warrant further investigation for the development of ZON as an anti-diabetic agent," Kishore Paknikar, director of ARI and one of the authors, told IANS.
 
In Ayurveda, metals that go through a purification and incineration process that turns them into ash are called 'bhasmas', which literally means ash. They are indicated for the treatment of several diseases. For instance, zinc-based bhasma (Jasada bhasma) is mentioned in ayurveda as the treatment of choice for diabetes.
 
To verify this, the ARI researchers synthesized Jasada bhasma using traditional method and carried out a study to evaluate its efficacy in treating rats in whom diabetes was induced chemically.
 
In case of Type-1 diabetic rats, Jasada bhasma treatment showed reduction of blood glucose levels comparable to the drug glibenclamide, Paknikar said. 
 
In the case of Type-2 diabetic rats, treatment with Jasada bhasma was found to be comparable to the widely used drug pioglitazone.
 
While the study confirmed the anti-diabetic effect of Jasada bhasma, its synthesis involves laborious and time consuming procedures, Paknikar said. Therefore, the researchers decided to look at the composition of Jasada bhasma.
 
Using modern physico-chemical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy, the researchers found that the traditionally prepared Jasada bhasma consisted of zinc oxide in the form of nano-particles of the size 200-500 nanometre (one nanometre is one billionth of a metre).
 
"Since our studies clearly demonstrated the presence of ZON in Jasada bhasma, we hypothesized that ZON should also be able to exert anti-diabetic effects," Paknikar said. 
 
"An elaborate study was therefore undertaken to investigate this possibility."
 
For this study, zinc oxide nano-particles, of less than 10 nanometres in size, were procured from a company in the US.
 
Oral administration of ZON, after four weeks of treatment, resulted in improved glucose tolerance, higher serum insulin, reduced blood glucose and reduced triglycerides in diabetic rats, the researchers reported.
 
Most of the currently available drugs for the treatment of Type-2 diabetes are used in combination with each other or with insulin, increasing the treatment cost. None of them is free from adverse effects, Paknikar said. 
 
"A single, cost-effective, oral, anti-diabetic treatment with minimal side effects is the need of the day."
 
According to Paknikar, it is evident from the rat studies that ZON can elicit potent anti-diabetic activity. 
 
Administration of ZON resulted in sustained release of zinc up to 24 hours -- which is a desirable pharmacokinetics profile -- and was found non-toxic up to 100 times the efficacy dose, he added.
 
The researchers said that on the basis of their findings they were proposing "a new chemical entity -- zinc oxide nano-particles -- as a promising anti-diabetic agent warranting further studies".
 
The report further said that the bhasma-inspired drug discovery approach followed by them to identify a diabetic drug could also be used to develop metal based nano-medicines for several other diseases.
 
"Once the active ingredients of bhasmas are identified, these metal oxides can be synthesized and evaluated as a new chemical entity in modern drug discovery."

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Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

So far except insulin injections and metformin tablets, not many effective medicines against diabetes is found.
Zinc oxide nano particle therapy needs more investigation, before it is widely used for diabetic patients.

'Housing for All scheme will fail without release of land'
The Narendra Modi government's 'Housing for All' scheme will remain unrealised without massive efforts to unlock non-essential lands being held by state-run units, speeding up approvals and financial empowerment of the poor, US real estate services firm JLL's Indian arm said on Tuesday.
 
"This will require massive efforts to recognise and delineate the non-essential lands currently being held by large government bodies such as Indian Railways, ministry of public enterprises, port trusts and department of heavy industries," JLL India chairman Anuj Puri said in a statement here, indicating the need to build 20 million homes to achieve the scheme by 2022.
 
"Unlocking such lands while speeding up the approval process and creating incentives for private sector participation are all needed as part of a large, coordinated effort if we are to realise the vision of Housing for All by 2022," he said.
 
"To create housing for these urban poor, the only solution lies in the unlocking of land in the urban areas. The kind of housing supply that the government is targeting seems out of the question if appropriate lands are not made available," he added.
 
Under the scheme, the government seeks to make the houses in urban areas, mainly to service the urban poor.
 
"This scheme aims to provide the urban poor with the financial muscle to buy affordable houses. By providing an interest subvention/subsidy scheme, the government is allowing access to cheaper structured finance to such low-income categories," said JLL India.
 
Puri also pointed out that though the scheme provides homes to slum-dwellers at no cost through a public-private partnership (PPP) slum rehabilitation project, it offers no concrete solutions for the urban poor not residing in a slum and who want to own a house in a metro city.
 
"Though the loan amounts have been increased, his income levels may not qualify him for the loan disbursal amount that is high enough for him to buy a house in the current scenario, when housing prices are high," he said.

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Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

Even if land is released, infrastructure to build the houses is inexistant.
In Mumbai, to build houses to some 30 lakh family, our roads, water and drainage system is not sufficiently enough to cater all the houses of just 300 sq.ft.carpet area.
There is no accountability in allocation of houses to homeless people. In the year, 1987, on the occassion of centenary of Indian National Congress, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi Announced Rs100 crores for redeveloipment of slums from Dahravi. Those who got their new houses, soon after their allottment sold them to others, ans again shifted to new slums in Dahrvi itself.
Several MHADA's houses which were allotted to mill workers, after they were allotted to them, they sold their houses and continued to stay in rental dwellings til their retirement (or till mill strike in year 1982), and left for their native place.
So long as there is no accountability in allotment of houses, our honourable PM cannot get his scheme of houses to all by year 2022 can be fulfilled.

Death toll in Mumbai hooch tragedy crosses 100. What really happens afterwards?
Hearing on a PIL filed after the 2004 Vikhroli hooch tragedy that claimed 105 lives is still going on. Even the police and excise official suspended after the incident were reinstated, says Bhagvanji Raiyani, who had filed the PIL
 
Bhagvanji Raiyani, who has filed a number of public interest litigations (PILs) on several issues, feels that nothing much happens even after tragedies where over 100 people die after consuming illicit liquor. He was referring to last week’s incident in Malwani area in Mumbai, where till date 102 people have died. There is a reason from Mr Raiyani’s comment. Hearing on a PIL filed by him after the 2004 Vikhroli hooch tragedy that claimed 105 lives is still going on.  Even the police and excise official suspended after the 2004 incident were reinstated, says Mr Raiyani.
 
Due to wide publicity as well as hype and glamour associated with the International Yoga Day, most electronic media (read TV news channels) ignored a tragedy that gripped slum dwellers in Mumbai's Malwani area. Even as the death toll in the hooch tragedy crossed 100, there hardly was any mention or 'dissection' on these channels. However, the main question is what happens after such disasters? Unfortunately, nothing. After a few days silence everything goes on as normal.
 
Take for example, in December 2004, similar incident claimed 105 lives at Vikhroli in Mumbai. After a hue and cry, the state government suspended several police and excise officers. Following departmental enquiry, all of them were reinstated. What is more shocking is even there is a delay in getting justice for this case.
 
"...massive raids (after the Vikhroli tragedy) on several illicit liquor dens were carried out, thousands of litres of liquor was seized, some 600 people in hooch trade arrested (and most of them allowed to go scot-free). Some 40 police officers were initially suspended, inquiries were held against 21 but subsequently all were reinstated. Also six officers from Excise department were suspended, the farce of enquiries was performed but all were reinstated," says Mr Raiyani.
 
After the Vikhroli hooch tragedy, Mr Raiyani filed a PIL (No 435 of 2005) through Janhit Manch. However, the hearing is still going on. During the last hearing on 29 September 2010, the Bombay High Court Bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and RV More expressed a surprise over the delay from the government side in completing the inquiry. The hearing is still going on.
 
According to Mr Raiyani, earlier a tragedy occurred due to consumption of haatbhatti (illegally brewed) liquor on 31 December 1991 when 93 person died in a South Mumbai slum. The Maharashtra government appointed a seven members committee under the chairmanship of PR Parthsarthy, the then Additional Inspector General of Police. Its main term of reference was exhaustive as "All incidental matters and factors responsible for this tragedy, as also the factual position behind this tragedy; to suggest measures to prevent recurrence of similar tragedies in future".
 
The committee has chronicled few earlier major hooch tragedies occurred (1) Khopoli in 1971 where 77 died (2) Ghatkoper in 1977, 48 deaths (3) Chiplun 1977, 21 died (4) Bombay Worli 1988, 32 deaths.
 
Mr Raiyani said, "This committee prepared an 80 page voluminous report not perfectly in lieu of terms of reference but a bureaucratic type mainly harping on Methanol, a poisonous product from sugarcane molasses, a cheap raw material being mixed in the bhatti liquor to get kick. It costs fourth of the end product, so quite cheap".
  
"The recent hooch tragedy at Malwani (Malad) last week where 102 people died may see the same fate if the court doesn't take Suo Motu cognisance of the case and doesn't monitor the case to its logical end," Mr Raiyani concluded.
 

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MOHAN SIROYA

1 year ago

Last week's deaths are too tragic. There is a crying need to control Hooch drinking.
The saddest but avoidable tragedy happened in Mumbai when more than 100 people lost their lives by drinking poisonous country liquor.And this happened when the nation was preaching magical benefits of Yoga on 'World Yoga Day". Imagine what YOGA can benefit liquor addicts who are millions in India? Very little, unless people shun this habit. But that is easier said than done. Introducing prohibition will also be counter productive since the addicts will then resort more to underground sources of country or smuggled IMFL stuff ,which in every likelihood will be mixed with chemicals. Then what's the way out in this catch 22 situation? Well , I would suggest ,let the State Governments adopt two pronged strategy. First State should sacrifice some revenue by slashing tax on IMFL or standard/ branded Country liquor to make it affordable to the common addicts. Side by side let us launch a countywide campaign to discourage people from consuming liquor. Like 'Swatchch Bharat Abhiyan', let there be a "Madiramukt Bharat Abhiyan".
Healthy body can absorb full benefits of Yoga then.

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

Hooka tragedy is due to mixing of methanol, which gives quick kick, but dangerous to life.
Police & Excise people, if they determine, catch hold of these people easily, but these people will lose their regular "hafta", which is allegedly more than the salary drawn by these police and excise personnels.
Our judiciary is not strict in investigating and trying the cases like these.
In last 20 years Maharashtra Government has not given new licence to open Government country liquor shop. So long as Government do not liberally open its country liquor outlets, if not shop, to sit and drink country liquor, this type of tragedy will continue to grow.

Vaibhav Dhoka

1 year ago

We Indians get emotionally provoked by such incidences,feel sorry for one or two days and then forget.Our corrupt mindset doesn't change.All process of inquiry is to defuse public mind away from such ghastly incidence.

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