Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Pulse Beat

Osteoporosis & Business

Osteoporosis is not uncommon in the over middle-aged segment of our population—especially women—thanks to the gadgets available for household chores and consequent sedentary lifestyle. To top it, we have an obliging industry that sells bone-scanners which have, as their reference point, a 19-year-old Caucasian woman’s bone. That suitably makes every woman above that age to be bone-density deficient. More than 95% of those who go for a bone-scan are declared bone-density deficient! Good business idea, indeed!
 
Science has found out—and I have been spreading that word for decades now—that oral calcium intake and vitamin D intake does not cure, or affect, the bone-density abnormality of osteopaenia or osteoporosis. On the contrary, oral calcium carries two dangers with it:
a) Calcium-induced calcium loss is a change that sends out more calcium from the patient’s bone and throws it out in the kidney in exchange for sodium. So, there is a net calcium deficit, in the bargain.
b) The calcium that goes in through the mouth as a drug goes and gets deposited in the heart’s blood vessels increasing the risk of a heart attack or angina pain. Oral vitamin D does no good.
 
With all this information available, our drug industry and the media have succeeded in selling calcium and vitamin D to patients through our medical profession. In fact, calcium tonics are prescribed by most doctors as being good for health! A recent study in the British Medical Journal has clearly shown that: “In this analysis, calcium and vitamin D supplementation continue to be recommended to prevent and treat osteoporosis despite evidence of lack of benefit, say Andrew Grey and Mark Bolland. This examines why change is difficult and calls for advocacy organisations, academics, and specialist societies to abandon industry ties.”
 
Readers will now realise how important it is for the medical profession to cut off its financial ties to the industry. It will be too bad for society, if the sacred medical profession gets into cahoots with the pharma industry.
 

Sugary Drinks & Diabetes

There is a flood, nay, tsunami, of sugary drinks in the market, attracting our youth and children—unfortunately—in a big way. Natural drinks have taken a backseat, thanks to the advertisement blitz that the rich soft drinks industry can afford to let loose on the gullible public; sometimes aided and abetted by our cine and sports stars. Studies published in the British Medical Journal show that, in the long run, habitual sugary drink consumers have heightened risk of type-II diabetes, independent of their obesity and sedentary lifestyle. There are so many cofounders for type-II diabetes and one more has now been added. Let us educate the public about this danger.
 

Socio-pathic Doctors

A Michigan doctor has been giving chemotherapy to people who did not have cancer at all!
 
He was not a village doctor or an Indian ‘RMP’ (registered medical practitioner, not a trained doctor), who we dub as a ‘quack’. He was an American-trained cancer specialist. He has, of course, been jailed for 45 years. That will never undo the damage done to the dead. This is the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of such socio-pathic physicians that dole out expensive medicines and interventions, just to make money. These crafty fellows make use of the uncertainty in the arena of disease management as an excuse to frighten patients and relatives to agree to his/her cunning ways by using phrases like: “You are sitting on a volcano” or “My God, there is no time even to go home, your husband might not be alive to come back, get it done right now!” How can we ever control these, unless doctors get to change their heart and be human and humane? God help humankind! 

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India's central bank leaves interest rates unchanged
India's central bank kept its key lending rates unchanged during its monetary policy review on Tuesday, sticking to its stand that further cuts will depend on commercial banks passing on the previous reductions to borrowers, among other factors.
 
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan chose to maintain both the repo rate, or the short-term lending rate, and the cash reserve ratio, or the liquid money banks have to compulsorily hold, at 7.25 percent and and 4.0 percent, respectively.
 
Accordingly, the reverse repurchase rate, or the central bank's borrowing rate, has also been left unchanged at 6.25 percent. 
 
Speaking about the current situation pertaining to growth and inflation, among other issues, Rajan said: "Taking into account all this, and given that policy action was front-loaded in June, it is prudent to keep the policy rate unchanged at the current juncture while maintaining the accommodative stance of monetary policy."

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Assam fixes new speed limits on national highways
People can now drive at 100 km per hour on four-laned divided carriageways on the national highways (NHs) in Assam, according to new speed limits fixed on Monday.
 
The public works department (building and national highways) has prescribed speed limits for all types of vehicles in the various stretches of national highways in the state, according to an official statement.
 
For national highway stretches on the plains with seven-metre carriageway without paved shoulders, the speed limit is 70 km per hour while for those with paved shoulders, it is 80 km per hour, the statement said.
 
"In four-lane divided carriageways, it is 100 km per hour, in curves and in developed areas in the above mentioned categories of NHs, it is 40 km per hour," it said.
 
"For those NHs in town areas, the speed limit is 40 km per hour, while NHs in congested town areas like Mirza, Chaygaon, Boko, Gauripur, Mangaldoi, Kharupetia, Banderdewa and Moran it is 20 km per hour, while in hill areas it is 40 km per hour."

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