Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Drink Red Wine And Live Longer

RED WINE may be the next best thing to the fabled elixir of youth, new research suggests.

A compound in the skin of red grapes has been found to curb the effects of ageing, even when taken in tiny doses. Scientists believe the discovery, made in mice, may explain the so-called
"French paradox".

Experts have long puzzled over the fact that people in regions of France where food is soaked in saturated fat have astonishingly healthy hearts and arteries. Plant chemicals in red wine, which often accompanies French meals, have been suggested as a possible explanation.

The new study highlights one compound, resveratrol, which is known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Experiments with mice indicated that low doses of resveratrol mimic the effects of calorie restriction to combat ageing. Previous research has shown that reducing dietary calories by 20 to 30 per cent can extend lifespan and prevent genetic changes linked to ageing in a range of animals. Resveratrol appears to influence the same biological pathway, say the scientists.

Professor Tomas Prolla, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, author of the research published this week in the online journal, said: "Resveratrol is active in much lower doses than previously thought and mimics a significant fraction of the profile of calorific restriction at the gene expression level."

The scientists investigated the influence of resveratrol by looking for changes in gene expression, or activity, in heart, muscle and brain tissues. As animals age, gene activity in different parts of the body changes as genes are switched on and off.

In the mouse heart there are at least 1,029 genes whose functions alter with age, leading to impaired function. When mice are fed a restricted diet, 90 per cent of this age-related change is

The study found that low doses of resveratrol blocked harmful changes in 92 percent of the heart genes. At the same time, declines in heart function associated with ageing were prevented.
A glass of red wine, or food supplements containing even small doses of resveratrol, were likely to represent a "robust intervention in the retardation of cardiac ageing," the scientists wrote.

Prof Prolla said: "There must be a few master biochemical pathways activated in response to caloric restriction, which in turn activate many other pathways. And resveratrol seems to activate some of these master pathways as well."Whether or not resveratrol can extend life span will require further study.

Resveratrol is produced naturally by plants when they are under attack by bacteria or fungi. The compound is abundant in the skin of red grapes. Its concentration in red wine varies greatly depending on the grape variety. Smaller amounts of resveratrol are also found in blueberries, bilberries, cranberries and peanuts.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Dreams That Have Meaning

Dreams often tell us something. It might just be about our health or what future has in store.There are too many recorded incidents to dismiss dreams as mere "vestiges of the day" that get projected on the silver screen of the mind at night. Our own experience also points out the fact that, at times, dreams do try to tell us something vital or important, but we are unable to comprehend them. In my years of experience in interpreting dreams, I have gained some immense insights into the meanings and workings of dreams. Let us see some common dreams that most of us have dreamt at some point in our lives:

Exam dreams:

These dreams run something like this: We are unable to reach the examination hall and the clock is ticking away; our pen just refuses to work; we just don't seem to comprehend the question paper or recall the answers...the variations are endless. Fortunately, such dreams are not related to examinations at all. They suggest that we are being tested or scrutinized in some way in our lives. These may also be related to our self-esteem and confidence or the lack of it.

Chase dreams:

Who has not broken into a cold sweat running scared from an assailant or a murderous mob in dreams? Even if we ran fast, the pursuer always seemed to catch up. At the exact moment of getting caught, we woke up with a start! Although these dreams can arise from an actual fear of being attacked, they often stem from our feelings of anxiety in waking life. These dreams indicate running away from a difficult situation, rather than confronting it.

Naked dreams:

Turning crimson with embarrassment on finding ourselves completely or partially naked in public in our dreams generally leaves us unsettled on waking up. Such dreams are often a reflection of our lack of confidence or self-esteem in real life. We may be hiding something and are afraid that others might discover it by seeing right through us. Nudity also symbolizes our fear of getting caught or exposed in something that we have done. This dream can have variations, which can range from embarrassment to feeling proud about your nakedness in public. Each, of course, has different interpretation.

Falling dreams:

Almost all of us get scared out of our wits while plunging down from dizzying heights in our dreams. No amount of convincing can rid us of the fear that we will not actually die if we do not wake up before we hit the ground! Falling can be of two types — one when we wake up alarmed before we hit the ground, the other when we land slowly just before the point of impact. Both have different interpretations. Generally, falling is an indication of insecurity, instability and anxiety. Such dreams occur when we feel overwhelmed and out of control

Dreams of losing teeth:

Dreams of falling teeth are quite common. These may take the form of teeth crumbling in our hands or falling out one by one with just a light tap. It was thought that such dreams represented malnutrition. which may have been true for some dreamers. Actually, such dreams reflect our anxiety about appearance and how others perceive us.

All dream imagery is symbolic. Each dream symbol is person specific. In other words, what a symbol represents for one person can have an entirely different meaning for another. This is the reason why dream dictionaries generally prove useless. Of course, a common streak runs through all symbols, but they have to be interpreted in the context of the dream content.

Dreams driven by the subconscious mind usually reveal our underlying issues, often symbolically. For example, being held back or frustrated can be telling you to set some life goals and develop a strategy for achieving them. Our dreams support this endeavor by showing the causes and effects of our subconscious conditioning. Every thought nourished regularly by the mind activates the subconscious mind to generate those thoughts and energy whether good or bad into your life. So, any attempt to understand dreams or what is really going on in your life and mind , as well as in the lives and minds of others, cannot fully succeed unless it takes into account the study of subconscious mind.