Ebola 101

Ebola PictureDear readers: With Ebola being on everyone’s radar these days (that being justified or not), let me outline the most important facts you should know about it.

Ebola is a viral illness and one of many Hemorrhagic Fevers (to hemorrhage means to bleed).

This is a severe disease, which begins abruptly and is often fatal and during this current outbreak, its reported fatality is in 55-60% of cases; some recover while others die and the reason for this remains unknown but it is noted that the immune response to the virus remains low at the time of death in individuals who do not recover.

How is Ebola transmitted?

If an Ebola patient is adequately quarantined, there’s no real reason for public to panic – this is not Flu and it’s not spread as easily. Ebola can be contracted in the following ways:

  • Through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids (blood, vomit, pee, poop, sweat, semen, spit, other fluids) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • Through direct exposure to objects (such as surgical instruments, needles etc.) that have been contaminated with infected bodily fluids

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8 great health benefits of Green Tea

What a healthy tea!

What a healthy tea!

Dear Dr. Mo: What are the true health benefits of green tea, are these benefits real and should I start drinking it? 

Dear reader: Green tea is one of those foods that potentially has enormous health benefits but for most of them, more research is needed to really ascertain the extent of it for human health outside the lab. For starters, let me mention the 8 great health benefits of green tea that scientists are seriously looking into and I also suggest you read my earlier post which goes into more depth on green tea, its functions and proper preparation.

1. Cholesterol regulation

There’s a group of chemicals in green tea called catechins responsible for a lot of claimed benefits and researchers believe these catechins help prevent the absorption of cholesterol all together but at the same time they increase the absorption of high-density HDL cholesterol, which is the good one.

2. Weight management

Green tea speeds up digestion and slows down fat absorption while increasing the energy expenditure so these properties can help you lose weight when consumed as part of a healthy diet.

3. Good for the bones

Green tea is said to improve bone mineral density thus lowering your fracture risk – this is because green tea contains a group of chemicals that stimulates the formation of bone and helps slow their breakdown although more research is needed to corroborate this claim outside the lab.

4. Oral health booster

Catechins again – think about the green tea as a natural mouth wash, like Listerine, only better. Drinking green tea regularly can contribute to a healthier mouth because catechins can help kill bacteria in your mouth.

5. Keeps some cancers at bay

Studies show that green tea benefits include protection against certain cancers, not all of them but the fact is that we just don’t know yet about the full potential of green tea’s compounds. What we do know is that the data are the most substantial for bladder, ovarian and esophageal cancers. It mostly does this by starving cancer cells to death.

6. Helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes

And not only that but it helps prevent its prelude – the Metabolic syndrome a.k.a. the Syndrome X. Studies show that one cup a day isn’t going to cut it – you need up to 6 or more every day to lower your risks for these ailments – but, why not, it’s good for you so give it a go. Continue reading