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Dr K K Aggarwal

DPP–4 inhibitors not linked to increased heart attack risk: The Wall Street Journal reported that research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that DPP–4 inhibitors may not be linked to an increased heart attack risk.

Extreme exercise may not pose danger to heart: The Wall Street Journal reported that a study of Tour de France cyclists found that they had longer lives than the general population and were less likely to die from heart troubles.

Faster heart attack care has not led to better in–hospital survival: USA Today reported that research published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that while hospitals have “shaved 16 minutes off the time it takes to get heart attack patients into treatment from 2005–2006 to 2008–2009, reducing that time from 83 minutes to 67 minutes,” investigators “found that the percentage of heart attack patients who die while in the hospital, about 5%, hasn’t changed.”

Gut bacteria may play role in determining weight: The investigators found that mice who received bacteria from the obese twin became fat, while the mice who received bacteria from lean individuals remained lean.

CDC: One in four deaths from cardiovascular disease preventable: USA Today reported currently, there are approximately 800,000 deaths annually in the US from cardiovascular disease, but about 200,000 of these deaths “could be prevented if people made healthy changes including stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, doing more physical activity, eating less salt and managing their high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

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Smile is a sign of joy, while hug is a sign of love. Laughter on the other hand is a sign of inner happiness. None of them are at the level of mind or intellect. All come from within the heart.

They are only the gradations of your expressions of your happiness.

It is said you are incomplete in your dress if you are not wearing smile on your face. Hug comes next and laughter the last.

Laughter is like an internal jogging and has benefits like that of doing meditation.

But be careful we must know when not to laugh. The most difficult is to laugh on oneself.

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Prevention strategy relies on lifestyle

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off

Stenting may not always be the answer to treating heart disease with stable coronary artery disease.

A German study has shown that patients with stable coronary artery disease who were put on an exercise regimen had significantly higher rates of event-free survival than those who had undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In the study, 70% of patients in the exercise program had event-free survival — no stroke, heart attack, or death — compared with 50% of stented patients after four years.

Exercise is an important part of any type of prevention, and it should be instituted for “anyone with stable coronary heart disease.”

The study on stenting versus exercise come was a continuation of a pilot study first reported in 2004 in the journal Circulation. That study of 101 male patients found that after one year, 88% of patients who exercised had event-free survival compared with 70% of stented patients.

The updated data reflect an additional 100 patients, who performed moderate intensity exercise for two weeks under hospital supervision, and then were given an exercise bike to continue their regimen at home.

Patients with stable angina exercised at 80% of their threshold, and that after four weeks of exercising, their angina threshold increased.

The clear message for patients is to get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every day, noting that 30% of heart disease could be prevented by 2.5 hours of walking per week.

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Search for happiness in the present moment

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off

Happiness should not be considered as being synonymous with pleasure. Pleasure is transient and is always associated with pain later. Any transient addiction to any of the five senses will either lead to pleasure or pain. Pleasure leads to attachment resulting in more intense and greater desires, and if these are not fulfilled, they cause pain which manifest as anger, irritability or even a physical disease. This type of transient pleasure is chosen by the individuals who attach themselves not to the actions only, but also to its results.

The soul, which is an energized field of information and energy, is controlled by the person’s action, memory and desire. With every action, a memory is created which either gets stored or is recirculated again as an action. If one does not control the desires, the recurrent actions may cause more problems than happiness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is internal happiness or the happiness of the soul or of the consciousness. It is often said, “You are what you eat; you are what you think; and you are what you do.” Hence, your own internal happiness will vary with what you eat, think, and do.

Living in the present moment leads to true happiness. If one is constantly lamenting about the past or fearing the future, he/she will never be able to live in the present. Not living in the present is bound to cause unhappiness. One should learn to live and enjoy the present which can only be done by attaching oneself to the actions and not to its results.

Doing one’s duty with devotion and discipline helps one to remain in the present. Performing good action is important, but it is equally important to maintain the purity of the mind at the same time. Because any intention in the thought creates the same chemical reaction as when the actual deed is done, abusing a person in thought is the same as abusing him in person. Cultivating positive actions in day-to-day life, like, giving or sharing etc., helps in acquiring internal happiness.

Thoughts ultimately get metabolized into various chemicals and hormones changing the internal biochemistry of the person; hence by thinking about cancer all the time, one can actually induce it over a period of time. And similarly, cancers can be cured by thinking positive over a period of time.

Internal happiness gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and is not associated with any transient chemical changes which are generally associated with bodily pleasure activities. People who are internally happy are always contented and are devoid of jealousy, anger, irritability, greed and ego.

One should learn to disassociate from, both, external pain as well as pleasure, and only then can one acquire true internal happiness.

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Eggs do not have an adverse effect on lipid levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Researchers also found that an egg-rich diet for 3 months was associated with better appetite control and may provide greater satiety. “These findings suggest that a high egg diet can be included safely as part of the dietary management of patients with type 2 diabetes,” remarked Nicholas Fuller, PhD, from the Boden Institute Clinical Trials Unit, University of Sydney, Australia.

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The Right Action

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off

Dharma is the path of righteousness and living one’s life according to the codes of conduct as described by the Vedas and Upanishads. Its western equivalents might include morality, ethics, virtue, righteousness and purity. The term dharma can best be explained as the “law of being” without which things cannot exist.

The word dharma is derived from dhri, which means “to hold”. It literally means “that which holds” the people of this world and the whole creation. The same is described in the Vedic Text, in Atharva Veda as: Prithivim dharmana dhritam, i.e. “this world is upheld by dharma”.

In Hinduism, Dharma is the very foundation of life. Tulsidas, the author of Ramcharitmanas, defined the root of dharma as compassion. Buddha has also described this principle in his book Dhammapada. According to Hindu philosophy, it’s GOD who holds us through “Truth” and/or “Love”. “Dharma prevails” or “truth prevails” is the essence of Hinduism.

In order to achieve good karma, Vedas teach that one should live according to dharma (the right action). This involves doing what is right for the individual, the family, the class or caste and also for the universe.

According to the Bhagavat Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four pillars: truthfulness (satya), austerity (tap), purity (shauch) and compassion (daya). It further adds that the adharmic or unrighteous life has three main vices: pride (ahankar), bad company (sangh), and intoxication (madya).

Manusmriti prescribes ten essential rules for the observance of dharma: Patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self control (dama), honesty (asteya), sanctity (shauch), control of senses (indriya-nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (krodha). Manu further writes, “Non-violence, truth, non-coveting, purity of body and mind, control of senses are the essence of dharma”.

In Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna says that in the society dharma is likely to fall from time to time, and to bring dharma back, a GOD representative is born from time to time.

The shloka “parithraanaaya saadhoonaam vinaasaaya cha dhushkr.thaam| dharma-samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge” (Chapter IV – 8)” says that “For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers, and for establishing the rule of righteousness (Dharma), I am born from age to age [in every age]”. Another shloka “yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham” means that O descendant of Bharata “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, and a predominant rise of irreligion – at that time I descend Myself”.

Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Spiritual Laws of Success talks about the “Law of ‘Dharma’ or Purpose in Life’”. According to him, everybody should discover his or her divinity, find the unique talent and serve humanity with it. With this, one can generate all the wealth that one wants.

According to him, when your creative expressions match the needs of your fellow humans, then wealth will spontaneously flow from the un-manifest into the manifest, from the realm of spirit to the world of form. In spiritual terms this is an attempt to find out whether one’s life is progressing as per the Laws of Dharma (Dharma in Sanskrit means ‘purpose in life’) which, according to the scriptures, is said to be the sole purpose for a human being to manifest in this physical form.

For one to achieve ‘DHARMA’ he suggests the following affirmative exercises:

  • Today I will lovingly nurture the god or goddess in embryo form that lies deep within my soul. I will pay attention to the spirit within me that animates both my body and my mind. I will awaken myself to this deep stillness within my heart. I will carry this consciousness of timeless, eternal being in the midst of time-bound experiences.
  • I will make a list of my unique talents. Then I will list all of the things I love to do while expressing my unique talents. When I express my unique talents and use them in the service of humanity, I lose track of time and create abundance in my life as well as in the lives of others.
  • I will ask myself daily, ‘How can I serve?’ and ‘How can I help?’ The answers to these questions will allow me to help and serve my fellow human beings with love.

Karma, dharma and samsara are three fundamental aspects of Hinduism. Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism are all built on these aspects. Dharma is one’s appropriate role or attributes. Karma measures how well one performs one’s dharma, explains why one is born where he or she is, and why there is suffering and seeming injustices. Samsara is the continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and the context for all experience.

Dharma sutras from Dharma Shãstras are the basic texts which talks about the morality of individuals and the society. Most Indian laws are made from these Shãstras.

In Jainism also, the wheel of Dharma (Chakra) with 24 spokes represents the religion preached by the 24 Tirthankaras consisting of nonviolence (Ahimsa) and other virtues.

The very first word of the Gita is “Dharma”. The Gita concludes with the word “Mama”. The whole of Bhagavad Gita is contained in the two words ‘Mama’ and ‘Dharma’. When you join these two words it becomes mamadharma, meaning ‘your true Dharma’. This is what the Gita teaches. ‘What is your Dharma?’

How to achieve your dharma?

  • Do unto others what you do unto yourself and satisfy your conscience. That is your Dharma.
  • The word ‘Living Dharma’ signifies right action in every moment of the life.
  • Do not follow the dictates of body, and do not indiscriminately follow the mind, for the mind is like a mad monkey. Hence, follow the conscience.
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Keys to a healthy diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off

  • Choose mostly plant-based foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed.
  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over the course of the week in order to ensure a balance of important nutrients.
  • Watch portion size and keep your calorie intake and physical activity level in balance.
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After the life force leaves the body even the wife does not like to come near the body (Bhaja Govindam). This life force has no weight, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it, and weapons cannot cut it (Bhagwad Gita Chapter 2).

The scientific description of this life force comes from the first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which describes that “Consciousness or Intelligence is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma).

This life force or the intelligence represents the conscious energy, energized consciousness or energized information.

In computer language, this intelligence is both the data that has been fed and the software to operate this data. The software is driven by the power of intention and by the process of attention.

In Vedic language the data is the “Purusha or Shiva” and the software the “Shakti” (Sakti). While the data or the Shiva is inactive and idle, without Shakti or energy, the data has no value and it makes” Shiva” a “SAVA”. When Shakti moves toward Shiva it becomes awareness or consciousness. In Vedanta language, it is called as soul or Brahman.

For comparison, what relationship Matter and Energy have in Physics; Purusha and Prakruti in Samkya Philosophy; Infinite and Zero in Mathematics; Potential and Kinetic Energy in Energetics; Meaning and Word in Linguistics; Father and Mother in sociology, the same is with Shiva and Sakti in understanding the mystery of Vedanta.

Shiva and Sakti are thus two inseparable entities in Indian mysticism. Just as moonlight cannot be separated from the moon, Shakti cannot be separated from Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism says that “Shiva without Shakti is lifeless (Sava) because wisdom cannot move without power”.

Shiva and Shakti are different from the masculine and feminine aspects of the human body. In tantric spiritual path, one seeks to develop a perfect harmony and balance between masculine aspects (example mental focus, will, intellect) and feminine aspects (example sensitivity, emotion).

Shiva or the data is classified in the body in three subgroups: creation, protection and destruction. These in Hindu mythology are called “Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh”. Some 1add another two more dimensions in them making them five and these are “revelation and concealment”. One can find these qualities in anything that’s alive.

The Shakti or the forces (power) are also sub classified in five sub types.

  1. Chitta Shakti: Pure consciousness or the awareness of God.
  2. Ananda Shakti or pure bliss.
  3. Gnana Shakti or the ‘knowledge of God’. It is pure knowledge, which organizes and orchestrates the infinite correlative activity of the universe.
  4. Kriya Shakti or ‘pure action’ which is the actions directed toward God (action which does not have the bondage of karma. Action which has the bondage of karma comes from the ego. It’s based on beliefs and expectations and interpretations and fears and judgments and past memories, whereas non-binding action, which is non-Karmic, is called Kriya—action rooted in pure awareness and creativity)
  5. Desire (Ichcha Shakti: the desire or intention to unite with God)

Deepak Chopra in his Book, Path of Love Describes Shakti as under:

If the voice of God spoke to you, Her powers would be conveyed in simple, universal phrases:

  • Chitta Shakti: “I am.”
  • Ananda Shakti: “I am blissful.”
  • Gnana (Gyana) Shakti: “I know.”
  • Kriya Shakti: “I act.”
  • Icha Shakti: “I will” or “I intend.”

These powers, if used towards acquiring spiritual wellbeing, any action (pure kriya) directed by the desire (pure iccha) leads to pure knowledge (pure gnana) and ends with internal bliss (ananda).

On the other hand, in routine life if these powers are governed by the ego, then the Action (Kriya) leads to Memory (Gnana) and the memory leads to desire (Icha) and then action again.

According to Tantra, Satchidananda is called Shiva-Sakti, the hyphenated word suggesting that Shiva or the Absolute and Sakti or its creative power, are eternally conjoined like a word and its meaning; the one cannot be thought of without the other.

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