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Dr K K Aggarwal

Role of folate or folic acid in cancer prevention

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The role of folic acid in cancer prevention is uncertain. Large observational studies have suggested a decrease in risk of colorectal and other cancers with dietary folate but others randomized trials have raised the possibility of harm.

In the largest meta–analysis of individual patient data from randomized trials of folic acid for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and colorectal adenoma during an average of 5.2 years of treatment, there was no significant difference in overall cancer incidence for patients assigned to folic acid or placebo.

Vollset SE, Clarke R, Lewington S, et al. Effects of folic acid supplementation on overall and site–specific cancer incidence during the randomised trials: meta–analyses of data on 50?000 individuals. Lancet 2013.

The Infinite Powers of the Spirit

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Om Poornamadah
“Om Poornamadah Poornamidam
Poornaat Poornamudachyate
Poornasya Poornamaadaaya
Poornameva Avasihyate”

‘The whole is whole; if you take away the whole away from the whole the whole will still remain.’ (That is infinite, this is infinite, from the infinite, the infinite has come out. Having taken the infinite out of the infinite, the infinite alone remains). (In Vedanta, “That” represents superconsciousness, God or the Brahman and “This” the visible universe)

Atman, which makes up our body, is 99.99 per cent space or void and if we look at the rest, it is also nothing but space or void. This void or ‘akasha’ is what is called Brahman, God or consciousness and is a web of energized information.

This web of information of inner space called inner consciousness is the Atman or the Soul. This is connected with the outer space in the universe having a similar web of energized information called the Spirit or Brahmand.

The Spirit has been given many names by different religions: Allah, Buddha, Brahman, Christ or Wahe Guru. They all signify the same. This spirit, the energized field of information, is a powerful expression of live energy which can move faster than the speed of light. Soul is nothing but an individualized expression of the spirit.

This energy containing information in the spirit cannot be seen, felt, touched, tasted or smelt. It is beyond the perception of the five senses. One cannot destroy it with a weapon, fire, water or air. This consciousness is embedded in the space of each and every cell of the body. It is like sugar added to the milk. Once added, you cannot find it as it gets embedded with each and every drop of the milk.

Soul originates from the spirit. Each soul differs from the other by way of the subtle layer of consciousness called the ‘Sukshma Sharir’, which is controlled by the triad of actions, memories and desires.

Spirit is like the light, which is always positive and removes darkness. The basic nature of consciousness is “truth and bliss”. The soul and the spirit are devoid of hatred, anger or jealousy and are full of unconditional love. They are nothing but a treasury of information about everything. This infinite information is capable of doing anything, including miracles.

It is like the flame of a candle, which can light an infinite number of candles, while still retaining its illumination to the same degree.

Deepak Chopra once said that the soul is like the voice of Lata Mangeshkar coming through a radio, and if you break the radio, you will not find Lata Mangeshkar in it. Similarly, if you cut the body into pieces, you cannot find the physical presence of the spirit. Spirit is omnipresent and any amount of Spirit taken out from it will not make any difference to it.

In religious terms, the infinite or the vastness is equated and described by the blue color, and that is one reason why most gods are represented in blue color, or are shown in the background of blue sky. This only represents the vastness and infinite character of the consciousness.

A guru explained the Spirit to his disciples by the following equation: 1 × 1 = 1, 1/1=1 or, in other words everything is One. One can also explain it by the equation that infinity when added, subtracted, multiplied or divided by infinity will result only in infinity.

This infinite potential in our minds is present in between the thoughts and can be experienced by enabling oneself to go in between the thoughts by a process called meditation. One can experience the silent gap between the thoughts either with the use of primordial sound mantra as a vehicle or by way of yoga. People who have learnt meditation and have achieved the ability to go into the silent gaps can accomplish everything in their life using the principles of intention and attention. After any intention is introduced in the silent gap, a new reality can be created.

That which is born of the flash is a flash; that which is born of the spirit is spirit” (John)

Treatment of Summer Diarrhea

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most summer diarrhea is watery, effortless and painless diarrhea with no mucous or blood. They need no antibiotics. The only treatment is oral rehydration solution.

One loose motion is equivalent to loss of one glass of fluid. Explaining this, Dr. Aggarwal said that if a patient has passed 10 loose motions, he needs 12 glasses of ORS apart from normal requirement of fluids and one glass for every loose motion passed again.

For up to 12 loose motions, a patient can be managed as an outpatient but if the loose motions are more than 12, he needs observation and if the numbers of loose motions are more than 40, he needs intensive treatment.

The main complication is renal shut down, which will happen if the blood pressure remains low for more than few hours. During diarrhea, urine should be passed every 6-8 hours. If no urine is passed for eight hours it may indicate an impending renal failure.

How long can one fast?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per allopathy, one cannot live without air or oxygen for more than 3 minutes, without water for more than three days and without food for more than 3 weeks.

According to the Chandogya Upanishads, food is responsible for the making of motor organs (Karmaindriyas), Sensory Organs, Manas (mind, intellect, memory and ego) and Prana.

The fiery foods are responsible for making the motor indriyas, earthy foods for sensory indriyas and manas and water for making Prana Vayu.

Therefore, it is possible for a person to live on water for up to few weeks because he will keep making Prana and keep breathing but absence of food on 14th day onward will start affecting his Gnanaindriyas and Manas. The person will start losing power of hearing, touching and sensing and will start showing impairment in mental status, memory, intellect functions and egoistic behavior.

Routine ECG Does Not Help

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In populations of older adults, prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) events through traditional risk factors is less accurate than in middle–aged adults. It has been shown that electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities are common in older adults and might be of value for CHD prediction. However, performing routine ECG among asymptomatic adults is not supported by current evidence and is not recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force and the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association.

The aim of this study by Auer and colleagues was to determine whether baseline ECG abnormalities or development of new and persistent ECG abnormalities are associated with increased CHD events.

The Scientific Aspects of Prayer

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Whenever our near or dear ones suffer a sickness most of us often pass on the heartfelt promise that we’ll “pray for him or her”. So many people believe in the power of prayer that it’s now caught the attention of scientific doctors.

Today most hospitals and nursing homes are building prayer rooms for their patients. It is based on the principle that the relaxed mind is a creative mind. During prayer, when one is in touch with the consciousness, one is able to take conscious based right decisions. Most doctors even write on their prescriptions “I treat He cures”.

Medically it has been shown that even the subconscious mind of the unconscious person is listening. Any prayer would be captured by him building his or her inner confidence and faith to come out of the terminal sickness. We have seen the classical example of the effect of mass prayer on Amitabh Bachchan’s illness.

“Praying for your health is one of the most common complementary treatments people do on their own,” said Dr. Harold G. Koenig, co–director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center. About 90% of Americans and almost 100 % Indians pray at some point in their lives, and when they’re under stress, such as when they’re sick, they’re even more likely to pray.

More than one–third of people surveyed in a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine said they often turned to prayer when faced with medical concerns. In the poll involving more than 2,000 Americans, 75 percent of those who prayed said they prayed for wellness, while 22 percent said they prayed for specific medical conditions.

Numerous randomized studies have been done on this subject. In one such study, neither patients nor the health–care providers had any idea who was being prayed for. The coronary–care unit patients didn’t even know there was a study being conducted. And, those praying for the patients had never even met them. The result: While those in the prayer group had about the same length of hospital stay, their overall health was slightly better than the group that didn’t receive special prayers.

“Prayer may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care,” wrote the authors of this 1999 study, also published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. However, a more recent trial from the April 2006 issue of the American Heart Journal suggests that it’s even possible for some harm to come from prayer. In this study, which included 1,800 people scheduled for heart surgery, the group who knew they were receiving prayers developed more complications from the procedure, compared to those who had not been a focus of prayer.

Many patients are reluctant and do not talk on this subject with their doctors. Only 11% patients mention prayer to their doctors. But, doctors are more open to the subject than patients realize, particularly in serious medical situations. In a study of doctors’ attitudes toward prayer and spiritual behavior, almost 85 percent of doctors thought they should be aware of their patients’ spiritual beliefs. Most doctors said they wouldn’t pray with their patients even if they were dying, unless the patient specifically asked the doctor to pray with them. In that case, 77% of doctors were willing to pray for their patient.

Most people are convinced that prayer helps. Some people are ‘foxhole religious’ types and prayer’s almost a reaction or cry to the universe for help. But, many people do it because they’ve experienced benefit from it in the past.

If it’s something you want to do and you feel it might be helpful, there’s no reason you shouldn’t do it. If one has inclination that prayer might work, he or she should do it.

Artificial Sweeteners in Sweets May Be Harmful

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have issued a joint scientific statement giving a cautious recommendation to the use of nonnutritive sweeteners to help people maintain a healthy body weight and for diabetics to aid glucose control.

These products should be considered like a nicotine patch. They are appreciably better than the real product (sugar), but not part of an optimal diet.

The statement, published in both Circulation and Diabetes Care on July 9, 2012, warns that sweeteners are helpful only as long as people don’t eat additional calories later as compensation.

The term nonnutritive sweeteners cover six sweeteners including aspartame, acesulfame K,neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and plant–derived stevia. These nonnutritive substances have zero calories.

Two thinks may happen in terms of compensation

1.Physiological, where the body might be expecting more calories and so the individual may be hungrier and therefore may eat more

2.Psychological, where the individual thinks they are allowed to eat more sugar-rich food because they had a diet soda instead of a full–sugar soda.

When real people use sweeteners there is compensation. The key is how much? Partial compensation, is ok but people often completely compensate or even overcompensate, so these sweeteners have to be used smartly to be successful.
Compensation seems less of a problem when these sweeteners are consumed in beverages as opposed to food.

People don’t really notice the lack of calories in a diet soda and so don’t tend to eat more, whereas if they consume a low–calorie foodstuff, they do tend to eat more as compensation.

Its better when sweeteners are used in beverages and not sweets or other foods.
One is not completely sure about the safety of these products, because their long–term use in humans has not been studied fully.

However, the artificial sweeteners on the market are almost certainly safer than consuming large amounts of sugar, which has definite harm when consumed in large amounts.

This harm, particularly when consumed in beverage form such as soda, includes increases in risks of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and gout.

A concern, though, is that just replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners leaves a person, especially children, conditioned to high levels of sweetness, which is likely to influence their food choices adversely.

Aastik Vs Nastik

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Traditionally, people believe that Nastik are the persons who do not go to temples or related places of worship. They also do not believe in God.

To differentiate between Astik and Nastik, we need to first understand the concept of Sanatan Dharma and Arya Samaj Dharma. People who believe in Sanatan Dharma consider God as separate from the self and worship him in the form of an idol. They believe in Dualism theory.

Arya Samaj followers do not do idol worship and believe in non–dualism and treat God and self as one.

Arya Samajis, therefore, will not go to a temple where the idols of Gods are placed. Being an Arya Samaji does not mean that the person is Nastik.

The word Nastik means someone who does not believe in God at all, therefore, he or she also does not believe in self as God is nothing but self. In medical sciences, these are the people who have no insight and will usually be suffering from depression and loss of self–esteem.

New form of heart failure on the rise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Heart failure is routinely described as progressive loss of ability of the heart to pump blood. But, there is another form of heart failure where the blood–pumping ability of the heart remains near normal. This second form of heart failure is too often overlooked and is just as lethal.

In this condition the heart muscle becomes thickened. The chamber inside gets smaller and the heart is unable to relax to accommodate the blood it needs to pump out. As there is no room for the heart to relax, the blood backs up into the lungs. This kind of anomaly is not picked up by standard measurements of “ejection fraction” – the percentage of blood in the heart that goes out with every beat.

This form of the disease is called “diastolic heart failure” because the problem occurs during the diastole portion of heart activity, as the heart relaxes after a beat. Nearly one–third of these patients have an ejection fraction greater than 50 percent, which is very near normal. However, the death rate for this kind of heart failure matches that of patients with the more common form of heart failure, with more than 20% of all the patients dying within a year. There is a steady increase over 15 years of heart failure with normal or near–normal ejection fraction.

For patients, the symptoms of both types of heart failure are the same: Shortness of breath, difficulty exercising and fluid retention in the body. Physicians cannot make a diagnosis on the basis of symptoms or routine examinations. One has to have an echocardiogram and see the heart pumping and see if the ejection fraction is normal or reduced. Until now, relatively little attention has been paid to diastolic heart failure. Advances have been made against systolic heart failure, in which the ejection fraction falls below normal but not much has been done about diastolic heart failure.

Why do we Ring the Bell in a Temple?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The vibrations of the ringing bell also produce the auspicious primordial sound ‘Om’, thus creating a connection between the deity and the mind. As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja), we ring the bell, chanting:

Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam
gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam
Kurve ghantaaravam tatra
devataahvaahna lakshanam

“I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart.”

Vaccination for elderly

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The best gift to your grandparents is to get them vaccinated if they have not been vaccinated earlier.

  • Annual influenza or flu vaccine is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older.
  • Pneumonia vaccine should be given to all adults aged 65 years and older.
  • Tetanus Toxoid should be given to all irrespective of age after every 10 years.
  • A single dose of herpes zoster vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years and older regardless whether they have had a previous episode of herpes zoster. The vaccination begins at 60 years of age.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine should be given to all if they have not been vaccinated earlier.
  • All diabetics aged 60 years or older should be vaccinated for hepatitis B. This recommendation is based on increased need for associated blood glucose monitoring in long term care facilities.
  • All patients with chronic liver diseases should also be given the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Can A Mantra Or Sound Be Used As A Medicine?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The answer is yes. The difference between a Mantra and a sound is that Mantra sound is an energized sound with medicinal values. There are many aspects of Mantra as a sound:

1. The type of sound matters. It is a well known that chanting of vowel sounds produces interleukin 2 in the body which has the same action as that of aspirin and works like a natural pain killer.
Chanting of nasal consonants produces delta activity in the EEG and has similar action like tranquilizers. Chanting of other consonants has different actions in the body for example chanting of LUM reduces
fear, VUM reduces attachments, RUM reduces doubt, YUM increases love, HUM increases truthfulness and AUM non-judgmental activities.

2. Mantra sounds can be vibratory or non-vibratory. Vibratory sounds use nasal consonants and vibrate bones starting from mandible, spine, and the automatic plexus lying along the spine. Chanting of nasal consonants leads to parasympathetic state.

3. Any Mantra chanting associated with reduced respiratory rate leads to parasympathetic state of the body. Ideal is to reduce the respiratory rate to 4 per minute and then continue it for next 20 minutes that means 80 breathes in 20 minutes. This can be done by chanting for exam-le the whole Gayatri mantra in on respiratory cycle.

4. How does one chant also matters? The yogic way of chanting is when the mind is in mantra or the chanting. This leads to deeper relaxation.

5. Whether you chant with the understanding the meaning of the Mantra or not also matters? If you do that the chanting benefits will be more. Foreigners do not understand the meaning of Indian Mantras but yet they get benefits. But if they chant with understanding the meaning of the Mantra, the health benefits will be more.

6. Chanting a mantra with its meaning in the mind invokes the power of intention. It’s like getting connected to any search engine on the internet and typing your query. Your consciousness in our body is the internet and the intention the search button.

7. Chanting a mantra with its meaning in the mind also results in emotions and expressions which have an added advantage.

8. Overtone chanting has additional benefits. The new sound heals not only those who are chanting but also those who are listening and bystanders.

9. Group chanting is more powerful. If 1% population chants together, rest 99% also gets the benefits.

10. One can also do distance healing by chanting at a far distance. The only way one can explain this is by understanding consciousness as an internet cum social site model. In this understanding each one of us has our page in the internet (soul) as well as a page in the cloud internet (spirit). All our pages are connected with every person in this earth through the cloud internet. People can chant at a distance and their audio file with intent automatically gets posted on their soul internet and the cloud internet. The person for whom we are prayer chanting gets the benefit whenever he is connected to the cloud internet.

11. During chanting the mind diverts. Continuously chanting of Mantra for 12 seconds means concentration, 12×12 seconds is contemplation and 144×144 seconds is meditation. So by concentrating on the object of concentration, the mantra, one can avoid diversion of the mind.

12. The intensity or the loudness of the chanting sound also matter Higher the loudness less will be the effects. Japa meditation involves two hours of Mantra chanting to get the benefit. In a non Japa meditation, these benefits can be acquired in 20 minutes. Thoughtless chanting is more powerful than verbal Mantra chanting. Vipasana is chanting without Mantra where you are just aware of the breath and one has to do this type of meditation for hours together to get the benefit.

13. In Chautha or Teravi (mourning period), we have one hour of sangeet, or chanting of Mantra or prayers. This helps relax the mind, shifts one from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode. In the initial 15 minutes, there is sympathetic over activity and the person is restless. As the time passes, parasympathetic state takes over and by the time one hour is over, parasympathetic state is at its full blown activity and at that time getting connected to cloud internet is easier.

Full attending for one hour of Chautha ceremony is only for those who are connected to the dead person and want to get distressed. These people have empathy for the diseased person. Those who have sympathy mostly show up before or after the Chautha ceremony to complete their formality.

In Chautha, we say that Bhagwan Uski Aatma Ko Shanti De. God will forgive him only if the soul is under distress which can only happen if there are some non–fulfilled desires and these desires will always be linked to a particular person. Therefore, only those who have guilt will feel that the diseased person’s soul is not at rest.

In a Chautha ceremony one can only remove this guilt in the parasympathetic phase towards the end of the Chautha ritual and seeks forgive and forgiveness.

14. In different religions, this has different implications. In Hinduism, we only attend Chautha of whom we know but in Islam people attend the mourning ceremony of people whom they not even know. They believe in mass prayers and pray for the soul of the diseased person. In Islam this mass prayer message gets written on the cloud internet and has mass effect in the community.

In Islam, a person usually says Mein khuda se tumhare liye dua mangunga. It is possible for them as they do Namaz prayer five times in a day and when they ask for Dua for someone they put the intent in the cloud internet which can be retrieved by others.

In Christians, it is different. The dying patients or the relations ask the doctors and others to pray with them and not only for them.

Low cholesterol linked to anxiety, depression, suicide, hemorrhagic stroke and cancers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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People with very low cholesterol levels are at increased risk of developing stomach cancer, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer.

The study involved 2,600 residents of Hisayama, Japan, who were followed for 14 years. Gastric cancers developed in 97 subjects. After accounting for age and gender, stomach cancer rates rose significantly with descending cholesterol level. For example, among subjects with the highest cholesterol levels, the gastric cancer rate was the equivalent of 2.1 cases per 1000 persons per year; among those with the lowest cholesterol, the rate was 3.9 per 1000 persons per year.

Patients with low serum cholesterol should consider periodic gastrointestinal examination for the prevention of stomach cancer.

Low cholesterol has been earlier linked to depression, anxiety and suicide in both men and women. Another earlier report has also shown that people with cholesterol level below 180 had twice the risk of brain hemorrhage as compared to those with cholesterol levels of 230.

What do you mean by ‘food is Brahman’?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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‘Food is Brahman’ is a Vedic Upanishad and Bhagavad Gita saying.

Brahma is consciousness, therefore, food is consciousness. Though the traditional Vedic teaching has been that consciousness is present in everything and yet only food is considered Brahman. We never say that stone is Brahman nor dog is Brahman.

As per Chandogya Upanishad (6.15.1) at the time of death, our Vak Vritti (motor senses) merges into Karm Indriyas or manovritti (sensory senses, mind, intellect, ego and memory) and that now merges with Prana (Udana Vayu) and finally this merges into Tejas which leaves the body to merge into the Sat.

Vak Vritti, Manovritti and Prana Vritti, in the form of vibrations in the atmosphere, come back through rain and are taken by the plants to become plant consciousness. Therefore, as per Chandogya Upanishad, the consciousness of the Brahman moves from human to plants and plants to human.

The plant food once eaten and absorbed enters into the human body and ultimately makes Prana, Tejas, Ojas, Sperms and Ova. Through Sperm and Ova, it enters into the next life.

If this theory is correct, then food makes the consciousness and consciousness makes food. This also further proves that vegetarian food, as it is full of Brahman creating a satvik mind and takes one towards spirituality.

The Tamsik food which is dead and devoid of consciousness does not lead to a healthy mind as it may produce Mal (waste) or make flesh but will not make essence.

As per Chandogya Upanishad, fiery food makes Karma Indriyas, earthy food makes Gnan Indriyas and Water in food makes Prana.

It further emphasizes on the fact that one should eat freshly cut fruits and vegetables as far as possible as life or consciousness in them can only stay for some time (as per Jainism up to 48 minutes).

Triphala can help in reducing bronchial hyperreactivity

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Triphala (TRP), a herbal extract, has been shown to affect lymphocytes and natural killer T (NKT) cell function. It has been shown to ameliorate bronchial hyperreactivity through immune–cell modulations.
In a study carried out at the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine, Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO, asthma mouse models were generated through intraperitoneal (IP) injections of ovalbumin (OVA)/2 weeks followed by repeated intranasal OVA challenges.
Mice were then treated with normal saline (OVA/NS) or Triphala (OVA/TRP). Data were compared with mice treated with inhaled budesonide.

Both TRP and budesonide significantly ameliorated functional and histological OVA–induced bronchial hyperreactivity. Triphala causes a significant decrease in bronchial reactivity. It alters immune–cell distributions and show antioxidative properties. Immune–cell modulation with triphala can ameliorate lung injury.

(Ref: Horani A, Shoseyov D, Ginsburg I, et al. Triphala (PADMA) extract alleviates bronchial hyperreactivity in a mouse model through liver and spleen immune modulation and increased anti-oxidative effects. Ther Adv Respir Dis 2012 Aug;6(4):199–210).