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Investigation of Beets

beets

Last week for lab, we were instructed to ingest either beets or corn in order to examine the digestionand excretion processes. As we were discussing the assignment, I can recall someone explaining that beets are a diuretic. In other words, it quickly promotes the production of urination. (It even changes the color of urine and stool.) 

This made me wonder what other benefits are associated with beets.

Here’s some great information that I found:

Beets may serve as a blood cleanser.

Some people use it for weight loss.

Beets can protect against heart disease and colon cleanser. The pigment that creates the purple-red color of beets is a cancer-fighting agent called betacyanin (The Nutrition of Beet Juice).

They also help to cure diseases of the circulatory system, large intestine, and digestive system.

How could it possibly serve all of these functions? Maybe because of all the vitamins and nutrients in it. Beets are full of “phytonutrients that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification qualities” (Evans).

Beets contain: folate, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B, iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. Navazio, author of the article “Sweet Beets” says beets are “better than a multi-vitamin”.

So, how can we increase our beet intake?

Use it as a substitute for sugar.

Drink beet juice once a day (Mix with apple or carrot juice for better taste).

Make a colorful beet salad.

Use beets in a vinaigrette dressing.

(Navazio)

I’ve never thought of it before, but maybe now I’ll look into ways to increase beets in my diet in order to improve my daily nutrition!

Sources:

Website: http://www.naturalnews.com/027884_beet_juice_blood.html

Website: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-beet-juice.html#b

Article: http://my.wau.edu:2202/ehost/detail?vid=3&sid=2ada0cee-a2e7-460a-8c9a-c4a1ef7fc46d%40sessionmgr112&hid=118&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=f5h&AN=12531649

Article: http://my.wau.edu:2202/ehost/detail?vid=3&sid=2ada0cee-a2e7-460a-8c9a-c4a1ef7fc46d%40sessionmgr112&hid=118&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=ulh&AN=76109986

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Investigation – Gallstones

gallstones

I’ve always heard the word “gallstones” tossed around, but I never knew the true definition until recently in class. Reviewing chapter 11 on the digestive system and completing the case study has helped me to gain a better understanding; however, I am interested in learning more.

According to a New York Times article, there are two types of gallstones

1) gallstones made up cholesterol

2) pigment stones – made of bilirubin, a substance found in bile; this type may occur when red blood cells are being destroyed (hemolysis)

They may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball.

Causes/Risk factors: Gallstones may form if the gallbladder does not empty the way it should or if people are overweight or trying to lose weight quickly. Other risk factors include association with bone marrow, diabetes, or liver cirrhosis. It is more common in women, Native Americans, Hispanics, and people over the age of 40.

Symptoms: Symptoms of gallstones are not likely but may include mild pain in the pit of the stomach or upper right part of the belly, fever and chills, or jaundice. When gallstones are blocking a bile duct, not only does is increase chances of high fever and chills, but it also increases one’s chances of obtaining a swollen pancreas.

Diagnosis: Similar to the process of questioning in the case study, a doctor may ask the following questions: “When did the pain start?” “Where is the pain?” “Is the pain sporadic or constant?” The doctor may also make use of an imaging test or request an ultrasound of the belly or gallbladder scan.

In most cases, gallstones cannot be prevented, but it is important to maintain a healthy weight and diet.

Sources:

The New York Times article: http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/gallstones/

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/gallstones-topic-overview

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Encounter: The Movie “Contagion”

Last week, we watched the movie “Contagion” for our BIOL 140 lab, and it is still heavily influencing me up to this very day. 

It seems as if I am much more cautious around others. Flu season is coming up, and just like the disease in “Contagion”, it is highly contagious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that people with the flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet way. Wow! If any classmate sitting next to me catches the flu virus, I am most likely bound to catching it next!

The flu virus may be transmitted through respiratory transmission. This means if a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks others may inhale the germs and contract the virus. Although less often, people may also catch the flu virus through fomites, transmission by touching an germ-infested surface.  

Thankfully, unlike “Contagion”, there is already a vaccine made. We do not have to wait in lines or wait to sit through the “lottery system” they developed. I cannot recall ever getting the vaccine more than once; however, I think it is time to make sure I get the flu vaccine as soon as possible this season. 

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Investigation – Did you know there are several types of tuberculosis?

As I am spending time researching on my topic for my disease paper, I am discovering the various types of tuberculosis – of which I never knew existed. With tuberculosis’s many effects on the body, its variations are given specific names, which are broken into two groups: pulmonary (of the lungs) and extrapulmonary (outside of the lungs).

tuberculosis

AAFP’s American Family Physician presents a study by Dr. Marjorie Golden and Dr. Vikram that gives a detailed list and description of these variations. The most common form of extrapulmonary tuberculosis is tuberculous lymphadenitis, which affects the nodes and includes symptoms like night sweats and weight loss.

Central nervous system tuberculosis includes tuberculosis meningitis, intracranial tuberculomas, and spinal tuberculosis arachnoiditis. These forms may lead to cranial nerve palsies, focal neurologic deficits, and cerebral edema (swelling, as we learned in Chapter 9).

There is also gastrointestinal tuberculosis (aka tuberculous enteritis) which results from swallowing infected sputum, ingestion of contaminated food, or direct extension from adjacent organs. Its symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and rectal bleeding.

The Live Strong website also gives a list of types of tuberculosis. One type that has not been mentioned yet is tuberculosis of the bones. It occurs at the ends of long bones and vertebrae and attacks the spine and other weight-bearing joints. Spinal tuberculosis affects what is known as the thoracic part of the spine, which causes severe back pain.

Adrenal tuberculosis affects the adrenal gland and the production of the adrenal hormone. Symptoms include a weak and/or faint feeling. The site gives an extensive list, which also includes types like osteal tuberculosis, tuberculosis peritonitis, and tuberculosis pericarditis.

My research so far has been very helpful in explaining this infectious disease, and  am excited to continue researching these sites to find out more specifics about the types of tuberculosis.

Franco , V. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/71451-types-tuberculosis/

Golden, M., & Vikram, M. (2005). Extrapulmonary tuberculosis: an overview. American Family Physician, 72(9), 1761-1768. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/1101/p1761.html