Frying Chips Could Increase Risk of Cancer, Say Experts...

Exposure to cooking oil used to fry chips can increase your risk of cancer, research has revealed. Scientists say potentially harmful particles are released into the air when oil is heated to the temperatures needed to cook chips or stir-fries. Repeated exposure to these chemicals can increase the chance of diseases such as lung, breast and bladder cancer.

All cooking oils produce the particles but vegetable oil is the most dangerous. Corn oil and olive oil also pose a risk, researchers say. Deep-frying chips, in particular, produces large amounts of the cancer- causing chemicals—polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. It also produces acrylamide, another carcinogenic chemical.

The study, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, estimates that someone regularly exposed to high levels of these chemicals would have a one in 100 chance of developing cancer. The researchers advised cooks to make sure kitchens are properly ventilated—and to try to boil and steam foods instead of frying.

The team from the University of Singapore compared methods of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian cooking. Their study analysed the quality of the air in the kitchens of three food stalls. According to scientists, the deepfrying done by the Malaysian chefs released more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons than the stir-frying in the Chinese kitchens. At the Indian food stall, much of the food was simmered or boiled, which cut down on the hydrocarbons. The chemicals, also found in tobacco smoke and exhaust fumes, are released when oil is heated to high temperatures.

Stress Tests...

When one is excited, walking fast, climbing a staircase or running- the heart rate increases putting it under “stress”. When the heart muscle and blood vessels supplying it are in good condition, the heart is ‘conditioned’ and no discomfort or pain is experienced on exertion.

However, if the heart is unable to take the load or enough blood doesn’t reach the heart muscle, there is pain, discomfort or some signs of protest. Stress tests are noninvasive procedures that they provoke and detect signs of decreased blood supply to the heart muscle.

This is done by the use of exercise employing the treadmill, bicycle or handgrip. If one is unable to exercise because of orthopaedic conditions, old age or other problems, then non-exercise modalities area adopted. Stress Echocardiography helps to detect myocardial ischemia at stress.

Stress thallium myocardial perfusion scintigraphy is useful to diagnose and assess patients recovering from a known acute heart attack. Dr Mahapatra explains, “This novel diagnostic test helps in detecting the status of the live/dead heart muscle. It is useful in women having suspected or confirmed underlying coronary heart disease.”

Put Your Heart to Test - ECG, angiography, stress tests...

ECG, angiography, stress tests...if these words stress you out, read on to know more about the sophisticated technology now available to detect heart problems

THE process of diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD) starts from talking to patients about symptoms,medical history and obvious high risk factors like family history,smoking,diabetes,high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Tests to detect CAD are devised to determine cardiac functioning measuring electrical activity and the pumping action of the heart & can be categorised into:

  • The ECG or the electrocardiogram is a record of the electrical activity of the heart.
  • The Echo or Echocardiogram is a test that uses ultrasound to make images of the heart.It can be used to assess the health of the valves and chambers of the heart,as well as to measure the pumping ability of the heart.
  • Radiographic tests like X-ray create pictures of the internal structures of the chest. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT) allow physicians to take a closer look at the heart and vessels.
  • Coronary Angiography is a diagnostic test in which contrast dye is injected into the blood stream in order to evaluate the anatomy and function of the heart and surrounding blood vessels. It can be done by Cardiac catheterisation or by CT Angiography.
  • The nuclear heart scan (also called Radionuclide Imaging or Radionuclide Ventriculography) uses radioactive tracers to outline the heart chambers and major blood vessels leading to and from the heart. It is used in the diagnosis of heart disease, valve disorders or heart failure.
  • PET (positron emission tomography or cardiac viability study) uses radioactive tracers to create 3-D pictures of the tissues inside the body. It is useful in patients who are unable to exercise on a treadmill or stationary cycle. Says Prof Dr G N Mahapatra, consultant and head of dept of Nuclear Medicine and RIA, Saifee Hospital, “This technique is the gold standard to assess if patients will benefit from bypass surgery or angioplasty procedure.”
  • The Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) identifies calcium within the plaque found in the arteries. More the calcium, the higher the chances of CAD.

All these tests can be used to determine heart function and status at “rest”and under “stress”conditions.


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