Home Remedies that Actually Work

Yogurt to Cure Bad BreathDo you know that everyday items have secret curing powers too? Below are two items that have the power to cure, and get medical explanations behind the home remedies:

Yogurt to Cure Bad Breath

Bad breath comes from a number of places, the two most common being the mouth and the stomach. The neutralizing powers of yogurt and other probiotics treat the latter cause. "Yogurt shouldn't have any effect at all on the bacteria that live on the tongue because it's not there long enough," says Robert Meltzer, MD, a New York City-based gastroenterologist and attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. However, it likely has a neutralizing effect on the acid that resides anywhere between the mouth and the stomach, including the back of the throat and the esophagus, he explains. "I think almost any milk product or food that contains live cultures would have the same effect." While yogurt can get rid of bad breath that results from gastrological conditions, like acid reflux, it won't have any real effect on bad breath that is the product of gum, liver or lung disease, says Ohio-based dentist Matthew Messina, DDS. Photo: Thinkstock

A Spoonful of Sugar to Cure Hiccups

In 1971, Edgar Engelman, MD, conducted a study to find out if a spoonful of sugar really is an effective cure for hiccups. He assembled a group of 20 patients who had been experiencing intractable hiccups for more than six hours, eight of whom had had them anywhere from a full day to six weeks. Each of the test subjects was given one teaspoon of white granulated sugar to swallow dry, and for 19 of the 20 hiccup patients, the cure was immediate. André Dubois, MD, a gastroenterologist in Bethesda, Maryland, noted in The Doctors Book of Home Remedies that "the sugar is probably acting in the mouth to modify the nervous impulses that would otherwise tell the muscles in the diaphragm to contract spasmodically." But don't try this if you have diabetes symptoms.


Twitter BOSS: Tweet too much is unhealthy

tweetIt's enough to make any PR agent wince. The co-founder of Twitter has urged its 500million users to get off the micro-blogging website and do something else instead.

Christopher Stone said he did not want anybody to spend hours using the site because it is ‘unhealthy’. Instead he said they should dip in and find what they want – then stop and do other things.

Mr Stone was one of the four men who created Twitter in 2006 and has remained creative director, helping it become one of the most influential social networks in the world.

But users have repeatedly complained that it is incredibly addictive, with some staying logged on for 12 hours at a time. At a conference in Montreal, Mr Stone, 37, said using Twitter that much was not what he intended. ‘To me, that sounds unhealthy,’ he said.


Money-Etiquette: When Friends Suggest Splitting Check EVENLY but Your Meal Costs Less

Splitting CheckAt a restaurant, your friends suggest splitting the check evenly, but your meal costs less. If these are people you don’t meet with often, divvying up the check evenly is probably the best way to handle it.

The same goes if you regularly eat out with certain friends and the price of your meal is usually about the same as theirs. “You’d hope that in a group of friends, this comes out in the wash,” says manners and lifestyle expert Thomas P. Farley. “You do not want to be the person who’s whipping out the calculator.”

If, however, you often go out with people who tend to order more-expensive meals and drinks than you do, it’s okay to ask your server for a separate check before the meal, says Daniel Post Senning, of the Emily Post Institute.

In fact, your fellow diners may appreciate the move: They can order as much as they want without feeling as though they’re imposing on you.


Why are men so “physical?”

men so physicalSpend an hour at the playground on a Saturday and you’ll have all the proof you need that males and females are just wired differently when it comes to physical activity. “From the time boys are young, they exhibit much more rough-and-tumble play than little girls do,” Dr. Brizendine explains.

Scientists believe this is because boys’ brains and bodies are marinated in testosterone while they’re in utero and have more of a hormone called MIF (mullerian inhibitory factor), which sends messages to the brain requiring that they be more physically active. When males reach puberty and adulthood, they have 10 times more testosterone than females do, which activates the need to move their muscles in a way that females do not experience, Dr. Brizendine says.

Now that you know this, ask your girlfriend to go shopping for fresh produce with you and let your guy and his buddies bond over a game of pick-up basketball. Just think: an early morning release of that pent-up energy will make him that much more willing (and able) to go see that new Reese Witherspoon movie you’ve been dying to see this evening!


The Surprising Health Benefits of Love

Health Benefits of LoveLove actually can make us healthier, so much so that if you could bottle it, you would have an incredible wonder drug, a Nobel Prize, the thanks of a grateful population and more money than Bill Gates. If a growing body of research is to be believed, love can lengthen your life, ward off stress, boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, protect you from colds and flu, blunt your response to pain, hasten wound healing, and lower your risk of dementia in old age.

Studies have shown that health-wise, men are a lot better off married than their still-single pals; their wives are less likely to suffer from depression than their unmarried bridesmaids. Let a little romance into your life, and you’re less likely to end up in a nursing home when you’re old and gray. Love and marriage (or even love without marriage) turns out to be really, really good for us. Here are the main reasons why:

Love Defuses Stress

Unchecked stress can undermine your immune system, leaving you prey to all kinds of physical ills. Some studies have shown that happy couples produce less of the hormone cortisol when they’re stressed. This is a good thing because too much cortisol suppresses the immune system leaving us open to colds, flu and worse. It also prompts the body to store fat around the abdominal organs.

This kind of “visceral fat” is linked to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Marriage appears to be particularly good for health: rates of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic ailments are all lower in married people than in single ones.

Love Heals Wounds

A study at Ohio State University used a device designed to leave little blisters on the arm and to enable doctors to monitor the immune system’s response at the tiny wound sites. The researchers used a study grant to pay 42 married couples $2,000 each to agree to the blistering procedures and then to talk about topics that provoked tension and at another time to discuss topics that engendered supportive behavior. The upshot? The blisters took a day longer to heal after sessions when the couples disagreed than when they discussed something pleasant. The wounds took two days longer to heal when there was high hostility during arguments.
Better Brain Health

The give-and-take of marriage—or living with a partner—helps keep your wits sharp.

Living as a couple in midlife was linked to lower risk for cognitive impairment (unusually poor memory and mental functioning) in a Swedish study, while other research shows socializing, including getting together with friends, belonging to a club, or doing volunteer work also helps keep your brain nimble.


Pump Some Iron for Blasting Belly Fat

Less Belly FatVigorous aerobic exercise such as fast walking or jogging is great for blasting belly fat, but a total-body weight-training routine boosts results and firms your midsection even more.

A 12-week Skidmore College study found that exercisers who did a high-intensity total-body resistance routine combined with cardio lost more than twice as much body fat--in particular, more than 4 times as much belly fat--compared with cardio-only exercisers.

The resistance-training group also ate a high-protein diet, while the other group followed a traditional, moderate-protein eating plan. Researchers speculate that the extra fat loss may be due to the stepped-up calorie burn you get after lifting weights and the extra protein.


How to Tell if Anyone Has 'Unfriended' You on Facebook

unfriended facebookA new browser add-on alerts Facebook users the instant that someone on their friends list 'unfriends' them - cutting off their link on the social network. It also alerts users when someone rejects or ignores a friend request.

The script, called Unfriend Finder, is free, and has been a huge hit worldwide. Unfriend Finder has been downloaded 44 million times. It can be installed in almost any internet browser. Users see a red counter in their menu bar which comes up '-1' the second someone unfriends them - a dig at Facebook's logo for adding friends, which is a '+1'.

The news will horrify many Facebook users. Facebook itself does not alert people when you click to 'unfriend' them, and it's become normal for people to do so stealthily.

It's a crucial 'get-out' clause from friendships that have grown apart - and useful when relationships go bad. Many users also accept friend requests to be polite, then quietly 'unfriend' the people later if they're not close.

Unfriend Finder's page says, 'Unfriends are people who were previously your friend but have either deactivated their account or have removed you from their friend list.'

'Unfriend Finder will also tell you people you have requested friendship with and who has declined your friend request.'

'Unfriend Finder makes identifying unfriends easy by displaying a red counter in the menubar with the amount of unfriends you have.'

The script works in browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, and can be downloaded for free from the official site. There are Facebook apps that also offer the same functionality, but apps that offer such functions have been a hotbed of spam in the past.

Several apps for smartphones such as Frienemy for Android also offer this functionality - but many cost money, and none offer the simplicity of watching directly in your internet browser.

Unfriend Finder is prone to bouts of down time, though, users say - if Facebook changes its website code, the script will no longer work, and Facebook does so quite frequently.


Smartphone to Improve Your Mood

Smartphone to Improve Your MoodCould a phone be smart enough to work out when we’re suffering from depression?

According to researchers at Northwestern University, the answer is yes. The very smart phone being developed by the scientists would work as a virtual therapist and sense the user’s mood.

And it will even offer a cure. The phone would send a text message urging you to get out and do something to feel better. By learning all the user's usual patterns, it can sense when he or she is isolated.

'We’re trying to develop individual algorithms for each user that can determine specific states, so their location where they are, their activity, their social context, who they’re with, what they’re engaged in and their mood,' said psychologist David Mohr.

So if someone is stuck inside for days and feeling down, the 'Mobilyze!' phone could sense it.

'It can provide them an automated text message, or an automated phone call to make a suggestion to give somebody a call or get out of the house,' he added.

Tests on eight volunteers have shown the phone doctor has helped boost their moods.


Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian Go Topless

KardashianThey unveiled their line of jeans tailored for curvaceous figures last week. But just in case shots of the girls sporting the denim along with tailored white shirts wasn't enough to generate buzz about the range, the Kardashian clan took things one step further and decided to pose topless for their campaign.

Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe can be seen wearing only the jeans they designed, posing intertwined while covering their modesty with their arms. Kim said of the shot on her website: 'Kourt, Khloe and I decided to go natural for our Kardashian Kollection denim shoot with Nick Saglimbeni and pose in only our favorite jeans! What do you think of the pic? I think it’s such a beautiful shot and Khloe and Kourtney both look so stunning! Xo'

The jeans range was a natural step for the reality stars, who are known for flaunting their fabulous curves at every available opportunity. And 31-year-old Kim took to her Twitter account to show the photo to her followers, adding a link to it along with the message: 'Keeping it simple in Kardashian Kollection denim!'


Computer That Can Decode Your Thoughts and Put Them into Words

chipIt sounds like the stuff of science fiction dreams - or nightmares. Scientists believe they have found a way to read our minds, using a computer program that can decode brain activity in our brains and put it into words.

They say it could offer a lifeline to those whose speech has been affected by stroke or degenerative disease, but many will be concerned about the implications of a technique that can eavesdrop on thoughts and reproduce them.

Neuroscientists at the University of California Berkeley put electrodes inside the skulls of brain surgery patients to monitor information from their temporal lobe, which is involved in the processing of speech and images.

As the patient listened to someone speaking, a computer program analysed how the brain processed and reproduced the words they had heard. The scientists believe the technique could also be used to read and report what they were thinking of saying next.

In the journal PLoS Biology, they write that it takes attempts at mind reading to 'a whole new level'. Robert Knight, professor of psychology and neuroscience, added: 'This is huge for patients who have damage to their speech mechanisms because of a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s [motor neurone] disease and can’t speak.


Is This The Best Candidate Yet for A Second Earth?

New EarthAstronomers have found a planet which is one of the best candidates for life ever found by telescopes on Earth. The planet is rocky, like ours, and orbits its sun within the 'habitable zone', where temperatures are just right for liquid water to exist on the planet's surface.

The temperature on the surface could be close to Earth's. 'This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it,' study leader Guillem Anglada-Escudé said.

The planet was detected using data from the European Southern Observatory's telescopes, which was analysed to look for 'wobbles' in a star's motion caused the gravitational 'tug' of planets orbiting it.

The new planet has a mass around 4.5 times the Earth, and orbits a star called GJ 667C, 22 light years from Earth - just next door, in galactic terms. The new planet absorbs around the same amount of light as our planet.

'This was expected to be a rather unlikely star to host planets. Yet there they are, around a very nearby, metal-poor example of the most common type of star in our galaxy,' said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC.

'The planet is around one star in a triple-star system. The other stars are pretty far away, but they would look pretty nice in the sky.'


The Folding Electric Car

The CityCarTiny urban car can fold in half and drive sideways, making it ideal for congested cities. European officials have taken the covers off a new electric car that folds in half to fit in to tight parking spots.

The CityCar, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, can also crab sideways, making parallel parking a cinch. The first production prototype of the car - dubbed the Hiriko – was inspected by European Union Commission chief, José Manuel Barroso, and is expected to hit the road in a 20-car trial in Spain next year.

The diminutive car, which weighs less than 500kg, folds up when parked, allowing three or four cars to fit in the average parking space. The car is driven by an electric motor at each wheel, which allows it to spin on its own axis and move sideways into parking spots. The wheel also houses the car’s suspension and steering components. Instead of a U-turn, the Hiriko can do an O-turn.

The lack of an engine or motor up front means the driver and passenger can exit through the front of the car, allowing it to fold in the middle and park nose-to-kerb in a spot that would usually require parallel parking.

The two-seater, which has a 100km range, will be initially trialled in Spain as part of an inner city car sharing scheme. The car’s lithium-ion batteries are placed low in the floor of the car, which frees up passenger and luggage space while keeping the centre of gravity low. Its makers say the car can be recharged either at home, in the office or by parking in special recharging spaces.