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How Prepared are We for DisastersThe Philippines is a disaster-prone country due to its geographic location along the boundaries of major tectonic plates and at the center of the typhoon belt that is regularly impacted by floods, typhoons and landslides. According to the World Bank Group, the country’s population growth, migration, unplanned urbanization, change in land-use pattern, environmental degradation and global climate change are the contributors to the social and economic cost of natural disasters. Likewise, according to the World Risk Index, over 100 million are subject to being a victim of these disasters and the country ranked ten (10) as a natural disaster-prone country in the world. Scary, isn’t it? 

The main concern of many Filipinos is how good can our government be in terms of managing natural disasters and/ or calamities? Are there well-established procedures to follow in times of disaster? How about the budget allocation of the government in times of disaster? The government is doing its best to sustain the country's basic necessities when hit with disasters such as shelter, food, toiletries and clothing. Very simple to note but very hard to achieve as the national budget reaching the micro-individual level is almost impossible. The government should strictly monitor the national fund released for the affected families and make sure it reaches the hands of the victims of natural calamities. With this and with devolution, the national government and the local government units need to work hand in hand in addressing the posing and actual problems and in mitigating the impact of disasters even before it happens. Likewise, the National Nutrition Council is coordinating with all LGUs to organize their respective Local Nutrition Clusters which will be immediately activated in times of disasters and emergencies to ensure that nutritional wellbeing of their constituents are safeguarded.

Many of us are truly worried about the risk of our loved ones in times of disaster and questioning the government’s capacity in handling situations like this. But have we also questioned ourselves if we are ready for calamities and disasters? And how prepared are we to face these? We should also be responsible in our household and not depend solely on what the government can do for us. Disasters and emergencies are inevitable. Thus, as early as now we have to secure the safety of our household and need to have an evacuation plan with the rest of the family members. Having enough food packs in case of an emergency must also be secured with dry folded clothing good enough for 3-5 days sustenance. All documents and cash cards should also be kept in one place so if an emergency arises it is easy for us to just grab or take hold of our important documents and cash on the go.  

 

NO II Joanna Marie E. Baltazar

References:

1. Natural Disaster Risk Management in the Philippines: Reducing Vulnerability

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/8754?locale-attribute=en

2. Philippines looks to improve disaster preparedness with geospatial tech

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/03/philippines-looks-to-improve-disaster-preparedness-with-geospatial-tech/

Whey Protein Your Way to Losing WeightMany of us try to lose those extra pounds for us to feel more assured in our own skin. It is our discretion to live a healthy lifestyle and wanting to look lean as this can boost our self-confidence. Losing weight is never easy. It entails a lot of challenges and it takes commitment to be able to succeed in achieving the ideal body weight goal.  To supplement the road to a healthy lifestyle and ideal weight, we should consider our dietary practices as well. 

All proteins are not created equally when it comes to weight loss management but whey protein intake shows a significant improvement for those who wanted to lose weight. For years now, it has been widely consumed by those individuals trying to manage their weights and is widely sold in gym facilities. But what is whey protein? How can it help us in reducing our weight? Whey protein is a protein component of milk together with casein but when added enzyme to milk, it separates out the whey from the casein. The proteins in whey are of a very high quality loaded with essential amino acids that include leucine and cysteine.

Whey protein is widely known to aid weight loss as it is by far the most satiating macronutrient. Protein can boost energy expenditure by 80-100 calories per day, and makes people automatically eat up to 441 fewer calories per day (Source: Healthline). This means it boosts metabolism and reduces appetite leads to controlled meal intake. It also helps increase fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass. 

Dosage or the amount of protein to take may vary from person to person’s daily requirements. For a healthy adult, it requires at least 0.8g-1.0g per kilogram body weight. However, for people with existing illness/disease like kidney and/or liver issues , the lower protein requirement must be followed. Do not stress yourself from making approximations to meet your fitspiration. Better seek professional advice from a diet expert before starting to take whey protein to get the desired result without complication.

 

NO II Joanna Marie E. Baltazar

 

References:

  1. Whey protein may be helpful for weight loss

https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20110715/whey-protein-may-be-helpful-for-weight-loss#1

  1. What are the benefits and risks of whey protein?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263371#benefits

  1. Whey Protein 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whey-protein-101#protein-and-bcaa

  1. Which protein to choose? Whey Concentrate, Isolate or Hydrolyzate?

https://gymbeam.com/blog/which-protein-to-choose-whey-concentrate-isolate-or-hydrolyzate/

The Yucky Truth About HookwormsDeworming is among the flagship programs of the Department of Health (DOH). It has been conducted nationwide by the government every January and July of every year. But why the hassle of doing such an activity? Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis is considered a public health concern by the health sectors because of its effects on the growth and development of a child. It can cause anemia, malnutrition, weakness, impaired physical and cognitive development. Hookworm infections are very much common in tropical and subtropical areas with high poverty rates. Where these parasites are more likely to survive given the ideal environment for them to grow. Because of this, hookworms are common in children ages 2-14 years old especially in school-age children as this age group is fond of doing outdoor activities and most are playing barefooted. Now, what are hookworms and how are these parasites being transferred from a person to another?

Although hookworms are not a major killer of children but can contribute to children's sicknesses that can last all throughout childhood and adolescence stages. Thus, understanding hookworm is important to be able to prevent acquiring these parasites in our children. According to Lori Smith of Medical News Today, hookworms are parasites that cause infection in people of all ages that enter the body through the skin that can lead to a number of complications that can pass through via an infected human feces. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can be transferred through feces used as a soil fertilizer for gardening or defecating near the vegetable garden. The egg then deposited to the soil matures and hatches releasing larvae, and these larvae can now penetrate the skin of humans. Once the larvae enter the human body they will make their way to the bloodstream to the lungs and to the intestine where they can get nutrients to survive. At this stage, malnutrition can occur when prolonged exposure to hookworms in the children’s system can lead to stunted growth, causes cognitive and intellectual deficits, and produce damage to selected target organs such as the brain, liver, and urinary tract, and eventually to premature deaths. 

Let this be a reminder to all mothers to instruct their children to always wear slippers and/or shoes outdoors and even indoors, frequent washing of hands and personal hygiene is important to prevent children from acquiring these parasites. Let us take care of our children as we take care of the future of this country. 

NO II Joanna Marie E. Baltazar

References:

  1. What’s to know about hookworm infection?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313077

  1. Parasites- Hookworm

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/hookworm/index.html

  1. Hookworm Infection

https://www.healthline.com/health/hookworm

Do Women Need to Fear PCOSPolycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), also known as polycystic ovary disease, functional ovarian hyperandrogenism, ovarian hyperthecosis, sclerocystic ovary syndrome, and Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. According to the World Health Organization, PCOS affects an estimated 116 million women worldwide as of 2010. 

Women with PCOS may have irregular menstrual periods or elevated male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. This hormone imbalance can affect women’s ability to bear a child and it can also cause acne, unwanted hair growth on the face and body, and may increase the risk of other serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Aside from high levels of androgens, women who have excess weight or being overweight and whose mother and sister have type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop PCOS.

The exact causes of PCOS are not known at this time but factors such as excess insulin, low-grade inflammation, heredity, and high levels of androgen play a part. Complications may also include infertility, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, metabolic syndromes including high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety and eating disorders, abnormal uterine bleeding and cancer of the uterine lining.

Now, do women need to be afraid of this condition? Not really because somehow PCOS is manageable. Lifestyle changes are the first treatments doctors recommend to women diagnosed with PCOS. Making healthy changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight is the most effective method of restoring normal ovulation and menstruation. Engaging in regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. It can also help prevent or delay other health problems. Doctors may also recommend medicines that can help you ovulate, as well as reduce acne and hair growth and help with weight loss. Just be yourself and be conscious of your health! 

 

-PNC-ZDN Rowence F. Zorilla

References:

1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/symptoms-causes/syc-20353439 

2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Insights Into Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Pharmacological And Non-Pharmacological Treatment

https://www.openaccessjournals.com/articles/polycystic-ovarian-syndrome-insights-into-pathogenesis-diagnosis-prognosis-pharmacological-and-nonpharmacological-treatment.html#:~:text=Epidemiology%20of%20PCOS&text=The%20World%20Health%20Organization%20estimates,were%20previously%20undiagnosed%20%5B7%5D.

 

3. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/pcos.html

 

4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

https://www.webmd.com/women/what-is-pcos

 

RO9 lactoseHave you ever heard about Lactose Intolerance? Most probably, your friend or a family member or even you have experienced a cramping upset stomach due to this for it is very common. In fact, it’s thought to affect around 65% of the world’s population according to Talia F. Malik et al. Most Filipinos are genetically intolerant to lactose, the main sugar found in dairy. Ingestion of milk causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea. People with lactose intolerance experience digestive problems when they eat dairy. The condition isn’t serious but may be unpleasant

Dark Chocolates Bright SecretsDo you enjoy occasional or frequent squares of dark chocolate? For the past years, studies have shown the potential health benefits of consuming dark chocolates in cardiovascular conditions including lowering blood pressure.  But while some chocolate lovers view chocolate as a healthy food, others see it as a guilty pleasure which may also pose health threats. So, what do you think it is? Is dark chocolate good or bad for us?

Chocolates are not created equal. Dark chocolate is unique in its own rights. Dark chocolate’s halo comes from cocoa that contains flavonoids that are loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active. These flavonoids are a type of polyphenol that are a group of phytochemicals and flavonols have anti-inflammatory properties which may help protect against cardiovascular disease.

If you buy quality dark chocolates with high cocoa content that contain a decent amount of soluble fiber and are also loaded with minerals. A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber, 67% of iron, 58% of magnesium, 89% of copper, 98% of manganese, and traces of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.

But how does dark chocolate seem to benefit our heart? Dark chocolate’s properties in controlling blood pressure have been thought to be connected with the presence of flavonols which can relax the arteries which eventually lower the blood pressure and reduce the risk for heart diseases. Apart from which, it also appears to be highly protective against the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which helps in bringing down the bad fats. 

The bottom line is that dark chocolates can provide health benefits being especially protective against heart disease. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go all out and consume lots of chocolate every day. It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat.  Maybe have a square or two after dinner and try to really savor them. If you want the benefits of cocoa without the calories in chocolate, consider making a hot cocoa without any cream or sugar. 

NO II Joanna Marie E. Baltazar

References:

  1. What are the health benefits of dark chocolate?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/dark-chocolate

  1. Chocolate and prevention of cardiovascular disease: A systematic review

https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-3-2

  1. Are there health benefits from chocolate?

https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/02/12/are-there-health-benefits-from-chocolate