Sea Cucumber Jasmine Tea

Jasmine Tea with Namako (Sea Cucumber) Powder

Namako-shape Tea-bag

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Chinese-style Steamed Sea Cucumber with Tofu

Ingredients

1 pre-soaked sea cucumber about 6 oz
1 pack (10 oz) tofu
1 eggplant
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced shallot
1 stalk green onion, chopped

Seasonings

1-1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cornstarch
dash of chili oil and sesame oil

Method

  1. Rinse tofu and then put on a heat-proof dish.
  2. Cut eggplant into sections and then thick strips. Arrange on the sides of tofu. Steam until done. Pour away water and keep warm.
  3. Blanch sea cucumber in boiling water and then rinse. Cut into slices.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Saute ginger, garlic and shallot until fragrant. Add sea cucumber and seasonings. Bring to a boil and cook until sea cucumber is tender. Thicken sauce with some cornstarch solution. Sprinkle with green onion. Pour over steamed tofu and eggplant. Serve hot.

Source: Lisa Yam’s Low Cholesterol Recipes

In Pictures: Food of Res arcana (レスアルカーナ 広尾) in Tokyo, Japan

French Bistro Cuisine

The Restaurant

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex disease with varying symptoms and complications that differ for each patient. Often times, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are confused with osteoarthritis symptoms. This confusion happens commonly during the first signs of arthritic symptoms.

Despite the fact that both are types of arthritis cause joint pain, the two disease have different diagnoses. Interestingly, though the two are chronic and non-curable disease, they are completely separate conditions with different causes, symptoms, prognoses, and treatments.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis: Disease

The primary difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is the nature of the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that produces inflammatory joint symptoms throughout the body. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that is the result of increased wear and tear on joints. Osteoarthritis may produce inflammatory symptoms as well but primarily destroys joint cartilage over time.

Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 27 million Americans while only 1.3 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis. Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are more prevalent in women than in men. Rheumatoid arthritis can develop in patients anytime between the ages of 30 and 60 years old. Osteoarthritis generally develops later in life.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis: Causes

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are caused by different issues with different risk factors. This is what makes the two types of arthritis diseases primarily different.

Osteoarthritis Causes

Osteoarthritis is caused by continued wear and tear on specific joints in the patient’s body. It is a chronic condition that can get worse with age. Certain jobs or sports that involve repetitive motions can also lead to developing osteoarthritis. These activities place additional pressure on joints which may continue to wear down the cartilage. Old injuries or ones that didn’t heal properly can also increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

There is also a potential genetic risk factor associated with osteoarthritis whereby it’s possible to inherit cartilage deterioration.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown at this time. Doctors do know that rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by an autoimmune disorder whereby harmful antibodies are produced that attack the healthy joint tissue in patients. What causes the autoimmune disorder to develop in certain patients is unknown.

The primary risk factors for triggering rheumatoid arthritis are thought to be genetic, environmental, hormonal, and even certain lifestyle factors like smoking and obesity. Rheumatoid arthritis affects patients from a variety of backgrounds and so it is difficult to determine one specific cause.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis: Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms have a rather rapid onset where the condition can worsen in a matter of weeks. Osteoarthritis symptoms slowly develop and gradually worsen over a long period of time.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms affect joints all the over the body including hands, fingers, elbows, knees, and hips. Osteoarthritis frequently affects the small finger joints and thumb, as well as the knees. Rheumatoid arthritis always affects multiple joints, whereas osteoarthritis may only affect one particular joint or area of the body.

At the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms like fatigue, fever, weight loss, and loss of appetite are indicative of the disease’s development. Osteoarthritis doesn’t produce these types of additional symptoms.

One common characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis is that it produces symmetrical symptoms, meaning both sides of the body are affected similarly. Osteoarthritis doesn’t necessarily produce the same symptoms. It’s based entirely on wear and tear levels in individual joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms also include prolonged morning stiffness lasting greater than 30 minutes. Osteoarthritis patients may feel morning stiffness, but it generally subsides within the first 30 minutes.

Here is a comparison between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis symptoms:

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Joint pain, stiffness, swelling affecting multiple joints
  • Symmetrical symptoms affecting both sides of the body
  • Morning stiffness lasting longer than 30 minutes
  • Additional symptoms like fatigue, fever, and malaise

Osteoarthritis Symptoms:

  • Joint pain and stiffness usually affecting hands, fingers or knees
  • Joints on one side affected worse than on the other side
  • Morning stiffness lasting fewer than 30 minutes
  • Possible spine and hip pain as well

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis

Though both diseases are forms of arthritis, they have two separate clinical diagnoses. Sometimes it can be difficult to reach a proper diagnosis because the two have such similar physical symptoms.

Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by performing a physical examination of symptoms as well as taking into account family medical history. Doctors also perform blood tests to look for the presence of antibodies that are known triggers of rheumatoid arthritis. Imaging tests are also performed to look for signs of joint damage and inflammation.

Osteoarthritis is also diagnosed with imaging tests. X-rays and MRIs show the progressive damage and deterioration happening the joints. Osteoarthritis can’t be diagnosed with a specific blood test. However, blood tests can help rule out rheumatoid arthritis or other diseases that cause joint pain and inflammation.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis: Prognosis

Both diseases are chronic meaning they are long-term. Neither diseases have any known cures. Osteoarthritis is degenerative, meaning it will continue to worsen with time. With appropriate treatment, osteoarthritis can generally have a positive prognosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is much more unpredictable. Numerous complications can arise as a result of the autoimmune disorder. In some cases, other conditions like respiratory and cardiovascular diseases can develop. Rheumatoid arthritis patients are also at risk of diseases like lymphoma and lupus. Because rheumatoid arthritis can progress differently in each patient, there is no general prognosis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis: Treatment

Neither form of arthritis has any known cure. The objective of treatment for both types of arthritis is to reduce pain, manage symptoms, and prevent further destruction to the joints. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen are used to treat both types of arthritis symptoms by reducing swelling and pain.

Because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, specific drugs are prescribed to stop the immune system attacks and prevent further damage.

Physical and occupational therapy are both used to help patients improve mobility and adjust their daily routines. Exercise, weight management, and overall healthy living habits are essential in treating and manage both diseases.

Source: RheumatoidArthritis.org


Read also at National Institutes of Health:

Osteoporosis and Arthritis: Two Common but Different Conditions . . . . .

Studies Link Healthy Brain Aging to Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids in the Blood

Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging.

The studies add to the evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging, the researchers said. Further research is needed to test this hypothesis, they said.

The brain is a collection of interconnected parts, each of which ages at its own pace. Some brain structures, and the abilities they promote, start to deteriorate before others, said University of Illinois M.D./Ph.D student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the new research with psychology professor Aron Barbey.

“We studied a primary network of the brain — the frontoparietal network – that plays an important role in fluid intelligence and also declines early, even in healthy aging,” Zamroziewicz said. Fluid intelligence describes the ability to solve problems one has never encountered before.

“In a separate study, we examined the white matter structure of the fornix, a group of nerve fibers at the center of the brain that is important for memory,” she said.

Previous research has shown that the fornix is one of the first brain regions to be compromised in Alzheimer’s disease.

In both studies, the researchers looked for patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood of adults ages 65 to 75. They analyzed the relationship between these nutrient patterns and subjects’ brain structure and performance on cognitive tests. This research differs from other such studies, which tend to focus on only one or two polyunsaturated fatty acids, Zamroziewicz said.

“Most of the research that looks at these fats in health and healthy aging focuses on the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, but those come from fish and fish oil, and most people in the Western Hemisphere don’t eat enough of those to really see the benefits,” she said. Other fatty acids, like alpha-linolenic acid and stearidonic acid, are precursors of EPA and DHA in the body. Those fats can be derived from land-based foods such as nuts, seeds and oils.

“A central goal of research in nutritional cognitive neuroscience is to understand how these nutrients affect brain health,” Zamroziewicz said. “Some of these nutrients are thought to be more beneficial than others.”

In a study reported in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, the researchers looked for relationships between several omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, the relative size of structures in the frontal and parietal cortices of the brain, and performance on tests of fluid intelligence in healthy elderly adults.

The team found correlations between blood levels of three omega-3 fatty acids — ALA, stearidonic acid and ecosatrienoic acid — and fluid intelligence in these adults. Further analyses revealed that the size of the left frontoparietal cortex played a mediating role in this relationship. People with higher blood levels of these three nutrients tended to have larger left frontoparietal cortices, and the size of the frontoparietal cortex predicted the subjects’ performance on tests of fluid intelligence.

“A lot of research tells us that people need to be eating fish and fish oil to get neuroprotective effects from these particular fats, but this new finding suggests that even the fats that we get from nuts, seeds and oils can also make a difference in the brain,” Zamroziewicz said.

In the second study, the team found that the size of the fornix was associated with a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood, and that a more robust fornix coincided with memory preservation in older adults. Again, the researchers saw that brain structure played a mediating role between the abundance and balance of nutrients in the blood and cognition (in this case, memory). The findings are reported in the journal Aging & Disease.

“These findings have important implications for the Western diet, which tends to be misbalanced with high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and low amounts of omega-3 fatty acids,” Zamroziewicz said.

“These two studies highlight the importance of investigating the effects of groups of nutrients together, rather than focusing on one at a time,” Barbey said. “They suggest that different patterns of polyunsaturated fats promote specific aspects of cognition by strengthening the underlying neural circuits that are vulnerable to disease and age-related decline.”

Source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


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