In Pictures: Food of Kiki Noodle Bar in Hong Kong

Taiwanese-style Noodles

Coconut Prawn Soup


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
800 ml coconut milk
1/4 cup fish sauce
fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
thinly sliced lime rind, to garnish

Curry Paste

6 long dried red chillies
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 red Asian shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger
4 fresh coriander roots, well rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander stems
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 stems lemon grass, white part only, sliced (reserve the stems for the stock)
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
I teaspoon shrimp paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


700 g raw medium prawns
4 red Asian shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic
reserved grassy ends of lemon grass stems
6 black peppercorns


  1. To make the curry paste, soak the chillies in boiling water for 20 minutes, then drain. Toss the spices and peppercorns in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Grind to a powder, then transfer to a food processor and add the remaining paste ingredients and 1 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, adding a little water, if necessary.
  2. Peel and devein the prawns, leaving the tails intact. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reserve the heads and shells.
  3. To make the stock, dry-fry the prawn heads and shells in a wok over high heat for 5 minutes, or until orange. Add the remaining stock ingredients and 1.5 litres water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, simmer for 15-20 minutes, then strain into a bowl.
  4. Heat a clean, dry wok over medium heat, add the oil and swirl to coat the side. Add 3 tablespoons of the curry paste and stir constantly over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or Until fragrant. Stir in the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the prawns and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until they are cooked. Stir in the fish sauce and garnish with coriander leaves and lime rind.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

Regular Exercise Is Good for Your Heart, No Matter How Old You Are!

Regular exercise is highly beneficial for all patients with cardiovascular disease regardless of age, report investigators in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, published by Elsevier. Their results showed that the patients who benefited most from cardiac rehabilitation were those who started out with the greatest physical impairment.

Elderly patients are at a higher risk for complications and accelerated physical deconditioning after a cardiovascular event, yet older patients are largely underrepresented in rehabilitation programs. Studies have shown that this might be due to a lack of referral and encouragement to attend cardiac rehabilitation in older patients.

“Aging is associated with several factors such as increased inflammation or oxidative stress that predispose people to cardiovascular diseases. As a result, elderly patients are usually less fit than their younger counterparts, and deconditioning is accelerated once cardiovascular disease is established,” explained lead investigator Gaëlle Deley, PhD, INSERM UMR1093 – CAPS, Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Burgundy Franche-Comté, Dijon, France. “However, there are few data about the impact of patient age on the physical and psychological effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation.”

Several studies have looked at the effects of cardiac rehabilitation in older adults. However, these data often focus on patients above the age of 65 with no distinction between old and very old patients and examine either physical or psychological outcomes but not both.

The goal of this study was to compare the effects of an exercise?based cardiac rehabilitation program on physical and psychological parameters in young, old, and very old patients. It also aimed to identify the features that best predicted cardiac rehabilitation outcome.

All patients referred to Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Clinique Les Rosiers, Dijon, France from January 2015 to September 2017 were included in this single-center prospective study. Investigators examined 733 patients who completed a 25-session cardiac rehabilitation program. They were divided into three subgroups: less than 65 years old; between 65 and 80 years old; and 80 years or older. Physical and psychological variables such as scores of anxiety and depression were evaluated for all patients before and after cardiac rehabilitation.

Following the intervention, all patients experienced improvements. “We found a few weeks of exercise training not only significantly improved exercise capacity, but also decreased anxiety and depression. Patients with the greatest physical impairments at baseline benefited the most from exercise,” commented Dr. Deley. “Another interesting result was that patients younger than 65 who were very anxious before rehabilitation benefited the most from exercise training. A similar result was found for depressed patients older than 65. These improvements will surely have a great positive impact on patients’ independence and quality of life and might help both clinicians and patients to realize how beneficial exercise rehabilitation can be.”

In an accompanying editorial, Codie R. Rouleau, PhD, RPsych, Clinical Psychologist, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Psychology, and James A. Stone, MD, PhD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, both at the University of Calgary and TotalCardiology Research Network in Calgary, AB, Canada, point out that the study’s conclusion that age does not limit physical performance outcomes is inconsistent with some previous research showing that advancing age, especially for patients 60 years and older, is associated with smaller cardiorespiratory fitness gains during cardiac rehabilitation. The reasons may relate to different program characteristics, different methods of physical performance measurement, or the exceptional adherence rate reported in the study (average 98.6 per cent prescribed sessions attended).

“Older adults who are eligible for cardiac rehabilitation have a decreased likelihood of receiving a referral compared to their younger counterparts and the present report may serve as a catalyst for clinicians to recognize that older adults with coronary artery disease stand to benefit only if referred and given the opportunity to participate,” commented Dr. Rouleau.

“A strength of this work is the examination of changes in psychosocial well-being during cardiac rehabilitation–an understudied outcome that is often highly valued by patients,” added Dr. Stone. “The work of Deley et al. may help inform strategies to augment the effects of rehabilitation, reach more patients with a greater likelihood of achieving clinical benefit, and derive improved outcomes from higher value healthcare.”

Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death globally. Nearly 18 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2016, representing over 30 per cent of all global deaths according to the World Health Organization. While cardiovascular diseases increasingly affect young people, the number of people above the age of 65 years, and even more above the age of 80 years, dying from cardiovascular diseases is also increasing.

Source: EurekAlert!

Large, Long-term Study Suggests Link Between Eating Mushrooms and A Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Results from the first long-term cohort study of more than 36,000 Japanese men over decades suggest an association between eating mushrooms and a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Their findings were published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland — a small walnut-shaped gland found only in men, which produces the fluid that forms part of the semen — start to grow out of control. It is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting men, with over 1.2 million new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018, the risk increasing with age.

Mushrooms are widely in used in Asia, both for their nutritional value and medicinal properties.

“Test-tube studies and studies conducted on living organisms have shown that mushrooms have the potential to prevent prostate cancer,” said Shu Zhang, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Department of Health Informatics and Public Health at Tohoku University School of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and lead author of the study.

“However, the relationship between mushroom consumption and incident prostate cancer in humans has never been investigated before.”

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first cohort study indicating the prostate cancer-preventive potential of mushrooms at a population level,” said Zhang. “Although our study suggests regular consumption of mushrooms may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, we also want to emphasize that eating a healthy and balanced diet is much more important than filling your shopping basket with mushrooms.” said Zhang.

For this study, the researchers monitored two cohorts consisting of a total of 36,499 men between the ages of 40 and 79 years in Miyagi and Ohsaki, Japan, from 1990 and 1994 respectively. The follow-up duration for the Miyagi cohort extended from June 1, 1990 to December 31, 2014 (24.5 years), while the follow-up duration for the Ohsaki cohort extended from January 1, 1995 to March 31, 2008 (13.25 years). The men were asked to complete a questionnaire related to their lifestyle choices, such as mushroom and other food consumption, physical activity, smoking and drinking habits, as well as provide information on their education, and family and medical history.

Long-term follow-up of the participants indicated that consuming mushrooms on a regular basis reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men, and was especially significant in men aged 50 and older and in men whose diet consisted largely of meat and dairy products, with limited consumption of fruit and vegetables. Statistical analysis of the data (using the Cox proportional hazards model) indicated that regular mushroom consumption was related to a lower risk of prostate cancer regardless of how much fruit and vegetables, or meat and dairy products were consumed. Of the participants, 3.3% developed prostate cancer during the follow-up period. Participants who consumed mushrooms once or twice a week had an 8% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, compared to those who ate mushrooms less than once per week, while those who consumed mushrooms three or more times per week had a 17% lower risk than those who ate mushrooms less than once a week.

According to Zhang, “mushrooms are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, especially L-ergothioneine” — which is believed to mitigate against oxidative stress, a cellular imbalance resulting from poor diet and lifestyle choices and exposure to environmental toxins that can lead to chronic inflammation that is responsible for chronic diseases such as cancer.

“The results of our study suggest mushrooms may have a positive health effect on humans,” said Zhang. “Based on these findings, further studies that provide more information on dietary intake of mushrooms in other populations and settings are required to confirm this relationship.”

“Considering the average American consumes less than 5 grams of mushrooms per day, which is lower than that consumed by the participants in this study (7.6 g/day) one would expect that even a small increase in mushroom consumption to offer potential health benefits,” said Zhang.

Source: Tohoku University School of Public Health

Study: Deep Brain Stimulation May Relieve Ringing in the Ears

Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can make life miserable, but a brain implant may help, preliminary research suggests.

In a phase 1 trial of five patients whose severe tinnitus did not respond to other treatments, deep brain stimulation (DBS) diminished the ringing in four. The fifth patient received no relief, the researchers reported.

In DBS, electrodes are implanted in the brain and attached to a device that sends a small electrical current to them.

Five weeks after brain surgery, patients began receiving various levels of stimulation in search of the best setting for their device. Once it was found (after five to 13 months) constant stimulation was given for 24 weeks.

None of the patients had serious side effects of surgery or brain stimulation, according to lead author Dr. Steven Cheung, an otologist-neurotologist at the University of California, San Francisco. He and his colleagues published their report online recently in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Side effects included pain and headache after surgery. Effects of brain stimulation included worsening of tinnitus and, in one patient, visual phantoms as settings were being adjusted, according to the report.

Based on these results, the researchers hope to do a phase 2 trial, which would refine the technique.

About 15% of people have ringing in the ears. For most, symptoms are bearable and don’t need treatment, the study authors said in a journal news release.

For others, however, tinnitus is intrusive. A variety of drug, acoustic and behavioral therapies can diminish the ringing, which can cause mental fatigue and a reduced sense of well-being.

Source: HealthDay

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