Monday, July 22, 2013


 Amy Huai-Shiuan Huang
Amy is a second-year medical
student at the National
Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Heng-Hao Chang
Heng-Hao is a final-year
medical student at the
National Taiwan University,
Taiwan. He is a former
Secretary General of IFMSA
and NMO President of FMSTaiwan

Efforts made to reduce resident work hours in Taiwan
A wave of shock swept over Taiwan one evening in 2011.
“A medical intern, Yeng-Ting Lin, was discovered dead in
a bathroom after 36 successive hours of work on April
27th. Investigations are being done to confirm whether his
death was due to overwork.” The correspondent on television
went on, “According to a study, overworked doctors
are no more sober than a drunk person! If the situation
does not improve, who is going to guarantee that you are
not the next one to suffer from medical errors made by
overworked doctors?”.
During the previous three years in Taiwan, 9 cases of
doctors dying from being overworked had already been
reported. But it was only after the tragic event of the intern
on April 27th that the general public became aware of
doctors’ abysmal working conditions in the country. It
had never been clearer that action needed to occur to
improve the situation.

In Taiwan, medicine is considered to be a sacred
profession; seemingly omnipotent doctors are imagined
to have endless devotion, and seen to never get sick, let
alone suffer from long work hours. Indeed these beliefs
are even shared by many senior doctors - to them, medicine
is a responsibility to which they dedicate their whole
lives. They think they have the power to escape bodily
weakness in spite of unbelievably long work hours. But
the facts now come to light

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Eating watermelon delivers Viagra-like effects to the blood vessels in the body and may even increase libido, according to the research of Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center.
Watermelons have naturally occurring nutrients that can produce healthy reactions in the body. One of those nutrients is citrulline, which is converted to arginine through reactions initiated by enzymes. Arginine is a compound known to improve blood circulation throughout the entire body.
While there are many psychological and physiological problems that can cause impotence, extra nitric oxide could help those who need increased blood flow, which would also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.
“Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra,” Patil said, “but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.”

Friday, July 12, 2013


        Individuals with excessive abdominal fat have a greater risk of heart disease and cancer than individuals with a similar body mass index (BMI) who carry their fat in other areas of the body, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
        Death and disease risk associated with excess body weight can vary among individuals with similar BMI. Ectopic fat, or fat located where it is not supposed to be, in this case being visible in the abdominal area, could be the cause of this difference in risk. It's widely known that abdominal fat can be more dangerous than fat in other areas, but this study is the first to use CT scan to study specifically located fat depots for direct associations with disease risk.
With this study, researchers sought to find a link between the location of body fat and specific risk factors for heart disease and cancer, which could explain why individuals with different body types and similar BMIs have varied obesity related health conditions.
Researchers assessed ectopic fat in the abdominal area, around the heart tissue and around the aortic artery of 3,086 participants from the Framingham Heart Study and followed the participants for heart disease and cancer for up to seven years. The average age of participants was 50 years and nearly half were women.
          Each patient was assessed, using a CT scan to identify areas of fat accumulation. Over the follow-up period, patients were assessed for heart disease, cancer and death risk while adjusting for standard risk factors.
        Overall, there were 90 cardiovascular events, 141 cancer cases and 71 deaths. Abdominal fat, which is typically an indicator of fat around internal organs, was associated with incident heart disease and cancer after adjusting for clinical risk factors and general obesity.
         Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "We already know that excess stomach fat increases your risk of developing heart disease but this research confirms there is a greater risk even if you have a normal BMI.
        "The dangers of abdominal fat can't be ignored and nor can the importance of measuring waist circumference when it comes to assessing cardiovascular disease risk. You can help keep control of your weight by eating a healthy balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise."

Sunday, July 7, 2013


The researchers reviewed 21 different independent prospective cohort studies, they found that a high intake of fish and marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was associated with a 14 percent reduced risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops from breast cells. It is one of the most common cancers, responsible for nearly a quarter of all cancer cases and 14% of cancer deaths in 2008. More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year.
THE DETAILS: Researchers looked at non-vitamin, non-mineral "specialty" supplement use of more than 35,000 postmenopausal women and discovered that those who regularly used fish oil supplements were one-third less likely to develop breast cancer than those who did not use fish oil. "We looked at days per week and years of use, but not dose per day," says study author Emily White, PhD, an investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington, both in Seattle. She noted that most women who used fish oil at the time they entered the study (in the low-risk group) took it four to seven times a week.
"Risk of breast cancer did not vary by years of use," she added. Researchers also found a lower breast cancer risk in higher-risk women (older age, obesity, heavy drinking, and physical inactivity are believed to put women at a higher risk) who reported taking fish oil supplements.


Experts agree that breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby. Breast milk contains all of the necessary nutrients, in the exact right amounts, to keep your baby healthy. It also contains immune-enhancing compounds to help protect your baby from infection and disease. Best of all, breastfeeding provides many opportunities throughout the day for mom and baby to snuggle close together.
Experts also agree that simply eating a well-balanced diet, while important, is not enough to ensure that nursing moms get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and to produce nutritious breast milk. As a result, doctors recommend that nursing moms take a vitamin and mineral supplement. Often, a new mom will simply continue taking the prenatal vitamin she used during her pregnancy.