Vitamin D - Give me some sunshine

Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining normal calcium levels in the body and mineralization of bones. The past decade has seen a renewed interest in this vitamin called the ‘sunshine Vitamin’.

The renewed interest is attributed to the medical fraternity’s increasing realization that the benefits of Vitamin D extend far beyond healthy bones.
Some of its numerous effects have been observed under various clinical conditions and there have been epidemiological suggestions stating that children and adults with adequate or sufficient levels of Vitamin D are at lower risk for metabolic syndrome, hypertension and high blood sugar.

Vitamin D level in a person is assessed in terms of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D concentration (It is abbreviated as 25(OH)D and the test too is referred to as such).

How much of Vitamin D we need Daily?

Dietary intake of Vitamin D to maximize bone health and muscle function for patients at risk for Vitamin D deficiency is as follows:
1. Infants and children aged 0-1 year: at least 400 IU/day
2. Children aged 1-18: 600 IU/day
3. Adults aged 19-50: 600 IU/day
4. Adults aged 50-70 and above: 600 and 800 IU/day
5. Pregnant and lactating women: 600 IU/day
(IU is read as the standard International Unit. )
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced in the skin natural in response to ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight. In food it can be obtained from animal sources such as deep-sea fatty fish, egg yolks or liver or from dietary supplements.

Prevalence of Vitamin D

About 50 to 90 per cent of the Indian population reportedly shows Vitamin D deficiency of varying degrees. Australia, Middle East, Africa and South America are the other regions or populations know to be affected by Vitamin D deficiency. Of late, countries like the US, UK and Canada too have been contending with significant levels of Vitamin D deficiency in their elderly.
What has come to be the cause for alarm is the increasing prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in adolescents – an age group that is supposedly healthy and must be healthy as the immediate future’s working population of any society.
  • In the US, for example, more than 50 per cent of Hispanic and African-American adolescents (in Boston area) and 48 per cent white pre-adolescent girls in (Maine area) were found with 25 hydroxy-vitamin D concentration – 25(OH) D that is much below the cut-off level.
  • In a study of Vitamin D levels in 3,000 teenagers (both boys and girls), the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, found that those with low levels of Vitamin D were 2.36 times more likely to suffer from hypertension, 2.5 times more likely to have blood sugar levels and four times more likely to have Metabolic Syndrome.
  • Another trial involving girls aged between 12 and 14 years showed that those with lower Vitamin D levels had lesser muscle strength and weaker physical performance.

Deficiency in Adults and Children

Lack of Vitamin D typically presents with bone deformity (rickets) or low calcium levels in infancy and childhood.
In adults, it causes reduced bone mineral density, musculoskeletal pain and weakness. The elderly in particular have increased sway and frequent falls, and are at increased risk for fractures.
Of late, other health issues like cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, various forms of cancer, and auto-immune conditions too, have been linked to Vitamin D deficiency.
Tests for Vitamin D Status
Laboratory tests to assess 25(OH)D are available. The result classifies the person’s status as Vitamin D sufficient or insufficient or deficient.

Are dietary Solutions Available against Vitamin D Deficiency?

Few foods have substantial Vitamin D content. Outdoor sun exposure and intake of vitamin D supplements leads to higher serum Vitamin d. If sunlight exposure is adequate, the body can produce Vitamin D without the need for supplementation through diet.
In the US, Canada and parts of Europe, milk, cheese and fruit juices are supplemented with Vitamin D supplementation are practically nonexistent. It may be cost-effective to introduce food supplementation in India
The best source of Vitamin D
Without doubt, sensible exposure to sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D.

Who are at Risk for lack of Vitamin D?

Various contribute to Vitamin D deficiency and the risk groups too are varied.
  • Exclusively breast-fed infants and children.
  • Those aged over 65 years.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Fully-clothed individuals (like a burqua where hardly any part of the body is exposed to sunlight).
  • Home – bound people.
  • Institutional people.
  • Obese individuals
  • Vegetarians.
  • Alcoholics.
  • Users of sunscreens with high SPF (which block out UVA and UVB rays completely).
  • People living at high altitudes.
  • Dark skinned people, where skin pigmentation decreases the production of Vitamin D.
 

9 Natural Ways to Kill Household Bugs

No one wants to deal with creepy crawly bugs inside their home. Whether it's a spider, a cockroach, or a colony of ants, it's not a situation that is welcomed by anyone. 

Then again, most of us don't want to spray harmful chemicals inside the house to kill those unwelcome guests. Thankfully, there are all-natural ways to kill household bugs using items you may already have at home.

Cornmeal 


Cornmeal has a sweet taste that ants cannot resist, but also can't digest. Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal where you see ants. They'll eat the cornmeal, carry it off and feed it to other ants, and then die.

Garlic 


Garlic repels more than just vampires, it will repel ants and cockroaches, too! Leave a few garlic cloves where you've seen the insects, and the bugs will run in the opposite direction. Replace the cloves when they dry out.

Vegetable oil 

Vegetable Oil Kill household bugs like earwigs and silverfish by pouring vegetable oil to a shallow dish. The bugs won't be able to climb back out once they enter, and will die a slippery death.

Basil 

You already know that fresh basil is delicious is many of your favorite recipes, but did you also know it's great for repelling bugs naturally? Snip a few fresh leaves and hang them in doorways to repel mosquitos and flies.

Cayenne pepper  

Cayenne pepper Kill household bugs attached to plants with a little cayenne pepper. In a spray bottle, combine the pepper with water, and add a few drops of dish soap. Spray plant leaves with the mixture, and it will kill any bugs that are attached.

Eucalyptus oil 

Use this essential oil to kill cockroaches, spiders, and other small insects. It is non-toxic, and leaves a pleasant smell behind. To use, combine the oil with water and store in a spray bottle. When you see the bug, spray it with the mixture. The insect will die almost immediately.

Sticky candy 

Draw mice to a mouse trap with sticky candy. Use something sweet and sticky, such as gumdrops or taffy. Mice can't resist it! Just make sure you only use this where it is out the sight of young children.

Diatomaceous Earth 

If you've never heard of diatomaceous earth, you're not alone. It's a mouthful to say, but a handy substance to have to kill household bugs and garden pests. DE (short for diatomaceous earth) is a powdery substance that can be used to kill fleas, ants, spiders, and other insects. Look for food-grade DE, which can be used safely all over the house to kill bugs naturally.

Vinegar 

Mist white distilled vinegar in the kitchen to kill and repel small insects. Vinegar is completely safe to use around food, but is strong enough to put a quick end to an indoor bug problem.
Remember, you won't have to go through the trouble of killing household bugs if you can find a way to keep them out. One way to do that is to take away what attracts them in the first place. Clean up any food and beverage spills immediately. Don't store pet food dishes on the floor. And remember to seal up any cracks that may allow bugs indoors in the first place.

 

Union Public Service Commission - 2013

Indian Economic Service/ Indian Statistical Service Examination, 2013-Union Public Service Commission

Important Dates

Date of Notification : August 17, 2013
Last Date for Receipt of Applications either by hand or by Post/Speed Post or by Courier : September 16, 2013
Date of Examination : December 7, 2013  
 
 Indian Economic/Statistical Services Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to recruit Grade IV officers for the Indian Statistical Service (ISS) and Indian Economic Service (IES).

Age Limits : The candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on the 1st August, 2013 i.e. he/ she must have been born not earlier than 2nd August, 1983 and not later than 1st August, 1992. The Upper age limit is relaxable for candidates belonging to scheduled castes/scheduled tribes/ other backward classes and certain other categories.

Educational Qualification:

Post-graduate degree in Economics/ Applied Economics/ Busines Economics/ Econometrics and a candidate for the Indian Statistical must have obtained a Post-Graduate degree in Statistics/ Mathematical Statistics/ Applied Statistics from a recognised University or equivalent.

Candidates who are studying in final year Degree Course and have yet to pass final year degree examination or equivalent examination can also apply for examination, but they will be required to submit proof of passing by the specified dates published in Commission's Notice for Examination.

Duration of Examination : 03 Days

Physical Standards :

Candidates must be physically fit according to physical standards for admission to Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination, 2013 as per Regulations.

How to Apply :

This application form along with an Information Brochure containing general instructions for filling up the form, an acknowledgement card and an envelope for sending the application is obtainable from the designated Head Post Offices/Post Offices throughout the country and may be purchased against cash payment of Rs.20/-

Candidates must use only the form supplied with the Information Brochure. Form should be purchased from the designated Post Offices only and not from any other agency. Candidates must not use photocopy/ reproduction/ unauthorisedly printed copy of the Form. This will entail rejection. Each form can be used only once and for only one examination.

Note : In case candidates have any difficulty in obtaining Application form/ central recruitment fee stamp from any designated head post offices, they should immediately contact concerned postmaster or UPSC's "Forms Supply Monitoring Cell" Over Telephone No. 011-23389366/ Fax No. 011-23387310.

For further details, visit UPSC website.
 
 
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