Friday, June 25, 2010

Different parts of our body ages at different times

WE all accept that getting older is inevitable, and now leading clinicians have revealed the exact age when different body parts start to decline, most alarming being the brain and lungs.

French doctors have found that the quality of men's' sperm starts to deteriorate by 35, so that by the time a man is 45 a third of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Here, with the help of leading clinicians, Angela Epstein tells the Daily Mail the ages when different parts of the body start to lose their battle with time.

BRAIN - Starts ageing at 20

As we get older, the number of nerve cells - or neurons - in the brain decrease. We start with around 100 billion, but in our 20s this number starts to decline. By 40, we could be losing up to 10,000 per day, affecting memory, co-ordination and brain function.

GUT - Starts ageing at 55

A healthy gut has good balance betwee harmful and ‘friendly’ bacteria. But levels of friendly bacteria in the gut drop significantly after 55, particularly in the large intestine, says Tom MacDonald, professor of immunology at Barts And The London medical school. As a result, we suffer from poor digestion and an increased risk of gut disease. Constipation is more likely as we age, as the flow of digestive juices from the stomach, liver, pancreas and small intestine slows down.

BREASTS - Start ageing at 35

BY their mid-30s, women's breasts start losing tissue and fat, reducing size and fullness. Sagging starts properly at 40 and the areola (the area surrounding the nipple) can shrink considerably.

BLADDER - Starts ageing at 65

Loss of bladder control is more likely when you hit 65. Women are more vulnerable to bladder problems as, after the menopause, declining oestrogen levels make tissues in the urethra - the tube through which urine passes - thinner and weaker, reducing bladder support.... Bladder capacity in an older adult generally is about half that of a younger person - about two cups in a 30-year-old and one cup in a 70-year-old.

LUNGS - Start ageing at 20

Lung capacity slowly starts to decrease from th! e age of 20. By the age of 40, some people are already experiencing breathlessness. This is partly because the muscles and the rib cage which control breathing stiffen up.

VOICE - Starts ageing at 65

Our voices become quieter and hoarser with age. The soft tissues in the voice box (larynx) weaken, affecting the pitch, loudness and quality of the voice. A woman's voice may become huskier and lower in pitch, whereas a man's might become thinner and higher.

EYES - Start ageing at 40

Glasses are the norm for many over-40s as failing eyesight kicks in - usually long-sightedness, affecting our ability to see objects up close.

HEART - Starts ageing at 40

The heart pumps blood less effectively around the body as we get older. This is because blood vessels become less elastic, while arteries can harden or become blocked because of fatty deposits forming on the coronary arteries - caused by eating too much saturated fat. The blood supply to the heart is then reduced, resulting in painful angina. Men over 45 and women over 55 are at greater risk of a heart attack...

LIVER - Starts ageing at 70

This is the only organ in the body which seems to defy the aging process.

KIDNEYS - Starts ageing at 50

With kidneys, the number of filtering units (nephrons) that remove waste from the bloodstream starts to reduce in middle age.

PROSTATE - Starts ageing at 50

The prostate often becomes enlarged with age, leading to problems such as increased need to urinate, says Professor Roger Kirby, director of the Prostate Centre in London. This is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and affects half of men over 50, but rarely those under 40. It occurs when the prostate absorbs large amounts of the male sex hormone testosterone, which increases the growth of cells in the prostate. A normal prostate is the size of a walnut, but the condition can increase this to the size of a tangerine.

BONES - Start ageing at 35

'Throughout our life, old bone is broken down by cells called osteoclasts and replaced by bone-building cells called osteoblasts - a process called bone turnover,' explains Robert Moots, professor of rheumatology at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool . Children's bone growth is rapid - the skeleton takes just two years to renew itself completely. In adults, this can take ten years. Until our mid-20s, bone density is still increasing. But at 35 bones loss begins as part of the natural ageing process.

TEETH - Start ageing at 40

As we age, we produce less saliva, which washes away bacteria, so teeth and gums are more vulnerable to decay..? Receding gums - when tissue is lost from gums around the teeth - is common in adults over 40.

MUSCLES - Start ageing at 30

Muscle is constantly being built up and broken down, a process which is well balanced in young adults. However, by the time we're 30, breakdown is greater than buildup, explains Professor Robert Moots. Once adults reach 40, they start to lose between 0.5 and 2 per cent of their muscle each year. Regular exercise can help prevent this.

HEARING - Starts ageing mid-50s

More than half of people over 60 lose hearing because of their age, according to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.

SKIN - Starts ageing mid-20s

The skin starts to age naturally in your mid-20s.

TASTE AND SMELL - Start ageing at 60

We start out in life with about 10,000 taste buds scattered on the tongue. This number can halve later in life. After we turn 60, taste and smell gradually decline, partly as a result of the normal ageing process.

FERTILITY - Starts ageing at 35

Female fertility begins to decline after 35, as the number and quality of eggs in the ovaries start to fall. The lining of the womb may become thinner, making it less likely for a fertilised egg to take and also creating an environment hostile to sperm.

HAIR - Starts ageing at 30

Male hair loss usually begins in the 30s. Hair is made in tiny pouches just under the skin's surface, known as follicles. A hair normally grows from each follicle for about three years, is then shed, and a new hair grows. Most people will have some grey hair by the age of 35. When we are young, our hair is coloure d by the pigments produced by cells in the hair follicle known as melanocytes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saint Namdev's story

Saint Namdev's story in a remarkable way resembles the story of our own Nandanar.

Bhagat Namdev Ji

Bhagat Namdev Ji

God's name was always on the lips of Bhagat Namdev. He was asked by the king to show miracles. Bhagat Namdev refused to do so and was thrown before a drunk elephant to be crushed to death. God saved His own saint. Bhagat Namdev spent the last days of his life in village Ghuman, now in district Gurdaspur, Punjab (India).

        Guru Granth Sahib recognizes many saints of the Bhakti movement of medieval times. Bhagat Namdev was one of the saints belonging to this movement, which swept across the North India from 1100 CE till 1600 CE. When fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan, compiled Guru Granth Sahib, he incorporated some of the verses of these saints of Bhakti movement who spoke of the same things which the Sikh Gurus did, that is the reason that Guru Granth Sahib contains verses of such saints. In some cases Guru Granth Sahib is the only source where the voice of such saints is heard.

        According to the generally accepted version of the current traditions, Namdev was born in CE 1270 to Damasheti, a low-caste tailor, and his wife, Gonabai, in the village of Naras Vamani, in Satara district of present day Maharashtra. Janabai, the family's maidservant and a bhagat and poetess in her own right, records the tradition that Namdev was born to Gonabai as a result of her worship of Vitthala in Pandharpur. Namdev was married before he was eleven years of age to Rajabai, daughter of Govinda Sheti Sadavarte. He had four sons and one daughter. Under the influence of saint Jnanadeva, Namdev was converted to the path of bhakti. Vitthala of Pandharpur was now the object of his devotions and he spent much of his time in worship and kirtan, chanting mostly verses of his own composition. In the company of Jnanadeva and other saints, he roamed about the country and later came to the Punjab where he is said to have lived for more than twenty years at Ghuman, in Gurdaspur district. A Gurdwara was built there in his memory. This Gurdwara was constructed by Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and the tank by its side was repaired by Rani Sada Kaur, mother-in-law of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.                             In his early fifties, Namdev settled down at Pandharpur where he gathered a group of devotees around himself. His abhangas or devotional lyrics became very popular, and people thronged to listen to his kirtan. Some of Namdev's supposed songs have been collected in Namdevachi Gatha, which also includes the long autobiographical poem Tirathavah. His Hindi verse and his extended visit to the Punjab carried his fame far beyond the borders of Maharashtra. Sixty-one of his hymns are included in Sikh Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. These hymns or shabads share the common characteristic of lauding the One Supreme God distinct from his supposed earlier verse, which carries traces of idolatry. In the course of his spiritual quest, Namdev had, from being a worshipper of the Divine in the idol form, become a devotee of the attributeless (nirguna) Absolute.

          Bhagat Namdev is a pioneer of the radical bhakti school. Though he appeared a century earlier than Kabir, his religious and social views are very much like those of Kabir. He unambiguously repudiates all the four fundamentals of Vaisnavism. Though in his devotional approach, he is clearly a monotheist, he makes many statements which might be misunderstood as pantheistic, e.g., every thing is God; there is nothing but God; consider the world and God to be one; the foam and the water are not different. Chaturvedi writes: "Sant Namdev seemed to believe both in transcendence and immanence, in pantheism and nondualism. His devotion was purely of the non-attributional absolute. He also considers God to be immanent, everywhere, in all hearts, and the Creator of everything. Like Kabir and the Sufis, Namdev is very otherworldly. He says, "The strength of contempt of the world should be in the body, an unchanging companion. One should lay aside differences between oneself and others, and feel no anxiety for things of the world."

           Namdev's cosmogenic views are also radical. He says that God created maya and "maya is the name of the power that placeth man in the womb." Indirectly, he is neither happy with the world, the human birth nor unhappy. For him shop, shopkeeper, men and everything are transient excepting God, who is eternal. In this background he seeks release from the world: "Namdev gave up trade, and devoted himself exclusively to the worship of God."

           The world being a play of maya and not being worth pursuit, Namdev's goal is to have union with God through devotion and singing His praises. He says, "I perform worship, sing God's praises and meditate on Him for eight pahar a day (i.e. round the clock)." At the same time, he suggests good conduct and purity of life, for God created all men alike. Though he holds every person responsible for his acts, he clearly does not believe in a world rigidly governed by karma. Because he says: “If everything were determined by karma, who created karma originally?”

          Namdev obliquely refers to union with God, but like Kabir, also states that more than once, God intervened on his behalf to help him. Without doubt, Namdev's approach remains otherworldly both before and after his achievement. At one time, he even gave up work so as to remain absorbed in his worship and meditations. He never initiated any religious institution or movement. His was a solitary search for God, without creating any social or religious organisation.

          We find that in his repudiation of Vaisnava doctrines, in his metaphysical ideas, methodology and goal, and more specifically in his otherworldly approach to the world and society, Namdev's views are quite identical with those of Kabir.

          Shabad by Bhagat Namdev in Guru Granth Sahib, where the temple rotated towards him, as he was not allowed to enter the temple because of his being born in a low caste:
Laughing and playing, I came to Your Temple, O Lord.
While Namdav was worshipping, he was grabbed and driven out. || 1 ||

I am of a low social class, O Lord;
why was I born into a family of fabric dyers? || 1 || Pause ||
I picked up my blanket and went back, to sit behind the temple. || 2 ||

As Namdev uttered the Glorious Praises of the Lord,
the temple turned around to face the Lord’s humble devotee. || 3 || 6 |
Shabad by Bhagat Namdev in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib on how he had the darshan of the Lord.
Nam Dev milked the brown cow,
and brought a cup of milk and a jug of water to his family god. || 1 ||

Please drink this milk, O my Sovereign Lord God. Drink this milk and my mind will be happy.

Otherwise, my father will be angry with me. || 1 || Pause ||

Taking the golden cup, Nam Dev filled it with the ambrosial milk,
and placed it before the Lord. || 2 ||
The Lord looked upon Nam Dev and smiled.
This one devotee abides within my heart. || 3 ||

The Lord drank the milk, and the devotee returned home.
Thus did Nam Dev come to receive the Blessed Vision of the Lord’s Darshan.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our Internal Organs A visit

1. You Can Live Without Many of Your Internal Organs

Many of us think that if we were to lose one of our internal organs, we would die immediately, and while this is true for the heart, it is not so true for other internal organs. In fact, you can remove your spleen, one kidney, one lung, as well as 75 percent of your liver, 80 percent of your intestines and most of the organs located in your pelvis and groin area. That’s right, all of those organs can disappear and you will still be functioning. You may not function so well, and you may not live for as long as you hoped, but yes, you can live without those organs.

2. The Death of Hundreds of Millions

Each minute, our body is dying, this is a fact. Each time 60 seconds has passed by; our body has lost 300,000,000 cells. Yep, that’s right, that many cells, which amount to the population of the United States, die in our bodies every single minute. While this may seem like a lot of dying cells, and you would think our bodies would decay within hours, there are more cells being born than dying in our bodies. Each day, 10 to 50 trillion (50,000,000,000,000) cells are replaced in our body.

3. Your Hair Is the Superman of the Body

When we say your hair is the Superman of the body, what we mean is that your hair is pretty much indestructible. Hair decays at an extremely slow rate and that means hair often stays around longer than most other parts of your body. In fact, mummies that date back thousands of years still have hair on their heads. Changes in climate, humidity and temperature can’t hurt your hair, and neither can many different varieties of acids and chemicals. The only real weakness your hair has is to fire, which is probably because your hair is made up of so much carbon.

4. Beware the Power of Stomach Acids

Your stomach is a very powerful part of your body. The stomach acids that sit inside of our stomach are so strong that they can dissolve zinc. You would think that such a strong acid would eat through our body in seconds, but our stomach lining actually renews itself so fast that there is not enough time for the acid to eat through the lining. If it was not for this renewing capacity, we would have a large hole in our body within minutes.

5. Your Lungs, Bones and Nails!

Here are essentially three facts in one. First, your lungs are full of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. In both your lungs, there are 300,000 million capillaries and if you were to take all of these capillaries and lay them out end-to-end, they would stretch for 1,500 miles. Second, we can break our bones but our bones are actually quite strong. One block of bone the size of a matchbox can support the weight of nine tones, which is actually four times as much weight as concrete can hold. Third, your fingernails are constantly growing and if you lose a fingernail, it will take roughly half a year for the nail to grow back from the base to the tip.

6. We Grow Every Night

Yes, that’s right, every single night your body grows by a little bit. It is estimated that the human body grows about one-third of an inch while you sleep because your cartilage discs are squeezed by the force of gravity when you are standing or sitting. So, when you wake up and start walking, your height shrinks back down to your normal height.

7. Nature’s Filter

Your kidneys help to get rid of toxins from our bodies and without our kidneys, both of them, we would die. The reason for this is the amazing filter capacity of kidneys. Each kidney contains one million filters. This means your body has two million individual filters in it, which filter out 1.3 liters of blood per minute and expel 1.4 liters of urine per day!
Without this vitally important filtering, our bodies would quickly fill with toxins and we would soon find ourselves very sick and very close to death. This is why people whose kidneys have failed need to be hooked up to kidney dialysis machines.

8. Our Bodies Are Hot, Hot, Hot!

The human body is one big energy producing machine. When you look at a picture of the human body with infrared technology, all you see is radiating heat. That heat is generated within our bodies and it helps to keep us alive. In fact, the human body generates so much heat that in only 30 minutes, the average body gives off enough heat (throughout the entire body) to bring half a gallon of water to boil. That may not seem like much given you can boil water in only a few minutes on the stove, but remember that your body is boiling this water by doing nothing but what it does every day; keep you alive!

9. We Are Visual Beings

We are visual beings because of the amount of information we process through our eyes, rather than through other senses. While bats may process most of their information through their ears, we process 90 percent of all our information through our eyes. The other 10 percent of the information is processed by our other four senses of touch, taste, smell and sound.

10. Breaking the Speed Limit

Our bodies do not move as fast as other animals, the cheetah for example, but we can exceed 100 miles per hour with something; our sneezes. When we sneeze, we expel air from our nose and mouth at the whopping speed of 100 miles per hour. That is pretty fast considering that it is coming out of our face and many may wonder why we do not blow our nose clean off with that kind of force.
                  Thanks to the author: Craig Baird
                                                                                                                              From  net  pages