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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Health Corner…

BENEFITS OF COCONUT MEAT

COCONUT MEAT IS THE rich white lining that is contained within the shell of a coconut. Coconut meat can be juicy and tender, or slightly thick and crunchy, to tough and fibrous depending on how long the kernel has been stored. Eating food products derived from coconut like coconut oil and coconut meat on a regular basis has profound positive effects to your overall health.

Coconut meat benefits:

Coconut and the products derived from it like coconut meat have been for years wrongly deemed as an unhealthy type of food because of its long known high saturated fat content. However, a growing body of recent studies have shown that the type of fats present in coconut meat are in fact medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).  When you eat coconut meat, the MCTs it contains are transported from the intestinal tract to the liver and immediately transformed into fuel. This then means there is very little MCTs left to circulate and deposit in fat tissues in the body.

The MCTs in coconut are converted into ketone bodies as well which show potential as a replacement energy substitute for the brain. It is noteworthy that the brain makes use of glucose as energy source. In individuals with degenerative neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease, the brain’s capacity to utilize glucose is severely impaired, further contributing to the progress of the disease. Eating MCTs from coconut products like coconut meat may then help increase the body’s ketone levels, potentially offering a dietary therapy approach to alleviating the symptoms and possibly even preventing  the onset of neurological diseases.

Eating coconut meat appears to protect against heart disease and stroke as well. As it turns out, coconut meat’s measurable vitamins A and E, and polyphenols and phytosterols, all work together to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol, which are fats that stay in the blood and in skin tissues and high levels of which have been found a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. This protective properties of coconut meat is perhaps the reason the Kitavans of Papua New Guinea or the Tokelaus of New Zealand, whose staple food is coconut, have no incidence whatsoever of stroke and heart disease in their respective populations.  The meat of a fresh coconut is much softer and creamier than a fully mature coconut.                                             

Fresh coconut meat is much lower in fat and much higher in calcium than mature coconut meat. It has less fiber and more sugar but overall it is much healthier for you. Fresh coconut meat is also said to have healing properties because it is high in antioxidants. Also, the fat in coconuts is medium-chain fatty acids that are better absorbed than animal saturated fat and is said to have anti-inflammatory effects. Fresh coconut meat is definitely a great superfood to add to your diet!

Coconut meat’s practical uses:

Coconut meat is so versatile that it can be eaten raw, cooked, or as a preserve. You can top your usual salads with shredded or grated and then lightly toasted coconut meat. You can use a blender to make it into smoothies as well, mixed with organic full-fat yogurt and fruits like bananas and berries.  

 

Neonatal conjunctivitis: A preventable cause of blindness

NEONATAL CONJUNCTIVITIS, also known as ophthalmia neonatorum, is a form of conjunctivitis and a type of neonatal infection contracted by newborns during delivery. The baby’s eyes are contaminated during passage through the birth canal from a mother infected with either Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis. or by infected hands.     

By definition presents during the first month of life. It may be infectious or non infectious.                                                

 Causes  Non infectious

Chemical irritants such as silver nitrate can cause chemical conjunctivitis, usually lasting 2–4 days. Thus, prophylaxis with a 1% silver nitrate solution is no longer in common use. In most countries neomycin and chloramphenicol eye drops are used instead. However, it is possible for newborns to suffer from neonatal conjunctivitis due to reactions with chemicals in these common eye drops. Additionally, a blocked tear duct may be another non-infectious cause of neonatal conjunctivitis.

Infectious

Many different bacteria and viruses can cause conjunctivitis in the neonate. The two most common causes are N. gonorrheae and Chlamydia acquired from the birth canal during delivery.

* Ophthalmia neonatorum due to gonococci (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) typically manifests in the first five days post birth and is associated with marked bilateral purulent discharge and local inflammation. Typically, patient presents with acute conjunctivitis, associated with chemosis, severe lid edema, and mucopurulent discharge

* Corneal involvement is the most serious complication, involving diffuse epithelial edema and ulceration that may progress to perforation of the cornea and endophthalmitis

* Initially, superficial keratitis gives the corneal surface a lackluster appearance followed by marginal and central infiltrates appear, which then ulcerate, sometimes forming a ring abscess.

*  In contrast, conjunctivitis secondary to infection with chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) produces conjunctivitis after day three post birth, but may occur up to two weeks after delivery. Presentation may range from mild hyperemia with scant mucoid discharge to eyelid swelling, chemosis, and pseudomembrane formation. The discharge is usually more watery in nature (mucopurulent) and less inflamed. Babies infected with chlamydia may develop pneumonitis (chest infection) at a later stage (range 2 weeks – 19 weeks after delivery). Infants with chlamydia pneumonitis should be treated with oral erythromycin for 10–14 days.

Other agents causing ophthalmia neonatorum include Herpes simplex virus (HSV). Typically present with unilateral or bilateral lid edema, moderate amount of conjunctival injection, and nonpurulent, serosanguineous discharge.

Other signs include vesicles on the skin surrounding the eye and corneal epithelial involvement with microdendrites or geographic ulcers, being are the most typical signs of herpetic keratitis in newborns (in contrast to typical dendrites as seen in adults)

2), Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus haemolyticus, Streptococcus pneumoniae. Pseudomonas, although rare, may lead to potentially blinding complications such as rapid corneal ulceration and perforation.      

 -To be continue

 


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