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FIBRE ALSO INCREASES THE

SPEED OF FOOD MOVING


THROUGH THE DIGESTIVE TRACT,
SO AN EXCESS OF IT MAY
CAUSE DIARRHOEA.
the opposite of antioxidant
which causes cell damage.
Too much vitamin A can cause
DNA damage.
In a study conducted by
researchers from Kansas
State University in the US,
lab animals given too much
antioxidants showed impaired
muscle function. Meanwhile,
a US study of 77,000 people
found that taking 400mg of
vitamin E daily increased
cancer risk by 28 per cent in
the long-term with smokers
at risk in particular.
I think what a lot of people
dont realise is that the
antioxidant and pro-oxidant
balance is really delicate,
warns Steven Copp, author of
the Kansas State study. Too
much and you can actually
make a problem worse.

PROTEIN
THE GOOD This is one of our
bodys critical building blocks,
as about half our dry weight
consists of protein. It
participates in essential
functions such as blood
circulation, food digestion,
hormone synthesis and
antibody production, says
Rachel Liu, dietitian at Mount
Elizabeth Novena Hospital.
There are different kinds
of protein as determined by
their sources. Protein from
plant source is a low-quality
substance, as it usually lacks
one or more essential amino
acids, states Rachel.
Vegetarians should eat a
variety of legumes, grains
and seeds to ensure adequate
amino acid consumption. Soya,
a complete protein with all the

essential amino acids, is


also an option. She adds
that animal and soya protein
are also better utilised by
our bodies, compared to the
plant type.
THE RIGHT DOSE For a
healthy Singaporean male
(18 years and above) with a
normal Body Mass Index of 22,
the recommended daily intake
is 68g a day. This may vary
based on body weight (0.8g to
1g protein per kilogram) and
any special need, such as a
fitness regime that involves
bulking up muscles.
OVERDOSE Limit your
protein intake to 35 per cent of
your daily calorie consumption.
Any more than that and youll
run the risk of an overdose.
Too much protein, Rachel says,
puts a considerable burden on
the liver and kidneys, and can
accelerate the progression of
a pre-existing kidney disease.
Moreover, too high a protein
intake can cause excessive
loss of calcium in the urine,
she cautions.

CAFFEINE
THE GOOD Your daily cup
is proven to stimulate your
central nervous system and
aid memory, concentration
and reflex, and a new German
study shows that a small dose
of caffeine can also be mood
boosters. The study authors
noted that coffee and tea
drinkers in the analysis showed
an increase in their speed and
accuracy for recognising words
with positive connotation.
There was no effect on
neutral or negative words,
hinting that the beverage

heightens the perception of


rewards and can help you get
through Mondays with a smile.
And its not just in the mind:
A caffeine shot also benefits
physical health if consumed in
moderate amounts.
Researchers at Japans
National Cerebral and
Cardiovascular Centre
reported that your warm brew
may help lower stroke risks,
whereas a new American
Cancer Society study found
a strong inverse association
between caffeinated coffee
intake and death from oral
and pharyngeal cancer. Other
suggested health benefits from
drinking the black stuff include
reduced risks for diabetes,
dementia, Parkinsons, liver
disease and heart problems.
THE RIGHT DOSE 400mg
daily. A cup of espresso can
contain anywhere from 40mg
to 75mg of caffeine, which
makes tracking your daily dose
difficult. This is set to change:
Researchers from the National
University of Singapore have
developed a colour-coded
caffeine detector called
Caffeine Orange.
Until this product is
available in the market, stick
to four cups a day. Bear in
mind that coffee from the
kopitiam uses cheaper robusta
beans (as opposed to arabica),
which contain a higher dose
of caffeine.
OVERDOSE According to
US research, more than 500mg
of caffeine a day can cause
anxiety and muscle tremors,
and reverse coffees beneficial
effects for the heart.
New studies point to
even more disturbing
consequences: A study in
Investigative Ophthalmology &
Visual Science links overconsumption to glaucoma and
vision loss, whereas a recent
Mayo Clinic study in the US
established a correlation
between drinking more than
28 cups of coffee per week
and all-cause mortality.
Also, keep in mind that too
much caffeine, given its acidic
profile, can damage the lining
of gastrointestinal organs, and
cause gastritis and ulcers.

SHOWER
OVERKILL
Yes, theres such a thing
as having too many
showers as well. Follow
these three steps from
Dr Raymond Quah,
specialist in dermatology
and consultant at Raffles
Skin & Aesthetics, to
save y
your
skin.
our sk
ou
kin
n.

USE COLD WATER


It might feel like full-time
national service all over
again, but for the sake of
your skin, cold showers
are better than hot ones.
Hot water can remove
natural skin oils, warns
Dr Quah. Also consider
using a mild soap with
moisturising properties.
TIME YOUR BATHS
Besides cutting back on
your utilities bill, spending
less time in the shower is
also good news for your
dermis. Anywhere from
five to 10 minutes adds
moisture, says Dr Quah.
Beyond that, your skin
will be less hydrated than
before you started.
POST-SHOWER
PAMPERING
When drying yourself
with a towel, dont use
a rubbing motion. And
while the skin is still
damp, apply a body
moisturiser or lotion to
lock in moisture.

OCTOBER 2 013

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