Category: Health

Pet lovers, take note! You will now be able to get your hands on basic medicine, supplements, and specialty shampoos at Malaysia’s very first pet pharmacy, a service recently launched by popular local pet supplies retailer Pet Lovers Centre (PLC). Conceived with the goal of offering Malaysian pet owners the convenience and peace of mind in getting their pets the right sort of supplements and basic medical care that they need, the service is currently now available at PLC’s Mid Valley Southkey, Johor Bahru outlet.

Pet ownership is a pretty daunting task when you consider the fact that you have to worry about making sure that your furry (or scaly) friend is eating right. And God only knows how much more daunting it can be when your pet falls ill and you need to head to a pet store to find help.

With skilled members of staff on hand, PLC’s Vet Pharmacy will not only be able to help give you some insight on the condition of your pets and what you can do to help them, they can even provide you with a vast range of prescription and over the counter medication that you can use on your pets.

“The aim of the Vet Pharmacy is to offer our services and extended knowledge in pet healthcare to empower owners to understand what is needed for their furry friends,” said Bryan Boo, PLC Malaysia Operations Director, in speaking with FMT.

In addition to that, they also have supplements and prescription diets on hand to make sure that when your pet is healthy, they stay that way. The pharmacy will also plan to include custom flavouring into their supplements to help picky pets find them more appetizing.

While it is not clear if PLC has any further plans to expand their line of Vet Pharmacies to other outlets, the fact that you can now get access to help from a pet care professional is a boon for pet owners to begin with!


5 ways to cope with climate change anxiety

July 13, 2020 | Health, Info | No Comments

Melting ice sheets. Wildfires that turn the sky red. Record-breaking heat waves. 

The terrifying effects of climate change are hard to miss. They also leave many people fearful about the future of the planet and our civilization. 

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. A recent survey, conducted in December by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association, found that more than two-thirds of respondents experience at least a little “eco-anxiety” and more than a quarter feel a lot of that stress. The APA defines eco-anxiety as anxiousness or concern related to climate change and its effects. 

Respondents between ages 18 and 34 — who are probably contemplating what it means to inherit an earth increasingly on the brink of environmental collapse — were most likely to report worrying about climate change, and nearly half said that anxiety affected their lives everyday. 

The online survey of 2,017 U.S. adults asked participants about eco-anxiety and whether they changed any habits to reduce their contribution to climate change. The survey results were weighted to be reflective of the national adult population, taking into account factors like age, sex, education, region, household income, and race and ethnicity. 

Increased resilience can help you weather eco-anxiety. 

Sixty percent of the respondents said they had made changes in response to climate change. The most popular, adopted by more than three-quarters of participants, included reducing waste through reusing and recycling items; upgrading their home’s insulation; limiting use of utilities like water, heat, and electricity; and consuming less in general. 

Respondents, however, were less likely to change their daily transportation or dietary habits; only roughly two-thirds said they have or would do things like carpool, walk, bike, eat less red meat, or become a vegetarian or vegan. People who experienced eco-anxiety were much more likely to feel motivated to change their behavior compared to those who didn’t. 

While climate change anxiety may feel too demoralizing to address, Arthur C Evans, Jr., CEO of the APA, says there are practical ways to manage that stress. It’s particularly important to gain a sense of control; research shows that when people lack a feeling of agency, it can increase their psychological distress. And there are few things that make humans feel completely out of control than the possibility that the world is ending.

Instead of letting that doomsday scenario overwhelm you, Evans recommends getting a handle on your eco-anxiety with the following approaches: 

1. Get educated about climate change. 

There’s still time to prevent — with drastic action — the catastrophic effects of climate change, but people may hear only the most pessimistic reports and then hopelessly tune out. 

Evans says one way to deal with stress related to the unknown aspects of climate change is to learn as much as possible about it. That includes understanding what’s at stake and how average people can make a positive difference. Otherwise, it can be easy to make false assumptions about the consensus on the worst-case scenarios while missing positive stories about activists pushing politicians and corporations to step up. Educating yourself will help you see both climate change and courses of action more clearly and that can reduce anxiety, says Evans.

2. Find concrete ways to make a difference. 

The APA survey found that half of adults didn’t know where to start in order to combat climate change. While it’s true that governments and the private sector have the power to make the most radical changes, the average person can alter their habits in important ways. 

Half of adults didn’t know where to start in order to combat climate change.

Eating less red meat, for example, can reduce carbon emissions. Participating in strikes and protests, like those held by Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future, draws attention to the issue and helps inspires others to act. Calling your elected official, whether at the local, state, or Congressional level, and pressing them to do more on climate change makes it harder for them to ignore the outcry.

“People can do things in their own community,” says Evans. Letter writing campaigns, volunteerism, and political and public advocacy are all ways to get involved in climate change activism. 

3. Reframe negative thoughts. 

In general, research shows that re-framing negative thoughts can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.

“[I]t really is rethinking an issue that may seem big and amorphous and putting that into proper context,” says Evans. 

If thoughts of the apocalypse keep creeping into your mind, or even prevent you from making future plans, it may be helpful to focus your attention on the present moment while finding something positive about those circumstances. People who develop this skill tend to cope better than those who find it difficult to regulate their thinking, actions, and emotions. 

4. Address all the stressors in your life, not just climate change. 

Eco-anxiety may feel unique compared to other sources of anxiety, but it’s important to think of climate change-related stress as part of your overall mental health. You may also be experiencing financial, relationship, professional, or physical stress, which can exacerbate your feelings about climate change, and vice versa. It’s critical to address other stressors and to seek professional help if necessary. 

“The more stressors you experience, the more likely you’ll feel greater psychological stress,” says Evans.

5. Build your resilience. 

Increased resilience can help you weather eco-anxiety. Evans recommends boosting resilience by continuing to develop a social network of friends and family. Strong social and emotional support has been linked to well-being, material aid during times of adversity, and lower rates of psychological distress following a disaster. 

“We know…that social support is probably one of the strongest predictors of how people are doing psychologically,” says Evans. 

These strategies can be helpful no matter the type of anxiety you might be feeling, but can be particularly useful when trying to combat eco-anxiety by restoring or gaining a sense of control. 

“It’s important to do and act and to feel like you have some agency around this issue,” says Evans. 


PRAK bunyi dia! Itu adalah bunyi tulang yang meletup bila korang lakukan regangan sama ada jari atau pinggang.

Lepas dah ‘prak’ skali tu pasti ‘sedap’ dan lega sangat-sangat betul tak? Tapi bak kata orang tua-tua benda sedap kebiasannya ada keburukan.

Apa keburukannya?

Penulis sendiri pun mengakui kadang kala melakukan perkara yang sama secara tanpa sedar kerana ia datang secara spontan. Penulis juga percaya saat korang baca artikel ini pun korang mesti secara tak langsung cuba nak letup-letup kan jari korang kan?

Itulah yang dinamakan satu tindakan refleks. Tapi, korang tahu tak perbuatan korang itu mampu mendatangkan bahaya dan kesan jangka masa panjang jika ia dilakukan secara berterusan?

Hampir beberapa dekad penyelidik daripada serata dunia mengkaji sebab dan kenapa bunyi tersebut terhasil.

Kajian daripada Universiti Alberta menunjukkan apabila otot sendi ditarik, akan terdapat ruang kecil yang diisi gas. Bila ia ditekan maka ini akan menyebabkan bunyi ‘prak’ terhasil.

Di sini SinarPlus kongsikan kenapa tabiat tersebut bahaya yang korang perlu tahu. Antaranya adalah seperti :

1.Kenapa jadi ketagih?

Sebenarnya kondisi otak yang mempengaruhi kita untuk menganggap bunyi letupan itu sebagai sesuatu perbuatan yang boleh melegakan.

Jadi semakin lama ia dilakukan dalam tempoh masa yang panjang ia bertukar menjadi tabiat. Otak korang akan ‘trik’ untuk buat rasa perbuatan itu melegakan rasa lenguh.

2. Apa yang meletup?

Setiap kali mematahkan jari, akan ada bunyi seolah tulang meletup. Padahal, ia adalah bunyi yang dihasilkan apabila cecair pelincir jenis sinovial dan gas yang bertakung pada bahagian penyambung tulang itu berinteraksi.

3. Risiko penyakit tulang arthritis?

Seorang saintis membuat eksperimen terhadap dirinya yang mana dia telah meletupkan jari di sebelah tangannya setiap hari selama 60 tahun manakala yang sebelah lagi tidak diletupkan.

Ternyata, tangannya yang diletupkan saban hari itu langsung tidak diserang arthritis dan ini membuktikan tabiat meletupkan atau mematahkan jari-jemari itu membawa keburukan kepada manusia.

4. Jejas kekuatan tangan

Dalam satu kajian yang diterbitkan, keburukan tabiat ini masih boleh dinilai menerusi kekuatan tangan. Ini kerana, tabiat meletupkan jari atau mematahkan jari-jemari itu dipercayai akan melemahkan kekuatan tulang tangan sekali gus menjadikan tulang haus dari masa ke masa.

5. Tulang jari melebar buat cincin tersekat

Meletupkan jari itu adalah perkara yang menyakitkan manakala kebanyakan orang lain menganggapnya suatu nikmat. Ternyata orang yang memiliki tabiat itu mempunyai kelebaran jari yang ekstrem berbanding jari biasa.

Tulang pada setiap buku jari (bahagian penyambung tulang) telah melebar sehingga kadang-kala menyekat cincin untuk masuk secara lacar pada bahagian jari. Jadi, kalau tak mahu tulang buku jari melebar, sila elak meletupkan jari.

Jadi, sekarang korang dah tau kan kenapa perbuatan tersebut bahaya dan berisiko? Jika boleh hentikan tabiat tersebut dengan serta merta. Bahaya gais!


A study led by French researchers from Inserm (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and the University of Montpellier points to a link between excessive consumption of sugary foods and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s in people with a genetic predisposition to the disease.

For the study, nearly 2800 French people over the age of 65 were followed over a 12-year period, in order to identify factors likely to increase their risk of dementia. While genetic predisposition plays an important role in the onset of Alzheimer’s, environmental factors such as diet may also have an impact. The authors of the study published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia set out to explore how daily sugar consumption could affect the development of the disease.

Previous studies in animals have shown that starch and added sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose syrups) can aggravate symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s and accelerate the appearance of amyloid deposits in the brain, which are typical of the neurodegenerative disease.

wo to three times higher risk linked to sugary afternoon snacks

The research team focused on patients from the previous Three-City Study cohort to analyze their genetic predispositions, sugar consumption and risk of developing dementia. A total of 350 cases of dementia linked to eating habits and in particular to glycemic load (a food’s ability to raise blood sugar levels depending on the portion consumed) were studied.

Among participants without any genetic predisposition, the research team found no association between the occurrence of dementia and the consumption of sugary foods at breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack or dinner.

However among patients who did have a genetic predisposition, more specifically, the E4 allele of the APOE gene, those who were in the habit of eating an afternoon snack were two to three times more likely to develop dementia for each additional serving equivalent to a 30-gram glycemic load of a baguette.

nsulin peaks may be implicated

This risk was assessed independently of several potentially contributing factors such as daily energy intake, physical activity, the presence of co-morbidities or following a healthy diet.

It remains to be seen why risks associated with sugar consumption and this genotype are only apparent in data on the consumption of snacks. For the authors of the publication, one likely hypothesis is the phenomenon of insulin resistance, “a pathology involved in type 2 diabetes and favoured by the consumption of sugars,” explains Sylvaine Artero, an Inserm researcher who supervised the study.

Snacks are very often low in fat and fibre and thus much more quickly by the body, which can trigger an insulin peak, the study suggests. 

“Repeated daily, these insulin peaks could eventually lead to peripheral insulin resistance but also to cerebral insulin resistance (in which the brain is less sensitive to insulin and less able to use glucose) via oxidative stress and inflammation, which would encourage the development of dementia,” points out Sylvaine Artero in a press release.

“These results pave the way for new prevention strategies but need to be confirmed by other population-based studies and further investigated by experimental studies in order to better understand the links between sugar consumption, insulin resistance and the development of dementia,” concludes the researcher.


Food habits during the RMCO

July 3, 2020 | Health, Info | No Comments

Food has always been a huge part of the Malaysian lifestyle. Here are insights from a survey conducted between June 22 and 23, 2020, compiling opinions from 1,100 respondents on Malaysians and their meals during the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period.

* 85% Malaysians are still cooking at home since the RMCO altough many are slowly starting to eat out again.

* 12% are eating out.

* 23% are ordering in.

* 24% are taking-away.

* 63% cook at home at least 5 times a week.

* 49% order in between 1 to 2 times a week.

* 19% pack-to-go from restaurants between 3 to 4 times a week.

* 74% of those who dine out claim their ‘dining habits’ have changed – eg. sanitise before and after; particular who they dine with and where; only dine out with family members; personally sanitise utensils, etc.

* Of those avoiding eating out, 45% says they’re uncomfortable in crowds, 32% are still afraid being outdoors, 29% are concerned about hygiene levels of restaurants, and 22% are bothered about the long queues.

* 45% are only going for local food brand items to support local businesses and because they’re generally cheaper.

* 36% are spending less than RM20 per individual meal while 29% are willing to spend between RM20 and RM30 per individual meal.

* Since the RMCO, 58% are shopping both online and offline while 12% are only shopping online.

Respondents of the survey by comprised of 67% Bumiputra, 24% Chinese and 9% Indian and others, and are based across the central, north, south, east coast and East Malaysia, between the ages of 24 and above 45. 52% are male while 48% are female.


BANGALORE – Vaksin koronavirus (Covid-19) dihasilkan Bharat Biotech telah diluluskan untuk ujian klinikal ke atas manusia yang menjadi vaksin domestik pertama berpotensi yang mendapat lampu hijau selepas negara itu kini mencatatkan lebih 500,000 jangkitan.

Pengawal Ubat Umum India memberi kelulusan untuk ujian fasa pertama dan kedua vaksin Covaxin yang dihasilkan bersama Institut Virologi Negara Majlis Penyelidikan Perubatan India.

Ujian klinikal ke atas manusia dijadualkan bermula di seluruh negara pada Julai.

Difahamkan, firma berpusat di Hyderabad itu telah mengedarkan lebih empat bilion vaksin ke seluruh negara dan pernah menghasilkan vaksin untuk H1N1 dan rotavirus.

Semalam, tentera China turut diberi kebenaran untuk menggunakan vaksin berpotensi yang dihasilkan unit penyelidikan dan CanSino Biologics selepas ujian klinikal membuktikan ia selamat dan berkesan untuk merawat Covid-19.

Ketika ini, terdapat kira-kira 120 program vaksin yang sedang dijalankan di seluruh dunia dan sebanyak enam firma di India kini giat menghasilkan vaksin untuk merawat Covid-19.


Research has begun in two hospitals on the use of Andrographis Paniculata (AP) to treat Covid-19.

AP has been used in traditional Thai medicine to treat various infections, including fever and cold.

The first phase focuses on safety, disinfecting activity, and reducing virus-cell division.

Dr Marut Jirasrattasiri, director-general of the Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine Department, said his department is collaborating with the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Chulabhorn Research Institute, and Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) in conducting a pilot study on the effects of AP extracts on patients with Covid-19 with approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee.

There was a request to conduct a trial on patients at the Bamrasnadura Infectious Disease Institute. However, since the current situation of people infected with Covid-19 in Thailand is getting better, there are very few patients in the programme.

The Department, therefore, requested the committee permission to change the hospital conducting human research to Samut Prakan Hospital and Bang Lamung Hospital since they are the main state quarantine centres accepting returnees from abroad.

The hospitals are ready since June 22 and can proceed immediately if any infected person meets the criteria for treatment.

He added that the infected people who meet the criteria to receive AP will be patients who have been confirmed to be infected with Covid-19 with symptoms lasting no more than 72 hours, with mild to moderate symptoms: fever, coughing and heating, which is usually not given any kind of medication.

In the first phase, six subjects will receive 60mg of AP extract capsules, or three times the normal dose, three times a day to see if the symptoms improve clearly. Another six patients will receive 100mg of AP extract capsules, or five times the normal dose, three times a day.

“The first phase of human trials will focus on safety. We want to know the efficiency both in people with and without symptoms, the effects on the blood, and the cytokine enzyme effect that is harmful to the lungs, heart, or liver.

“The extract will help reduce infection or disinfect. If it works well, it will be cheap and widely available. Importantly, the herbs are produced in Thailand 100 per cent,” Dr Marut said.


RATA-RATA ibu bapa zaman kini sering ‘mengumpan’ anak kecil mereka menggunakan baby walker. Ada mengatakan ia untuk mententeramkan si anak yang sedang meragam, selain kononnya alat itu mampu membantu mempercepatkan proses bayi untuk berjalan.

Walker yang dimaksudkan adalah jenis yang mempunyai roda yang mampu bergerak.

Kalau korang nak tahu, walker sudah mula dikenali sejak abad ke-17 lagi tau…

Pakar Kanak-Kanak merangkap Pensyarah Perubatan Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Dr Muhammad Yusoff Mohd Ramdzan berkata, begitupun penggunaan baby walker untuk kanak-kanak di bawah satu tahun tidak digalakkan atas beberapa faktor.

Kongsi Dr Yusoff ketika dihubungi SinarPlus baru-baru ini, antara faktor tersebut adalah ia mengganggu perkembangan semula jadi kanak-kanak untuk berjalan sendiri.

“Kanak-kanak perlu menggunakan kekuatan otot pinggul dan tulang belakang untuk berdiri dan berjalan.

“Baby walker hanya membolehkan kanak-kanak bergerak secara duduk dan ia sebenarnya sama sekali tidak melatih otot pinggul dan tulang belakang untuk berjalan,” jelas Dr Yusoff.

Bukan itu sahaja, ia juga mampu menghalang penglihatan kanak-kanak ketika bergerak. Sedangkan sebenarnya mereka perlu melihat permukaan atau lantai kerana penglihatan tersebut akan membantu mereka mengelak halangan dan mampu berjalan dengan stabil.

Lebih membimbangkan, kongsi Dr Yusoff, 15 ke 50 peratus pengguna baby walker akan mengalami kecederaan di rumah sama ada terjatuh tangga atau mencapai objek-objek berbahaya di meja.


Jadi, kebanyakan pengguna baby walker berada dalam fasa penerokaan yang mana mereka suka merangkak ke sana dan ke sini sambil memasukkan objek ke dalam mulut.

“Disebabkan risiko itu, Kanada mengharamkan penggunaan baby walker dan beberapa negara lain tidak mengesyorkan penggunaannya.

“Sungguhpun begitu, bukti perubatan masih belum kukuh untuk menghalang penggunaan baby walker. Namun banyak penyiasatan di pelbagai negara telah dilakukan antaranya 7 ke 10 peratus kanak-kanak yang diperhatikan menggunakan baby walker akan lambat berjalan dengan sendiri,” jelas Dr Yusoff lagi.

Lebih parah, ada antara si kecil itu mempunyai masalah saraf, tulang atau otot, namun ia tidak boleh disabitkan kepada penggunaan baby walker sahaja.

Oleh itu, buat ibu bapa di luar sana harus menilai kebaikan dan keburukan penggunaan baby walker sebelum mendapatkannya.

“Nasihat saya, penggunaan harus dihadkan kepada masa-masa tertentu sahaja seperti untuk mententeramkan anak yang bertenaga lebihan, memantau dan menghalang pergerakan ke tempat-tempat lain seperti memanjat perabot, dan menggunakan meja baby walker tersebut untuk meletakkan mainan atau makanan,” kata Dr Yusoff.

Selebihnya, masa harus digunakan untuk kanak-kanak tersebut berdiri dan berjalan dengan sendiri.


Covid-19 is turning out to be a more complicated illness than we first thought – and not just a disease of the respiratory system and lungs. We’re also realising it can affect several of our major organs, including the kidneys where it can do serious damage.

It’s not widely known that a quarter of patients needing ventilators to treat coronavirus also need artificial ­kidneys to support their deteriorating renal function.

But the kidneys aren’t the only major organs affected by severe Covid illness. A new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline says doctors treating patients with known or suspected Covid-19 should be vigilant in looking for signs of acute myocardial injury, in other words, signs of a heart attack reports Ingrid Torjesen in the BMJ.

Symptoms of an acute heart attack include chest pain, heart palpitations, massive tiredness and a shortness of breath. These symptoms are similar to the respiratory complications of Covid-19 so a heart attack might be missed. It’s crucial to check for one by investigating these symptoms.

A heart attack was seen in almost one in 10 of all patients who died with Covid-19 in Italian hospitals, NICE pointed out. Its new guideline is aimed at helping healthcare professionals, who aren’t specialists in cardiology, identify, monitor and manage patients with Covid-19 and heart problems.

NICE recommends testing for levels of markers of heart injury and ­inflammation present in the blood of patients with cardiac injury. Electrocardiography (ECG) can identify patients with a suspected heart attack. These patients should be frequently monitored to identify cardiac or respiratory deterioration.

If a heart attack is suspected help from a cardiologist should be sought. When there isn’t a clear ­diagnosis of a heart attack then tests for cardiac markers and ECG should be repeated daily in patients for whom suspicion persists.

If the virus invades the heart muscle then myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and heart failure are possibilities.

Graham Lipkin, nephrology consultant and President of the Renal ­Association, has explained that Covid-19 patients may develop acute kidney injury (AKI) for many reasons. One is that they are often dangerously ­dehydrated by the time they arrive at hospital.

We’re also learning that Covid can invade the kidneys, interfering with their crucial task of getting rid of waste and may, in turn, lead to kidney failure.

Then again severe Covid-19 may cause a “cytokine storm” when the body is overtaken by widespread inflammation throughout all our organs. The kidneys often fall prey to this inflammation.

Covid-19 is very complicated.


Since the coronavirus began, many of us have transitioned to working from home. Whether we loved it or hated it, it was something many of us had to get used to for the past few months.

But as restrictions across the world begin to lift and people are able to go outside more often, that also means it’s back to the office.

And while some of us may be excited to see our co-workers again, there’s also bound to be others who may or may not be wary of the germs and bacteria that are lurking beyond our workplace surfaces.

Well, fear not fellow office workers! Here are some tips and tricks for everyone returning to the office soon.

Although most offices should have already hired professionals to disinfect your work spaces, it doesn’t harm to also be prepared to do some additional cleaning and disinfecting.

6 things to disinfect the moment you get back into the office:

  • Laptop
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Desktop surface
  • Your chair, especially the arm rests
  • Any stationery on your desk

For these items you frequently use, it’s highly recommended to wipe them down three times a day. Once when you reach the office, midday, and lastly before you leave the office.

A disinfectant spray or antibacterial wipes with at least 70 percent alcohol content is good enough to kill most germs.

Request for these simple measures to be adopted by everyone at your workplace:

  • Employees should avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Sick? See a doctor immediately and stay home. Monitor your temperature.
  • Employees should wear a face mask at work if they’re not feeling well to prevent spreading diseases to others.
  • Employees staying with anyone who has travelled to a high-risk country should consider quarantining themselves.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Avoid sharing food too.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.