Tuesday, 27 October 2015

What are antioxidants and their benefits ?






Quite often we hear about the benefits of antioxidants, their indispensability for maintaining a healthy body, their magical power to ward off cancer, Alzheimer etc. etc….  But most of the public do not have a clue as to what are these antioxidants. To know how the antioxidants work in our favor, we will also have to know about free radicals, which are being produced in our body.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are chemical substances naturally found in Vitamin C, E, A, flavonoids, phenolic acids and beta-carotene in fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses and cereals which inhibit oxidation and prevent cell damage. It is also found in synthetic form,  which is used as preservatives in processed food, but the effectiveness of synthetic antioxidants is not clear or established.  The antioxidant donates an electron to the free radical, thus neutralizing it into harmless. An antioxidant assist in countering oxidative stress, caused by free radicals.

What are free radicals?

Free radicals, also known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are chemical species that are naturally produced in our body during metabolism as a byproduct. However, some free radicals are produced in the body due to external factors like pollution, alcohol, smoking, medications, pesticides, infections, poor diet, toxins, radiation etc.  If free radicals are not controlled, it can attack the healthy cells of the body, resulting in oxidative stress posing danger to our health. Oxidation damages the cell membranes, cellular proteins and DNA. Preventing or fighting oxidative stress can go a long way in defending our body against tumors, cancer, heart problems, premature aging and scores of other body ailments. Deficiency of antioxidants will lead to piling up of free radicals in the body. A healthy dose of antioxidants will ensure that free radicals are deactivated before they start attacking the cells.

Sources of antioxidants

All the berry fruits, especially blueberry, blackberry,  cranberry and straw berry along with other fruits like apples, plums and grapes are loaded with the goodness of antioxidants. Phytochemicals, a form of antioxidant is found in tea and wine. Ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C is a very effective antioxidant present in most of the fruits and vegetables like capsicum, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables. Pulses like red kidney beans and black beans are also loaded with antioxidants. Vitamin E is fat soluble and found in abundance in nuts, fish, seeds, spinach, avocado, mango etc. Vitamin A is profoundly present in carrots, tomato, sweet potato, peaches and apples. Flavonoids have their presence in red wine, tea, soya and tomato and watermelon has lycopene content.

Role of antioxidants in pregnancy and infertility

Several studies conducted on pregnant women has indicated that a healthy dose of natural antioxidants do play a role in smooth pregnancy and in preventing miscarriages. Oxidative stress can be a reason for causing miscarriages, and some researches suggests that antioxidants may be helpful in preventing Pre-eclampsia (High blood pressure and protein in urine, during pregnancy can result in a fatal condition called Pre - eclampsia, which can cause preterm delivery.) Oxidative stress is also known to affect male fertility adversely by causing defective spermatogenesis. So infact, anioxidants can aid in improving the quality and quantity of the sperm.

Researchers have different opinions on whether, artificial supplements can give the same result as natural antioxidants.  So to be on the safer side, it is better to consume variety of  brightly colored fruits and vegetables, which will ensure a healthy dose of antioxidants. 



Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre
anitadane@gmail.com
www.giftivf.com 
+91 484 2475031,  +91 484 2475034, 

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Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 18 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI , donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy. Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Medical terms and definitions associated with IVF and ART procedures


Following are the medical terms and their definitions associated with IVF and other ART procedures, according to the assisted reproductive technology regulation bill issued by the Ministry of Health and family welfare

  1. “artificial insemination” means the procedure of artificially transferring semen into the reproductive system of a woman and includes insemination with the husband’s semen or with the donor’s semen
  2. “assisted reproductive technology”, means all techniques that attempt to obtain a pregnancy by handling or manipulating the sperm or the oocyte outside the human body and transferring the gamete or the embryo into the reproductive tract of a woman
  3. “assisted reproductive technology bank” means an organisation that is set up to supply sperm or semen, oocytes or oocyte donors and surrogate mothers to the assisted reproductive technology clinics or their patients
  4. “assisted reproductive technology clinic” means any premises, equipped with the requisite facilities for carrying out the procedures related to the assisted reproductive technology
  5. “biological parent” means the genetic parent
  6. “commissioning couple” means an infertile married couple, who approach an assisted reproductive technology clinic or assisted reproductive technology bank for obtaining service’s that the assisted reproductive technology clinic or the assisted reproductive technology bank is authorised to provide
  7. “couple” means a relationship between a male person and female person who live together in a shared household through a relationship in the nature of marriage which is legal in India
  8. “cryo-preservation” means the freezing and storing of gametes, zygotes and embryos
  9. “donor” means the donor of a gamete or gametes but does not include the husband who provides the sperm or the wife who provides the oocyte to be used in the process of assisted reproduction for their own use
  10. “egg”, means the female gamete namely the oocyte
  11. “sperm” means the male gametes produced in the testicles and contained in semen
  12. “embryo”, means the fertilised ovum that has begun cellular division and continued development up to eight weeks
  13. “fertilisation”, means the penetration of the ovum by the spermatozoon and fusion of genetic materials resulting in the development of a zygote
  14. “foetal reduction”, means reduction in the number of foetuses in the case of multiple pregnancies
  15. “foetus”, means the product of conception, starting from completion of embryonic development until birth or abortion
  16. “oocyte” and “ovum”, means, the female gamete present in the ovary, and an ovulated oocyte in which the first polar body has been released
  17. “patients” means an infertile married couple who comes to any registered assisted reproductive technology clinic and is under treatment for infertility
  18. “gamete”, means sperm and oocyte namely the egg
  19. “gamete donor”, means a person who provides sperm or oocyte with the objective of enabling an infertile couple to have a child
  20. “implantation”, means the attachment and subsequent penetration by the zona-free blastocyst, which starts five to seven days following fertilization
  21. “infertility”, means the inability to conceive after at least one year of unprotected coitus or an anatomical or physiological condition that would prevent a couple from having a child
  22. “Insurance” means an arrangement in which a company undertakes to provide guarantee of compensation to the family/ nominee/ beneficiary of surrogate mother/ oocytes donor in case of death and the compensation of medical expenses incurred in case of medical emergency to the surrogate and oocytes donor themselves and in case of any complications that have arisen during pregnancy which are likely to continue for the rest of life of surrogate and oocytes donor
  23. “Legitimate” means in accordance or in compliance with the existing/ established law or accepted patterns and standards
  24. “Medical Visa” means an official authorization/endorsement in a passport or similar documents issued by Indian High Commission or Indian Embassy permitting entry into and travel within India for treatment of infertility at an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Clinic registered under National Registry of ART Clinics
  25. “Foreigners Regional Registration Officer/ Foreigners Registration Officer” means an officer having jurisdiction over the area for implementation of the Acts/Rules pertaining to foreigners where the assisted reproductive technology clinic is located
  26. “Non Resident Indian (NRI)” means an Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian Passport
  27. “Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)” means a person registered as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955
  28. “People of Indian Origin (PIO)” means a person who or whose any of ancestors was an Indian national and who is presently holding another country’s citizenship/ nationality i.e. he/she is holding foreign passport
  29. “Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis” includes the technique in which an embryo formed through in-vitro fertilisation is tested for specific disorders prior to the transfer
  30. “Record” means documents pertaining to infertile couple, gamete donor and surrogate mother’s medical history, diagnosis/screening, types and steps of treatments/ procedures and their complications, if any and final outcome, written consent’s, agreement’s, No Objection Certificate’s (NOCs), other related documents etc.
  31. “surrogacy” means an arrangement in which a woman agrees to a pregnancy, achieved through assisted reproductive technology, in which neither of the gametes belong to her or her husband, with the intention to carry it and hand over the child to the commissioning couple for whom she is acting as a surrogate
  32. “surrogate mother” means a woman who is a citizen of India and is resident of India, who agrees to have an embryo generated from the sperm of a man who is not her husband and the oocyte of another woman, implanted in her to carry the pregnancy to viability and deliver the child to the commissioning couple that had asked for surrogacy
  33. “surrogacy agreement” means an agreement between the commissioning couple availing of assisted reproductive technology and the surrogate mother; (zt) “zygote” means the fertilized oocyte prior to the first cell division.

 Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre
anitadane@gmail.com

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Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 15 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI, donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy. Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.

courtesy :  assisted reproductive technology regulation bill issued by the Ministry of Health and family welfare

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Moringa (Drumstick) - key to your infertility woes and answer to a multitude of ailments



It won’t be an exaggeration to call Moringa Tree (Drumstick)  a “ MIRACLE TREE”. All the parts of the tree like, the leaves, bark, fruits, flowers,  sap, seeds, oil and even the root has medicinal or commercial utilities. Since ages, this has been utilized in Ayurveda to prevent and cure more than a hundred diseases and for enhancing general health and boosting immunity. I can go on and on and write pages about this precious tree, which is a powerhouse of goodness. But I will just give a brief account of the medicinal and nutritional properties of this plant

It is near to impossible to find a plant with as much Protein, Vitamin C,A, Pottassium, Calcium content as in Muringa leaves. It also has significant traces of Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin and Pyridoxine.

Muringa leaves  is known to stabilize blood pressure and sugar. It also seems to have diuretic and antiseptic properties, is  effective in curing headaches, fevers, infections, arthritis, anemia, parasite infection, ulcers and constipation.

The high protein content in muringa leaves make it an ideal food for vegetarians, as this is one vegetable, which can almost match the protein content in animal meat. Studies prove that the protein in muringa is better and higher than in soya. The amino acids essential for our body is present in these leaves. Even after drying, the leaves retain lot of its nutritional value, this along with the cheap and easy availability makes it ideal as a supplement for the malnourished  people in the third world countries.

In India, especially in the southern states, drumsticks and the leaves are revered as an aphrodisiac and is eaten to increase the sex libido, correct erectile dysfunction and improving the semen quality.  Male and female infertility is now a global challenge and  the tonic made out of flowers and leaves of  muringa is said to be a remedy for this crisis. It is also prescribed to the breastfeeding moms to enhance milk production.

The oil extracted from the seeds and roots also have scores of benefits. The unique property of this oil is that  it doesn’t turn stale even after years, hence is used  in perfumes, cosmetics and as lubricant  in machinery and watches.

Muringa is an easy to grow tree which requires minimum maintenance. In olden days, it was an asset to the South Indian kitchen backyards. The pesticide free fruits, leaves and flowers can augment the nutritional value of your food and keep you far away from illnesses.

   "All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature, the
                                 Challenge of science is to find it."

Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre
anitadane@gmail.com

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Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 15 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI, donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy. Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.


Monday, 5 October 2015

Is the future of Intra- Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) - PIEZO ICSI ?



When I attended the ACE 2015  conference, I was privileged to listen to an  interesting lecture by a Japanese embryologist. It was concerning a new technology called PIEZO  ICSI, wherein  vibration was used to puncture the egg instead of a needle, as employed in conventional  ICSI procedure. 

First let us understand the conventional ICSI procedure. ICSI is a process in which a sperm is directly injected into an egg. In current micromanipulators, sharp needle is used to forcibly penetrate the egg  through the zona pellucida (protecting cover of egg ) which causes considerable deformation of the zona or in simple terms creates a hole. This deformation may increase the internal pressure of the oocyte, (egg) induce the emission of ooplasm (cytoplasm inside the egg) from the oocyte after removal of the needle and may cause oocyte death.

Since the cytoplasm inside cell (egg)  has high extendibility, the inserted needle may not penetrate the cytoplasm. So the sperm should be injected after aspiration of the matter into the pippette, which is done by the embryologists. They aspirate little cytoplasm  and then only inject the sperm into the egg cell.

The first report on piezo-ICSI was published by Kimura and Yanagimachi (1995), who used mice as subjects. By means of this method, egg penetration can be achieved by voltage of piezoelectric elements. Similarly, after the cytoplasm is reached it can be punctured by applying one piezo pulse. 

So basically vibration is used to puncture the egg, there is no sharp needle, but only a smaller blunt needle. Therefore, chances of injuring the egg is less. Moreover, there is no need to aspirate the matter from egg contents to confirm entry, which again reduces the chances of harming the egg.

Currently, this method is being used in Japanese fertility centers, with higher success rate than conventional ICSI.  It is quiet expensive to maintain an ART lab, so upgrading with new equipment can be a challenge in the current Indian scenario, as ultimately the patients will have to  bear the brunt.




Reference

Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre

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Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 15 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin and  Bangalore.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI , donor egg / sperm  and surrogacy . Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies.