The end of fasting

You are fasting, sir?” My family—like so many millions across India with cardiovascular vulnerabilities—is familiar with the regular, and irksome, testing routine for cholesterol and triglycerides.

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This ayurveda drug for diabetes costs just Rs 5

Dr Anil K R Sharma, vicepresident of Aimil Pharmaceuticals said the drug was priced at Rs 5 per tablet. “It is available on all major chemist counters in the state,” he said. He said they chose Calicut to launch the drug as the global ayurveda fest was being held in the city.

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Poor teeth (Sarah Smarsh, Aeon)

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I am bone of the bone of them that live in trailer homes. I grew up next to Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett, the hostile former drug addict from the prison TV drama Orange Is the New Black. I know her by her teeth.

Pennsatucky – a scrappy slip of a woman menacing, beating and proselytising to fellow inmates – stole the show during the first season of the Netflix prison series. But amid an ensemble cast of similarly riveting, dangerous characters, it was her grey, jagged teeth that shocked viewers into repulsed fixation. She was the villain among villains, a monster that fans loved to hate; ‘Pennsatucky teeth’ became a pejorative in social media.

Actress Taryn Manning’s gnarly, prosthetic teeth startled viewers because, by and large, poor characters in TV and film are played by actors whose whitened, straightened, veneered smiles aren’t covered up. It’s hard to think of characters besides Pennsatucky through whom heinous teeth convey rather than lampoon the physicality of the poor. The first that comes to mind is the derelict serial killer in a movie actually called Monster (2003); as with Manning, Charlize Theron’s Oscar-winning transformation generated astonishment with fake teeth.

In my life, Pennsatucky and her teeth are entirely familiar. She’s the slurring aunt who passed out in our farm’s swimming pool while babysitting me, and later stole my mom’s wedding band to buy the drugs that dug grooves in her cheeks. She’s the step-parent whose brain, organs and teeth corroded over the years and now lives in a mobile-home park with my construction-worker dad.

But Pennsatucky’s teeth aren’t just ‘meth teeth.’ They are the teeth of poor folk, of the young grandma who helped to raise me and for decades worked from diner to factory line to a desk job as a probation officer for the county court system in Wichita, Kansas. She was just 35 when I was born, so I knew her as a radiant thing; at the downtown courthouse, where I tagged along – babysitters are expensive – attorneys turned flirtatious near her green eyes, long limbs and shiny, natural-blonde bob. Then at night, in her farmhouse or the tiny brick house we fixed up in a rough Wichita neighbourhood, I watched her take out her teeth, scrub them with a rough brush, and drop them into a cup of water with a fizzy tablet.

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The Debate Over Alternative Medicine (ALAN LEVINOVITZ DATE OF PUBLICATION, 29 April 2015)

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JIM AND LOUISE Laidler lost their faith on a trip to Disneyland in 2002, while having breakfast in Goofy’s Kitchen.

The Laidlers are doctors, and their sons, Ben and David, had been diagnosed with autism. For several years, on the advice of doctors and parents, the Laidlers treated their children with a wide range of alternative medicine techniques designed to stem or even reverse autistic symptoms. They gave their boys regular supplements of vitamin B12, magnesium, and dimethylglycine. They kept David’s diet free of gluten and casein, heeding the advice of experts who warned that even the smallest bit of gluten would cause severe regression. They administered intravenous infusions of secretin, said to have astonishing therapeutic effects for a high percentage of autistic children.

Using substances known as chelating agents, the Laidlers also worked to rid Ben and David of heavy metals thought to be accumulated through vaccines and environmental pollutants. With a PhD in biology as well as his MD, Jim Laidler had become an expert on chelation, speaking nationally and internationally about it at conferences dedicated to autism and alternative approaches

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Master your metabolism: Are some people born to be fat?

We all know people who eat like horses yet are as skinny as rakes, while others, like me, seem to pile on the pounds just thinking about food. At the heart of the difference is metabolism, the sum of the chemical reactions occurring in the body at any given time.

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