– chedi chiang mai

Kuroda assumes ADB top post with host of challenges ahead

MANILA, Jan. 31 Kyodo

A senior adviser of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will assume the helm of the Asian Development Bank on Tuesday with the urgent task of licking poverty in the region and spurring regional economic growth.

Haruhiko Kuroda, 60, takes over the reins of the Manila-based financial institution from Tadao Chino, who ends his six-year term Monday.

Kuroda was Koizumi''s adviser on international monetary issues and a professor at the graduate school of economics at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo before he was picked to be the ADB''s eighth president.

Kuroda has his hands full of challenges -- from alleviating poverty in the region to reforming the international financial institution criticized for excessive bureaucracy and secrecy.

The Asia-Pacific region now faces a number of new challenges that could blur the bank''s vision of a poverty-free region. These challenges involve global economic and political uncertainties, including global security concerns, conflicts, natural calamities and epidemic diseases like SARS, bird flu and AIDS.

Kuroda faces the task of helping to reduce the region''s vulnerabilities to these external shocks.

''''ADB faces increasing pressures to respond to some of the most critical challenges of our time, including poverty, global security, environmental sustainability and economic uncertainty,'''' says a recent ADB policy paper.

In early 1999, the bank adopted poverty reduction as its ''''overarching goal.'''' But despite its poverty-reduction efforts, the Asia-Pacific region still accounts for nearly two-thirds of the world''s poor, or some 720 million people living on less than a dollar a day.

According to the bank, the Dec. 26 earthquake-triggered tsunamis that ripped across southern Asia, leaving nearly 300,000 people dead or missing around the Indian Ocean rim, could throw another 2 million people into poverty.

Recognizing that the urgent task at hand is to speed up reconstruction efforts in tsunami-ravaged countries, Chino announced Friday that the ADB is hatching a plan to establish a $600 million Asian Tsunami Trust Fund.

Kuroda is expected to oversee the implementation of this plan to provide grants and highly concessional loans to countries devastated by the tsunami.

The task is not new to Kuroda. As former Japanese vice finance minister for international affairs, Kuroda helped design and implement the $30 billion Miyazawa Initiative -- Japan''s response to crisis-hit Asian economies in 1997.

Under his leadership, Japan helped Asian nations establish a network of currency swap agreements, the so-called Chiang Mai Initiative, to avert a repeat of the 1997-1978 Asian financial crisis.

''''Poverty in the region has always remained the paramount challenge of the bank,'''' Cielito Habito, former head of the Philippines'' National Economic and Development Authority, said in an interview.

In 2003, the ADB lent $6.1 billion and provided $50.3 million worth of grants to ease poverty in Asia.

The ADB claims to have helped reduce poverty incidence in Asia and the Pacific region from 32 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 2000, or from 900 million poor in 1990 to 720 million at the end of the last decade.

But Philippine Economic Development Secretary Romulo Neri has his doubts about the ADB''s role, saying, ''''Their interventions may not be that helpful as they should be.''''

''''The organization needs revitalization,'''' he told Kyodo News. ''''It needs improvement in the quality of their analyses. (Compared with the World Bank and other institutions), ADB''s (analyses) need a little more refinement, a little more sharpness.''''

Indeed, Kuroda will also face the tough tasks of reforming the bank to make it more responsive to the needs of its members and the need to have greater transparency so that it will be able to provide the public with ''''a clear, balanced picture of its work and results,'''' according to the policy paper.

The paper stresses the need for the bank to ''''disseminate its knowledge and expertise on regional issues more effectively,'''' citing increasing demands from governments, business, and civil society for the ADB to provide expert knowledge and insights into the region.

''''There is a growing demand for information about development in Asia and the Pacific and the lessons learned from experience. This poses a challenge to ADB to enhance its intellectual leadership and better articulate and communicate its substantial knowledge of the region,'''' says the paper.

The ADB has been headed by Japanese since its establishment in 1966. Japan is one of the two largest shareholders in the ADB, along with the United States.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Kyodo News International, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

– Zinc and Body

Zinc, often ignored by the average person, is an essential mineral that plays many roles in promoting the healthy functioning of the body. It is important to the body from the earliest moments of growth and development and is a fundamental part of health throughout our lives. We need to be sure to regularly meet the recommended daily income levels of this nutrient, as our health and general well being can be significantly impacted by a failure to do so.

Zinc is an important mineral that serves many vital purposes in the body. Approximately one hundred enzymes rely on the presence of zinc to be effective in their specialized tasks within the body. Zinc has a significant role in the process of physical growth of babies developing in the womb, and for the growth of both children and teenagers. Zinc is necessary to the synthesis of DNA and serves to keep the senses of taste and smell functioning properly. It helps the body’s immune system to be effective and strong, and it is important to note that even relatively small deficiencies of zinc can adversely impact the functioning of the immune system.

Deficiencies in zinc can cause a variety of symptoms, effecting both physical and mental processes. Among the most common are the slowing of growth of babies in the uterus, as well as the retardation of growth in older children. A lack of zinc can interfere with the maturation of the reproductive organs, as well as interfere with reproductive functions and processes. It can contribute to impotence. Chronic diarrhea, poor appetite, and thus significant weight loss of the unhealthy and undesirable sort, hair loss, and the slow healing of wounds are all associated with zinc deficiencies. So, too, are open sores on the skin and in the mouth, strange tastes in the mouth, and inefficient or reduced mental functioning, especially cognitive processes.

The nutrients essential to body health and functioning are powerful, and it is important to remember that, just like prescription medicines, exceeding the recommended dosage can cause serious health problems. In some health circumstances and situations, higher doses of zinc may be indicated, but these should always come with a recommendation from your health care provider or as a result of serious, in-depth research undertaken with the guidance of a nutrition specialist.

Those eating a vegetarian diet must be especially careful about monitoring the zinc levels in their day-to-day nutrition. A dietary supplement containing zinc may be their best option to keeping their zinc levels where they should be, as it is more difficult to obtain all the necessary zinc from plant sources only. This is especially important for children that are being raised in the vegetarian lifestyle, as zinc is important to normal growth and puberty. The many health benefits of a vegetarian diet do not have to be sacrificed, even for children. A simple and safe zinc supplement is an excellent option for health.

Zinc needs to get the popular recognition it deserves for the vital role it plays in the overall health of the body. For those concerned about their daily zinc intake, a dietary supplement containing the proper dosage of zinc may be the right choice.

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– Protect Against Aging

Vitamins and Minerals Thought To Protect Against Aging

During the past thirty years, there has been a steadily growing body of scientific evidence showing that vitamins and minerals play a much more important role in our overall health than previously acknowledged. The proper balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients has been linked to health benefits that include stronger immune system response, prevention of many degenerative diseases, and the slowing of the daily wear and tear that is the aging process. A well balanced diet, rich in the necessary nutrients, while difficult to achieve in our fast paced culture, has a wide range of benefits.

It is essential to overall health and longevity to keep the immune system functioning well. There are a number of nutrients that have been shown be necessary to our immune function. Antioxidants, such as the vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene, and selenium have been shown to boost immunity. The minerals zinc and magnesium are also important for immune function. To ensure a beneficial intake of these antioxidants, you must include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Zinc and magnesium can be found in dairy products, and seafood.

Certain vitamins and minerals have been shown to aid in the prevention of some degenerative diseases, and aging disorders. Antioxidants can help to lower the risk of cataracts, and macular degeneration, which are conditions associated with aging. It is also suggested by experts that they can help slow the aging process by reducing the daily cell damage done by environmental pollution, and time. Vitamin E has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Niacin, a B vitamin can help in reducing the level of cholesterol. Some other nutrients that are helpful in protecting against age related disorders are selenium, cartenoids, flavinoids, and some Amino acids.

Proper nutrition via the diet, while definitely achievable, is often a difficult process in today’s fast paced culture, particularly in combination with the social changes we’ve experienced. People often work longer and harder, and the two income family reigns supreme, followed closely by the single parent family unit. Another difficulty involved in achieving the standard recommended daily intake levels of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients each and every day has to do with food quality. As minerals are depleted from the soil, due to growing practices that include single crop plantings and failure to rotate crops or let field remain fallow to rest and regenerate, as well as through the erosion of topsoil, the mineral content of food is not always what we think it is.

Nutritional supplements offer a reliable and safe means of ensuring that we reach our nutritional goals. Nutritional supplements are not meant to substitute for a good diet, but rather to complement it. In fact, they tend to perform much better when they have real food to interact with. If you are inexperienced with nutritional supplements, you may benefit from a consultation with a licensed nutritionist who will be able to help you to devise a nutritional supplement plan best suited for your dietary needs and health goals.

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– Natural Appetite Supressant

Weight Loss And Appetite Suppressants - Hoodia

For decades, the Holy Grail of the diet industry has been an all natural appetite suppressant with no side effects other than the intended weight loss. Like the Holy Grail, it has been elusive. The diet pharmaceutical companies thought they found it in starch-blockers, in ephedra, in fat binders. the list goes on. While many of these worked, they often came with a heavy list of side effects, many of them dangerous. After an initial flurry of excitement and sales, most were knocked off track by reports of dangers associated with their use, and some were even banned from U.S. sale.The latest arrival on the Holy Weight Loss Grail circuit is an unprepossessing African succulent known as hoodia gordoni. Cleared for sale in the U.S. in early 2004, it has been steadily making a name for itself as a powerful appetite suppressant that can help you lose weight. Its popularity was significantly boosted by reports on 60 Minutes, ABC News and BBC News.

As part of the BBC report, BBC Two''s correspondent Tom Mangold, actually traveled to Africa to sample the hoodia in situ. He and his cameraman, who also tested the plant, both reported feeling pleasantly full for nearly 48 hours after eating a piece of hoodia gordoni.

The hoodia plant has been used by the San tribesmen of the Kalahari desert for centuries to suppress the pangs of hunger on long hunts and trips. Modern research has isolated an ''active ingredient'' known as P57. Though the research is still scanty, it appears to work by fooling the hypothalamus into thinking that there is more sugar in the blood than there actually is.

Does it actually work? It''s really still too early to tell, but in one clinical trial conducted by Phytopharm, the company that holds the patent on the process to extract P57 from hoodia, human subjects taking hoodia reduced their caloric intake by as much as 1000 calories a day. The figures are impressive.

But is it safe? There again, the research is far to scant to make a reasonable decision on it. There are no known side effects - but it also hasn''t been used outside one small tribe in Africa until the past two years. It''s possible that there are side effects to long-term use that aren''t yet evident.

Until then, use caution in purchasing products made with hoodia. Many of the commercially available products contain virtually no hoodia gordoni at all. Consult your doctor before undertaking any weight loss program that involves appetite suppressants. This is particularly important for those who''ve been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, as the action of the hoodia plant can trick the body into thinking that the blood sugar is fine even as they approach hypoglycemic shock.

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– Hoodia History

No one can say for sure, but it is believed that the indigenous San People have used Hoodia for most or all of the 27,000+ years that they lived in the Kalahari Desert. It was not until 1937 (when a Dutch anthropologist studying their customs noticed that they munched on the stem to stifle the fierce hunger pangs they endured during long hunting trips) that Hoodia first came to the attention of the west. Apparently, without realizing its true potential, the Dutch researcher had witnessed in action the plant with the most powerful natural appetite-suppressant known to man.

Hoodia sat on the back shelf in a lab for almost thirty years. At that time, South African scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research began studying it and discovered that lab animals fed the flesh of the succulent plant lost weight and suffered no ill effects.

With its powerful appetite-suppressing effect, the Hoodia plant is credited for the endurance and survival of the hardy San people whose heritage can be traced back to 27,000 year old rock paintings.

Realizing that Hoodia stops hunger and provides a state of alertness (without the jittery feeling) the Western world is fascinated by its prospects. With obesity-related health problems on the rise (such as cancer, kidney failure, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and heart disease) and health costs soaring, many around the world are now focusing on Hoodia and the promise it holds. CLICK HERE TO ORDER


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– Diabetes and Weight Loss

Did you know that you can be ''just a little bit diabetic''? The condition is technically called ''pre-diabetes'', and it is characterized by persistent high blood sugar levels. Pre-diabetes is a serious condition, though its symptoms may be so subtle that you don''t notice them affecting your life. More importantly, it''s an indicator that there is something seriously wrong with your body. Left untreated, over 50% of those diagnosed with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within ten years.

If your doctor has told you that you are one of the more than 16 million Americans who has pre-diabetes, the American Diabetes Association has some very good news for you. In March 2005, the ADA released the results of the multi-year Diabetes Prevention Project. In a study that followed thousands of patients across the nation who had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, the Diabetes Prevention Project found that patients who lost a ''moderate'' amount of weight reduced their risk of developing full-blown diabetes by over 58%. Even more encouraging, many of those patients had managed to reverse their condition, and their blood sugar levels were well within normal ranges.

This was a result that the researchers had not expected. Diabetes (and pre-diabetes) is the result of changes to cells in the pancreas that reduce the amount of insulin that they can produce. Doctors have always believed that those changes are irreversible. Now however, the research seems to suggest that losing weight with a healthy balance of exercise and diet can actually heal those early damages caused by diabetes.

Here''s the even better news. Those results were achieved by people who lost ''moderate'' amounts of weight - from 5-7% of their total body mass. In other words, if you weigh 200 pounds and have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, losing just 10-15 pounds can more than halve the risk of developing full-blown diabetes, and may reverse your condition entirely.

Here are some healthy weight loss tips from the American Diabetes Association:

1. Keep your diet balanced. Eat a variety of foods in all food groups, with an emphasis on grains, starches and fresh vegetables and fruit.

2. Learn to eyeball portions. Portion control is far more important than restricting what foods you eat. A ''portion'' of raw vegetables may be considerably larger than a portion of the same vegetables cooked. There are some handy reference guides on their web site at www.diabetes.org

3. Add one half hour daily of moderate exercise to your daily routine five days a week. This one single lifestyle change seemed to be the key to both weight loss and the beneficial effects derived from it. It was the single significant difference between the two groups in the study.

The results of the Diabetes Prevention Project only confirm what has been the best advice in dieting circles for years - losing weight with a balanced diet and exercise is the healthiest way there is. For more information on the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association, visit their web site at www.diabetes.org

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– Antioxidant Minerals

Because the antioxidant vitamins tend to get most of the press and publicity, many people are unaware that there are also important antioxidant minerals that are essential to the body’s continuous battle against free radicals and the damage they do. Making sure that the proper nutrients are consumed daily is a necessary part of helping the body to be able to keep free radical damage as low as possible.

A mineral, vitamin or other nutrient is deemed antioxidant if it, on its own or as an essential part of a group of substances, it serves to bring free radicals under control. Free radicals are unstable molecules that generally come from both environmental contaminants and some of the body’s natural processes. There are certain minerals that are an integral part of managing the free radical population within the body.

Selenium has come to be recognized as one of the most important of these minerals, though each does play an important role in free radical management. Selenium is an essential component of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, and this substance is one that is able to stabilize the free radical.

Since the universal acceptance of the mineral selenium, a trace element, as an essential nutrient during the 1950’s, researchers have been studying the ways that it affects health. In 1973, researchers confirmed the antioxidant properties of the mineral selenium, and since then, numerous studies have demonstrated that it may play a significant role in the prevention of certain types of cancers. However, it should be noted that excessively high levels of selenium can cause serious health problems – as can deficiencies of selenium – and some studies have found excessively high levels of selenium to be associated with other types of cancer. The body is a delicate balance of a variety of chemicals and substances, and optimum performance requires thought and planning.

The minerals zinc and copper form part of another of the body’s important antioxidant enzymes. This enzyme, called superoxide dismutase, is present in the body in two forms. The first form is found almost everywhere in the body, and it needs zinc and copper to function.

The second form of this important antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase is found specifically in the mitochondria, which is the part of the cell responsible for changing the energy that comes from the various nutrients into a form that can be used by the cells. In this second form of the enzyme superoxide dismutase, it is the mineral zinc and the mineral manganese that are essential to the antioxidant enzyme’s ability to function properly.

Making sure that the body has all of the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients it needs each day is very important for both day-to-day and long-term health and well-being. Dietary supplements are a safe and effective means of seeing that the body does have all of the nutrients it needs for all of its systems to work at peak performance levels, especially those that maintain daily health and those that protect health over the long-term. However, nutritional supplements are powerful agents, and must be used within the established dosage guidelines to be beneficial to the health. Used in this fashion, dietary supplements can serve as a valuable part of any health routine.

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