Return to organic food forms, says Chunkath

Lifestyle changes key to ensuring hassle-free old age Lifestyle changes key to hassle-free old age

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The need to effect lifestyle changes among youth is the key towards ensuring hassle-free old age, speakers at a seminar on the management of geriatric disorders in Ayurveda and Siddha agreed, here.

They stressed that following a healthy lifestyle from a young age will decide the quality of life after 60 years.

Inaugurating the seminar conducted by Dr.A. Lakshmipathi Research Centre for Ayurveda, VHS, Adyar, Health Secretary Sheela Rani Chunkath advocated a return to organic, non-pesticide polluted food forms. Most of the food was grown in nitrate-choked soil, using heavy dosage of pesticides and eating these fruits and vegetables would not be healthy, but lead to further detrioration of health.

A sedentary lifestyle, combined with a diet of fast foods, had led to a number of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, renal failure, cardiac complications, she said. It was essential to resort to a low-carbohydrate, low-fat, high-fibre diet.

Taking up cudgels for the Indian systems of medicine, Ms. Chunkath said though allopathy was the mainstream method of treatment, Ayurveda and Siddha drugs were cheaper, more effective, without side effects and provided holistic care to patients.

However, there was constantly a clamour to validate these systems by the Western norms, she said, adding that there was no need to perform double-blind placebo control studies on Ayurvedic and Siddha drugs, as there exists a lot of empirical data validated over years of use.

C.N. Deivanayagam, former director, Government Hospital for Thoracic Medicine, said modern medicine had completely missed out on treating properly the concept of ageing. He highlighted the need to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis by changing lifestyles, instead of waiting for the onset of the conditions.

V.P. Sidhan, chairman, Medimix Group of companies, said there are now demands on ISM to document procedures in the proper scientific language understood by the world. Vishwanatha Sarma, scholar on Ayurveda and Siddha, said the problem with allopathy was that it was inventing drugs for temporary relief, without trying to cure the disease.

K.D. Sharma, deputy-director, Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, said these streams of medicine had special expertise in treating problems in geriatrics.

`Rasayanagandha,' was said to actually delay the ageing process. He assured the gathering that researchers of ISM were following standards set by WHO in their trials and documentation.

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