Dr harold Gunatillake

Seniors event- Annual Seniors’ Day for expat Sri Lankans in NSW, Australia – Video thanks to Dr Harold Gunatillake

Annual Seniors Day incorporated with The Sri Lankan Community Young Achiever Awards 2019 was held at Community Hall, Thornleigh NSW, Australia. Filming was done by Dr Harold Gunatillake


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Good advice from Dr. Harold

Dr. Harold Gunethilake

How do the probiotics stay alive in a sealed capsule?

good advice

Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria,and the common ones mentioned are L. acidophilus and bifidobacterial,certain yeast and a few other livebacteria.

According to the adopted definition by FAO/WHO probiotics are: “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.

These beneficial bacteria are in milk fermented with lactic acid, and Bulgarians and Russians who live largely on milk fermented by lactic acid bacteria were exceptionally lived longer.

In 1935 certain strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus were found to be very active when implanted in the human digestive system. These organisms were used for the relief of constipation.
These strains of lacto-bacillus have many other health benefits.

Prevention of colon cancer
In the laboratory trials some strain of Lactobacillus has demonstrated anti-cancer effects thought to be due to their ability to bind with heterocyclic amines, which are carcinogenic substances formed in cooked meat.

Lowering cholesterol
Animal studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a range of lacto-bacillus to be able to lower serum cholesterol levels, presumably by breaking down bile in the gut, thus inhibiting its reabsorption, which enters the portal blood stream as cholesterol.Human trials have shown that dairy foods fermented with lacto-bacillus can produce reduction in the total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Lowering of blood pressure
Some clinical trials have shown that consumption of milk fermented with strains of lacto-bacillus may result in modest reduction in blood pressure.

Improve immune functions

Lacto-bacillus may protect against pathogens by means of competitive inhibition (i.e., by competing for growth), and there is evidence to show that they may improve immune function by increasing the number of IgA- producing plasma cells, increasing phagocytosis (killing pathogens by certain white blood cells), as well as increasing the T lymphocytes.

There are many other health benefits, such as decreasing the incidence or respiratory tract infections, dental caries in children, treatment and prevention of acute diarrhea and many others detailed earlier.

It was a scientist by the name of Kollath who introduced the term “Probiotics”. He pointed out that probiotics stimulated the growth of other microorganisms. In 1989 Roy Fuller suggested a definition of probiotics which has been widely used: “A live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance”.

Live probiotic bacteria are found in foods such as yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Tempeh, Misso soup and so on.

Yoghurt and other supplements
The manufacturers of probiotic yoghurt claim their products can help relieve digestive irregularities and boosts the immune system. Yogurt naturally contains lots of probiotic cultures that strengthen the digestive tract. Some Greek yogurt also have added probiotics
like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei that may help increase the good bacteria in your gut.

It is advisable to take two tablespoons of plain, low fat, unsweetened yogurt daily. Yogurt needs to be kept in the fridge to keep the live bacteria active

Probiotic bacteria are created when the above foods are fermented with lactic acid.For instance, Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink: Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid and so on. Kombucha tea and water kefir are beverages beneficial as probiotics in aiding the natural healthy gut bacteria.

They are available in your supermarket and are very refreshing drinks. They should be refrigerated and good to quench your thirst and a substitute for drinking water. They have no added sugar and low calorie.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Like other fermented foods apple cider vinegar may be considered as a probiotic. You need to buy the unpasteurized liquid with cobwebby strands that cloud the liquid- also referred to as the ‘mother’. A few drops in your cool drinking water daily would be enough. Do not take morethan a few drops daily, as the acid in the vinegar can erode your enamel.

Supplements in capsule form do not have live probiotic beneficial bacteria and it is a big gimmick to sell products by big Pharma. Most foods with live bacteria need to be refrigerated such as yogurt and others.

Some ask the question that beer and alcohol drinks are fermented products, so why not drink them for health reasons. Such fermented beverages don’t seem to have the cultured bacteria in the process of fermentation.

The bottom line is that there is no proof that supplementary capsules have live bacteria.

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71st National Independence of Sri Lanka celebrated the event in Sydney on 4th February – Video thanks to Dr. Harold Gunatillake in Sydney.

Sri Lanka got independence to govern our own country from the British rule 71 years ago. We celebrate this event yearly, in Sri Lanka and expats globally, sponsored by the respective embassies, and Consulate Officers. This you tube was done by Dr. Harold Gunatillake in Sydney.

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According to Mathew- My modest story about the origin-by Dr Harold

Dr Harold

“My act was basic, no memorising, holding the chalice with both hands, collapsing to death through an overdose of insulin”

Alston Koch acclaimed today a popular and a prodigious film actor- phoned me at my Wellawatte apartment about 6 years back, during the initial stages of the preparation of ‘The Oscars’ nominated film- “According to Mathew”, and invited me to meet Chandran Rutnam-(Film Director), and Christie Eliezer (Producer-screenplay) and others, at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo.

With no hesitation, my wife Irangani and myself accepted the invitation and met them in one of the executive apartments in Hilton.

We sat down at a round table, and whilst having a cup of tea and eats

Chandran on the left, Christie Eliezer-middle and

Chandran Ratnam on the left and myself on

Chandran asked me what I knew about Father Mathew when I was a boarder at Father Basil Jayawardena (Chaplin at St Paul the Apostle, Kinsey Road), vicarage at 123 Regent Street, Maradana, in the fifties.

My story as I recollect and related was as follows:

I was a boarder in the vicarage about 1952 to 1956 as a medical student, a most convenient spot to Medical College, just a hope and a step.

It was a privilege to stay with father Basil a very close friend of Irangani’s family.

About this period, the church wanted an assistant priest. Father Mathew was in England attending theologian’s college (not sure), in preparation to be a priest, as he was an engineer before, with the A.M.I.C.E qualification.

Irangani’s dad was one of the wardens in the St Paul’s Church who suggested inviting father Mathew to the position as assistant priest, after he finished his course in the UK.

I remember, about 1954, father Mathew after returning from UK was occupying the annex at the back of the vicarage with his wife and the children. The children were kids at that stage.

Father Mathew was appointed a hospital chaplain and used to visit the general hospital daily to bless and provide spiritual guidance to the sick patients.

Most evenings he would sit on my bed and relate the serious cases he blessed in the hospital. He would describe to me about the case histories, as he knew that I was a budding doctor.

One specific subject, he was keen to know was all about insulin. He asked me lot of questions about side effects.

During this time, I was giving insulin injections to father Basil being a diabetic, after checking his blood sugar levels. After I got through my finals, I left the vicarage, and in the meantime trained Father Basil’s driver-Kakka, a Batticaloa Muslim boy, to givethe injections to the father.

Later, I heard that father Mathew had taken over the responsibility of giving insulin to father Basil.

I was transferred to various stations as a young doctor in government service, and I had no contact with the vicarage since then.

Father Mathew being a family friend of my wife, visited Hiniduma when I was DMO, to bless our first and only (late) child, and after that we never met him.

He did visit Sydney twice and gave channel 2 TV interviews on the subject of ‘chasing devils from possessed people’.

Father Mathew was a very convincing dominant character, having a very charismatic personality.

He became famous to chase devils through the practice of exorcism, from sick people who were supposed to be possessed by devils. and he seems to reveal a sixth sense by picking up little bottles with charmed oil, buried in the ground, in the four corners of a house, placed by enemies of a respective family to bring sicknesses and malefic supernatural influences, a belief prevalent at that time.

The stories related by many acquaintances were that he visits the homes the day before and gets friendly with the servants and seek information that he requires to chase the devils the next day. He buries those bottles without anybody noticing his actions, on his first visit.

After I briefed the information about my recollections at the vicarage during my time, we left Chandran and associates of the film.

A few hours later, Alston rang me and asked whether I would like to act as father Basil, in the film. With absolutely no previous theatrical background and acting in films, I said, ‘Most certainly”.

I remember there were problems in seeking an Anglican church to film the relevant captures of the story, as the Anglican Bishop had sent a circular round that no film producer to be allowed to film in any of the churches.

I personally, visited St Paul’s Church on a Sunday, to seek permission to take some captures of the interior of the church, with my pro-camcorder. The priest said that it was not possible as the bishop had sent a circular round not to allow outsiders to take any pictures.

Permission obtained from the Methodist church, Wellawatte- to film

My part as father Basil was filmed at this church, and a few other scenes also. I saw Jacqueline Fernandez appearing in the church after my scenes were filmed. She was stunning and beautiful and kept the hundred odd working staff mesmerised.

My act lasts only 10 seconds, but a whole morning was spent in adjusting the ceiling camera to get the right shot. There was a side camera that took the side shots, and that view did not recognise my identity very much.

Methodist church

I appear as father Basil, holding the chalice with the sacramental wine in both hands above my head, and whilst blessing of the chalice I collapse due to an overdose of insulin (hypoglycaemic shock), and the red wine in the chalice had to be thrown in such a way for the ceiling camera to capture the dramatic spread of the red wine and my demise. I got it right in the second attempt and Chandran was very pleased.

Parishioners come rushing and surrounds me, crying, “father, are you alright”.

Meanwhile father Mathew standing beside father Basil, shows no emotion, stands firm with no remorse.

That ends my part.

My thanks to Chandran and Alston for making me a film star overnight.

Dr. Harold Gunatillake

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