a healthy choice for a healthier lifestyle
By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 9/29/2020 10:30 AM ET
The Trump Administration announced a national plan to distribute 150 million Abbott rapid point-of-care coronavirus tests in the coming weeks to assist Governors' efforts to safely reopen their states and schools.
Explaining its details at a White House news conference, President Donald Trump said 50 million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities, and 100 million tests will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools immediately.
This includes 18 million for nursing homes; 15 million for assisted living facilities; 10 million for home, health, and hospice care agencies; and nearly 1 million for historically black colleges, universities and tribal nation colleges.
6.5 million tests will be shipped to governors this week.
Trump claimed that over the last eight weeks, hospitalizations due to COVID infection have declined by 48 percent, and have reached the lowest point since March. Due to advances in treatment, the fatality rate has fallen 85 percent since April, he added.
Health and Human Services Department said the Abbott BinaxNOW Ag Card rapid test is a unique testing option to provide support to K-12 teachers and students, higher education, critical infrastructure, first responders, and other priorities as governors deem fit.
The BinaxNOW rapid test – the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized antigen rapid point-of-care test that does not require an instrument – is easy to use, will produce COVID-19 test results in 15 minutes, and costs $5.
Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, said testing may be performed by laboratories with a clear certificate of waiver. "This is not a home test. But during the health emergency, Seema Verma and CMS permits laboratories to extend their certificate to operate in temporary sites, like schools or churches or parking lots," he added.
The Federal government purchased Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic tests on August 27 after FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to ensure they would be expeditiously distributed to vulnerable populations as quickly as possible. Significantly, the nation's governors will not have to compete for the initial BinaxNOW shipments, or take time to set up purchasing contracts.
Abbott Diagnostics said it plans to make up to 48 million tests available monthly in the U.S. in the coming weeks.
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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT News.com website.
Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe
By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 9/18/2020 10:51 AM ET
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, show that adult obesity is increasing in the United States, and obese individuals are at heightened risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19.
The phenomenon remains high in 12 states, according to the 2019 Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps. Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia have an adult obesity prevalence at a rate of 35 percent or above. This is up from nine states in 2018 and six states in 2017.
Combined data from 2017-2019 show notable racial and ethnic disparities persist in adult obesity.
34 states and the District of Columbia had an obesity prevalence of 35 percent or higher among non-Hispanic Black adults.
In addition to the maps, CDC has released a summary statement on obesity and race and ethnicity as related to COVID-19 risk.
The pandemic has increased the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death among obese people, it says.
Being obese may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection. It has been found that obesity is linked to impaired immune function.
Obesity decreases lung capacity and reserve and can make ventilation more difficult.
It has also been found that the risk of death from COVID-19 increases with a rise in BMI (Body mass index).
Studies have demonstrated that obesity may be linked to lower vaccine responses for numerous diseases.
Obesity disproportionately impacts some racial and ethnic minority groups who are also at increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
The report recommends that being active and eating a healthy diet can support optimal immune function and help prevent or manage chronic diseases that worsen outcomes from COVID-19.
These actions, as well as getting enough sleep and finding healthy ways to cope with stress are found to be helping with weight maintenance and improve overall health.
By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 9/18/2020 8:53 AM ET
Acella Pharmaceuticals, LLC recalled certain lots of hypothyroidism medication NP Thyroid in the form of tablets due to super potency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.
The company is recalling one lot of 15-mg and one lot of 120-mg of NP Thyroid that are packaged in 100 count bottles in strengths of 15 mg, and 120 mg, with expiration dates between October 2020, and November 2020. The drug is originally intended to treat an underactive thyroid.
According to the company, the product may have as low as 87 percent of the labeled amount of Liothyronine (T4), it added.
NP Thyroid is composed of levothyroxine and liothyronine and used to treat hypothyroidism. These lots were distributed across the U.S. to Acella's direct accounts, including wholesalers, pharmacies, and healthcare offices.
Acella noted that if patients are treated for hypothyroidism with these sub potent NP Thyroid tablets, they may experience signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including swelling of the thyroid gland or weight gain, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, puffy face, hair loss, slow heart rate and depression.
Newborn infants or pregnant women who take sub potent NP Thyroid also may experience early miscarriage, fetal hyperthyroidism, and/or impairments to fetal neural and skeletal development.
Acella said it has received four reports of adverse events until date related to the recalled products.
"Patients who are currently taking NP Thyroid from the lots being recalled should not discontinue use without contacting their healthcare provider for further guidance and/or a replacement prescription," the company added.
In May, Acella Pharmaceuticals had recalled 13 lots of hypothyroidism medication NP Thyroid in the form of tablets due to super potency.
Microscopic particles of air pollution can damage brain cells. Omega-3s could act as a shield.
September 7, 2020 By Nathaniel Scharping
Air pollution is a constant companion in modern society, often even for those of us living outside cities. And it's taking a toll on our health in the form of heart, lung and brain problems. Simply put, the more air pollution you're around, the more likely you are to die earlier (Pope, 2000).
Air pollution may be inescapable, but there's hope. A new study shows that people who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids seem to be shielded from brain degeneration, even when they live in areas with high levels of air pollution (Chen et al., 2020).
The study, from researchers at Columbia University's Irving Medical Center, backs up years of prior research on omega-3s and the brain. Not only are the fatty acids crucial to developing and maintaining healthy brain cells, they likely also serve to protect them as well.
No Escape From Air Pollution
Even in places where the air isn't visibly dirty, pollution can be an issue. For their study, the researchers focused on particulate matter, a type of air pollution made up of microscopic particles and droplets such as smoke, soot and dust.
Particulate matter has many sources: vehicles, factories, agriculture, and even some natural processes. Wildfires are also potent producers, as millions of Californians were reminded this summer (Thurston et al., 2011).
So, while levels of particulate matter are falling on average nationwide, air pollution is still a serious problem in some areas of the U.S. Scientists classify most particulate matter air pollution into two categories:
Both classes are harmful to humans, but the smaller PM2.5 particles can penetrate deeper into the lungs when inhaled, making them potentially more dangerous. And for years, studies have pointed out the myriad health issues that these particles cause. Higher levels of airborne particulate matter are associated with heart and lung problems, as well as with premature deaths in general (Pope, 2000). High PM2.5 levels have also been linked to a number of brain issues, including inflammation and decreases in brain volume among older adults (Wilker et al., 2015).
This kind of brain damage can be a marker for cognitive decline in the elderly, and it can be difficult to recover from. That makes it crucial to prevent damage before it happens.
A Link Between Brain Health and Seafood
For this latest research, the scientists looked at data from a large study conducted between 1996 and 2006 called the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (WHIMS-MRI). It included over 1,300 healthy women between the ages of 65 and 80 who agreed to MRI scans of their brains, and who answered a battery of questions about their lifestyles, diets and more. The researchers also collected blood samples to measure levels of two important omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in the women's bodies.
Then, the researchers used national data on air quality from the Environmental Protection Agency to track each participant's exposure to PM2.5 air pollution. With that data in hand, they could cross-reference three key things: air pollution exposure, brain health and omega-3 intake.
After accounting for a variety of factors, the researchers saw two clear trends. Women who were exposed to more air pollution had lost greater amounts of white matter in their brains, as well as brain volume in the hippocampus. But those with a diet that was rich in seafood — and therefore included plentiful omega-3s — had no such brain loss, even when they were exposed to air pollution.
The takeaway was that omega-3 fatty acids are likely to protect against the neurodegenerative effects of air pollution (Chen et al., 2020).
How Omega-3s Protect Our Brains
The researchers propose a few ways that omega-3s might help shield our brain health from particulate matter pollution. Omega-3s help protect and repair the protective myelin sheaths that shield our nerves and brain cells, keeping neurons intact and healthy. The fatty acids also help tamp down inflammation in our brains and bodies, preventing damage to cells (Chen et al., 2020).
The researchers say the effects they saw represent only a correlation, not causation. So, while people who ate more omega-3s were also protected from pollution, they couldn't show a direct cause-and-effect relationship. In addition, their study looked only at older women, so future research could better assess how omega-3s may shield other populations.
Still, scientists have been discovering associations between omega-3s and brain health for years. There’s enough evidence that even healthcare providers consistently recommend we get enough of the fatty acids in our diets.
Of course, omega-3s are good for us for many other reasons as well. They’re crucial building blocks for brain cells, and the fatty acids help keep our brains in top shape as we get older. Protecting us from air pollution is simply one more beneficial effect.
You can make sure your diet has enough omega-3s in it simply by consuming a few servings of seafood every week. Fish and other seafood, like Vital Choice’s wild-caught salmon, are the richest dietary sources of EPA and DHA, and they deliver a liberal helping of other essential nutrients as well, from vitamin D to antioxidants. An Alaskan sockeye fillet comes packed with almost 600 milligrams of EPA and over 1100 grams of DHA per serving.
In our dusty, smoggy, smoky world, these are nutrients that our beleaguered brains truly need.
C. Arden Pope III (2000) Review: Epidemiological Basis for Particulate Air Pollution Health Standards, Aerosol Science & Technology, 32:1, 4-14, DOI:10.1080/027868200303885
Chen C, Xun P, Kaufman JD, et al. Erythrocyte omega-3 index, ambient fine particle exposure, and brain aging. Neurology. 2020;95(8):e995-e1007. doi:10.1212/wnl.0000000000010074
DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH. Importance of maintaining a low omega–6/omega–3 ratio for reducing inflammation. Open Heart. 2018;5(2):e000946. doi:10.1136/openhrt-2018-000946
Thurston GD, Ito K, Lall R. A source apportionment of U.S. fine particulate matter air pollution. Atmospheric Environment. 2011;45(24):3924-3936. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.04.070
Wilker EH, Preis SR, Beiser AS, et al. Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Residential Proximity to Major Roads and Measures of Brain Structure. Stroke. 2015;46(5):1161-1166. doi:10.1161/strokeaha.114.008348
Witte AV, Kerti L, Hermannstädter HM, et al. Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Brain Function and Structure in Older Adults. Cerebral Cortex. 2013;24(11):3059-3068. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht163
The original article written by Nathaniel Scharping and posted on VitalChoice.com.