University of Edinburgh study: Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

25 Jul

Stephanie Watson wrote in the WebMD article which was reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on July 12, 2020, , What You Need to Know About Iron Supplements:

How Much Iron Do You Need?

How much iron you need each day depends on your age, gender, and overall health.

Infants and toddlers need more iron than adults, in general, because their bodies are growing so quickly. In childhood, boys and girls need the same amount of iron — 10 milligrams daily from ages 4 to 8, and 8 mg daily from ages 9 to 13.

Starting at adolescence, a woman’s daily iron needs increase. Women need more iron because they lose blood each month during their period. That’s why women from ages 19 to 50 need to get 18 mg of iron each day, while men the same age can get away with just 8 mg.

After menopause, a woman’s iron needs drop as her menstrual cycle ends. After a woman begins menopause, both men and women need the same amount of iron — 8 mg each day.

You might need more iron, either from dietary sources or from an iron supplement, if you:

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may also need to take an iron supplement, because the body doesn’t absorb the type of iron found in plants as well as it absorbs the iron from meat.

How Do You Know If You’re Iron Deficient?

“People often don’t know they have anemia until they have signs or symptoms — they appear pale or ‘sallow,’ are fatigued, or have difficulty exercising,” Chottiner says.

If you’re low in iron, you may also:

  • Feel short of breath
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Have cold hands and feet
  • Crave strange substances such as dirt or clay
  • Have brittle and spoon shaped nails or hair loss
  • Sores at the corner of the mouth
  • sore tongue
  • Severe iron deficiency can cause difficulty in swallowing

If you’re tired and dragging, see your doctor. “It’s fairly easy to detect and diagnose the different stages of iron deficiency with a simple blood test,” Thomas says. Women who are pregnant and people with a gastrointestinal disorder such as Crohn’sulcerative colitis, or celiac disease should have their iron tested on a regular basis.

Do You Need to Take an Iron Supplement?

If your iron is low, eating a diet that is high in iron-rich foods such as fortified cereals, red meat, dried fruit, and beans may not be enough to give you what you need. Your doctor might recommend that you take an iron supplement.

Prenatal vitamins usually include iron, but not all prenatal vitamins contain the recommended amount. Check with your doctor before taking any supplement.

While you are taking iron supplements, your doctor should test your blood to see if your iron levels have improved.

Can Iron Supplements Cause Side Effects?

Iron supplements can cause side effects, usually stomach upset such as nauseavomitingdiarrhea, dark stools, or constipation. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to constipation. Adding extra fiber to your diet can help relieve this symptom. A stool softener may also make you feel better.

Starting with a low dose of iron and then gradually increasing the dose to the daily recommended amount may help minimize side effects. If your iron supplements are bothering your stomach, your doctor can adjust the dose or form of iron you use. You can also try taking the supplements with food.

Can You Take Too Much Iron?

Unlike some supplements, when the subject is iron, more is definitely not better. Adults shouldn’t take any more than 45 mg of iron a day unless they are being treated with iron under close medical supervision.

For children, iron overdose can be especially toxic. “Iron supplements have killed young children because their needs for iron compared to an adult’s are relatively low,” Thomas says. If you take iron supplements, it is very important to keep them in a high, locked cabinet, far out of your children’s reach. Symptoms of iron poisoning include severe vomiting, diarrheaabdominal paindehydration, and bloody stool in children.

It’s difficult for adults to overdose on iron just from food and supplements, because an adult body has systems in place to regulate the amount of iron it absorbs. However, people with the inherited condition hemochromatosis have trouble regulating their iron absorption.

Although most people only absorb about 10% of the iron they consume, people with hemochromatosis absorb up to 30%. As a result, the iron in their body can build up to dangerous levels. That excess iron can deposit in organs such as the liverheart, and pancreas, which can lead to conditions like cirrhosisheart failure, and diabetes. For that reason, people with hemochromatosis should not take iron supplements.                      webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/features/iron-supplements#1

Resources:

Too Much Iron in Your Blood?                                                                                                    https://www.webmd.com/men/features/too-much-iron-in-your-blood#1

Iron-rich Foods and Anemia                                                                                                             https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14621-iron-rich-foods-and-anemia

Hemochromatosis                                                                                                                       https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemochromatosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351443

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book

The ultimate home medical resource — completely revised and updated!                              https://order.store.mayoclinic.com/books/gnweb43?utm_source=MC-DotOrg-PS&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=FamilyHealth-Book&utm_content=FHB

Science Daily reported in Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

Genes linked to ageing that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

The international study using genetic data from more than a million people suggests that maintaining healthy levels of iron in the blood could be a key to ageing better and living longer.

The findings could accelerate the development of drugs to reduce age-related diseases, extend healthy years of life and increase the chances of living to old age free of disease, the researchers say.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany focused on three measures linked to biological ageing — lifespan, years of life lived free of disease (healthspan), and being extremely long-lived (longevity).

Biological ageing — the rate at which our bodies decline over time — varies between people and drives the world’s most fatal diseases, including heart disease, dementia and cancers.

The researchers pooled information from three public datasets to enable an analysis in unprecedented detail. The combined dataset was equivalent to studying 1.75 million lifespans or more than 60,000 extremely long-lived people.

The team pinpointed ten regions of the genome linked to long lifespan, healthspan and longevity. They also found that gene sets linked to iron were overrepresented in their analysis of all three measures of ageing.

The researchers confirmed this using a statistical method — known as Mendelian randomisation — that suggested that genes involved in metabolising iron in the blood are partly responsible for a healthy long life.

Blood iron is affected by diet and abnormally high or low levels are linked to age-related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and a decline in the body’s ability to fight infection in older age.

The researchers say that designing a drug that could mimic the influence of genetic variation on iron metabolism could be a future step to overcome some of the effects of ageing, but caution that more work is required.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Anonymised datasets linking genetic variation to healthspan, lifespan, and longevity were downloaded from the publically available Zenodo, Edinburgh DataShare and Longevity Genomics servers.

Dr Paul Timmers from the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are very excited by these findings as they strongly suggest that high levels of iron in the blood reduces our healthy years of life, and keeping these levels in check could prevent age-related damage. We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease….”                                                                                                                  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716101548.htm

Citation:

Blood iron levels could be key to slowing aging, gene study shows

Date:      July 16, 2020

Source:   University of Edinburgh

Summary:

Genes linked to aging that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

Journal Reference:

Paul R. H. J. Timmers, James F. Wilson, Peter K. Joshi, Joris Deelen. Multivariate genomic scan implicates novel loci and haem metabolism in human ageingNature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17312-3

Here is the press release from the University of Edinburgh:

Blood iron levels could be key to slowing ageing

Genes that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

The international study using genetic data from more than a million people suggests that maintaining healthy levels of iron in the blood could be a key to ageing better and living longer.

The findings could accelerate the development of drugs to reduce age-related diseases, extend healthy years of life and increase the chances of living to old age free of disease, the researchers say.

Biological ageing

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany focused on three measures linked to biological ageing – lifespan, years of life lived free of disease (healthspan), and being extremely long–lived (longevity).

Biological ageing – the rate at which our bodies decline over time – varies between people and drives the world’s most fatal diseases, including heart disease, dementia and cancers.

Data analysis

The researchers pooled information from three public datasets to enable an analysis in unprecedented detail. The combined dataset was equivalent to studying 1.75 million lifespans or more than 60,000 extremely long-lived people.

The team pinpointed ten regions of the genome linked to long lifespan, healthspan and longevity. They also found that gene sets linked to iron were overrepresented in their analysis of all three measures of ageing.

Iron’s role

The researchers confirmed this using a statistical method – known as Mendelian randomisation – that suggested that genes involved in metabolising iron in the blood are partly responsible for a healthy long life.

Blood iron is affected by diet and abnormally high or low levels are linked to age-related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and a decline in the body’s ability to fight infection in older age.

The researchers say that designing a drug that could mimic the influence of genetic variation on iron metabolism could be a future step to overcome some of the effects of ageing, but caution that more work is required.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Anonymised datasets linking genetic variation to healthspan, lifespan, and longevity were downloaded from the publicly available Zenodo, Edinburgh DataShare and Longevity Genomics servers.

We are very excited by these findings as they strongly suggest that high levels of iron in the blood reduces our healthy years of life, and keeping these levels in check could prevent age-related damage. We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease.

Dr Paul TimmersUsher Institute, University of Edinburgh

Our ultimate aim is to discover how ageing is regulated and find ways to increase health during ageing. The ten regions of the genome we have discovered that are linked to lifespan, healthspan and longevity are all exciting candidates for further studies.

Dr Joris DeelenMax Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Realted links

Journal article in Nature Communications

Usher Insitute

Daniel Pendick, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch wrote in A healthy diet is the key to getting the iron you need:

Keeping the reservoir full

Most of us get the iron we need from food. Proponents of the Paleo or “cave man” diet should be cheered to know that red meat, poultry, and fish contain the most easily absorbed form of dietary iron—called heme iron. This is iron attached to the hemoglobin protein. The body absorbs heme iron more easily than the iron found in plants.

“In the typical American diet, the main sources of iron tend to be animal products,” Sesso says. “Typical meat consumption in the United States is usually more than adequate to meet one’s iron requirements.”

In plant foods, iron is not attached to such a protein. The body doesn’t absorb non-heme iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and other plant foods as easily as it absorbs heme iron. That means those who eat little or no meat must take in more iron from leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, mushrooms, and other iron-rich plant foods. They also need to get enough vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron from food.

The USDA recommends that women between the ages of 19 and 50 get 18 mg of iron a day, while women ages 51 and older and men 19 years and beyond need 8 mg a day. Moderate amounts of meat plus fruits and vegetables can provide that amount, helped along by the many foods fortified with iron and other vitamins and minerals, like milk, flour, and breakfast cereals. And half of all Americans get some iron from a daily multivitamin.

One caution about iron: If you don’ think you are getting enough iron, or feel pooped out and assume it’s your “tired blood,” you may be tempted to pop an iron supplement as insurance. But beware. The body does not excrete iron rapidly. That means it can build up over time and, in some people, becomes toxic. The genetic disorder hemochromatosis causes iron to build up in organs, causing heart failure and diabetes.

So don’t just prescribe yourself an iron supplement on a whim; ask your doctor if you need it.

Good sources of iron

Food Portion Iron content (milligrams)
Fortified cold breakfast cereal 3 ounces 30 to 60
Spirulina seaweed 3 ounces 28
Oysters 3 ounces 9
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 9
Cream of Wheat 1 serving 9
Pumpkin seeds 3 ounces 8
Spinach, boiled and drained 1 cup 7
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 7
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 5
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 4
Beef, ground 4 ounces 3
Turkey, ground 4 ounces 3
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/healthy-diet-key-getting-iron-need-201502127710

Resources:

Iron-Rich Foods                                                                                                                            https://www.webmd.com/diet/iron-rich-foods#1

21 Foods that are High in Iron and Why You Need Them                                                              https://stayhealthy.fit/21-foods-that-are-high-in-iron-and-why-you-need-them/?utm_source=%2Biron%20%2Bdiet&utm_medium=21FoodsthatareHighinIronandWhyYouNeedThem&utm_campaign=adw_us

BEFORE BEGINNING ANY PROGRAM OF DIET, EXERCISE OR NUTRITION SUPPLEMENT CONSULT A COMPETANT MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL

 

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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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University of Missouri – Columbia study: Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

24 Jul

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe Food Contamination: How Food Gets Contaminated – The Food Production Chain

It takes several steps to get food from the farm or fishery to the dining table. We call these steps the food production chain (see graphic). Contamination can occur at any point along the chain—during production, processing, distribution, or preparation.

Production

Production means growing the plants we harvest or raising the animals we use for food. Most food comes from domesticated animals and plants, and their production occurs on farms or ranches. Some foods are caught or harvested from the wild, such as some fish, mushrooms, and game.

Production means growing the plants we harvest or raising the animals we use for food.

Examples of Contamination in Production

  • If a hen’s reproductive organs are infected, the yolk of an egg can be contaminated in the hen before it is even laid.
  • If the fields are sprayed with contaminated water for irrigation, fruits and vegetables can be contaminated before harvest.
  • Fish in some tropical reefs may acquire a toxin from the smaller sea creatures they eat.

Processing

Processing means changing plants or animals into what we recognize and buy as food. Processing involves different steps for different kinds of foods. For produce, processing can be as simple as washing and sorting, or it can involve trimming, slicing, or shredding. Milk is usually processed by pasteurizing it; sometimes it is made into cheese. Nuts may be roasted, chopped, or ground (such as with peanut butter). For animals, the first step of processing is slaughter. Meat and poultry may then be cut into pieces or ground. They may also be smoked, cooked, or frozen and may be combined with other ingredients to make a sausage or entrée, such as a potpie.

Processing means changing plants or animals into what we recognize and buy as food.

Examples of Contamination in Processing

  • If contaminated water or ice is used to wash, pack, or chill fruits or vegetables, the contamination can spread to those items.
  • During the slaughter process, germs on an animal’s hide that came from the intestines can get into the final meat product.
  • If germs contaminate surfaces used for food processing, such as a processing line or storage bins, germs can spread to foods that touch those surfaces.

Distribution

Distribution means getting food from the farm or processing plant to the consumer or a food service facility like a restaurant, cafeteria, or hospital kitchen. This step might involve transporting foods just once, such as trucking produce from a farm to the local farmers’ market. Or it might involve many stages. For instance, frozen hamburger patties might be trucked from a meat processing plant to a large supplier, stored for a few days in the supplier’s warehouse, trucked again to a local distribution facility for a restaurant chain, and finally delivered to an individual restaurant.

Distribution means getting food from the farm or processing plant to the consumer or a food service facility like a restaurant, cafeteria, or hospital kitchen.

Examples of Contamination in Distribution

  • If refrigerated food is left on a loading dock for long time in warm weather, it could reach temperatures that allow bacteria to grow.
  • Fresh produce can be contaminated if it is loaded into a truck that was not cleaned after transporting animals or animal products.

Preparation

Preparation means getting the food ready to eat. This step may occur in the kitchen of a restaurant, home, or institution. It may involve following a complex recipe with many ingredients, simply heating and serving a food on a plate, or just opening a package and eating the food.

Preparation means getting the food ready to eat. This step may occur in the kitchen of a restaurant, home, or institution.

Examples of Contamination in Preparation

  • If a food worker stays on the job while sick and does not wash his or her hands carefully after using the toilet, the food worker can spread germs by touching food.
  • If a cook uses a cutting board or knife to cut raw chicken and then uses the same knife or cutting board without washing it to slice tomatoes for a salad, the tomatoes can be contaminated by germs from the chicken.
  • Contamination can occur in a refrigerator if meat juices get on items that will be eaten raw.

Mishandling at Multiple Points

Sometimes, by the time a food causes illness, it has been mishandled in several ways along the food production chain. Once contamination occurs, further mishandling, such as undercooking the food or leaving it out on the counter at an unsafe temperature, can make a foodborne illness more likely. Many germs grow quickly in food held at room temperature; a tiny number can grow to a large number in just a few hours. Reheating or boiling food after it has been left at room temperature for a long time does not always make it safe because some germs produce toxins that are not destroyed by heat.              https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/production-chain.html

Resources:

What is Food Contamination?                                                                                                       https://www.foodsafety.com.au/blog/what-is-food-contamination

Food poisoning                                                                                                                           https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20356230

Science Daily reported in Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces:

In the future, a durable coating could help keep food-contact surfaces clean in the food processing industry, including in meat processing plants. A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that the coating — made from titanium dioxide — is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

The study was conducted by Eduardo Torres Dominguez, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering in the MU College of Engineering, and includes a team of researchers from the College of Engineering and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Dominguez is also a Fulbright scholar.

“I knew that other researchers had developed antimicrobial coatings this way, but they hadn’t focused on the coatings’ mechanical resistance or durability,” Dominguez said. “In the presence of ultraviolet light, oxygen and water, the titanium dioxide will activate to kill bacteria from the food contact surfaces on which it is applied. Although the coating is applied as a liquid at the beginning of the process, once it is ready to use it becomes a hard material, like a thin layer of ceramic.”

Heather K. Hunt, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and one of Dominguez’s advisors, guided Dominguez through the process of finding, selecting, synthesizing and characterizing the titanium dioxide material — a known disinfecting agent that is also food safe.

“We picked this material knowing it would have good antimicrobial behavior, and we strengthened its mechanical stability to withstand normal wear and tear in a typical food processing environment,” said Hunt, whose appointment is in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering. “In addition to normal cleaning procedures, our coating can add an additional layer of prevention to help stop the spread of foodborne contamination.”

Once Dominguez developed the coating, Azlin Mustapha, a professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Food Science program and Dominguez’s other advisor, helped him optimize its antimicrobial, or disinfecting, properties. Matt Maschmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, helped Dominguez optimize the material’s durability through hardness testing.

Mustapha is encouraged by the group’s progress as this could be a way to deter the spread of foodborne germs in a food processing environment.

“This will not only be helpful in the raw food processing lines of a processing plant but also ready-to-eat food lines, like deli counters, as well,” Mustapha said. “All surfaces in a food processing plant that come into contact with food are prone to be contaminated by foodborne germs spread by the handling of a contaminated food product….”                                                                                                                                        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200716111650.htm

Citation:

Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

Date:      July 16, 2020

Source:  University of Missouri-Columbia

Summary:

A new study by engineers and food scientists demonstrates that a durable coating, made from titanium dioxide, is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

Journal Reference:

Eduardo Torres Dominguez, Phong Nguyen, Annika Hylen, Matthew R. Maschmann, Azlin Mustapha, Heather K. Hunt. Design and characterization of mechanically stable, nanoporous TiO2 thin film antimicrobial coatings for food contact surfacesMaterials Chemistry and Physics, 2020; 251: 123001 DOI: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2020.123001

Here is the press release from University of Missouri – Columbia:

NEWS RELEASE 16-JUL-2020voiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces

Coating developed by collaborative team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA

In the future, a durable coating could help keep food-contact surfaces clean in the food processing industry, including in meat processing plants. A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that the coating — made from titanium dioxide — is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

The study was conducted by Eduardo Torres Dominguez, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering in the MU College of Engineering, and includes a team of researchers from the College of Engineering and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Dominguez is also a Fulbright scholar.

“I knew that other researchers had developed antimicrobial coatings this way, but they hadn’t focused on the coatings’ mechanical resistance or durability,” Dominguez said. “In the presence of ultraviolet light, oxygen and water, the titanium dioxide will activate to kill bacteria from the food contact surfaces on which it is applied. Although the coating is applied as a liquid at the beginning of the process, once it is ready to use it becomes a hard material, like a thin layer of ceramic.”

Heather K. Hunt, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and one of Dominguez’s advisors, guided Dominguez through the process of finding, selecting, synthesizing and characterizing the titanium dioxide material — a known disinfecting agent that is also food safe.

“We picked this material knowing it would have good antimicrobial behavior, and we strengthened its mechanical stability to withstand normal wear and tear in a typical food processing environment,” said Hunt, whose appointment is in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering. “In addition to normal cleaning procedures, our coating can add an additional layer of prevention to help stop the spread of foodborne contamination.”

Once Dominguez developed the coating, Azlin Mustapha, a professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Food Science program and Dominguez’s other advisor, helped him optimize its antimicrobial, or disinfecting, properties. Matt Maschmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, helped Dominguez optimize the material’s durability through hardness testing.

Mustapha is encouraged by the group’s progress as this could be a way to deter the spread of foodborne germs in a food processing environment.

“This will not only be helpful in the raw food processing lines of a processing plant but also ready-to-eat food lines, like deli counters, as well,” Mustapha said. “All surfaces in a food processing plant that come into contact with food are prone to be contaminated by foodborne germs spread by the handling of a contaminated food product.”

The researchers said this is the first step needed toward future testing of the coating’s properties in a real-world environment. Although the team has not tested it for use against the novel coronavirus, Hunt and Mustapha believe their coating has the potential to aid in helping stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in a food processing environment because of its durability and disinfecting qualities. So far, it has shown to be effective against a strain of E. coli that can be deadly in people, and more work is being done to test the coating against other disease-causing bacteria.

The study, “Design and characterization of mechanically stable, nanoporous TiO2 thin film antimicrobial coatings for food contact surfaces,” was published in Materials Chemistry and Physics. Co-authors include Phong Nguyen at MU and Annika Hylen at St. Louis University. Funding was provided by the graduate fellowship program of the Fulbright Program and the Comision Mexico-Estados Unidos para el Intercambio Educativo y Cultural (COMEXUS). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

###

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Diana Rodriguez wrote Preventing Food Contamination which was Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH:

Unfortunately, you can’t spot bacteria-riddled food just by looking at it. And food can spoil, even if refrigerated, faster than you might think. Learning how food contamination happens, and how to keep bacteria out of your kitchen and your meals, can help keep your family safe.

What Kinds of Bacteria Are to Blame?

Certain types of bacteria are responsible for most food contamination in the United States:

  • Clostridium botulinum,which cause botulism, is found in canned, vacuum-sealed, or other packaged foods, as well as in garlic packed in oil.
  • Escherichia coli 0157:H7 ( coli)can be found in raw or undercooked ground beef, raw fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, and apple juice, and can also be transmitted through human contact.
  • Salmonellais found in poultry, meat, unpastureurized milk and dairy, raw or undercooked eggs, and seafood, and may be transmitted by people who prepare food.
  • Staphylococcus aureuscan be found in any food handled by an infected person who has touched food with staph-contaminated hands.
  • Shigellacan be found in any food handled by a person touching food with hands contaminated with shigella-infected fecal matter.
  • Listeria monocytogenesis located in processed foods like deli and lunch meats and cheeses, hot dogs, some sausages, and unpasteurized milk and cheeses.
  • Clostridium perfringenscan be found in any food left at room temperature or on a warming tray or table for a significant amount of time.
  • Campylobacter jejuniis found in unpasteurized milk, poultry, shellfish, raw or undercooked meats, and contaminated water.

Many of these bacteria cause very uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea that can last from several days to more than a week. Without treatment, some of these bacteria (like Clostridium botulinium) can actually lead to death.

How Food Contamination Happens

The food we eat can be contaminated during any of the many steps it takes to get it from the farm to our table. Food contamination can occur when:

  • The animal that is eventually slaughtered for meat has bacteria in its intestinal tract.
  • Meat becomes contaminated with bacteria during the slaughter.
  • Produce is washed or watered with bacteria-contaminated water.
  • A hen’s ovaries are infected with bacteria.
  • Bacteria in ocean water contaminate the fish that live there.
  • Humans handle meat and other foods with unwashed hands during processing.
  • Food processing equipment is contaminated.
  • The same utensils are used for multiple foods, transferring bacteria from contaminated food to uncontaminated food.
  • Food is left out of the refrigerator and sits at room temperature for more than a few hours.
  • Food is left in a refrigerator for too long.

If you think there’s any chance you have food that has been contaminated, don’t risk eating it — throw it out right away….                                                                                                                                             https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-home/preventing-food-contamination.aspx

Resources:

How to Prevent Food Poisoning                                                                                                https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/prevention.html

Types of Food Contamination                                                                                                         https://study.com/academy/lesson/types-of-food-contamination.html

How to avoid food poisoning this summer:  Summer is high season for foodborne illnesses. Use these expert tips to avoid them.                                                                   https://www.today.com/health/food-poisoning-symptoms-signs-how-tell-if-you-have-it-t187071

What is E. Coli?                                                                                                                               https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/what-is-e-coli#1

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

23 Jul

If you are a young unmarried woman of any color, you probably do not have the resources either emotional or financial to parent a child(ren). If you don’t care about your future, care about the future of your child. If you want to sleep with everything that has a pulse, that is your choice. BUT, you have no right to choose a life of poverty and misery for a child. As for those so called “progressives?” Just shut-up.
There are some very uncomfortable conversations ahead for the African-American community about the high rate of unwed mothers, about the care of women during pregnancy, and about early childhood education in the homes of children.Most important, about the lack the active involvement of fathers of some children.
Time to start talking. The conversation is not going to get any less difficult.

See:
We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

https://drwilda.com/tag/fathers/

https://drwilda.com/tag/father/

Science Daily reported in University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

The study, by academics at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation, pulled together fragmentary evidence from the past 40 years to understand more about how fathers play with their children when they are very young (ages 0 to 3). The researchers wanted to find out whether father-child play differs from the way children play with their mothers, and its impact on children’s development.

Although there are many similarities between fathers and mothers overall, the findings suggest that fathers engage in more physical play even with the youngest children, opting for activities such as tickling, chasing, and piggy-back rides.

This seems to help children learn to control their feelings. It may also make them better at regulating their own behaviour later on, as they enter settings where those skills are important — especially school.

Paul Ramchandani, Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s important not to overstate the impact of father-child play as there are limits to what the research can tell us, but it does seem that children who get a reasonable amount of playtime with their father benefit as a group.”

Dr Ciara Laverty, from the LEGO Foundation, said: “At a policy level, this suggests we need structures that give fathers, as well as mothers, time and space to play with their children during those critical early years. Even today, it’s not unusual for fathers who take their child to a parent-toddler group, for example, to find that they are the only father there. A culture shift is beginning to happen, but it needs to happen more.”

Parent-child play in the first years of life is known to support essential social, cognitive and communication skills, but most research focuses on mothers and infants. Studies which investigate father-child play are often small, or do so incidentally. “Our research pulled together everything we could find on the subject, to see if we could draw any lessons,” Ramchandani said.

The Cambridge review used data from 78 studies, undertaken between 1977 and 2017 — most of them in Europe or North America. The researchers analysed the combined information for patterns about how often fathers and children play together, the nature of that play, and any possible links with children’s development….        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200629120137.htm

Citation:

University of Cambridge study: Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Date:        June 29, 2020

Source:    University of Cambridge

Summary:

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behavior and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

Journal Reference:

Annabel Amodia-Bidakowska, Ciara Laverty, Paul G. Ramchandani. Father-child play: A systematic review of its frequency, characteristics and potential impact on children’s developmentDevelopmental Review, 2020; 57: 100924 DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2020.100924

Here is the press release from the University of Cambridge:

NEWS RELEASE 29-JUN-2020
Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.

The study, by academics at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation, pulled together fragmentary evidence from the past 40 years to understand more about how fathers play with their children when they are very young (ages 0 to 3). The researchers wanted to find out whether father-child play differs from the way children play with their mothers, and its impact on children’s development.

Although there are many similarities between fathers and mothers overall, the findings suggest that fathers engage in more physical play even with the youngest children, opting for activities such as tickling, chasing, and piggy-back rides.

This seems to help children learn to control their feelings. It may also make them better at regulating their own behaviour later on, as they enter settings where those skills are important – especially school.

Paul Ramchandani, Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge, said: “It’s important not to overstate the impact of father-child play as there are limits to what the research can tell us, but it does seem that children who get a reasonable amount of playtime with their father benefit as a group.”

Dr Ciara Laverty, from the LEGO Foundation, said: “At a policy level, this suggests we need structures that give fathers, as well as mothers, time and space to play with their children during those critical early years. Even today, it’s not unusual for fathers who take their child to a parent-toddler group, for example, to find that they are the only father there. A culture shift is beginning to happen, but it needs to happen more.”

Parent-child play in the first years of life is known to support essential social, cognitive and communication skills, but most research focuses on mothers and infants. Studies which investigate father-child play are often small, or do so incidentally. “Our research pulled together everything we could find on the subject, to see if we could draw any lessons,” Ramchandani said.

The Cambridge review used data from 78 studies, undertaken between 1977 and 2017 – most of them in Europe or North America. The researchers analysed the combined information for patterns about how often fathers and children play together, the nature of that play, and any possible links with children’s development.

On average, they found that most fathers play with their child every day. Even with the smallest children, however, father-child play tends to be more physical. With babies, that may simply mean picking them up or helping them to gently raise their limbs and exert their strength; with toddlers, fathers typically opt for boisterous, rough-and-tumble play, like chasing games.

In almost all the studies surveyed, there was a consistent correlation between father-child play and children’s subsequent ability to control their feelings. Children who enjoyed high-quality playtime with their fathers were less likely to exhibit hyperactivity, or emotional and behavioural problems. They also appeared to be better at controlling their aggression, and less prone to lash out at other children during disagreements at school.

The reason for this may be that the physical play fathers prefer is particularly well-suited for developing these skills.

“Physical play creates fun, exciting situations in which children have to apply self-regulation,” Ramchandani said. “You might have to control your strength, learn when things have gone too far – or maybe your father steps on your toe by accident and you feel cross!”

“It’s a safe environment in which children can practise how to respond. If they react the wrong way, they might get told off, but it’s not the end of the world – and next time they might remember to behave differently.”

The study also found some evidence that father-child play gradually increases through early childhood, then decreases during ‘middle childhood’ (ages 6 to 12). This, again, may be because physical play is particularly important for helping younger children to negotiate the challenges they encounter when they start to explore the world beyond their own home, in particular at school.

Despite the benefits of father-child play, the authors stress that children who only live with their mother need not be at a disadvantage.

“One of the things that our research points to time and again is the need to vary the types of play children have access to, and mothers can, of course, support physical play with young children as well,” Ramchandani added. “Different parents may have slightly different inclinations when it comes to playing with children, but part of being a parent is stepping outside your comfort zone. Children are likely to benefit most if they are given different ways to play and interact.”

###

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

 

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.

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University of Southampton study: Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses

30 Mar

Gregor Grass, Christopher Rensing, and Marc Solioz wrote in the 2010 article, PMCID: Metallic Copper as an Antimicrobial Surface:

ABSTRACT
Bacteria, yeasts, and viruses are rapidly killed on metallic copper surfaces, and the term “contact killing” has been coined for this process. While the phenomenon was already known in ancient times, it is currently receiving renewed attention. This is due to the potential use of copper as an antibacterial material in health care settings. Contact killing was observed to take place at a rate of at least 7 to 8 logs per hour, and no live microorganisms were generally recovered from copper surfaces after prolonged incubation. The antimicrobial activity of copper and copper alloys is now well established, and copper has recently been registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first solid antimicrobial material. In several clinical studies, copper has been evaluated for use on touch surfaces, such as door handles, bathroom fixtures, or bed rails, in attempts to curb nosocomial infections. In connection to these new applications of copper, it is important to understand the mechanism of contact killing since it may bear on central issues, such as the possibility of the emergence and spread of resistant organisms, cleaning procedures, and questions of material and object engineering. Recent work has shed light on mechanistic aspects of contact killing. These findings will be reviewed here and juxtaposed with the toxicity mechanisms of ionic copper. The merit of copper as a hygienic material in hospitals and related settings will also be discussed…. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3067274/

See, Antimicrobial applications of copper https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1438463916300669

Some examples of antimicrobial copper products https://www.bing.com/shop?q=antimicrobial+copper+consumer+products&FORM=SHOPPA&originIGUID=28A0FB6787B744CFAE086762DF2CC635

Science Daily reported in the 2015 article,  Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

New research from the University of Southampton has found that copper can effectively help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. The Southampton researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus — 229E — can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.
A newly-published paper in mBio — a journal of the American Society for Microbiology — reports that human coronavirus 229E, which produces a range of respiratory symptoms from the common cold to more lethal outcomes such as pneumonia, can survive on surface materials including ceramic tiles, glass, rubber and stainless steel for at least five days. While human-to-human transmission is important, infections can be contracted by touching surfaces contaminated by respiratory droplets from infected individuals, or hand touching, leading to a wider and more rapid spread
On copper, and a range of copper alloys — collectively termed ‘antimicrobial copper’ — the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated (within a few minutes, for simulated fingertip contamination). Exposure to copper destroyed the virus completely and irreversibly, leading the researchers to conclude that antimicrobial copper surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and protect public health.
Lead researcher Dr Sarah Warnes said: “Transmission of infectious diseases via contaminated surfaces is far more important than was originally thought, and this includes viruses that cause respiratory infections. This is especially important when the infectious dose is low and just a few virus particles can initiate an infection.
“Human coronavirus, which also has ancestral links with bat-like viruses responsible for SARS and MERS, was found to be permanently and rapidly deactivated upon contact with copper. What’s more, the viral genome and structure of the viral particles were destroyed, so nothing remained that could pass on an infection. With the lack of antiviral treatments, copper offers a measure that can help reduce the risk of these infections spreading.”
Speaking on the importance of the study, Professor Bill Keevil, co-author and Chair in Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, said: “Respiratory viruses are responsible for more deaths, globally, than any other infectious agent. The evolution of new respiratory viruses, and the re-emergence of historic virulent strains, poses a significant threat to human health…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151110102147.htm

Citation:

Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses
Date: November 10, 2015
Source: University of Southampton
Summary:
Copper can effectively help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), new research shows. Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. Researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus – 229E – can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.

Journal Reference:
S. L. Warnes, Z. R. Little and C. W. Keevil. Human coronavirus 229E remains infectious on common touch surface materials. mBio, November 2015 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01697-15

Here is the 2015 press release from the University of Southampton:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 10-NOV-2015

Using copper to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

New research from the University of Southampton has found that copper can effectively help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. The Southampton researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus – 229E – can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.
A newly-published paper in mBio – a journal of the American Society for Microbiology – reports that human coronavirus 229E, which produces a range of respiratory symptoms from the common cold to more lethal outcomes such as pneumonia, can survive on surface materials including ceramic tiles, glass, rubber and stainless steel for at least five days. While human-to-human transmission is important, infections can be contracted by touching surfaces contaminated by respiratory droplets from infected individuals, or hand touching, leading to a wider and more rapid spread
On copper, and a range of copper alloys – collectively termed ‘antimicrobial copper’ – the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated (within a few minutes, for simulated fingertip contamination). Exposure to copper destroyed the virus completely and irreversibly, leading the researchers to conclude that antimicrobial copper surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and protect public health.
Lead researcher Dr Sarah Warnes said: “Transmission of infectious diseases via contaminated surfaces is far more important than was originally thought, and this includes viruses that cause respiratory infections. This is especially important when the infectious dose is low and just a few virus particles can initiate an infection.
“Human coronavirus, which also has ancestral links with bat-like viruses responsible for SARS and MERS, was found to be permanently and rapidly deactivated upon contact with copper. What’s more, the viral genome and structure of the viral particles were destroyed, so nothing remained that could pass on an infection. With the lack of antiviral treatments, copper offers a measure that can help reduce the risk of these infections spreading.”
Speaking on the importance of the study, Professor Bill Keevil, co-author and Chair in Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, said: “Respiratory viruses are responsible for more deaths, globally, than any other infectious agent. The evolution of new respiratory viruses, and the re-emergence of historic virulent strains, poses a significant threat to human health.
“The rapid inactivation and irreversible destruction of the virus observed on copper and copper alloy surfaces suggests that the incorporation of copper alloy surfaces – in conjunction with effective cleaning regimes and good clinical practice – could help control transmission of these viruses.”
Previous research by Professor Keevil and Dr Warnes has proved copper’s efficacy against norovirus, influenza and hospital superbugs, such as MRSA and Klebsiella, plus stopping the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to other bacteria to create new superbugs.
###
For more information on antimicrobial copper, visit http://www.antimicrobialcopper.org
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

See, EPA Registration Copper Stewardship Site https://www.copperalloystewardship.com/

ScienceNetLinks wrote in Antibacterial Doorknobs:

Making Sense of the Research
You may have heard that doorknobs and sink handles are big germ-carriers. With so many people handling them all day long, often one right after another, it isn’t hard to see how germs from one person’s hand could end up on another’s by way of a doorknob.
You probably didn’t know that copper had antibacterial properties. But if it were your job to design the interiors of large buildings, or buy fixtures for schools, hospitals, or other big institutions, you’d probably have heard this. Manufacturers often promote copper’s proven bacteria-killing properties to sell fixtures made of brass, bronze, or other metals with a high copper content.
This experiment shows the importance of considering all factors before reaching a conclusion. Copper helps kill germs; therefore, it makes sense that copper-based doorknobs would pass along fewer germs than knobs made of glass, plastic, steel, or other materials. However, there’s a crucial factor that may be left out of this scenario: the sweat from the hands that touch the doorknobs.
It was known that sweat can corrode copper alloys (metal mixtures) like brass in the long term. But in this study, the researchers studied the effects of sweat on copper surfaces within a few hours of contact. They found that within as little as an hour, the salt in sweat can form a corrosive layer on the surface of the metal, which would prevent the electrochemical reaction that kills microorganisms.
Now, a full hour after someone touches a doorknob may sound like a long time for this effect to take hold. But consider how many people handle doorknobs or similar fixtures in a day: more than enough to neutralize the metal’s germ-killing powers as long as the building stays busy. What’s more, Bond points out that frequently touched items collect salts from the sweat of many people, which makes the corrosive layer tougher and longer lasting.
It would be difficult to study this in a real-life setting, for a number of reasons. In order to control the study properly, researchers would have to study bacterial colonies on brass fixtures handled all day long, and compare them to other brass fixtures that were somehow protected from sweat but exposed to the same people’s skin microorganisms. However, the research suggests that institutions using copper-based fixtures shouldn’t slack off on cleaning them, nor should they make any less of an effort to make sure people keep washing their hands.
Now try and answer these questions:
1. Why have copper-based doorknobs, sink handles, and other fixtures been promoted as healthy choices for schools, hospitals, and surgical wards?
2. What did this study find out about the relationship between sweat and the usual properties of copper?
3. What does this say, in your opinion, about the challenges of coming up with practical uses for scientific discoveries?
You may want to check out these related resources:

In the Science Update Triclosan and Staph , http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/triclosan-and-staph/ learn how some antibacterial chemicals may actually backfire and actively help a kind of bacteria they’re designed to kill.
The Science Update UV Disinfectant http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/uv-disinfectant/ describes another approach to helping keep hospitals germ-free.
For more about alloys, see the video Shape Memory Alloys, http://sciencenetlinks.com/videos/shape-memory-alloys/ in which Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale, demonstrates “metals with a memory” used in space, in robots, and even in your mouth! http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/antibacterial-doorknobs/

More research is necessary to find products and techniques to halt the destructive properties of viruses.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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Babraham Institute study: How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people

28 Mar

The WebMD article What Is Your Immune System? described the immune system:

You’ve heard of your immune system. But how much do you know about it?
There’s a good reason to find out. When you understand everything that it does for you, and how everyday things affect it, you can help it keep you well.
1. It Looks Out for You
Your immune system works to root out germs and other invaders that have no business in your body.
For example, if you inhale a cold virus through your nose, your immune system targets that virus and either stops it in its tracks or primes you to recover. It takes time to get over an infection, and sometimes you need medicine to help, but the immune system is the cornerstone of prevention and recovery.
2. It Likes It When You Relax
Do your best to tame your stress. When you’re wound up, your immune system doesn’t work as well as it does when you’re confident and mellow about your challenges. That may make you more likely to get sick.
3. It’s Got Agents Standing By.
Other than your nervous system, your immune system is the most complex system in your body. It’s made up of tissues, cells, and organs, including:
• Your tonsils
• Your digestive system
• Your bone marrow
• Your skin
• Your lymph nodes
• Your spleen
• Thin skin on the inside of your nose, throat, and genitals
All of these help create or store cells that work around the clock to keep your whole body healthy.
4. It Learns From Your Past
You’re born with a certain level of protection, or “immunity.” But it can get better.
Think of a baby or young child who comes down with colds, earaches, or other everyday illnesses often and babies who are breast feed continue to get antibodies from their mother while they are making their own.. Their immune system is creating a “bank”of antibodies as they are exposed to illnesses for the first time, enabling them to fight off future invaders.
Vaccines work in much the same way. They turn on your immune system by introducing your body to a tiny amount of a virus (usually a killed or weakened one). Your body makes antibodies in response that protects against threats like measles, whooping cough, flu, or meningitis.Then, when you come in contact with that virus in your everyday life, your immune system is already primed to kick in so that you don’t get sick….. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/immune-system-function

The immune system of seniors is weaker than those of healthy young people.

Camille Noe Pagán wrote in the WebMD article, How Aging Affects Your Immune System:

What’s Happening With Your Immune System?
It’s a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs. Together, they defend your body against things that can cause infection, like bacteria.
Why does it ease a bit as you get older? That’s still a bit of a mystery.
“The medical community is still trying to determine exactly how and why immunity decreases with age,” says Kira Rubtsova, PhD. Rubtsova is an immunity researcher at National Jewish Health in Denver.
What researchers do know is that most older adults:
Don’t respond as well to vaccines: Your immune system includes T cells, which attack other, illness-causing cells. They’re able to “remember” an invader, then defend against it better later. When you’re older, you make fewer T cells, and most vaccines require new ones to work.
The exception? The shingles vaccine. That’s one of the reasons it works so well for the senior set.
Are more likely to get sick: Not only do you have fewer immune cells as you age, the ones you do have don’t communicate with each other as well. That means they take longer to react to harmful germs.
Recover from injuries, infection, and illness more slowly: “Your body produces fewer immune cells, including white blood cells,” Rubtsova says. “That can slow down healing.”
How Do You Know When It’s Happening?
There’s no set age when immunity decreases.
“It’s like gray hair — it happens for everyone at a different rate,” Rubtsova says. There’s no single test that can tell you that your immune system isn’t functioning optimally. “There are certain immune markers we can test for, but it’s not the same as being tested for, say, heart disease,” Glatt says.
That’s why it’s important to go to the doctor regularly, and get medical help if you get sick often or if you’re having trouble healing after an injury or illness.
How Can You Stay Healthy?
Stay on top of your health. If you have diabetes, arthritis, or other things that affect how you feel and function, follow your doctor’s recommendations. “Keeping illnesses like diabetes well-controlled takes less of a toll on your immune system,” Glatt says.
Sleep well. “Research clearly shows that too little sleep — or poor-quality sleep — lowers immunity, even in young healthy people,” says Gisele Wolf-Klein, MD. You should be getting at least 7 hours a night. If you snore or have trouble falling or staying asleep, see your doctor. You could have a sleep disorder.
Look for ways to reduce stress. Over time, stress may lessen your immune response. “When you’re constantly worried about something, it takes a toll on your body,” Wolf-Klein says. It can also trigger other issues, like poor sleep and a bad diet, which both may affect your immunity.
Steer clear of sick people. “The truth is, when you’re older, you have to be especially careful about germ exposure, because you’re more likely to become ill, too,” Wolf-Klein says. When you are around people who have contagious conditions, like a cold or the flu, try not to get too close, and wash your hands more often.
Don’t skip your vaccines. Even though they may not be as effective when you’re older, they’re still an important way to lower your risk of many serious illnesses, including the flu and pneumonia. Check with your doctor to make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations.
Move more often. Moderate exercise helps keep you fit, which makes your immune system stronger. Research also suggests it helps cells move more freely, which helps them do their job better.
Eat well. There’s no one diet that improves immunity. But researchers do know that a varied diet full of vitamin- and mineral-rich foods (like fresh vegetables and fruit) helps your body — including your immune system — function at its best. Eating a healthy diet also helps you weigh what you should, which may put less stress on your body and improve immunity.
Don’t smoke. Smoking weakens your body’s immune response, making you more susceptible to illness and infection. Your doctor can help you figure out how you can quit….                                                                                                     https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/seniors-boost-immunity#1

See, 5 Ways Seniors Can Strengthen Their Immune System https://www.homecareassistancemesa.com/strengthen-seniors-immune-system

Science Daily reported in How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people: Apply immune expertise and some genital wart cream!

Research just published by the Linterman lab shows that the immune system of older mice can be given a helping hand by applying immunology expertise and some genital wart treatment (don’t try this at home just yet)!
Mice and humans show similar age-dependent changes in their immune system so this finding offers hope for easily increasing the robustness of vaccination response in the older population.
As we age, the function of our immune system declines, rendering us more susceptible to infections, and making us less able to generate protective immunity after vaccination. By understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin this poor response in older individuals, researchers in the Linterman lab were able to repurpose an existing treatment for genital warts, and demonstrate that this was effective in overcoming the age-related effects on two of the many cell types making up our immune system. The research is published online in the journal eLife.
Dr Michelle Linterman, a group leader in the Institute’s Immunology research programme, said: “The current coronavirus pandemic highlights that older members of our families and communities are more susceptible to the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand how the immune system in older people works, and to explore how we might be able to boost their immune responses to vaccines to ensure they work well in this vulnerable part of our society.”
Vaccines work by generating antibodies that are able to block the ability of pathogens to infect us. Antibody secreting cells are produced in the germinal centre, immune reaction hubs that forms after infection or vaccination. With age, the magnitude and quality of the germinal centre reaction declines.
Immune cells called T follicular helper cells are essential to the germinal centre response. In this study the team used mice and humans to investigate why T follicular helper cell numbers decline with age, and if there is a way to boost them upon vaccination.
“The germinal centre response is a highly collaborative process that requires multiple cell types to interact at the right place and the right time. Therefore, it made sense to us that defects in one or more of these cell types could explain the poor germinal centre response observed in older individuals after vaccination,” explains Dr Linterman.
The researchers found that older mice and humans form fewer T follicular helper cells after vaccination, which is linked with a poor germinal centre response and antibody response…..      [Emphasis Added]                      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200327113752.htm

Citation:

How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people
Apply immune expertise and some genital wart cream!
Date: March 27, 2020
Source: Babraham Institute
Summary:
Identifying interventions that improve vaccine efficacy in older persons is vital to deliver healthy aging for an aging population. Immunologists have identified a route for counteracting the age-related loss of two key immune cell types by using genital wart cream to boost immune response to vaccination in aged mice. After this validation in mice, the findings offer an attractive intervention to tailor the make-up of vaccines for older people.

Journal Reference:
Marisa Stebegg, Alexandre Bignon, Danika Lea Hill, Alyssa Silva-Cayetano, Christel Krueger, Ine Vanderleyden, Silvia Innocentin, Louis Boon, Jiong Wang, Martin S Zand, James Dooley, Jonathan Clark, Adrian Liston, Edward Carr, Michelle A Linterman. Rejuvenating conventional dendritic cells and T follicular helper cell formation after vaccination. eLife, 2020; 9 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.52473

Here is the press release from Babraham Institute:

NEWS RELEASE 27-MAR-2020
How to boost immune response to vaccines in older people
Apply immune expertise and some genital wart cream!
BABRAHAM INSTITUTE
Research just published by the Linterman lab shows that the immune system of older mice can be given a helping hand by applying immunology expertise and some genital wart treatment (don’t try this at home just yet)!
Mice and humans show similar age-dependent changes in their immune system so this finding offers hope for easily increasing the robustness of vaccination response in the older population.
As we age, the function of our immune system declines, rendering us more susceptible to infections, and making us less able to generate protective immunity after vaccination. By understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin this poor response in older individuals, researchers in the Linterman lab were able to repurpose an existing treatment for genital warts, and demonstrate that this was effective in overcoming the age-related effects on two of the many cell types making up our immune system. The research is published online in the journal eLife.
Dr Michelle Linterman, a group leader in the Institute’s Immunology research programme, said: “The current coronavirus pandemic highlights that older members of our families and communities are more susceptible to the morbidity and mortality associated with infectious diseases. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand how the immune system in older people works, and to explore how we might be able to boost their immune responses to vaccines to ensure they work well in this vulnerable part of our society.”
Vaccines work by generating antibodies that are able to block the ability of pathogens to infect us. Antibody secreting cells are produced in the germinal centre, immune reaction hubs that forms after infection or vaccination. With age, the magnitude and quality of the germinal centre reaction declines.
Immune cells called T follicular helper cells are essential to the germinal centre response. In this study the team used mice and humans to investigate why T follicular helper cell numbers decline with age, and if there is a way to boost them upon vaccination.
“The germinal centre response is a highly collaborative process that requires multiple cell types to interact at the right place and the right time. Therefore, it made sense to us that defects in one or more of these cell types could explain the poor germinal centre response observed in older individuals after vaccination,” explains Dr Linterman.
The researchers found that older mice and humans form fewer T follicular helper cells after vaccination, which is linked with a poor germinal centre response and antibody response. By developing our understanding of the cellular and molecular events occurring in the germinal centre after vaccination, the researchers identified that T follicular helper cells in older mice and people received less stimulatory interactions from their immune system co-workers. By using a cream (imiquimod, currently used to treat genital warts in humans) on the site of immunisation to boost the number of stimulatory cells, they were able to restore the formation of T follicular helper cells in older mice and also rescue the age-dependent defects in another immune cell type (dendritic cells). Encouragingly, this demonstrates that the age-related defects in T follicular helper cell formation in ageing are not irreversible, and can be overcome therapeutically.
The full picture and evaluation of whether this approach will work as an intervention in humans requires more research into why the germinal centre response changes with age, and what can be done to overcome this. Once achieved, it could be that clinical trials are established to incorporate this knowledge into new vaccine formulations for older people.
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Resources:

How Your Immune System Works – HowStuffWorks https://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/immune/immune-system3.htm

Difference Between Immune Response to Bacteria and Virus … https://pediaa.com/difference-between-immune-response-to-bacteria-and-virus

Bats’ immune system may be why their viruses can be deadly … https://www.sciencenews.org/article/bats-immune-system-viruses-ebola-marburg-people

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North Carolina State University study: To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead

26 Mar

Medical News Today described health in What is good health?

Fast facts on health
Here are some key points about health. More detail is in the main article.
• Health can be defined as physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and as a resource for living a full life.
• It refers not only to the absence of disease, but the ability to recover and bounce back from illness and other problems.
• Factors for good health include genetics, the environment, relationships, and education.
• A healthful diet, exercise, screening for diseases, and coping strategies can all enhance a person’s health….
Types
Mental and physical health are the two most commonly discussed types of health. We also talk about “spiritual health,” “emotional health,” and “financial health,” among others. These have also been linked to lower stress levels and mental and physical wellbeing.
Physical health
In a person who experiences physical health, bodily functions are working at peak performance, due not only to a lack of disease, but also to regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest. We receive treatment, when necessary, to maintain the balance.
Physical wellbeing involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. Maintaining physical fitness, for example, can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
Physical health and well-being also help reduce the risk of an injury or health issue. Examples include minimizing hazards in the workplace, practicing safe sex, practicing good hygiene, or avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
Mental health
Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing. Mental health is as important as physical health to a full, active lifestyle.
It is harder to define mental health than physical health, because, in many cases, diagnosis depends on the individual’s perception of their experience. With improvements in testing, however, some signs of some types of mental illness are now becoming “visible” in CT scans and genetic testing.
Mental health is not only the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder.
It also depends on the ability to:
• enjoy life
• bounce back after difficult experiences
• achieve balance
• adapt to adversity
• feel safe and secure
• achieve your potential
Physical and mental health are linked. If chronic illness affects a person’s ability to complete their regular tasks, this may lead to depression and stress, for example, due to money problems…. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999#types

Mindfulness is a possible technique for coping with stress.

Psychology Today defined mindfulness in What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. This state encompasses observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.
To live mindfully is to live in the moment and reawaken oneself to the present, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. Mindfulness can also be a healthy way to identify and manage latent emotions that are causing problems in personal or professional relationships.
Mindfulness is frequently used in meditation and certain kinds of therapy. It has many positive benefits, including lowering stress levels, reducing harmful ruminating, and protecting against depression and anxiety. Research even suggests that mindfulness can help people better cope with rejection and social isolation…. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/mindfulness
Mindfulness can help individuals become more resilient in difficult situations.
Tamara A. Russell and Gerson Siegmund wrote in What and who? Mindfulness in the mental health setting:
Summary and conclusions
When used as a clinical intervention for major depressive disorder, there is good evidence that MBCT can prevent relapse to a degree that is at least similar to currently available treatments. It may have advantages for particular subgroups of depressed individuals with more long-standing, recurrent depressive illness and childhood adversity. Evidence for efficacy in other domains of mental ill health is less convincing, but it is emerging. Although strong evidence exists for the application of mindfulness in the management of anxiety (generalised), this work does not seem as prevalent in the UK setting. This may be because CBT approaches are very effective for anxiety disorders so there is less of a driver to find alternatives.
The breadth of ‘mindfulness interventions’ continues to grow, from standardised protocols to peer-led drop-ins, apps and self-help materials. Navigating this growing landscape in a way that is true to the transformational possibilities of mindfulness and that allows clients to connect to mindfulness in a meaningful and healthy way presents some challenges. Some recommendations have been made here to help in this endeavour. Specifically, to know the state of the evidence, to be aware of relevant client characteristics, and to know your own limitations as a teacher or facilitator of mindfulness. Continuing personal and professional development is essential and will have an impact on efficacy. These are exciting times as the impact of mindfulness training spreads throughout our health services, offering a chance for both staff and clients to benefit and improve their mental ‘wealth’. However, it is most important that this endeavour is conducted in a mindful way – paying attention, on purpose, moment by moment and without judgement…. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353507/

A North Carolina State University examined how to stay positive.

Science Daily reported in To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead:

A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that people who manage to balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.
“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have negative affect, or bad moods,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the recent work. “Our work here sheds additional light on which variables influence how we respond to daily stress.”
Specifically, the researchers looked at two factors that are thought to influence how we handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.
Mindfulness is when people are centered and living in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. Proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.
To see how these factors influence responses to stress, the researchers looked at data from 223 study participants. The study included 116 people between the ages of 60 and 90, and 107 people between the ages of 18 and 36. All of the study participants were in the United States.
All of the study participants were asked to complete an initial survey in order to establish their tendency to engage in proactive coping. Participants were then asked to complete questionnaires for eight consecutive days that explored fluctuations in mindfulness. On those eight days, participants were also asked to report daily stressors and the extent to which they experienced negative mood.
The researchers found that engaging in proactive coping was beneficial at limiting the effect of daily stressors, but that this advantage essentially disappeared on days when a participant reported low mindfulness.
“Our results show that a combination of proactive coping and high mindfulness result in study participants of all ages being more resilient against daily stressors,” Neupert says. “Basically, we found that proactive planning and mindfulness account for about a quarter of the variance in how stressors influenced negative affect…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200325130650.htm

Citation:

To stay positive, live in the moment — but plan ahead
Date: March 25, 2020
Source: North Carolina State University
Summary:
A recent study finds that people who balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.

Journal Reference:
Melody G. Polk, Emily L. Smith, Ling-Rui Zhang, Shevaun D. Neupert. Thinking ahead and staying in the present: Implications for reactivity to daily stressors. Personality and Individual Differences, 2020; 161: 109971 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.109971

Here is the press release from the University of North Carolina: March 25, 2020

To Stay Positive, Live in the Moment – But Plan Ahead

March 25, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shevaun Neupertshevaun_neupert@ncsu.edu919.513.7952
Matt Shipmanmatt_shipman@ncsu.edu
A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that people who manage to balance living in the moment with planning for the future are best able to weather daily stress without succumbing to negative moods.
“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have negative affect, or bad moods,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the recent work. “Our work here sheds additional light on which variables influence how we respond to daily stress.”
Specifically, the researchers looked at two factors that are thought to influence how we handle stress: mindfulness and proactive coping.
Mindfulness is when people are centered and living in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. Proactive coping is when people engage in planning to reduce the likelihood of future stress.
To see how these factors influence responses to stress, the researchers looked at data from 223 study participants. The study included 116 people between the ages of 60 and 90, and 107 people between the ages of 18 and 36. All of the study participants were in the United States.
All of the study participants were asked to complete an initial survey in order to establish their tendency to engage in proactive coping. Participants were then asked to complete questionnaires for eight consecutive days that explored fluctuations in mindfulness. On those eight days, participants were also asked to report daily stressors and the extent to which they experienced negative mood.
The researchers found that engaging in proactive coping was beneficial at limiting the effect of daily stressors, but that this advantage essentially disappeared on days when a participant reported low mindfulness.
“Our results show that a combination of proactive coping and high mindfulness result in study participants of all ages being more resilient against daily stressors,” Neupert says. “Basically, we found that proactive planning and mindfulness account for about a quarter of the variance in how stressors influenced negative affect.
“Interventions targeting daily fluctuations in mindfulness may be especially helpful for those who are high in proactive coping and may be more inclined to think ahead to the future at the expense of remaining in the present.”
The paper, “Thinking Ahead and Staying in the Present: Implications for Reactivity to Daily Stressors,” is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. First author of the paper is Melody Polk, an undergraduate at NC State. The paper was co-authored by Emily Smith and Ling-Rui Zhang, graduate students at NC State. The work was done with support from NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.
“Thinking Ahead and Staying in the Present: Implications for Reactivity to Daily Stressors”
Authors: Melody G. Polk, Emily L. Smith, Ling-Rui Zhang and Shevaun D. Neupert, North Carolina State University
Published: March 25, Personality and Individual Differences
DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2020.109971
Abstract: We examined how proactive coping and daily mindfulness may work together to predict emotional reactivity to daily stressors. Using data from the Mindfulness and Anticipatory Coping Everyday study, 116 older adults and 107 younger adults participated in a daily diary study for nine consecutive days. Results from multilevel models suggest that people high in proactive coping were more emotionally reactive to daily stressors on days with decreased mindfulness. Due to the trait-like future-oriented thinking of proactive coping and the state-like present-oriented aspect of daily mindfulness, these results underscore the importance of simultaneously considering state and trait information to elucidate antecedents, correlates, and consequences of daily stressors.

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Helen Keller

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University of Otago study: Misinformation on vaccines readily available online

23 Mar

Michaeleen Doucleff reported in the NPR story, How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases:

For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again.
But that’s not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.
As an interactive map http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/index.html#map from the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety.
Since 2008 folks at the think tank CFR have been plotting all the cases of measles, mumps, rubella, polio and whooping cough around the world. Each circle on the map represents a local outbreak of a particular disease, while the size of the circle indicates the number of people infected in the outbreak.
As you flip through the various maps over the years, two trends clearly emerge: Measles has surged back in Europe, while whooping cough is has become a problem here in the U.S.
Childhood immunization rates plummeted in parts of Europe and the U.K. after a 1998 study falsely claimed that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella was linked to autism.
That study has since been found to be fraudulent. But fears about vaccine safety have stuck around in Europe and here in the U.S.
Viruses and bacteria have taken full advantage of the immunization gaps.
In 2011, France reported a massive measles outbreak with nearly 15,000 cases. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Somalia suffered larger measles outbreaks that year.
In 2012, the U.K. reported more than 2,000 measles cases, the largest number since 1994.
Here in the U.S., the prevalence of whooping cough shot up in 2012 to nearly 50,000 cases. Last year cases declined to about 24,000 — which is still more than tenfold the number reported back in the early ’80s when the bacteria infected less than 2,000 people.
So what about countries in Africa? Why are there so many big, colorful circles dotting the continent? For many parents there, the problem is getting access to vaccines, not fears of it.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/25/265750719/how-vaccine-fears-fueled-the-resurgence-of-preventable-diseases?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20140202&utm_source=mostemailed

There are many myths regarding vaccination of children.

Dina Fine Maron wrote in the Daily Beast article, 6 Top Vaccine Myths:

To sort through the onslaught of information and misinformation about childhood immunizations, we asked Austin, Texas-based pediatrician Ari Brown, coauthor of “Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Baby’s First Year,” to debunk some of the most common vaccination myths.
Myth 1: It’s not necessary to vaccinate kids against diseases that have been largely eradicated in the United States.
Reality: Although some diseases like polio and diphtheria aren’t often seen in America (in large part because of the success of the vaccination efforts), they can be quite common in other parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that travelers can unknowingly bring these diseases into the United States, and if we were not protected by vaccinations, these diseases could quickly spread throughout the population. At the same time, the relatively few cases currently in the U.S. could very quickly become tens or hundreds of thousands of cases without the protection we get from vaccines. Brown warns that these diseases haven’t disappeared, “they are merely smoldering under the surface.”
Most parents do follow government recommendations: U.S. national immunization rates are high, ranging from 85 percent to 93 percent, depending on the vaccine, according to the CDC. But according to a 2006 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the 20 states that allow personal-belief opt outs in addition to religious exemptions saw exemptions grow by 61 percent, to 2.54 percent between 1991 and 2004.
Brown is concerned that parents who opt out or stagger the vaccine schedule can end up having to deal with confusing follow-up care, which could produce an increase in disease outbreaks like last summer’s measles epidemic. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that when there are more exemptions, children are at an increased risk of contracting and transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases.
For more on the pros and cons of staggering or skipping vaccinations, visit MSN’s guide or read this U.S. News and World Report piece. For information on vaccine safety, check out the CDC’s information page. To search for your state’s vaccine requirements, see the National Network for Immunization Information.
Myth 2: Mercury is still in kids’ vaccines.
Reality: At the center of this issue is a preservative called thimerosal (a compound containing mercury) that once was a common component in many vaccines because it allowed manufacturers to make drugs more cheaply and in multidose formulations. But public concern, new innovations and FDA recommendations led to its removal from almost all children’s vaccines manufactured after 2001. (More thimerosal background can be found at the FDA’s Web site) Since flu vaccines are not just for children, manufacturers still put thimerosal in some flu-shot formulations. You can ask your pediatrician for the thimerosal-free version, says Brown.
If your child does not have asthma and is at least 2 years old, Brown recommends the FluMist nasal-spray vaccination over the flu shot. “It seems to have better immune protection and it could help your child avoid another shot,” she says. (Caveat: the spray does contain a live version of the virus, which can result in a slight increase in flulike symptoms).
Myth 3: Childhood vaccines cause autism.
Reality: There is no scientific evidence that this link exists. Groups of experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), agree that vaccines are not responsible for the growing number of children now recognized to have autism.
Earlier this month, the law supported scientists’ conclusions in this arena with three rulings from a section of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which stated that vaccines were not the likely cause of autism in three unrelated children. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in an online statement following the ruling, “The medical and scientific communities have carefully and thoroughly reviewed the evidence concerning the vaccine-autism theory and have found no association between vaccines and autism.” Noting the volume of scientific evidence disproving this link, an executive member of one of the nation’s foremost autism advocacy groups, Autism Speaks, recently stepped down from her position because she disagrees with the group’s continued position that there is a connection between the vaccines and autism.
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Myth 4: Getting too many vaccines can overwhelm the immune system and cause adverse reactions or even serious illness.
Reality: Children’s immune systems are capable of combating far more antigens (weak or killed viruses) than they encounter via immunizations. In fact, the jury is still out on if there’s an actual limit on how many the body can handle—though one study puts the number around a theoretical 10,000 vaccines in one day.(Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ site or the Network for Immunization Information for more information)
Currently, “There is even less of a burden on the immune system [via vaccines] today than 40 years ago,” says Edgar Marcuse, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington who works on immunization policy and vaccines. He points to the whooping-cough vaccine as an example where there are far fewer antigens in the shot than the earlier version administered decades ago. Brown says she supports following the recommended schedule for vaccinations, which outlines getting as many as five shots in one day at a couple check-ups. (The CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule can be found here.) “I have kids, and I wouldn’t recommend doing anything for my patients that I wouldn’t do for my own kids,” she says.
The CDC reports that most vaccine adverse events are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever and “so few deaths can plausibly be attributed to vaccines that it is hard to assess the risk statistically.” Of all deaths reported to the Health and Human Services’ Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting site between 1990 and 1992, only one is believed to be even possibly associated with a vaccine. The Vaccine Safety Datalink Project, an initiative of the CDC and eight health-care organizations, looks for patterns in these reports and determines if a vaccine is causing a side effect or if symptoms are largely coincidental.
If you have concerns about following the recommended vaccination, schedule don’t wait until a check-up. Set up a consultation appointment with your pediatrician, or even outline a strategy for care with your doctor during your pregnancy.
Myth 5: It’s better to let my kid get chickenpox “naturally.”
Reality: Before the chickenpox vaccine was licensed in 1995, parents sometimes brought their child to a party or playground hoping that their child might brush up against a pox-laden kid to get their dose of chickenpox over since cases were usually less severe for children than adults. But pediatricians say severe complications are possible with chickenpox—including bacterial infections that could result in a child’s hospitalization or death. (More information on the chickenpox vaccine is available at the CDC’s Web site.)
Now that there’s a vaccine for chickenpox, more than 45 states require the shots (unless your child already had the chicken pox or can prove natural immunity). Two shots usually guarantees your child a way out of being bedecked in calamine lotion for two feverish weeks, but some individuals do still come down with a milder form of the pox. Most pediatricians recommend getting the shot.
Myth 6: The flu shot causes the flu.
Reality: The flu shot does not contain a live virus, so your child can’t get the flu from this shot. But, after the shot, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit achy while the immune system mounts its response. Remember that for two weeks following the shot, your child can still get the flu, so be sure to help your child avoid that feverish kid next door. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/02/22/six-top-vaccine-myths.html

A question in the current climate is what can be done to make parents responsible for putting other children at risk.

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/vaccines/ and https://drwilda.com/tag/vaccination/

Science Daily reported in Misinformation on vaccines readily available online:

Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.
Lead researcher Dr Lucy Elkin says negative information about vaccines remains readily available on Google, Facebook and YouTube, despite attempts by the internet platforms to better control access to misinformation through algorithm and policy changes.
The researchers searched the three platforms for information on vaccines, mimicking the kind of ‘real-life’ search that would be conducted by a parent looking for information on childhood vaccinations. Their research is published in the leading scientific journal Vaccine.
Dr Elkin says that while most of the websites generated by Google (80 per cent) and videos published on YouTube (75 per cent) were positive about vaccines, half of the Facebook pages were negative towards vaccines.
“Parents would be able to find information encouraging or discouraging vaccination on the vast majority of the websites, Facebook pages and YouTube videos analysed, but popular pages on Facebook containing vaccine information were more polarised.”
She says steps being taken to reduce the amount of “vaccine misinformation” shared on websites are likely to be improving the quality of information available on Google and YouTube.
“The greater proportion of vaccine negative content on Facebook compared to YouTube may reflect the different degrees to which providers are censoring vaccine-negative content.
“Facebook state that the purpose of their platform is to ‘build community’ and to ‘connect with others’. This could mean that Facebook may intentionally connect people with like-minded views on vaccination and therefore have little interest in censoring vaccine-negative content…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200312142300.htm

Citation:

Misinformation on vaccines readily available online
Date: March 12, 2020
Source: University of Otago
Summary:
Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers have found.

Journal Reference:
Lucy E Elkin, Susan R.H. Pullon, Maria H. Stubbe. ‘Should I vaccinate my child?’ comparing the displayed stances of vaccine information retrieved from Google, Facebook and YouTube. Vaccine, 2020; 38 (13): 2771 DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.02.041

Here is the press release from the University of Otago:

NEWS RELEASE 12-MAR-2020
Misinformation on vaccines readily available online
UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO
Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.
Lead researcher Dr Lucy Elkin says negative information about vaccines remains readily available on Google, Facebook and YouTube, despite attempts by the internet platforms to better control access to misinformation through algorithm and policy changes.
The researchers searched the three platforms for information on vaccines, mimicking the kind of ‘real-life’ search that would be conducted by a parent looking for information on childhood vaccinations. Their research is published in the leading scientific journal Vaccine.
Dr Elkin says that while most of the websites generated by Google (80 per cent) and videos published on YouTube (75 per cent) were positive about vaccines, half of the Facebook pages were negative towards vaccines.
“Parents would be able to find information encouraging or discouraging vaccination on the vast majority of the websites, Facebook pages and YouTube videos analysed, but popular pages on Facebook containing vaccine information were more polarised.”
She says steps being taken to reduce the amount of “vaccine misinformation” shared on websites are likely to be improving the quality of information available on Google and YouTube.
“The greater proportion of vaccine negative content on Facebook compared to YouTube may reflect the different degrees to which providers are censoring vaccine-negative content.
“Facebook state that the purpose of their platform is to ‘build community’ and to ‘connect with others’. This could mean that Facebook may intentionally connect people with like-minded views on vaccination and therefore have little interest in censoring vaccine-negative content.
“This is significant because, typically, when browsing anything on the internet, a person’s search history is remembered and further similar content will be generated. Those reading vaccine-critical information on Facebook are more likely to come across vaccine-critical information in subsequent searches on any platform, regardless of whether they are looking on social media, or on a search engine.”
Dr Elkin says the level of vaccine critical information on Facebook is concerning because evidence shows those viewing vaccine-critical information online are more likely to be hesitant about getting their children vaccinated.
“It is important that vaccine-promoting agencies continue to make every effort to maximize their presence online so that parents who are researching whether or not to vaccinate their children will encounter evidence-based information online.”
She says health professionals can also help to accurately inform and support parents by referring them to credible websites containing well-validated information.
The research paper, ‘Should I vaccinate my child? comparing the displayed stances of vaccine information retrieved from Google, Facebook and YouTube’ is published in the international journal Vaccine.
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

See, Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania study: Vaccine misinformation and social media https://drwilda.com/tag/annenberg-public-policy-center-of-the-university-of-pennsylvania/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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https://drwilda.com/

University of Western Ontario study: Molecule found in oranges could reduce obesity and prevent heart disease and diabetes

8 Mar

Medical News Today reported in What to know about oranges:

As an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, oranges may help combat the formation of free radicals that cause cancer.
Although an adequate vitamin C intake is necessary and very beneficial, the amount a person would need for the desired therapeutic effect on cancer is more than they could realistically consume.
For example, one study concluded that medical scientists could harness the power of vitamin C from oranges to inhibit colorectal cancer cells in the future. However, the authors concede that 300 oranges’ worth of vitamin C would be necessary.
That said, in 2015, a study linked grapefruit and orange juice with a higher risk of skin cancer. Researchers found that people who consumed high amounts of whole grapefruit or orange juice were over a third more likely to develop melanoma than those who consumed low amounts. This may have been due to citrus compounds that exert photocarcinogen properties.
More research is necessary to confirm the effects of orange consumption on cancer risk.
Blood pressure
Oranges contain no sodium, which helps keep a person below their daily limit. On the other hand, a cup of orange juice can boost daily potassium intake by 14%….
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), increasing potassium intake can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Heart health
Oranges are a good source of fiber and potassium, both of which can support heart health.
According to one 2017 review of previous meta-analyses, consuming enough fiber can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease both developing and being fatal. The review links this effect to its ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
One cup of orange juice can provide 14% of a person’s daily potassium requirement….
Diabetes
A medium orange weighing 131 grams (g) contributes 3.14 g of fiber, which is nearly 10% of an adult’s daily fiber requirement. Several studies have found that fiber can improve some factors that contribute to diabetes development and progression.
For example, one 2019 study found that consuming 4 g of a dietary fiber supplement per day did not reduce blood glucose but improved how the body responds to insulin. Low insulin sensitivity can contribute to type 2 diabetes.
Weight control is also important for reducing the risk of diabetes, as obesity and overweight can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. The body processes fiber more slowly than other nutrients, so it can help a person feel fuller for longer and reduce their urge to eat snacks throughout the day.
Following a diet that contains a high proportion of fruits and vegetables can support blood sugar control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and disease progression. That said, a diabetes friendly diet should include healthful foods from a variety of food groups.
Skin
Consuming enough vitamin C can help a person maintain skin health and appearance.
Vitamin C contributes to collagen production. Collagen supports the skin, promotes wound healing, and improves skin strength….. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272782#benefits

The risk cited by Medical News was “People with gastroesophageal reflux disease may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation when consuming citrus fruits. This is due to their high acid content.”

Resources:

9 Health Benefits of Citrus Fruit | Health.com
https://www.health.com/nutrition/citrus-fruit-health-benefits

What Are the Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits?
https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-citrus-fruits-7925.html

Oranges 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/oranges

Science Daily reported in Molecule found in oranges could reduce obesity and prevent heart disease and diabetes:

Researchers at Western University are studying a molecule found in sweet oranges and tangerines called nobiletin, which they have shown to drastically reduce obesity in mice and reverse its negative side-effects.
But why it works remains a mystery.
New research published in the Journal of Lipid Research demonstrates that mice fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet that were also given nobiletin were noticeably leaner and had reduced levels of insulin resistance and blood fats compared to mice that were fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet alone.
“We went on to show that we can also intervene with nobiletin,” said Murray Huff, PhD, a Professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry who has been studying nobiletin’s effects for over a decade. “We’ve shown that in mice that already have all the negative symptoms of obesity, we can use nobelitin to reverse those symptoms, and even start to regress plaque build-up in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.”
But Huff says he and his team at Robarts Research Institute at Western still haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly how nobiletin works. The researchers hypothesized that the molecule was likely acting on the pathway that regulates how fat is handled in the body. Called AMP Kinase, this regulator turns on the machinery in the body that burns fats to create energy, and it also blocks the manufacture of fats.
However, when the researchers studied nobiletin’s effects on mice that had been genetically modified to remove AMP Kinase, the effects were the same.
“This result told us that nobiletin is not acting on AMP Kinase, and is bypassing this major regulator of how fat is used in the body,” said Huff. “What it still leaves us with is the question — how is nobiletin doing this?” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200303140158.htm

Citation:

Molecule found in oranges could reduce obesity and prevent heart disease and diabetes

Date: March 3, 2020
Source: University of Western Ontario
Summary:
Researchers are studying a molecule found in sweet oranges and tangerines called nobiletin, which they have shown to drastically reduce obesity and reverse its negative side-effects. But why it works remains a mystery.

Journal Reference:
Nadya M. Morrow, Amy C. Burke, Joshua P. Samsoondar, Kyle E. Seigel, Andrew Wang, Dawn E. Telford, Brian G. Sutherland, Conor O’Dwyer, Gregory R. Steinberg, Morgan D. Fullerton, Murray W. Huff. The citrus flavonoid nobiletin confers protection from metabolic dysregulation in high-fat-fed mice independent of AMPK. Journal of Lipid Research, 2020; 61 (3): 387 DOI: 10.1194/jlr.RA119000542

Here is the press release from the University of Western Ontario:

Study: Daily citrus may help combat obesity

MARCH 2, 2020 BY CRYSTAL MACKAY

The equivalent of just two or three oranges or tangerines a day could reverse obesity and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes – a benefit Western researchers attribute to nobiletin, a molecule found in popular citrus fruits.
The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry-led study showed mice fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet that were also given nobiletin were noticeably leaner and had reduced levels of insulin resistance and blood fats compared to mice that were fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet alone.
The study, The citrus flavonoid nobiletin confers protection from metabolic dysregulation in high-fat-fed mice independent of AMPK, was recently published in the Journal of Lipid Research.
“We went on to show that we can also intervene with nobiletin,” said Schulich professor Murray Huff, who has been studying nobiletin’s effects for more than a decade. “We‘ve shown that in mice that already have all the negative symptoms of obesity, we can use nobelitin to reverse those symptoms, and even start to regress plaque build-up in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.”
But Huff says he and his team at Robarts Research Institute still haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly how nobiletin works.
Researchers hypothesized the molecule was likely acting on the pathway that regulates how fat is handled in the body. Called AMP Kinase, this regulator ‘turns on’ the machinery in the body that burns fats to create energy, and it also blocks the manufacture of fats.
However, when the researchers studied nobiletin’s effects on mice genetically modified to remove AMP Kinase, the effects were the same.
“This result told us that nobiletin is not acting on AMP Kinase and is bypassing this major regulator of how fat is used in the body,” Huff said. “What it still leaves us with is the question – how is nobiletin doing this?”
Huff says while the mystery remains, this recent result is still clinically important because it shows that nobiletin won’t interfere with other drugs that act on the AMP Kinase system. He says current therapeutics for diabetes like metformin for example, work through this pathway.
The next step is to move these studies into humans to determine if nobiletin has the same positive metabolic effects in human trials.
“Obesity and its resulting metabolic syndromes are a huge burden to our health care system, and we have very few interventions that have been shown to work effectively,” Huff said. “We need to continue this emphasis on the discovery of new therapeutics.”
Tags: Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry https://news.westernu.ca/2020/03/study-oj-ingredient-may-help-combat-obesity/

Heathline described a balanced diet:  What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. To get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should consume the majority of your daily calories in:
• fresh fruits
• fresh vegetables
• whole grains
• legumes
• nuts
• lean proteins
About calories
The number of calories in a food is a measurement of the amount of energy stored in that food. Your body uses calories from food for walking, thinking, breathing, and other important functions.
The average person needs to eat about 2,000 calories every day to maintain their weight. However, a person’s specific daily calorie intake can vary depending on their age, gender, and physical activity level. Men generally need more calories than women, and people who exercise need more calories than people who don’t.
The following examples of daily calorie intake are based on United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)Trusted Source guidelines:
• children ages 2 to 8 years: 1,000 to 1,400 calories
• girls ages 9 to 13 years: 1,400 to 1,600 calories
• boys ages 9 to 13 years: 1,600 to 2,000 calories
• active women ages 14 to 30 years: 2,400 calories
• sedentary women ages 14 to 30 years: 1,800 to 2,000 calories
• active men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,800 to 3,200 calories
• sedentary men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,000 to 2,600 calories
• active men and women over 30 years: 2,000 to 3,000 calories
• sedentary men and women over 30 years: 1,600 to 2,400 calories
The source of your daily calories is just as important as the number of calories you consume. You should limit your consumption of empty calories, meaning those that provide little or no nutritional value. The USDA defines empty calories as calories that come from sugars and solid fats, such as butter and shortening….
Why a balanced diet is important
A balanced diet is important because your organs and tissues need proper nutrition to work effectively. Without good nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and poor performance. Children with a poor diet run the risk of growth and developmental problems and poor academic performance, and bad eating habits can persist for the rest of their lives. Learn more about healthy meal plans for kids.
Rising levels of obesity and diabetes in America are prime examples of the effects of a poor diet and a lack of exercise. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that 4 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States are directly influenced by diet. These are:
• heart disease
• cancer
• stroke
• diabetes

https://www.healthline.com/health/balanced-diet#importance

BEFORE EMBARKING ON ANY CHANGE IN DIET OR PHYSCIAL ACTIVITY A COMPETENT MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE CONSULTED.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology study: The catch to putting warning labels on fake news

5 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART:

Moi read with interest the following article from the Daily Mail, Can tear-jerkers turn you liberal? As Good As It Gets and The Rainmaker make you soppy, says study:

Sentimental films make you more liberal, research suggests.
Political scientists found that Hollywood movies are better able to change attitudes – in a left-wing direction – than advertising or news reports.
Todd Adkins, of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, said audiences seemed to turn off their critical faculties when they reach the cinema.
Sentimental films, such as The Rainmaker (pictured), make you more liberal, research suggests
‘Viewers come expecting to be entertained and are not prepared to encounter and evaluate political messages as they would during campaign advertisements or network news,’ he said.
Dr Adkins’ research, published in the journal Social Science Quarterly, was based on a study of 268 students who were asked about their political views, shown a film and then questioned again.
Half identified themselves as politically conservative.
Political scientists found that Hollywood movies are better able to change attitudes – in a left-wing direction – than advertising or news reports….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530224/Can-tear-jerkers-turn-liberal-As-Good-As-It-Gets-The-Rainmaker-make-soppy-says-study.html#ixzz2pC6I7eaD

See, Moving Pictures? Experimental Evidence of Cinematic Influence on Political Attitudes†
Todd Adkins,
Jeremiah J. Castle*
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2013
DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12070
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ssqu.12070/abstract

There is a long history of movies being used as propaganda. The History Learning Site said this in the article, Propaganda in Nazi Germany:

Hitler came to power in January 1933. By May 1933, the Nazi Party felt sufficiently strong to publicly demonstrate where their beliefs were going when Goebbels organised the first of the infamous book burning episodes. Books that did not match the Nazi ideal was burnt in public – loyal Nazis ransacked libraries to remove the ‘offending’ books. “Where one burns books, one eventually burns people” commented the author Brecht.
The same approach was used in films. The Nazis controlled film production. Films released to the public concentrated on certain issues : the Jews; the greatness of Hitler; the way of life for a true Nazi especially children, and as World War Two approached, how badly Germans who lived in countries in Eastern Europe were treated. Leni Riefenstahl was given a free hand in producing Nazi propaganda films. A young film producer, she had impressed Hitler with her ability. It was Riefenstahl who made “Triumph of Will” – considered one of the greatest of propaganda films despite its contents.
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/propaganda_in_nazi_germany.htm

Hollywood films quite often represent cultural propaganda.

Jonathan Chait wrote in the New York article, The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy Is on Your Screen:

You don’t have to be an especially devoted consumer of film or television (I’m not) to detect a pervasive, if not total, liberalism. Americans for Responsible Television and Christian Leaders for Responsible Television would be flipping out over the modern family in Modern Family, not to mention the girls of Girls and the gays of Glee, except that those groups went defunct long ago. The liberal analysis of the economic crisis—that unregulated finance took wild gambles—has been widely reflected, even blatantly so, in movies like Margin Call, Too Big to Fail, and the Wall Street sequel. The conservative view that all blame lies with regulations forcing banks to lend to poor people has not, except perhaps in the amateur-hour production of Atlas Shrugged. The muscular Rambo patriotism that briefly surged in the eighties, and seemed poised to return after 9/11, has disappeared. In its place we have series like Homeland, which probes the moral complexities of a terrorist’s worldview, and action stars like Jason Bourne, whose enemies are not just foreign baddies but also paranoid Dick Cheney figures. The conservative denial of climate change, and the low opinion of environmentalism that accompanies it, stands in contrast to cautionary end-times tales like Ice Age 2: The Meltdown and the tree-hugging mysticism of Avatar. The decade has also seen a revival of political films and shows, from the Aaron Sorkin oeuvre through Veep and The Campaign, both of which cast oilmen as the heavies. Even The Muppets features an evil oil driller stereotypically named “Tex Richman.”
In short, the world of popular culture increasingly reflects a shared reality in which the Republican Party is either absent or anathema. That shared reality is the cultural assumptions, in particular, of the younger voters whose support has become the bedrock of the Democratic Party….
A trio of communications professors found that watching Will & Grace made audiences more receptive to gay rights, and especially viewers who had little contact in real life with gays and lesbians. And that one show was merely a component of a concerted effort by Hollywood—dating back to Soap in the late seventies, which featured Billy Crystal’s groundbreaking portrayal of a sympathetic gay character, through Modern Family—to prod audiences to accept homosexuality. Likewise, the political persona of Barack Obama attained such rapid acceptance and popularity in part because he represented the real-world version of an archetype that, after a long early period of servile black stereotypes, has appeared in film and television for years: a sober, intelligent African-American as president, or in some other position of power….
This capacity to mold the moral premises of large segments of the public, and especially the youngest and most impressionable elements, may or may not be unfair. What it is undoubtedly is a source of cultural (and hence political) power. Liberals like to believe that our strength derives solely from the natural concordance of the people, that we represent what most Americans believe, or would believe if not for the distorting rightward pull of Fox News and the Koch brothers and the rest. Conservatives surely do benefit from these outposts of power, and most would rather indulge their own populist fantasies than admit it. But they do have a point about one thing: We liberals owe not a small measure of our success to the propaganda campaign of a tiny, disproportionately influential cultural elite. http://nymag.com/news/features/chait-liberal-movies-tv-2012-8/

Some social media companies are labeling news or posts which they consider fake as “fake news” based upon their standards.

Science Daily reported in The catch to putting warning labels on fake news:

After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook began putting warning tags on news stories fact-checkers judged to be false. But there’s a catch: Tagging some stories as false makes readers more willing to believe other stories and share them with friends, even if those additional, untagged stories also turn out to be false.
That is the main finding of a new study co-authored by an MIT professor, based on multiple experiments with news consumers. The researchers call this unintended consequence — in which the selective labeling of false news makes other news stories seem more legitimate — the “implied-truth effect” in news consumption.
“Putting a warning on some content is going to make you think, to some extent, that all of the other content without the warning might have been checked and verified,” says David Rand, the Erwin H. Schell Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of a newly published paper detailing the study.
“There’s no way the fact-checkers can keep up with the stream of misinformation, so even if the warnings do really reduce belief in the tagged stories, you still have a problem, because of the implied truth effect,” Rand adds.
Moreover, Rand observes, the implied truth effect “is actually perfectly rational” on the part of readers, since there is ambiguity about whether untagged stories were verified or just not yet checked. “That makes these warnings potentially problematic,” he says. “Because people will reasonably make this inference.”
Even so, the findings also suggest a solution: Placing “Verified” tags on stories found to be true eliminates the problem.
The paper, “The Implied Truth Effect,” has just appeared in online form in the journal Management Science. In addition to Rand, the authors are Gordon Pennycook, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Regina; Adam Bear, a postdoc in the Cushman Lab at Harvard University; and Evan T. Collins, an undergraduate researcher on the project from Yale University.
BREAKING: More labels are better
To conduct the study, the researchers conducted a pair of online experiments with a total of 6,739 U.S. residents, recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform. Participants were given a variety of true and false news headlines in a Facebook-style format. The false stories were chosen from the website Snopes.com and included headlines such as “BREAKING NEWS: Hillary Clinton Filed for Divorce in New York Courts” and “Republican Senator Unveils Plan To Send All Of America’s Teachers Through A Marine Bootcamp.”
The participants viewed an equal mix of true stories and false stories, and were asked whether they would consider sharing each story on social media. Some participants were assigned to a control group in which no stories were labeled; others saw a set of stories where some of the false ones displayed a “FALSE” label; and some participants saw a set of stories with warning labels on some false stories and “TRUE” verification labels for some true stories.
In the first place, stamping warnings on false stories does make people less likely to consider sharing them. For instance, with no labels being used at all, participants considered sharing 29.8 percent of false stories in the sample. That figure dropped to 16.1 percent of false stories that had a warning label attached.
However, the researchers also saw the implied truth effect take effect. Readers were willing to share 36.2 percent of the remaining false stories that did not have warning labels, up from 29.8 percent.
“We robustly observe this implied-truth effect, where if false content doesn’t have a warning, people believe it more and say they would be more likely to share it,” Rand notes.
But when the warning labels on some false stories were complemented with verification labels on some of the true stories, participants were less likely to consider sharing false stories, across the board. In those circumstances, they shared only 13.7 percent of the headlines labeled as false, and just 26.9 percent of the nonlabeled false stories.
“If, in addition to putting warnings on things fact-checkers find to be false, you also put verification panels on things fact-checkers find to be true, then that solves the problem, because there’s no longer any ambiguity,” Rand says. “If you see a story without a label, you know it simply hasn’t been checked.”
Policy implications
The findings come with one additional twist that Rand emphasizes, namely, that participants in the survey did not seem to reject warnings on the basis of ideology. They were still likely to change their perceptions of stories with warning or verifications labels, even if discredited news items were “concordant” with their stated political views.
“These results are not consistent with the idea that our reasoning powers are hijacked by our partisanship,” Rand says…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200303140216.htm

Citation:

The catch to putting warning labels on fake news
Date: March 3, 2020
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
A new study finds disclaimers on some false news stories make people more readily believe other false stories.

Journal Reference:
Gordon Pennycook, Adam Bear, Evan T. Collins, David G. Rand. The Implied Truth Effect: Attaching Warnings to a Subset of Fake News Headlines Increases Perceived Accuracy of Headlines Without Warnings. Management Science, 2020; DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2019.3478

Here is the press release from MIT:

The catch to putting warning labels on fake news

Study finds disclaimers on some false news stories make people more readily believe other false stories.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office

March 2, 2020

After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook began putting warning tags on news stories fact-checkers judged to be false. But there’s a catch: Tagging some stories as false makes readers more willing to believe other stories and share them with friends, even if those additional, untagged stories also turn out to be false.

That is the main finding of a new study co-authored by an MIT professor, based on multiple experiments with news consumers. The researchers call this unintended consequence — in which the selective labeling of false news makes other news stories seem more legitimate — the “implied-truth effect” in news consumption.

“Putting a warning on some content is going to make you think, to some extent, that all of the other content without the warning might have been checked and verified,” says David Rand, the Erwin H. Schell Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of a newly published paper detailing the study.

“There’s no way the fact-checkers can keep up with the stream of misinformation, so even if the warnings do really reduce belief in the tagged stories, you still have a problem, because of the implied truth effect,” Rand adds.

Moreover, Rand observes, the implied truth effect “is actually perfectly rational” on the part of readers, since there is ambiguity about whether untagged stories were verified or just not yet checked. “That makes these warnings potentially problematic,” he says. “Because people will reasonably make this inference.”

Even so, the findings also suggest a solution: Placing “Verified” tags on stories found to be true eliminates the problem.

The paper, “The Implied Truth Effect,” has just appeared in online form in the journal Management Science. In addition to Rand, the authors are Gordon Pennycook, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Regina; Adam Bear, a postdoc in the Cushman Lab at Harvard University; and Evan T. Collins, an undergraduate researcher on the project from Yale University.
BREAKING: More labels are better

To conduct the study, the researchers conducted a pair of online experiments with a total of 6,739 U.S. residents, recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform. Participants were given a variety of true and false news headlines in a Facebook-style format. The false stories were chosen from the website Snopes.com and included headlines such as “BREAKING NEWS: Hillary Clinton Filed for Divorce in New York Courts” and “Republican Senator Unveils Plan To Send All Of America’s Teachers Through A Marine Bootcamp.”

The participants viewed an equal mix of true stories and false stories, and were asked whether they would consider sharing each story on social media. Some participants were assigned to a control group in which no stories were labeled; others saw a set of stories where some of the false ones displayed a “FALSE” label; and some participants saw a set of stories with warning labels on some false stories and “TRUE” verification labels for some true stories.
In the first place, stamping warnings on false stories does make people less likely to consider sharing them. For instance, with no labels being used at all, participants considered sharing 29.8 percent of false stories in the sample. That figure dropped to 16.1 percent of false stories that had a warning label attached.

However, the researchers also saw the implied truth effect take effect. Readers were willing to share 36.2 percent of the remaining false stories that did not have warning labels, up from 29.8 percent.

“We robustly observe this implied-truth effect, where if false content doesn’t have a warning, people believe it more and say they would be more likely to share it,” Rand notes.
But when the warning labels on some false stories were complemented with verification labels on some of the true stories, participants were less likely to consider sharing false stories, across the board. In those circumstances, they shared only 13.7 percent of the headlines labeled as false, and just 26.9 percent of the nonlabeled false stories.

“If, in addition to putting warnings on things fact-checkers find to be false, you also put verification panels on things fact-checkers find to be true, then that solves the problem, because there’s no longer any ambiguity,” Rand says. “If you see a story without a label, you know it simply hasn’t been checked.”
Policy implications

The findings come with one additional twist that Rand emphasizes, namely, that participants in the survey did not seem to reject warnings on the basis of ideology. They were still likely to change their perceptions of stories with warning or verifications labels, even if discredited news items were “concordant” with their stated political views.

“These results are not consistent with the idea that our reasoning powers are hijacked by our partisanship,” Rand says.
Rand notes that, while continued research on the subject is important, the current study suggests a straightforward way that social media platforms can take action to further improve their systems of labeling online news content.

“I think this has clear policy implications when platforms are thinking about attaching warnings,” he says. “They should be very careful to check not just the effect of the warnings on the content with the tag, but also check the effects on all the other content.”

Support for the research was provided, in part, by the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative of the Miami Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
________________________________________
More information: Gordon Pennycook et al, The Implied Truth Effect: Attaching Warnings to a Subset of Fake News Headlines Increases Perceived Accuracy of Headlines Without Warnings, Management Science (2020). DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2019.3478

The issue is whether the public in a “captive” environment have the maturity and critical thinking skills to evaluate the information contained in content. Schools must teach children critical thinking skills and point out reality does not often involve perfection, there are warts.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
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University of Texas at San Antonio study: Role culture plays in feeling sick

2 Mar

Medical News Today described health in What is good health?

Fast facts on health
Here are some key points about health. More detail is in the main article.
• Health can be defined as physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and as a resource for living a full life.
• It refers not only to the absence of disease, but the ability to recover and bounce back from illness and other problems.
• Factors for good health include genetics, the environment, relationships, and education.
• A healthful diet, exercise, screening for diseases, and coping strategies can all enhance a person’s health….

Types
Mental and physical health are the two most commonly discussed types of health. We also talk about “spiritual health,” “emotional health,” and “financial health,” among others. These have also been linked to lower stress levels and mental and physical wellbeing.
Physical health
In a person who experiences physical health, bodily functions are working at peak performance, due not only to a lack of disease, but also to regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest. We receive treatment, when necessary, to maintain the balance.
Physical wellbeing involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease. Maintaining physical fitness, for example, can protect and develop the endurance of a person’s breathing and heart function, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
Physical health and well-being also help reduce the risk of an injury or health issue. Examples include minimizing hazards in the workplace, practicing safe sex, practicing good hygiene, or avoiding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
Mental health
Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing. Mental health is as important as physical health to a full, active lifestyle.
It is harder to define mental health than physical health, because, in many cases, diagnosis depends on the individual’s perception of their experience. With improvements in testing, however, some signs of some types of mental illness are now becoming “visible” in CT scans and genetic testing.
Mental health is not only the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder.
It also depends on the ability to:
• enjoy life
• bounce back after difficult experiences
• achieve balance
• adapt to adversity
• feel safe and secure
• achieve your potential
Physical and mental health are linked. If chronic illness affects a person’s ability to complete their regular tasks, this may lead to depression and stress, for example, due to money problems…. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999#types

University of Texas at  San Antonio studied the role culture played in an individual’s assessment of their health.

Science Daily reported in Role culture plays in feeling sick:

The physical and mental sensations we associate with feeling sick are a natural biological response to inflammation within the body. However, the strength and severity of these sensations go beyond biology and may be affected by gender, ethnicity and various social norms we’ve all internalized. These are the latest research findings, according to social scientists at UTSA, who have discovered a link between a person’s culture and how one classifies being ill.
Social scientists think that a person’s values may shape internal views on “socially appropriate sickness.” This has implications for how different individuals may take more action in dealing with illness rather than spreading further disease.
Eric Shattuck, a biological anthropologist with UTSA’s Institute for Health Disparities Research; sociology professor Thankam Sunil, who is director of the IHDR; and Xiaohe Xu, chair of UTSA’s Department of Sociology, found that sickness expression is affected by gender, income and cultural values.
Specifically, study participants who (1) earned less than the U.S. median household income, (2) claimed to be stoics with a high tolerance for pain or (3) had symptoms of depression were more likely to express being sick. In men with stronger family bonds, feeling sick was also more likely to be reported.
“It’s ironic. You think that being a stoic would mean that you are more likely to be reserved, but according to our survey, it has the opposite effect,” said Shattuck. “Stoics could own up to being ill as a bragging right and maintain a disease for longer than is necessary.”
According to the researchers, stoics — regardless of gender — and individuals with household incomes lower than $60,000 were more likely to claim being ill.
“In regard to lower income levels, perhaps those individuals were more likely to claim to have been sick because they didn’t necessarily have the means to seek medical attention and, therefore, symptoms became severe,” added Shattuck. “This perhaps made them remember the illness.”
The researchers also pointed that men with stronger family ties were more likely to report stronger sickness sensations over the past year.
“It could be that family support allows men to feel more cared for and therefore rely on that social safety net,” said Shattuck.
The researchers analyzed the self-reported surveys of 1,259 respondents who claimed to have been sick with influenza or the common cold in the past year. Participants were also asked to rate their current feelings of sickness from “not sick” to “severely sick” using a Likert-type scale in order to control for any possible compounding effect.
Sickness behavior, including lethargy, social withdrawal and appetite changes, is “one of the responses that all living creatures from ants to bees to humans seem to have in common. Yet socioeconomic and cultural norms play a part with us,” said Shattuck. “For example, other researchers have shown that the majority of individuals who work in many fields, including medicine, are often likely to show up to work while being sick. If you think about it, this is about work culture and it has consequences.”
The next step for the researchers is to repeat the study with individuals who are actively sick versus those that had to recall an illness. Areas of future investigation will explore how the severity of an illness affects reporting being sick…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200302113312.htm

Citation:

Role culture plays in feeling sick
Date: March 2, 2020
Source: University of Texas at San Antonio
Summary:
Scientists think that a person’s values may shape views on ”socially appropriate sickness.” This has implications for how individuals may take more action in dealing with illness rather than spreading further disease. According to the researchers, stoics or individuals with incomes lower than $60,000 were more likely to claim being ill. People may be comfortable reporting being sick when it’s a common cold but questions arise with stigmatized infections, such as HIV and now coronavirus.

Journal Reference:
Eric C. Shattuck, Jessica K. Perrotte, Colton L. Daniels, Xiaohe Xu, Thankam S. Sunil. The Contribution of Sociocultural Factors in Shaping Self-Reported Sickness Behavior. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2020; 14 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2020.00004

Here is the press release from University of Texas at San Antonio:

MARCH 2, 2020

Researchers study role culture plays in feeling sick
by Milady Nazir, University of Texas at San Antonio

The physical and mental sensations we associate with feeling sick are a natural biological response to inflammation within the body. However, the strength and severity of these sensations go beyond biology and may be affected by gender, ethnicity and various social norms we’ve all internalized. These are the latest research findings, according to social scientists at UTSA, who have discovered a link between a person’s culture and how one classifies being ill.
Social scientists think that a person’s values may shape internal views on “socially appropriate sickness.” This has implications for how different individuals may take more action in dealing with illness rather than spreading further disease.
Eric Shattuck, a biological anthropologist with UTSA’s Institute for Health Disparities Research; sociology professor Thankam Sunil, who is director of the IHDR; and Xiaohe Xu, chair of UTSA’s Department of Sociology, found that sickness expression is affected by gender, income and cultural values.
Specifically, study participants who (1) earned less than the U.S. median household income, (2) claimed to be stoics with a high tolerance for pain or (3) had symptoms of depression were more likely to express being sick. In men with stronger family bonds, feeling sick was also more likely to be reported.
“It’s ironic. You think that being a stoic would mean that you are more likely to be reserved, but according to our survey, it has the opposite effect,” said Shattuck. “Stoics could own up to being ill as a bragging right and maintain a disease for longer than is necessary.”
According to the researchers, stoics—regardless of gender—and individuals with household incomes lower than $60,000 were more likely to claim being ill.
“In regard to lower income levels, perhaps those individuals were more likely to claim to have been sick because they didn’t necessarily have the means to seek medical attention and, therefore, symptoms became severe,” added Shattuck. “This perhaps made them remember the illness.”
The researchers also pointed that men with stronger family ties were more likely to report stronger sickness sensations over the past year.
“It could be that family support allows men to feel more cared for and therefore rely on that social safety net,” said Shattuck.
The researchers analyzed the self-reported surveys of 1,259 respondents who claimed to have been sick with influenza or the common cold in the past year. Participants were also asked to rate their current feelings of sickness from “not sick” to “severely sick” using a Likert-type scale in order to control for any possible compounding effect.
Sickness behavior, including lethargy, social withdrawal and appetite changes, is “one of the responses that all living creatures from ants to bees to humans seem to have in common. Yet socioeconomic and cultural norms play a part with us,” said Shattuck. “For example, other researchers have shown that the majority of individuals who work in many fields, including medicine, are often likely to show up to work while being sick. If you think about it, this is about work culture and it has consequences.”
The next step for the researchers is to repeat the study with individuals who are actively sick versus those that had to recall an illness. Areas of future investigation will explore how the severity of an illness affects reporting being sick.
“Maybe people are more comfortable reporting being sick when it’s a common cold,” Shattuck said, “but what about those stigmatized infections, such as HIV. What about the coronavirus? How are infectious diseases claimed using a cultural or economic lens?”
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Explore further
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
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More information: Eric C. Shattuck et al. The Contribution of Sociocultural Factors in Shaping Self-Reported Sickness Behavior, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (2020). DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2020.00004
Provided by University of Texas at San Antonio

More research should be aimed at why some folk have an illness, but display less severe symptoms.

The Medical News Today article, What to know about general adaptation syndrome points to a possible research direction:

General adaptation syndrome is a three-stage response that the body has to stress. But what do the different stages involve and what examples are there of GAS in action?
Stress is sometimes thought of as a mental pressure, but it also has a physical effect on the body. Understanding the stages the body goes through when exposed to stress helps people become more aware of these physical signs of stress when they occur….

The three stages of GAS are:
• alarm reaction
• resistance
• exhaustion
What happens within the body during each of these stages is explored below.

Alarm reaction stage

At the alarm reaction stage, a distress signal is sent to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus enables the release of hormones called glucocorticoids.
Glucocorticoids trigger the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The adrenaline gives a person a boost of energy. Their heart rate increases and their blood pressure rises. Meanwhile, blood sugar levels also go up.
These physiological changes are governed by a part of a person’s autonomic nervous system (ANS) called the sympathetic branch.
The alarm reaction stage of the GAS prepares a person to respond to the stressor they are experiencing. This is often known as a “fight or flight” response.

Resistance

During the resistance stage, the body tries to counteract the physiological changes that happened during the alarm reaction stage. The resistance stage is governed by a part of the ANS called the parasympathetic.
The parasympathetic branch of the ANS tries to return the body to normal by reducing the amount of cortisol produced. The heart rate and blood pressure begin to return to normal.
If the stressful situation comes to an end, during the resistance stage, the body will then return to normal.
However, if the stressor remains, the body will stay in a state of alert, and stress hormones continue to be produced.
This physical response can lead to a person struggling to concentrate and becoming irritable.

Exhaustion stage

After an extended period of stress, the body goes into the final stage of GAS, known as the exhaustion stage. At this stage, the body has depleted its energy resources by continually trying but failing to recover from the initial alarm reaction stage.

Once it reaches the exhaustion stage, a person’s body is no longer equipped to fight stress. They may experience:
• tiredness
• depression
• anxiety
• feeling unable to cope

If a person does not find ways to manage stress levels at this stage, they are at risk of developing stress-related health conditions…. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320172#the-three-stages-of-gas

An important research question is why some individuals are more resilient when dealing with illness?

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