The Hidden Dangers of Protein Powders

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Adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie may seem like a simple way to boost your health. After, all, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. And many older adults don’t consume enough protein because of a reduced appetite.

But be careful: a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder can harbor health risks. “I don’t recommend using protein powders except in a few instances, and only with supervision,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

What is protein powder?

Protein powders are powdered forms of protein that come from plants (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp), eggs, or milk (casein or whey protein). The powders may include other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavoring, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. The amount of protein per scoop can vary from 10 to 30 grams. Supplements used for building muscle contain relatively more protein, and supplements used for weight loss contain relatively less.

What are the risks?

There are numerous risks to consider when using a protein powder. Among them:

  • A protein powder is a dietary supplement. The FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products. So, there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains what manufacturers claim.
  • We don’t know the long-term effects. “There are limited data on the possible side effects of high protein intake from supplements,” McManus says.
  • It may cause digestive distress. “People with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose [milk sugar] can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder,” McManus points out.
  • It may be high in added sugars and calories. Some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot (as much as 23 grams per scoop). Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 24 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men.

A new risk revealed

Earlier this year, a nonprofit group called the Clean Label Project released a report about toxins in protein powders. Researchers screened 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many protein powders contained heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA, which is used to make plastic), pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions. Some toxins were present in significant quantities. For example, one protein powder contained 25 times the allowed limit of BPA.

How could protein powder contain so many contaminants? The Clean Label Project points to manufacturing processes or the existence of toxins in soil (absorbed by plants that are made into protein powders).

Not all of the protein powders that were tested contained elevated levels of toxins. You can see the results at the Clean Label Project’s website (www.cleanlabelproject.org).

Daily protein goals

Aim for the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein intake: 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men. For example:

  • an egg for breakfast (6 grams)
  • 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt at lunch (18 grams)
  • a handful of nuts for a snack (4–7 grams)
  • a cup of milk (8 grams) and 2 ounces of cooked chicken for dinner (14 grams).

What you should do

McManus says that in certain cases, chemical-free protein powders may be helpful—but only with medical supervision. Such cases could include

  • difficulty eating or an impaired appetite (as a result of cancer treatment or frailty from older age)
  • a surgical incision or a pressure wound that is not healing well (your body needs protein to repair cells and make new ones)
  • a serious condition requiring additional calories and protein in order for you to get better (such as burns).

Otherwise, get protein from whole foods: nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese), legumes (beans, lentils), fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat. “You’ll find,” McManus says, “that there are many ways to get protein without turning to a powder.”

Source: The hidden dangers of protein powders – Harvard Health

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Critics:

Bodybuilding supplements are dietary supplements commonly used by those involved in bodybuilding, weightlifting, mixed martial arts, and athletics for the purpose of facilitating an increase in lean body mass. The intent is to increase muscle, increase body weight, improve athletic performance, and for some sports, to simultaneously decrease percent body fat so as to create better muscle definition.

Among the most widely used are high protein drinks, pre-workout blends, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), glutamine, arginine, essential fatty acids, creatine, HMB, whey protein, ZMA and weight loss products. Supplements are sold either as single ingredient preparations or in the form of “stacks” – proprietary blends of various supplements marketed as offering synergistic advantages.

While many bodybuilding supplements are also consumed by the general public the frequency of use will differ when used specifically by bodybuilders. One meta-analysis concluded that – for athletes participating in resistance exercise training and consuming protein supplements for an average of 13 weeks – total protein intake up to 1.6 g/kg of body weight per day would result in an increase in strength and fat-free mass, but that higher intakes would not further contribute.

In addition to being potentially harmful, some have argued that there is little evidence to indicate any benefit to using bodybuilding protein or amino acid supplements. A 2005 overview concluded that “[i]n view of the lack of compelling evidence to the contrary, no additional dietary protein is suggested for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise”.

In dispute of this, a 2017 meta-analysis concluded that for athletes participating in resistance exercise training and consuming protein supplements for an average of 13 weeks, total protein intake up to 1.6 g per kg body weight per day would result in an increase in strength and fat-free mass, i.e. muscle, but that higher intakes would not further contribute. The muscle mass increase was statistically significant but modest – averaging 0.3 for all trials and 1.0 to 2.0 kg, for protein intake ≥ 1.6 g/kg/day.

See also

COVID-19 Vaccines Don’t Contain Magnetic Ingredients; Dose Volume is Too Small To Contain Any Device Able To Hold a Magnet Through The Skin

https://i1.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/vaccine-magnetic_myth.png?resize=851%2C569&ssl=1

Around mid-May 2021, multiple videos (examples here, here, and here) claimed that COVID-19 vaccines caused magnetic reactions in vaccinated people. The videos purportedly showed that magnets attached to the arm where people received a COVID-19 vaccine, but not to the unvaccinated arm. The so-called “magnet challenge” went viral across social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, receiving hundreds of thousands of interactions.
While some posts didn’t try to explain the phenomenon, others claimed that COVID-19 vaccines contained metals or microchips that attracted the magnets. None of the videos provided verification that the people appearing in them were actually vaccinated against COVID-19. Regardless of whether they received the COVID-19 vaccine or not, the claim that COVID-19 vaccines “magnetize” people is inaccurate and unsupported by scientific evidence, as we explain below.

None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines contain magnetic ingredients

All materials react to magnetic fields in some way. However, these magnetic forces are, in general, so weak that most of these materials are effectively non-magnetic. Only a few metals, including iron, cobalt, nickel, and some steels, are considered truly magnetic and are attracted to magnets.

Lists of the ingredients in all the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are publicly available. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna contain mRNA, lipids, salts, sugar, and substances that keep the pH stable. The COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson contains an adenovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, amino acids, antioxidants, ethanol, an emulsifier, sugar, and salts. None of these ingredients are metals, and therefore, none of them are magnetic.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine contains similar ingredients to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but includes magnesium chloride as a preservative. Although magnesium is a metal, it is also non-magnetic, both in its elemental form and as magnesium chloride salt. In fact, higher amounts of magnesium are naturally present in the body, in many foods, and in dietary supplements, and they don’t cause magnetic reactions in people.

Finally, the volume of a COVID-19 vaccine dose is very small, ranging from 0.3 ml in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 0.5 ml in the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. According to experts, even if the vaccines contained a magnetic ingredient, the total amount would be insufficient to hold a magnet through a person’s skin. Michael Coey, a physics professor at Trinity College Dublin, explained to Reuters:

“You would need about one gram of iron metal to attract and support a permanent magnet at the injection site, something you would ‘easily feel’ if it was there […] By the way, my wife was injected with her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today, and I had mine over two weeks ago. I have checked that magnets are not attracted to our arms!”

This Instagram video illustrates how a magnet (or any other small object) can stick to people’s skin without the need for any magnetic force.

Claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips are unfounded

The claim that COVID-19 vaccines are magnetic because they contain microchips or tracking devices traces its roots to a conspiracy theory that has persisted throughout the pandemic. Despite being debunked many times, the baseless theory that COVID-19 vaccines include secret devices for tracking the population emerges from time to time in different forms.

Such claims led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to explain on its website that COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain microchips or tracking devices:

“No, the government is not using the vaccine to track you. There may be trackers on the vaccine shipment boxes to protect them from theft, but there are no trackers in the vaccines themselves. State governments track where you got the vaccine and which kind you received using a computerized database to make sure you get all recommended doses at the right time. You will also get a card showing that you have received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The claims that the COVID-19 vaccines contain magnetic microchips are incorrect for multiple reasons. First, any microchip contained in a COVID-19 vaccine would need to be small enough to fit through the syringe needle. Vaccination generally uses 22 to 25-gauge needles. “Gauge” indicates the size of the hole that runs down the middle of the needle.

The higher the gauge, the smaller the hole. These needles have a maximum inner diameter of 0.5 mm. Current microchips aren’t small enough to fit through the syringe needle. Second, even if a microchip of that size exists, it would be too small to hold a magnet through the skin, for the same reasons explained by Coey above.

Finally, all COVID-19 vaccines are supplied in multidose vials containing five to 15 doses, depending on the manufacturer (see dosing information from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). This would make it impossible to guarantee that all individuals receive a chip. Some people could receive several chips, while others receive none. Furthermore, many of the devices would likely remain in the vial or get stuck in the syringe.

Conclusion

Claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause magnetic reactions are unsubstantiated and implausible. COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA don’t contain metals or other magnetic ingredients that could cause a magnetic reaction in vaccinated individuals. Furthermore, no component or microchip that fits in the volume of a COVID-19 vaccine dose would be strong enough to hold a magnet through the skin.

By:

Source: COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain magnetic ingredients; dose volume is too small to contain any device able to hold a magnet through the skin – Health Feedback

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FDA Offers Tips To Avoid Coronavirus Vaccine Scams

Americans are anxiously anticipating approval and public distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate the masses and return to normalcy — and scammers are standing by.

Government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Homeland Security, and Food and Drug Administration have issued warnings to Americans to be wary of groups or individuals offering COVID-19 vaccines or cures because a vaccine has yet to be approved by the FDA.

So far, the FDA has only approved the antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, some people and companies are trying to profit from the challenge of this pandemic by selling unproven products that make false claims, such as being effective against COVID-19,” according to a public service announcement from the FDA. “These fraudulent products that claim to cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19 haven’t been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness and might be dangerous to you and your family.”

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid falling victim, according to the FDA and the Department of Homeland Security, as reported by the AP:

  • Products marketed for veterinary use, or “for research use only,” or otherwise not for human consumption, have not been evaluated for safety and should never be used by humans.
  • Be suspicious of products that claim to treat a wide range of diseases.
  • Personal testimonials are no substitute for scientific evidence.
  • Few diseases or conditions can be treated quickly, so be suspicious of any therapy claimed as a “quick fix.”
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • “Miracle cures,” which claim scientific breakthroughs or contain secret ingredients, are likely a hoax.
  • Always consult a licensed medical professional to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.
  • Make sure your doctor has been approved to administer the vaccine.
  • Do not buy COVID-19 vaccines or treatments over the internet or through an online pharmacy.
  • Ignore large, unsolicited offers for vaccinations and miracle treatments or cures.
  • Don’t respond to text messages, emails, or calls about vaccines and treatments.
  • Be wary of ads for vaccines and treatments on social media.

The FDA is working to protect Americans from these “unapproved products with false or misleading claims about COVID-19” by issuing warning letters and pursuing seizures, injunctions, or criminal prosecutions against products, firms, or individuals who violate the law.

Similarly, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Monday it’s launching new efforts to find and prevent the production, sale, and distribution of unapproved or unauthorized COVID-19 products and drugs.

AdChoices

“Special agents anticipate that criminal organizations will continue to adapt and capitalize on public demand for access to vaccines and treatments as they are developed and approved,” according to an ICE press statement. “With that, the agency expects a surge in illicit attempts to introduce counterfeit versions of approved vaccines into U.S. and global marketplaces.”

This type of criminal activity is not new during the pandemic.

Shortly after the country went into lockdown this spring to stave off the spread of the coronavirus, fraudsters jumped to action, trying to make a buck off the unwitting and anxious. Scammers then peddled highly-coveted items like PPE, test kits, hand sanitizer, and alleged antidotes, while others intercepted stimulus checks.

Read more: Coronavirus stimulus check scams: How to avoid becoming a victim

Since the pandemic’s outset, over 257,800 fraudulent coronavirus-related reports have been filed, amounting to an estimated $190 million in losses, according to the FTC. The majority of activity comes from online shopping and the FTC has come down on counterfeit websites claiming to sell cleaning products, sending over 300 warning letters to companies profiting off of spurious claims and purported COVID treatments.

The Better Business Bureau also issued a warning last month about text and email messages to enroll in phony clinical COVID-19 studies. The message would advertise compensation of up to $1,000 and more if you click on the link to register. The link would either download malware onto your computer or phone or send you to a registration page asking for your personal information.

“No matter how curious you are — or how much you could use an extra $1,200 — don’t click,” the BBB warned. “It’s a scam!”

Stephanie Asymkos is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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CBS This Morning

The Justice Department has filed its first enforcement action against alleged coronavirus fraud. It obtained a temporary restraining order Sunday against the website coronavirusmedicalkit.com. Prosecutors say the site claimed to offer consumers access to vaccine kits from the World Health Organization, but there are currently no vaccines for the disease. Anna Werner joins “CBS This Morning” to explain how to avoid the scam and others like it. Watch “CBS This Morning” HERE: http://bit.ly/1T88yAR Download the CBS News app on iOS HERE: https://apple.co/1tRNnUy Download the CBS News app on Android HERE: https://bit.ly/1IcphuX Like “CBS This Morning” on Facebook HERE: http://on.fb.me/1LhtdvI Follow “CBS This Morning” on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1Xj5W3p Follow “CBS This Morning” on Instagram HERE: http://bit.ly/1Q7NGnY Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream local news live, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! http://bit.ly/1OQA29B Each weekday morning, “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil deliver two hours of original reporting, breaking news and top-level newsmaker interviews in an engaging and informative format that challenges the norm in network morning news programs. The broadcast has earned a prestigious Peabody Award, a Polk Award, four News & Documentary Emmys, three Daytime Emmys and the 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast. The broadcast was also honored with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award as part of CBS News division-wide coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Check local listings for “CBS This Morning” broadcast times.

FDA Approves Remdesivir For Covid-19 Treatment

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved remdesivir as a treatment for hospitalized coronavirus patients, Gilead Sciences said, making it the first FDA-approved drug for Covid-19.

Key Facts

The drug was previously granted an emergency use authorization in May, which allowed healthcare providers to administer the treatment even though it wasn’t formally approved by the FDA.

Remdesivir, which is sold under the brand name Veklury, “should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care,” Gilead said.

The drug is approved for adults and children 12 and older weighing at least 88 lbs. for coronavirus treatment requiring hospitalization.

Clinical trial data has been mixed: A randomized trial from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found remdesivir improved recovery time, but a study from the World Health Organization, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found last week the drug did not increase the chances of survival or result in faster recovery.

Gilead shares jumped 3.8% in after hours trading following the announcement. 

Crucial Quote

“It is incredible to be in the position today, less than one year since the earliest case reports of the disease now known as COVID-19, of having an FDA-approved treatment in the U.S. that is available for all appropriate patients in need,” said Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day in a statement.

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Key Background

President Donald Trump took remdesivir when being treated for the coronavirus earlier this month. Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tipRachel SandlerI’m a San Francisco-based reporter covering breaking news at Forbes. I’ve previously reported for USA Today, Business Insider, The San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Inside. I studied journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was an editor at The Daily Orange, the university’s independent student newspaper. Follow me on Twitter @rachsandl or shoot me an email rsandler@forbes.com.

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Remdesivir is a prodrug of an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) analog, with potential antiviral activity against a variety of RNA viruses. Upon administration, remdesivir, being a prodrug, is metabolized into its active form GS-441524. As an ATP analog, GS-441524 competes with ATP for incorporation into RNA and inhibits the action of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. This results in the termination of RNA transcription and decreases viral RNA production.

Remdesivir has an FDA Emergency Use Authorization for use in adults and children with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in hospital with an SpO2 ≤94%.[L13239] This is not the same as an FDA approval.[L12609] The FDA Emergency Use Authorization suggests a loading dose of 200mg once daily in patients ≥ 40 kg or 5 mg/kg once daily in patients 3.5 kg to less than 40 kg, followed by a maintenance dose of 100mg once daily in patients ≥ 40 kg or 2.5 mg/kg once daily in patients 3.5 kg to less than 40 kg.[L13239] Patients not needing invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) should be treated for 5 days (including the loading dose on day 1), up to 10 days if they do not show improvement.[L13239] Patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation or ECMO should be treated for 10 days.[L13239]

Clinical trials used a regimen of 200mg once daily on the first day, followed by 100mg once daily for another 9 days.[A191931,L12174,L12177] Early data suggests that some patients may benefit from only 5 days of treatment.[A198810] Remdesivir was originally investigated as a treatment for Ebola virus, but has potential to treat a variety of RNA viruses.[A191379] Its activity against the coronavirus (CoV) family of viruses, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, was described in 2017,[A191382] and it is also being investigated as a potential treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infections.[A191427,A193254]

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CNBC Television 1M subscribers The FDA has approved Gilead’s Remdesivir as a Covid-19 treatment. Previously, the drug was approved only for emergency authorization. Gilead stock was up 4 percent after the news. Meg Tirrell joins ‘Closing Bell’ to discuss. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock market news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates CNBC is the leader in business news worldwide. The News with Shepard Smith is CNBC’s daily news podcast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories. Available to listen by 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT daily beginning September 30: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/the-n… Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBChttps://www.cnbc.com/select/best-cred…#CNBC

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Pfizer Will Seek Emergency Approval For Covid-19 Vaccine In November, After Election

Pfizer will apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval of its Covid-19 vaccine in the third week of November, its CEO said Friday, assuming it receives positive results from its ongoing trial — the timeline makes it unlikely that the U.S. will have a vaccine before the election but leaves open the possibility of one being authorized this year.

Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla said the company would file for emergency approval as soon as safety data is available, assuming those results are positive.

The FDA requires at least two months of safety data on half of trial participants to grant emergency approval, he said, as well as information on effectiveness and proof it can be manufactured safely.

The safety data is likely to take the longest to collect — Bourla said Pfizer expects to have manufacturing data before that and should know whether or not the vaccine is effective by the end of October. 

The company will continue to monitor and report safety data for all trial participants for two years, Bourla said.

Bourla said the November timeline reflects the company’s “best estimates,” noting that this could change.

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Key Background

Bourla’s statement cements Pfizer’s status as a frontrunner — alongside Germany’s BioNTech, who it is developing the vaccine with — in the global race to develop a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine. Excluding Russia and China, which have licensed vaccines for domestic use, no manufacturer has been granted regulatory approval for a vaccine anywhere in the world. If Pfizer manages to stick to this timeline, it could be the first. 

Crucial Quote

Pfizer and other vaccine-makers have grown increasingly frustrated with the persistent politicization of potential Covid-19 vaccines by high-ranking officials, most notably President Trump, who has claimed one will be ready before the November 3 election. Bourla’s letter does little to hide this annoyance,stating: “To ensure public trust and clear up a great deal of confusion, I believe it is essential for the public to understand our estimated timelines for each of these three areas.”

Further Reading

Pfizer to seek FDA approval for Covid -19 vaccine in November (Financial Times)

Full coverage and live updates on the CoronavirusFollow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Robert Hart

 Robert Hart

I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance journalist and policy analyst covering science, tech and health. I have a master’s degree in Biological Natural Sciences and a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Follow me on Twitter @theroberthart or email me at rhart@forbes.com 

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How To Stop The Spread of COVID-19 & Protect Your Family According To FDA

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The COVID-19 pandemic requires that we remain vigilant in our everyday lives. We can each take some simple steps to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease and protect ourselves, our families and our communities.

The steps are: 

Wash your hands often with plain soap and water.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering or non-surgical mask when around others.

Avoid crowds and practice social distancing (stay at least 6 feet apart from others).

Here are some ways you and your family can help slow the spread of coronavirus disease.

Wash Your Hands

Because COVID-19 has never been seen in humans before, there are currently no vaccines to prevent or drugs to treat COVID-19 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed (or exposing others) to this virus.

First, practice simple hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds – especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.

Learn how to wash your hands to prevent the spread of coronavirus and other illnesses.

If soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that consumers use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% percent ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol).

The FDA continues to warn consumers about hand sanitizers that contain methanol, also called wood alcohol. Methanol is very toxic and should never be used in hand sanitizer.

If absorbed through the skin or swallowed, methanol can cause serious health problems, such as seizures and blindness, or even death.

Before you buy hand sanitizer or use some you already have at home, check this list to see if the hand sanitizer may possibly have methanol.

Most hand sanitizers found to contain methanol do not list it as an ingredient on the label (since it is not an acceptable ingredient in the product), so it’s important to check the FDA’s list to see if the company or product is included.

Continue checking this list often, as it is being updated daily.

The FDA has also expanded the list to include hand sanitizers that contain other contaminants and products that have less than the required amount of the active ingredient.

If you have a hand sanitizer on FDA’s list, stop using it immediately. Learn how to find your hand sanitizer on the do-not-use list and how to safely use hand sanitizer.

Wear a Mask and Avoid Crowds 

Stay home as much as possible. Avoid close contact (at least 6 feet, or about two arms’ length) with people who are not from your household, even if they don’t appear sick, in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the coronavirus.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth masks or face coverings – not surgical masks or N95 respirators – in public, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (for example, at grocery stores and pharmacies).

Wearing cloth face coverings or non-surgical masks in public can help to slow the spread of the virus. They can help keep people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when you cough, sneeze or talk.

Save Personal Protective Equipment for Those on the Front Lines

Don’t buy or stock up on personal protective equipment such as surgical masks and N95 respirators.

Surgical masks and N95s should be reserved for use by health care workers, first responders, and other frontline workers whose jobs put them at much greater risk of being infected with COVID-19.

Follow Food Safety Guidelines

The U.S. food supply is safe, both for people and for animals. There is no evidence the coronavirus is transmitted through food, food containers, or food packaging.

As always, it’s important to follow the four key steps of food safety: wash, separate, cook, and chill.

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Donate Blood 

Another way to help is to donate blood if you are able. The U.S. blood supply is facing unprecedented challenges and shortages.

Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations because of social distancing and canceled blood drives.

Maintaining an adequate blood supply is vital to public health. Blood donors help patients of all ages and kinds – accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

The American Red Cross estimates that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

If you are healthy and feel well, contact a local donation center to make an appointment. Donation centers are taking steps to make sure donation is safe.

If You Have Fully Recovered From COVID-19, Donate Plasma

People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to consider donating plasma, which could potentially help save the lives of other COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 patients develop antibodies (proteins that might help fight the infection) in their blood.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma can be collected from individuals who have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19, which is documented by a laboratory test, and who meet other qualifications.

For example, they must have fully recovered from COVID-19, with complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days prior to donation. A negative lab test for active COVID-19 disease is not necessary to qualify for donation.

Further investigation is necessary to determine if convalescent plasma is safe and effective as a treatment for COVID-19, and whether it might reduce the frequency or duration of illness, or prevent death, associated with COVID-19.

Report Fraudulent Coronavirus Tests, Vaccines, and Treatments

Some people and companies are marketing products with fraudulent COVID-19 diagnostic, prevention, and treatment claims.

Fraudulent COVID-19 products can come in many varieties, including dietary supplements and other foods, as well as products claiming to be tests, drugs, other medical devices, or vaccines.

Remember, currently there are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat COVID-19 approved by the FDA.

The sale of fraudulent COVID-19 products is a threat to the public health. Consumers and health care professionals can help by reporting suspected fraud to the FDA’s Health Fraud Program or the Office of Criminal Investigations.

You can also email FDA-COVID-19-Fraudulent-Products@fda.hhs.gov.

If you have a question about a treatment or test being sold online, talk to your health care provider or doctor first. If you have a question about a medication, call your pharmacist or the FDA.

The FDA’s Division of Drug Information (DDI) will answer almost any drug question. DDI pharmacists are available by email, druginfo@fda.hhs.gov, and by phone, 1-855-543-DRUG (3784) and 301-796-3400.

By: Knowridge Science Report

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The Federal Legal Age to Buy Tobacco Products Has Been Raised to 21

An illustration shows a man exhaling smoke from an electronic cigarette in Washington, DC on October 2, 2018. – In just three years, the electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul has swallowed the American market with its vaporettes in the shape of a USB key. Its success represents a public health dilemma for health authorities in the United States and elsewhere. (Photo by EVA HAMBACH / AFP) (Photo credit should read EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images)

The federal legal age for purchasing tobacco products has been increased from 18 to 21 in a move the American Lung Association said will “reduce youth access to tobacco products and help save lives.”

That provision, part of a $1.4 trillion spending bill which President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday, would apply not only to traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars, but also to e-cigarettes—products that have lately been caught in regulatory cross-hairs, sparked by rising rates of use among teenagers.

According to the latest federal data, 27.5% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes during the past month. Raising the legal age of purchase is meant in part to curb that trend by preventing teenagers from buying vaping products, either for personal use or to distribute to younger classmates.

So-called “Tobacco 21” legislation has already been implemented in almost 20 states as well as numerous cities across the country. The new legislation, which will take effect in the summer of 2020, would make 21 the mandatory minimum age of purchase for all states. Tobacco 21 is the rare policy supported by both public-health groups and pro-vaping advocates, although the latter’s support sometimes raises eyebrows among the former.

Public health officials support it on the premise that it would theoretically keep tobacco products away from young people—which is especially important since most smokers start before they’re 21. In a statement provided to TIME, the American Lung Association called it an “easy way to protect children’s health and prevent future generations from getting hooked on nicotine.”

Vaping advocates, meanwhile, support Tobacco 21 for several reasons. Tony Abboud, executive director of the trade group Vapor Technology Association, said in a statement provided to TIME that Tobacco 21 is “the most significant step that can be taken to reduce youth access and use.”

By keeping nicotine products away from young users, for whom they are not intended, Tobacco 21 could also ease some of the hysteria around teen vaping. Further, it could preempt more dramatic proposals, like the all-out ban on flavored vaping products that Trump teased this fall—and then abandoned in favor of Tobacco 21.

Longer-term, it brings much-needed regulation to an industry that has proliferated largely unchecked. E-cigarettes were not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until 2016, so any brand for sale before then entered the market without agency approval. By the time the FDA started cracking down on vaping companies for their marketing or for producing kid-friendly flavors like cotton candy around 2018, an underage-use epidemic had already started.

Reigning in the wild west of the vaping industry through legislation like Tobacco 21 could enhance the industry’s legitimacy and give it a better shot at surviving when the FDA decides next spring whether to pull e-cigarettes off the market entirely.

Of course, losing an undeniably lucrative customer base—teenagers—will have some negative effect on vaping companies’ bottom lines. But David Levy, who researches the science and business of e-cigarettes at Georgetown University, says companies will likely come out fairly unscathed. “While sales would be reduced, firms selling vaping devices and liquids will probably indirectly benefit, because regulations will be less strict due to less concern about youth vaping,” Levy says.

The policy could also have an outsized benefit for companies like market-leader Juul Labs, and large competitors like Vuse. Juul, a lucrative startup backed by Big Tobacco firm Altria and valued at around $16 billion, can survive the hit that will come from shrinking its pool of legal buyers; Vuse, though less dominant, is also owned by a deep-pocketed Big Tobacco giant, R.J. Reynolds. But small mom-and-pop operations may not be able to, and some could fold. If they do, that means more market share available for the taking for Juul—which, even now, controls up to 70% of the U.S. market.

Source: The Federal Legal Age to Buy Tobacco Products Has Been Raised to 21.

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The American Lung Association has advocated for increasing the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21 because it will help save lives. In December 2019, the legislation was included in the federal year-end legislative package and passed by both houses of Congress. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law on December 20, 2019. It will take effect later in 2020. https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/…

 

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More Blood Pressure Medication Recalls Due To Cancer Concerns

You may want an MBA. But you want to avoid NMBA.

NMBA stands for N-Methylnitrosobutyric acid, something that you don’t want in your blood pressure medications. But alas, this probable carcinogen continues to appear in various medications at higher than acceptable levels.

The latest news is that Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited is further expanding its recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets USP and Losartan Potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets, USP, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA announcement includes five more lots of these medications. The additional lots add to the lots of blood pressure medications that have been recalled in the past 14 months or so.

In 2018 and 2019, it seems like news about potential cancer-causing contaminants in medications has become as repetitive as the lyrics “My Name Is” in Eminem’s song “My Name Is.” I’ve written about such news for blood pressure medications in November of last year, January of this year, and again March of this year. Then, just last week I covered impurities found in a common heartburn medication, ranitidine. Then, on Thursday, I added an update that Novartis was halting its distribution of ranitidine, the generic form of Zantac, until further testing could be done.

Today In: Innovation

As they say when you soil your pants, one time may be an accident but more than three times is a trend. It is time to take a closer look at how drugs are being manufactured, stored, and distributed and how such processes are being monitored. As I have mentioned before, making medications is not the same as making handbags. You don’t, at least you shouldn’t, eat your handbags. While a poorly-made handbag could lead to social embarrassment, a poorly-made medication can have much greater and even life-threatening implications.

The FDA is the main agency to protect you against fraudulent and contaminated medications. But the FDA currently may not have the funding and the resources to carefully check everything that every drug manufacturer and distributor is doing, especially when some of these operations are rapidly changing or occurring overseas.

For now, if you are taking blood pressure medications, or any medications for that matter, pay attention to FDA warnings and recall news. The FDA maintains a searchable listing of active product warnings and recalls. As a precautionary measure, you may want to search for a medication before starting it. You can also check with your pharmacist to make sure that your medication is not on a recall or warning list. Of course, if you do find that your medication has a warning or is being recalled, don’t just stop taking it. That can be like trying to return a parachute while you are using it. Check with your doctor first to determine your course of action.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Currently, I am a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY), Executive Director of PHICOR (@PHICORteam), and Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. My previous positions include serving as Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. My work involves developing computational approaches, models, and tools to help health and healthcare decision makers in all continents (except for Antarctica) and has been supported by a wide variety of sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, UNICEF, USAID and the Global Fund. I have authored over 200 scientific publications and three books. Follow me on Twitter (@bruce_y_lee) but don’t ask me if I know martial arts.

Source: More Blood Pressure Medication Recalls Due To Cancer Concerns

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Dr. Luke Laffin, staff cardiologist in Preventive Cardiology and Clinical Specialist in Hypertension at Cleveland Clinic answers questions that patients often ask about taking high blood pressure medicines: types of medications, side effects, when to call the doctor, role of self-blood pressure monitoring (including how often), the best time to take blood pressure medications, and if there is a chance that patients can come off medications. He ends the program with three important points for patients with high blood pressure.