Vaccinate horses against Hendra

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EQUINE Veterinarians Australia is urging horse owners to vaccinate their horses against the deadly Hendra virus following three new confirmed cases in just four weeks.

President of EVA, Dr Ben Poole, said it’s critical that horses located in and around high-risk Hendra areas are vaccinated against Hendra virus.

“Another three horses in NSW have died from this preventable disease, which poses serious health risks not just to horses, but humans as well,” Dr Poole said.

From 1994, when the virus was first identified, to August 2017, there have been 60 known Hendra incidents resulting in the death of 102 horses.

During this period, Queensland has recorded 40 incidents and NSW has had 20.

“Every one of these horses that has died because of Hendra represents one more compelling reason for horse owners to vaccinate their horses,” Dr Poole said.

“The risk this disease poses to human health is also very real and it is important that the equine community remains vigilant in protecting horses and people from Hendra,” Dr Poole said.

Since the first outbreak was recorded in 1994, there have been seven confirmed cases in people, all of whom had significant contact with horse body fluids.

Of those who tested positive for Hendra, four sadly died from the disease, including two veterinarians.

Dr Poole said the vaccine is the most effective way to minimise the risk of Hendra virus. The vaccine is fully registered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

“Vaccination is the most effective way to ensure high standards of horse health and welfare while also protecting veterinarians, horse handlers and owners from contracting this deadly virus.

“Hendra virus is impossible to diagnose without laboratory testing. The signs of this disease can be extremely variable. When your horse is vaccinated against Hendra virus, the probability of your horse having the disease is extremely low and therefore is more likely to receive timely and appropriate therapies.

“We need to remember that right across the country, there are thousands of equine events every year. These events bring together a large number of horses from a wide range of geographical locations, and this compounds the risks associated with Hendra virus infection if horses have not been vaccinated,” Dr Poole said. read more…

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Protecting yourself from mosquitoes

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The Cayuga County Health Department is encouraging people to “fight the bite” this summer, since mosquitoes found in Oswego and Onondaga counties tested positive for West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about eight out of 10 people do not develop symptoms when infected with West Nile virus. Those that do, however, may experience fever, headaches, joint pains, diarrhea and vomiting, to name a few. Few people, too, experience symptoms of Eastern equine encephalitis, but severe cases may cause headaches, high fever, chills and vomiting.

To reduce the likelihood of being bit by mosquitoes, the health department said in a release that residents and visitors should use personal protection measures.

When spending time outdoors, precaution measures can include:

  • Wearing shoes and socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts;
  • Using a mosquito repellent containing 20 to 30 percent DEET or Picardin. Follow label directions and wash treated skin with soap and water after returning indoors;
  • Screening windows and doors and making sure they are free of rips, tears and holes.

Property owners can also reduce mosquito breeding by eliminating standing water. Ways to do that can include:

  • Cleaning clogged rain gutters;
  • Turning over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use;
  • Changing water in bird baths every four days;
  • Maintaining swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and draining water from pool covers;
  • Landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water accumulates;
  • Throwing away outdoor containers, ceramic pots or containers that hold water;
  • Removing all tires from the property; 
  • Drilling holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.

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Vitamins and micronutrients is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

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For the most part, all of these dietary requirements can be obtained from a balanced diet, but recently dietary supplements have become a popular resource for balancing dietary nutrition. Dietary supplements are especially recommended to elderly people as nutritional insufficiency is commonly seen in this age group. Supplements can go a long way towards building longer, healthier lifespans by protecting against health decline and disease caused by insufficient nutritional intake.Despite the added health benefits, use of dietary supplements increases the risk of exceeding the recommended doses for vitamins and nutrients. Previous studies reported contradicting evidence on the benefits of vitamin use; some showed evidence of improved health while others have observed a higher risk of mortality for multivitamin users compared with non-users.These reports raised safety concerns for long term multivitamin use. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at dietary supplement use in an Icelandic elderly population to identify how supplement intake contributes to the risks of exceeding recommended nutritional values, and to investigate whether supplement use is associated with mortality.

This study included5764 Reykjvik residents;58% female and 42% male with an average age of 77 at the beginning of the study. Prior to the study, scientists assessed the general health of all individuals in order to account for other factors that could influence mortality. Researchers recorded the educational status, smoking patterns, alcohol consumption, degree of physical activity, and other lifestyle characteristics that have an impact on human health. Participants filled out questionnaires explaining their dietary patterns and frequency of supplement use and submitted their supplements to a registry. To calculate the nutritional content obtained for each individual, scientists looked up the nutritional contents of each specified supplement in a database and multiplied nutritional content by the frequency of weekly use.

Results indicate that 77% of study participants used at least 1 dietary supplement.The most popular vitamin was fish-liver oil, used by 55% of the participants, followed by multivitamins, used by 31% of the participants. There were very few instances where vitamin and mineral consumption exceeded the recommended daily dose; the only notable exceptions were that 22% of the participants who used B6 supplements exceeded the recommended intake, as did 14% of participants who took Zn. Overall, patterns showed that vitamin users were less likely to smoke, were more educated, consumed less alcohol, and had a lower prevalence of diabetes than non-smokers. However, no correlation was found between dietary use and hypertension. Within a 7 year period, there was a total of 1221 deaths among the registered participants, but no significant correlation was identified between the use of vitamins and mortality rates. read more…

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Brain Vitamins – want to be smarter?

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We all want to be smarter. Whether you are still studying or already working, you want to have a sharper mind that can easily process everything that’s happening. From solving the most complicated problems in a major subject or figuring out the most efficient process of getting things done for your boss, we just want to be smarter at handling things. Admit it, there is an advantage when your mind works better. Fortunately for us, there are food supplements that can boost our brain’s critical thinking skills. Fighting the brain fog may not be as hard as what others may think with these vitamins you can easily buy at the local drugstore.
Vitamin D
According to the National Institutes of Mental health, one suffers from having poor brain health if they don’t have enough Vitamin D in one’s system. While it is commonly something we get from the sun, we can also get it from fortified dairy products and vitamin supplements. This vitamin helps boost our abilities to process information and have a healthy memory. Even pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to take Vitamin D supplements to help with their baby’s cognitive development. Aside from going out in the sun (but only when the heat is not scorching hot), it’s best to take supplements!
Vitamin B12
Dr. Weil It’s often known as the “brain vitamin” that has been proven to help keep a brain mss healthy for an old age in a Finnish scientific study on Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that anyone who lacks Vitamin B12 in their systems often suffer from forgetfulness, short attention span, decreased ability in performing math calculations, fatigue, and confusion. Read more Health Tips For Engineers Who Work Fulltime On The Computer It is highly recommended to have a diet rich in B12-foods commonly found in fish, poultry, beef. Go see a doctor as well for a blood screening in order to find out if you have Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Omega 3’s
NUTRA Ingredients We’ve all heard plenty of commercials about how omega 3 is good for you but did you know it’s also good for your brain? A diet rich of omega 3 can be found in protein sources such as organ meats, liver and fish! People who do not have enough of this in their system are prone to have a damaged nervous system. Potential dementia and mental illness may also be also developed.

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Take care of your Gut for a healthy life

What is sometimes called the “forgotten organ,” the gut is an active and diverse microbial ecosystem that dramatically affects human health.

Shannon Frink, a registered dietitian with the Mary Lanning Healthcare wellness department, spoke about the link between the gastrointestinal system and overall health during a presentation Wednesday at the hospital called “Gut Reaction: Creating a Healthy Microbiome.”

Frink’s presentation is part of a series of Mary Lanning wellness classes the hospital is now offering to the public.

“This is kind of an interesting area of health that is evolving,” she said.

Babies are born without intestinal bacteria but that gut microbiome quickly begins to take hold and is established by age 3. However it can continue to change throughout life.

One third of each person’s gut microbiome is common to most people, while two thirds are unique.

“It’s as individualized as our finger print is,” Frink said.

The gut microbiome contains tens of trillions of microorganisms with at least 1,000 different specifies of known bacteria with more than 3 million genes, which is about 150 times more than human genes.

The goal is to keep that bacteria as diverse and active as possible.

The most effective way to do that, Frink said, is to eat a variety of probiotic and prebiotic foods.

Probiotics are good bacteria — live cultures — just like those found naturally in the gut. These active cultures help change or repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora.

Probiotic foods include fermented dairy such as kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, aged cheese with live cultures; as well as fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, cultured non-dairy yogurts, pickels and kombucha.

Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria.

Prebiotic foods include: Bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, whole-wheat foods, high-fiber foods and vinegar.

Frink said supplements can be helpful but are not as effective as getting those same nutrients from food.

There is also early data showing adequate vitamin D is important to maintaining a healthy gut biome. Foods containing vitamin D include mushrooms grown under UV lights, egg yolks, fatty fish and fortified milk.

The gut microbiome carries out a variety of known functions:

— Digesting dietary fiber to produce protective metabolites

— Influence serotonin levels

— Exerts anti-inflammatory activity

— Creates an unlivable environment for pathogens

— Detoxifies drug and other environmental metabolites

— Synthesizes essential vitamins, such as biotin, foliate and vitamin K.

— Competes with pathogenic and opportunistic microbes, maintain intestinal epithelial barrier

— Influences development and maintenance of immune system.

By performing these functions, the gut microbiome and its metabolites have been linked to protection from various diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, autism, neuropsychiatric disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and most, if not all autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. read more…

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Food first to promote good #cardiovascular #health

Cardiovascular disease continues to be responsible for more deaths in the United States than any other disease. As physicians, we use medications to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, to control the workload of the heart and to increase blood and oxygen flow.

In some cases, we also use surgical procedures to address life-threatening cardiovascular conditions. But we are often asked by our patients if vitamin and mineral supplements could help in managing their condition or in generally improving their cardiovascular health.

This is a viable question, particularly since supplement labels make some very dramatic claims. While some research shows that supplements may help lower cholesterol or blood pressure, it remains unclear if they can prevent or improve cardiovascular disease. It’s important for patients to understand the science of supplements and to have realistic expectations about how they might impact cardiovascular health.

Popular supplements

There is a wide variety of supplements that claim cardiovascular benefits. Some of the most popular and the ones we are asked about most include:

• Fish oil, garlic — attributed to preventing plaque build-up in arteries, lowering blood pressure and increasing “good” cholesterol.

• Antioxidants — credited for repairing cell damage caused by free radicals, including the cells in our hearts and lungs.

• Vitamin D, B vitamins — said to be helpful in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease.

• Fiber — found to reduce the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from food.

• Probiotics — thought to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

It is true that all of these can positively impact cardiovascular health, but the ingredients that do the work are all found in food, and recommended daily levels can usually be maintained by simply eating properly.

Eating fish each week and cooking with garlic or garlic oil can help with plaque build-up and high cholesterol. Antioxidants can be found in berries, dark chocolate and dark green vegetables. Dairy products, egg yolks and whole grain cereals contain vitamins D and B which can lower risk of heart disease. And fiber and probiotics that help lower blood pressure are found in vegetables, fruits, beans and grains. Isolating these important nutrients in pill form rather than ingesting them through food is not advisable.

Food first

Food contains hundreds of ingredients that, together, promote good cardiovascular health. Because there is no supplement that can adequately replace all the benefits of food, it is best to use food as your primary source of nutrition, then supplement any gaps if necessary.

Assess your overall eating habits to determine if you can make small dietary changes that would allow you to avoid supplements. If there are one or two food groups you dislike, learn about the key nutrients in them and then choose a supplement to meet only those needs. If you eat a large amount of fast food and frequently drink low-nutrition drinks such as colas or tea, you should consider making significant overall changes in your diet before adding supplements.

Supplement safety

Patients who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease should talk to their physicians prior to using any supplement, even a simple multivitamin. Certain supplements may actually be harmful to these patients since they can reduce the effectiveness of medications prescribed for heart failure, coronary artery disease or high cholesterol. In some instances, supplements such as L-carnitine and lecithin can even contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries of certain people.

If you are under the care of a physician for any cardiovascular condition, you must follow your doctor’s advice and be certain to discuss the effect of any supplement you consider. If you do not suffer from a cardiovascular condition, seek advice from your family physician or a nutritionist who can help you make an informed choice. read more…

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A Primer on Vitamin B12

Health and pillsVitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a workhorse vitamin. It helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy, make DNA, and prevent megaloblastic anemia. Cobalamin is different from other vitamins because it is not plant-sourced, but is found naturally in a wide variety of animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.

The July 2017 issue of Nature Reviews includes a disease primer that discusses the epidemiology, mechanism/pathophysiology, diagnosis/screening, prevention, and management of vitamin B12 deficiency.

B12 status varies through the lifetime, creating a need to consider patient factors when interpreting diagnostic biomarkers of B12 status. Inadequate intake, impaired absorption, chemical inactivation, or inherited B12 transport or metabolism impairment may lead to deficiency. Diagnosis is critical because B12 deficiency can be life-threatening.

Clinical B12 deficiency with hematological and neurological manifestations is relatively uncommon. On the other hand, 2.5-26% of the general population has subclinical deficiency and it’s unclear if these people will progress to deficiency or continue to have low but stable B12 levels.

B12 deficiency’s signs and symptoms are weakness, constipation, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, confusion, poor memory, and mouth or tongue soreness. Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect individuals at any age, but vegans and elders are at increased risk. It is often difficult to diagnose elderly patients because its typical clinical manifestations are absent or are confused with dementia.

Increased consumption of animal products and fortified foods may prevent B12 deficiency, as will  oral or parenteral B12 supplementation. Initially, higher doses are required to replete B12 stores in the body.

Hematologic abnormalities respond to B12 treatment in about 5 days and completely recover in 4 to 6 weeks. Neurological abnormalities are slower to correct. B12 deficiency not due to nutritional deficiency may require lifelong treatment. read more…

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