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VERIFY: Can you contract COVID-19 from an automatic hand dryer?

Health experts tell us to wash our hands often. But depending on the way we dry them, we could be defeating the purpose altogether. TOLEDO, Ohio — Health experts have been telling us the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is by washing our hands. Soap, warm water, 20 seconds, move on. You know the drill when it comes to cleaning your hands, but you may be surprised to learn what could happen when you dry them. One viewer sent in a question asking if public, automatic hand dryers are a public health hazard during the coronavirus pandemic. Our sources include research from the American Society for Microbiology as well as ProMedica Dr. Brian Kaminski, who takes many of his cues from the World Health Organization. WTOL WTOL “Paper towels generally do the best job in terms of transmitting pathogens on to other surfaces or around the bathroom and then eventually on to other people,” Dr. Kaminski said. “So they (World Health Organization) recommend against hand dryers. The theory there is that you put your hands under forced heat and that blows some particles around. If your hands are still moist, that’s going to blow droplets around, it’s going to deposit those droplets onto other surfaces.” That’s right in line with data from a 2018 report from the American Society for Microbiology. WTOL The group’s research discovered “many kinds of bacteria…can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers.” That means YES, you can, in theory, contract COVID-19 — and other illnesses — if you use an automatic hand dryer. So follow doctors’ orders and use some paper towels instead.

Don’t forget the face mask

The Center for Disease Control



This is a frightening time in America and it is wise for everyone to remain calm and take the precautions advised by the Centers For Disease Control. -Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. -If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. -Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. -Avoid close contact with people who are sick -Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. -Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick. -Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. -Throw used tissues in the trash. -Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

-If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick. -If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

-Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. -If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. -To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

-Options include: Diluting your household bleach. To make a bleach solution, mix: -5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.

Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

Alcohol solutions. Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol. Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Common household products that can kill the coronavirus

MelissaBreyer March 25, 2020

When it comes to housecleaning, here’s how to tackle the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. These are strange times, and when times are strange, the internet does what it is so uniquely good at: It spreads a lot of misinformation. Recently we’ve seen all kinds of far-fetched claims about how to kill the virus responsible for COVID-19 – some of them so dangerous that we’re not even going to repeat them here. Suffice to say, people are panicking and hungry for ways to protect themselves. Fair enough. But we thought it would be prudent to take a look at some of the things proven to be effective for destroying the new coronavirus at home.

The Centers for Disease Control notes that current evidence suggests that the virus may “remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.” They add, “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”

Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency tells us that coronaviruses are some of the easiest types of viruses to kill. “It has an envelope around it that allows it to merge with other cells to infect them,” Stephen Thomas, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and director of global health at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, tells Consumer Reports.

“If you disrupt that coating, the virus can’t do its job.” The difference between cleaning and disinfecting Cleaning is the removal of germs and dirt from a surface. It does not kill germs, but removing them depletes their numbers and thus lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on a surface. Unlike cleaning, disinfecting does not remove dirt or germs. By cleaning first and then disinfecting, the risk of spreading infection can be lowered. Surfaces should be cleaned using detergent or soap and water – and allowed to dry for at least 10 minutes – prior to disinfecting. General tips for cleaning and disinfecting households If anyone is coming in and out of the house, routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is warranted, these include tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, et cetera.

The CDC recommends household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface. Be sure to read and follow instructions for safe and effective use, and pay heed to those instruction, for example, wearing gloves and making sure there is sufficient ventilation. If your household is home to someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, please see cleaning instructions included in the CDC’s recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers. Products that can kill the coronavirus Soap and water Hand sanitizer could practically be a new form of currency at this point, but do not overlook the wonders of good old soap. “It isn’t possible to disinfect every surface you touch throughout your day,” says Thomas. “The planet is covered with bacteria and viruses, and we’re constantly in contact with these surfaces, so hand-washing is still your best defense against COVID-19.” Perry Santanachote writes in Consumer Reports that the action of scrubbing with soap and water can break that aforementioned protective envelope. “Scrub like you’ve got sticky stuff on the surface and you really need to get it off,” says organic chemist Richard Sachleben.

Isopropyl alcohol The CDC notes that alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol should be effective against coronavirus. Apply undiluted alcohol and let it sit on the surface for at least 30 seconds to disinfect. Note that it may discolor some plastic surfaces.

But NOT vodka Despite what some are suggesting, an 80-proof product is only 40 percent ethyl alcohol, compared with the 70 percent required to kill the coronavirus.

NOT distilled white vinegar While vinegar may be a TreeHugger favorite, there is no evidence that it is effective in killing the coronavirus.

Hydrogen peroxide Santanachote reports that as per the CDC, household hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) can kill rhinovirus (the dreaded virus that causes the common cold). “Rhinovirus is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down coronavirus in less time,” he writes, recommending that it can be poured undiluted in a spray bottle and used from there; just be sure to let it sit on the surface for one minute before wiping. It should be OK on metal surfaces, but can discolor fabric. “It’s great for getting into hard-to-reach crevices,” Sachleben says. “You can pour it on the area and you don’t have to wipe it off because it essentially decomposes into oxygen and water.”

Common commercial disinfectants The CDS has a list of products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are expected to be effective against COVID-19. They have not specifically been tested against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, but they are expected to be effective based on demonstrated efficacy against harder-to-kill viruses. Some of these look pretty intense and would be my last resort, but then again, I am not living in a household with someone who is infected. As always, use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.

Bleach You may have a no-bleach household, like many of us TreeHuggers, but if there were a time to break the no-bleach rules, this might be it for some. The CDC notes that “unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.” As per CDC instructions, make a bleach solution by mixing five tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Keep in mind: Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Do not keep the solution for longer than a day. Precautions when using bleach The federally funded clinical and educational center, Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at UC San Francisco, has a great information sheet on using bleach. Among other things, they note: Bleach can irritate the skin and eyes. Exposure to bleach can make asthma worse in people who already have asthma. Mixing bleach with other chemicals containing ammonia, quaternary ammonium compounds (found in other disinfectants), vinegar or other acids can create a toxic gas. Bleach corrodes many metals. It should never be used on stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, marble, or granite. Bleach is neutralized by dirt and other organic material, so it isn’t very effective when used on a surface that hasn’t been cleaned.

A note on wearing gloves And lastly, make sure you are following good glove protocol. The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and to discard them after each cleaning. But since disposable things break our TreeHugger hearts, we will also note that the CDC gives advice for reusable gloves, recommending that they “should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.” And always remember to clean hands immediately after gloves are removed. Also see: Laundry in a time of COVID-19 See more on cleaning and disinfecting from the CDC here, and for more COVID-19 coverage, see related stories below. When it comes to housecleaning, here’s how to tackle the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond Candy Canes: 21 Uses for Peppermint Oil

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

If you have had the fortune to smell the aroma of peppermint after it has been distilled fresh from the farm, or I should say after the distillation process which takes quite a bit of time. The surrounding area just permeates peppermint for weeks, and the aroma is nothing like the aroma that comes from the essential oil bottles you buy from manufacturers. Trust me, the aroma is quite unique and very strong.


Soothing, cool, and refreshing, peppermint oil smells great and offers many health benefits. Peppermint can ease congestion, support oral health, repel pests, soothe headaches, and even relieve stress. Peppermint oil is a must in your essential oil collection — especially if you like to create chemical-free, do-it-yourself home and healthcare products.

Found in candy canes and peppermint candies at Christmas, or year-round in chewing gum, toothpaste, and soap, its culinary uses are well-known. But, don’t overlook the power of…

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10 Signs You Could Have a Protein Deficiency


10 Signs You Could Have a Protein Deficiency By Chelsea Debretchecklist-2077020_1920-1536x9662123720440.jpg

Protein is an essential building block of life and plays important roles in many bodily functions, organs, building muscle mass, and even boosting energy. Simply put, you have to get that proper amount of protein in order to feel good from the inside out. The term protein deficiency actually refers to a range of protein intake — from a slight deficiency to a mild deficiency called hypoproteinemia to a severe protein deficiency referred to as kwashiorkor. While kwashiorkor is a “multifactorial syndrome” caused by severe protein deficiency and is generally seen in many “Central Africa and South Asia, where up to 30 [percent] of children get too little protein from their diet,” a mild protein deficiency “indicates a lack of body protein or a relative deficiency of one of several essential amino acids” and is “synonymous with a negative nitrogen balance.” This mild deficiency referred to as hypoproteinemia is “a condition in which a person has very low levels of protein in the blood.” As the human body “cannot store protein long term for future use” we need to “consume enough protein every day to ensure the body gets enough to work correctly.” Even though kwashiorkor is very rare in the Western world, mild protein deficiencies are commonly seen, especially with the rise of primarily plant-based eating. The plant-based world is rife with sources of protein, but for those transitioning between animal-based protein and plant-based protein, it’s important to know your sources and supplement appropriately. Protein deficiency may not be common, yet it can “affect almost all aspects of body function … [and] as a result, it is associated with many symptoms.” 10 Signs of Protein Deficiency TeroVesalainen/Pixabay While it may be easy to understand what protein deficiency is, it’s a bit harder to identify whether our bodies suffer from this deficiency or not. It’s always a good idea to take a look at your daily diet and make sure you’re consuming protein-rich foods. With that said, there are a handful of physical signs and symptoms that can also alert you to a protein deficiency.

1. Skin Issues

In severe cases of protein deficiency — such as kwashiorkor — the skin will exhibit signs of edema “characterized by swollen and puffy skin.” More moderate protein deficiencies can also be seen via skin issues including “flaky or splitting skin, [or] redness and patches of depigmented skin.”

2. Brittle Hair and Nails

When it comes to some of the physical signs of protein deficiency, pay close attention to your hair and nails! Protein is an “essential part of your hair and nails,” therefore if you protein deficient your nails may become brittle and your “hair can lose some of its luster, and may not be quite as thick as it used to be,” plus it may split much easier. On top of that, if these warning signs don’t trigger your spidey-senses, possible hair loss may do the trick. In order to “preserve protein stores” the human body “shuts down hair growth.”

3. Mood Changes

Amino acids aren’t simply “building blocks of protein,” but they are also “necessary for healthy brain function.” When you suffer a deficiency in protein, you also suffer from an amino acid deficiency, which has been “linked to depression, brain fog, sluggishness, and lack of focus.” This may manifest itself in severe irritability or increased depression.

4. Loss of Muscle Mass

It’s not too difficult to jump to the conclusion that protein deficiency — the building blocks of muscle mass — will lead to a loss of said muscle mass. This is because “muscles are your body’s largest reservoir of protein” and when you’re suffering a deficiency “the body tends to take protein from skeletal muscles to preserve more important tissues and body functions.” If protein deficiency is ignored it will lead to “muscle wasting over time.”

5. Increased Risk of Bone Fractures

A symptom that you don’t necessarily see, but definitely feel are bone fractures. If protein deficiency is left untended to for long enough, “our bodies borrow from other areas, including the storage in our skeletal muscle tissue” in order to transfer the protein to more essential organs and our brain. On top of the weakened skeletal structure, if you’ve also lost muscle mass, your bones will be “more susceptible to injuries like fractures and breaks.”

6. Trouble Fighting Infections and Healing

While the immune system is essential for fighting foreign invaders, it’s also a key player in healing infections. This means if you suffer from a protein deficiency, it can also knock down your immune system a couple of pegs. An impaired immune system “may increase the risk of severity of infections, a common symptom of severe protein deficiency.” This may also lead to recurring viral or bacterial infections. Plus, when it comes to protein and your immune system, it turns out “even a marginally low protein intake may impair” its function. Therefore, this may be one of the first symptoms you experience.

7. Increased Appetite

Milder forms of protein deficiency cause an increase in appetite, while a severe deficiency — such as kwashiorkors — has the opposite effect. As your body struggles to find sources of protein, it will attempt “to restore your protein status by increasing your appetite, encouraging you to find something to eat.” With that said, you may find that you’re craving “savory, high-calorie foods” rather than sugary treats.

8. Weight Gain

As a side effect of the increased appetite, you may find a slight or not so slight fluctuation in your weight. Unfortunately, “modern society offers unlimited access to savory, high-calorie foods,” therefore instead of recognizing the protein deficiency for what it is, we simply satisfy those cravings with the boundless food options available. On top of that, many of these foods have low amounts of proteins, so you’re still not fixing the deficiency and only increasing caloric intake.

9. Immune System Disruption

As we learned in the protein 101 section, protein is an essential component of a healthy immune system. Your immune system protects the body and helps “fight off foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.” A protein deficiency can cause your immune system to be slightly compromised, which means a lot more sniffly noses and sore throats that just don’t go away.

10. Feeling Fatigued and Weak Claudio

You may think these issues are linked to the loss of muscle mass and it definitely is related, but there’s more to it. Protein is a macronutrient meaning it provides energy for the body. What happens when you don’t have enough protein? Weakness and fatigue. How does it work? Turns out protein is a “component of hemoglobin, which is present in our red blood cells and transports oxygen throughout the body” and when these oxygen levels drop it “could cause weakness or shortness of breath.”

Protein-Rich Plant-Based Recipes Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Quinoa Risotto/One Green Planet The best way to make sure you steer clear of a protein deficiency is to simply add lots of plant-based protein sources to your weekly regimen. And, there’s a slew of options to choose from including almonds and peanuts, oats, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, quinoa, beans, lentils, tofu, and pumpkin seeds, just to mention a few of my favorites. Get your daily dose of protein starting with one of these delightful, protein-filled recipes!

Rice and Beans Rice and Beans/One Green Planet The most important part of plant-based protein is variety! This helps ensure that you’re getting complete proteins — a protein source that has all nine essential amino acids. This Rice and Beans recipe by Nita Ragoonanan combines two sources of protein — rice and beans — offering a healthy daily dose of protein. Plus, you’ll get healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and lots of dietary fiber!

Almond Butter Tofu Stew Almond Butter Tofu Stew/One Green Planet Tofu is one of the best plant-based sources of protein available. A half a cup of firm tofu has over 19 grams of protein! This Almond Butter Tofu Stew recipe by Jackie Sobon not only provides that much-needed source of tofu-based protein, but it’s also rich in a slew of colorful vegetables meaning loads of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Chickpea & Lentil Salad Chickpea & Lentil Salad/One Green Planet Aside from tofu, lentils are an excellent source of protein. One cup of cooked lentils has over 17 grams of protein! Chickpeas are also a wonderful protein-rich food with one cup offering over 14 grams of protein. Therefore, this Chickpea & Lentil Salad recipe by Stephanie Davies is a slam dunk of plant-based protein that is easily incorporated into the day either as a small snack, a filling lunch, or a side dish at dinner!




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‘I have nothing, but I’m still human’: COVID-19 poses challenges to the homeless

“If they have to close the homeless shelters, I don’t know what we’re going to do. I have nothing, but I’m still human. I just hope we can have a place to sleep.”

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Tim Beck sat with his lifelong friend and ate pizza in Friday afternoon’s warm sunshine.

The 57-year-old Beck and his buddy — also 57, and a military veteran — had just stocked up on some food inside King’s Harvest Ministries’ shelter on 3rd Street in Davenport. Both men are homeless. And both said they have become increasingly apprehensive as they hear news about the spread of COVID-19.

“They’re closing down lots of places, lots of events — I heard that,” Beck said. “They can close down all the basketball games. But if they have to close the homeless shelters, I don’t know what we’re going to do.

“I have nothing, but I’m still human. I just hope we can have a place to sleep.”

Humility of Mary homeless shelter and the King’s Harvest Ministries shelter, which handles nightly overflow from Humility, will continue to provide overnight housing for the homeless. Humility has been sheltering 70 people per night, while King’s Harvest has been at 60 per night.

Both are at capacity.

While the shelters will remain open, changes have been made to routines at two Davenport food pantries.

Cafe on Vine announced Friday it will temporarily close its dining hall. The free-meals fixture at 932 W. 6th St. will only offer to-go meals served from the kitchen’s back door.

“Cafe on Vine wants to be available to anyone in need of a meal,” said Waunita Sullivan, the executive director of Cafe on Vine. “Due to a confined dining hall and the close proximity of human contact, the closure will decrease exposure of COVID-19 to guests, volunteers, and personnel.”

Starting Monday, the meals served daily at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on 417 N. Main St. will be distributed as carry-outs only.

“We thought what Cafe on Vine decided to do made a lot of sense, and it was something we decided to do because we have a very small, enclosed dining area,” said John Cooper, the pastoral associate at St. Anthony’s.

“We just want to take extra precautions,” Cooper added. “We do have an area with picnic tables where we will invite people to sit out in the fresh air if they want to sit down.”

While Cafe on Vine and St. Anthony’s were making decisions, The Hunger Housing Health Task Force met Friday morning to plan strategies for dealing with the threat of COVID-19. During the meeting, it was decided to cancel a homeless retreat planned for this weekend.

Cooper attended Friday’s meeting.

“We had to cancel the retreat, and we talked a lot about trying to keep people out of confined spaces if at all possible,” Cooper said. “After a homeless person spends a night at Humility, they typically go to the community room, then the food pantry, then on to a library, or a bus stop, or they just walk around.”

Humility is a 24-hour facility for those individuals enrolled. Ashley Velez, Humility’s executive director, said the shelter has asked volunteers to stop showing up, and the facility’s drop-in center is closed to anyone not staying overnight.

According to Frank Shinn, keeping surfaces and hands clean is the “top priority” at King’s Harvest. He and his wife, Elle, run its meal program.

“Honestly, that’s the top priority all the time,” Shinn said. “But we have kind of doubled our efforts to talk about washing and trying to keep clean.”

Beck said he is dealing with even more anxieties since COVID-19 reared up as a health threat.

“I want a job,” he said. “I want to get out of here. This coronavirus stuff is another thing to make you feel like you don’t have any control over anything.

“You never wanna get sick out here. Especially now, I guess.”

COVID-19/Coronavirus Real Time Updates With Credible Sources in US and Canada | 1Point3Acres

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U.S. officials worried about Chinese control of American drug supply

Ken Dilanian

Antibiotics, which turn life-threatening infections into minor nuisances, are considered the single biggest advance in modern medicine.

But imagine if the supply of antibiotics to the United States was suddenly cut off.

American national security officials are worrying about that scenario as they come to grips with this little understood fact: The vast majority of key ingredients for drugs that many Americans rely on are manufactured abroad, mostly in China.

As the U.S. defense establishment grows increasingly concerned about China’s potentially hostile ambitions, the pharmaceutical supply chain is receiving new scrutiny.

“If China shut the door on exports of medicines and their key ingredients and raw material, U.S. hospitals and military hospitals and clinics would cease to function within months, if not days,” said Rosemary Gibson, author of a book on the subject, “China Rx.”

Or, Gibson told NBC News, China could potentially “weaponize our medicines. They can sell us medicines without any medicine in them. They can sell medicines that have lethal contaminants in it.”
Prometheus Books

Other generic drugs whose key ingredients are manufactured in China include medicines for blood pressure medicine, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and depression, Gibson says.


“We can’t make penicillin anymore,” said Gibson. “The last penicillin plant in the United States closed in 2004.”


A Chinese manipulation of drug ingredients or supply may seem like a fairly remote possibility. A state-run Chinese paper said this week that there’s little chance the government would deliberately harm Americans by cutting off the flow of antibiotics.

But as the Trump administration’s trade war with China heats up, a leading Chinese economist gave voice to the worst fears of U.S. policymakers in March, in a speech to an annual national congress.

“China is the world’s largest exporter of vitamins and antibiotic raw materials,” he said, according to an NBC News translation. “Once the export is reduced, the medical systems of some developed countries will not work.”

The Pentagon has noticed.

Workers sort pig intestines in a Chinese factory. A mucous membrane from the intestines is cooked to produce a dry substance known as crude heparin, a first step in producing the drug known as heparin.Qilai Shen / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

“The national security risks of increased Chinese dominance of the global API market cannot be overstated,” Christopher Priest, the acting deputy assistant director for health care operations and Tricare for the Defense Health Agency, told a U.S.-China advisory panel in Washington this summer.

The Defense Health Agency provides health care and prescription drugs to the military.

Priest told the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission that the White House National Security Council is trying to identify medications most at risk if the Chinese decide to use drug supply as a weapon. An NSC spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

“Basically we’ve outsourced our entire industry to China,” retired Brig. Gen. John Adams told NBC News. “That is a strategic vulnerability.”

Adams, who during a 30-year career served as a military intelligence officer, a military attache in South Korea and deputy U.S. military representative to NATO, added that he believes China understood the implications as it was building a drug ingredients industry.

“I think they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re incredibly good strategists. They’re doing this, they select their industries for the future and they’ve got a plan.”
Chairwoman Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., conducts a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health markup on July 11, 2019.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

Congress is also focusing on the issue. Two leading House Democrats from California, Adam Schiff and Anna Eshoo, warned in a recent op-ed that “If relations decline further, the Chinese government could look for ‘pressure points’ where it can wield outsize leverage or force a change of U.S. policy. Pharmaceutical ingredients could be such a vulnerability: By cutting back their supply or manipulating prices, China could cause pharmaceutical costs to surge. Or worse, we could experience shortages.”

The lawmakers plan to hold hearings soon, they said.

“We should not be held hostage by any foreign country,” Eshoo told NBC News. “We need to move away from any country having a monopoly on the ingredients that we depend upon our antibiotics — anthrax [vaccine], penicillin, high blood pressure drugs.”

Even if China doesn’t restrict supply, there are also questions about the safety of the manufacturing process.

Contaminated supplies of the blood thinning drug Heparin in 2008 led to the deaths of 149 Americans, the government says, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to establish a new policy of stationing inspectors in overseas plants.

But the FDA’s inspection and regulatory regime is widely seen as lax. A congressional investigation in 2016 found that one Chinese company that barred inspectors received only a warning letter, for example.

Last year, the FDA issued an alert over a cancer-causing ingredient used in the blood pressure medication valsartan, made by Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai, resulting in a recall of affected drugs.

Also last year, a scandal over tainted vaccine doses sold in China led to the arrests of executives of Changsheng Biotech, which was also accused of forging data during the production of a rabies vaccine given to infants.

“The FDA is having to make terrible choices between allowing defective medicines on the market and averting drug shortages,” Rosemary Gibson told NBC News.

She argues that the U.S should resume making drug ingredients at home.

“We have a lot of empty manufacturing facilities in the United States, and what it takes is refurbishing those with newer technology that can truly make medicines at up to 40 percent less cost,” she said. “We just need the upfront investment. And it won’t happen unless there is public support and public funding for that.”

Procter & Gamble introduces new cleaning brand that disinfects without wiping

Microban 24 is a new line of surface antibacterial cleaning products that the company says kills bacteria for 24 hours without wiping

Procter & Gamble is introducing a new cleaning brand that the consumer product giant hopes will be its latest hit.

On Monday, P&G, the manufacturer of big brands like Bounty, Charmin and Febreze, announced the launch of Microban 24, a line of surface antibacterial cleaning products that the company says kills bacteria for 24 hours. Microban 24 comes in both sanitizing spray and cleanser forms and as a bathroom cleaner.

The new product is hitting the market as consumer interest in cleaning products may be set to grow. P&G says the timing is purely coincidental to the coronavirus outbreak, but the spread of viruses can lead to a pickup in disinfectant sales.

In 2009, when consumers were worried about the spread of swine flu, hand sanitizer sales spiked 70% over a six-month stretch, according to Nielsen.

In addition, earlier this month, Clorox executives said they are preparing for demand to spike in the wake of coronavirus.

“We are taking up inventory levels [to] be prepared for the potential increase in demand for some of our bleach products,” Clorox chief financial officer Kevin Jacobsen said on a call with analysts earlier this month.

Clorox’s stock was among the small handful of stocks that were up Monday as the market tanked on coronavirus fears.

Most Americans believe that their current household antibacterial products kill bacteria after they apply it. This is incorrect, according to the company. Bacteria can grow on surfaces every 20 minutes and survive for several days.

Microban 24, however, uses a solution that provides protection against bacteria for 24 hours. It forms as consumers apply the solution to surfaces and allow it to air-dry. The solution then activates small amounts of bacterial-resistant ingredients over time.

P&G is trying to jolt a stagnating household cleaning category. Sales of antibacterial aerosol disinfectants and multi-purpose cleaners have been flat over the past year, according to Nielsen.

“The antibacterial surface category hasn’t seen a true product innovation in a long time,” Martin Hettich, vice president of P&G’s North America home care division. “We want to push beyond the status quo and offer families a new sanitizing product that keeps working around the clock.”

P&G worked with a company that has developed this type of product in hospitals. But this is the first time it’s available for consumer use, according to a P&G spokesperson.

Microban 24 comes in both sanitizing spray and cleanser forms and as a bathroom cleaner.

The new product is hitting the market as consumer interest in cleaning products may be set to grow. P&G says the timing is purely coincidental to the coronavirus outbreak, but the spread of viruses can lead to a pickup in disinfectant sales.

In 2009, when consumers were worried about the spread of swine flu, hand sanitizer sales spiked 70% over a six-month stretch, according to Nielsen.

In addition, earlier this month, Clorox executives said they are preparing for demand to spike in the wake of coronavirus.

“We are taking up inventory levels [to] be prepared for the potential increase in demand for some of our bleach products,” Clorox chief financial officer Kevin Jacobsen said on a call with analysts earlier this month.

Clorox’s stock was among the small handful of stocks that were up Monday as the market tanked on coronavirus fears.

Most Americans believe that their current household antibacterial products kill bacteria after they apply it. This is incorrect, according to the company. Bacteria can grow on surfaces every 20 minutes and survive for several days.

Microban 24, however, uses a solution that provides protection against bacteria for 24 hours. It forms as consumers apply the solution to surfaces and allow it to air-dry. The solution then activates small amounts of bacterial-resistant ingredients over time.

P&G is trying to jolt a stagnating household cleaning category. Sales of antibacterial aerosol disinfectants and multi-purpose cleaners have been flat over the past year, according to Nielsen.

“The antibacterial surface category hasn’t seen a true product innovation in a long time,” Martin Hettich, vice president of P&G’s North America home care division. “We want to push beyond the status quo and offer families a new sanitizing product that keeps working around the clock.”

P&G worked with a company that has developed this type of product in hospitals. But this is the first time it’s available for consumer use, according to a P&G spokesperson.

BPA-Free Containers Dangerous to the Developing Brain, say scientists

Chemical Free Life

Consumers in the know are aware that BPA (bishpenol-A) is an endocrine-disrupting chemical commonly used in plastic drink bottles and cans used for fruits, vegetables, sauces, heat-and-eat meals in a can, soups and other foods. In what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially labels and treats as a “food additive”, BPA has been shown repeatedly to migrate or leach into the foods and liquids stored in containers coated with the chemical (this is especially true for high-acidic foods such as tomato sauces and pastes).  Many consumers are also aware that scientific research has linked BPA to a wide variety of serious health outcomes to adults, children and developing fetuses including that BPA appears to play a role in early miscarriage/pregnancy loss, placental diseases and various negative health outcomes after birth. However, far fewer consumers are in the know about the chemicals that food manufacturers have been using during…

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5 Shocking Reasons Not to Buy Farmed Salmon

By Team Ecohustler
Farming salmon has a surprising list of impacts including on our health. Will you join the pledge to avoid it?

One million salmon meals are eaten in the UK every day. Are you sure you want to buy these products and drive 5 shocking impacts –

5. A single farmed salmon may have been fed over 120 wild caught fish

Salmon are extraordinary animals. They migrate hundreds of miles, returning to their rivers of origin to breed. They are also voracious carnivores and excellent hunters. In order to raise salmon on underwater factory farms the animals are fed a high protein feed which includes a high proportion of wild caught fish. Indiscriminate trawling hauls vast quantities of fish out of the oceans and also captures turtles, marine mammals and sea birds. The evidence shows that grinding wild fish up to feed salmon drives overfishing, poor animal welfare and disruption of aquatic food webs.

When we buy carnivorous farmed fish we are inadvertently killing wild marine animals as well.

4. Salmon are eaten alive by sea lice in underwater factory farming cages

Fish factory farms are disturbing places. The animals are crammed into pens at much higher densities than are found in the wild. Swimming endlessly in confinement the animals are prone to diseases and parasites. Recent undercover investigations into salmon farming have uncovered a series of horrific welfare abuses.

Mortality rates are sky high with 20 million animals a year dying on Scottish salmon farms alone. This mortality rate is far higher than for any other adult farmed animal. The BBC One Show uncovered enormous uncovered mass graves of the dead animals. The fish that survive live lives of unimaginable torment. The BBC Panorama programme – Salmon Farming Exposed heard of severe sea lice infestations on salmon in one loch, which were being essentially “eaten alive” by the parasites. Trapped inside the pens these intelligent animals cannot escape to cleaner waters.

Smoked salmon may look healthy and luxurious in the supermarket but the product may have come from diseased and damaged animals that have lived terrible lives.

A pit of dead salmon found near a salmon farm in Scotland – photo – Corin Smith

3. Salmon farmers shoot seals

Salmon factory farms are smelly and dirty places. Wild seals are like the dogs of the sea – they are curious and love to investigate exciting smelly discoveries. Sadly for them, salmon farmers view seals as pests and shoot them as soon as they get in site of the pens. If you buy farmed salmon – be aware that wild seals may have been killed to bring you that product.

Salmon farmers may even be shooting grey seals threatening an already endangered species. Unbelievably, even RSPCA Certified salmon farms are allowed to shoot seals and keep the labels that reassure unsuspecting customers. Some disillusioned RSPCA members are even threatening to quit after their head of campaigns described shooting seals as “humane pest control.”

2. Salmon farms pollute waterways and damage wild species

Scotland’s wild salmon stocks are their ‘lowest ever level’. The diseases that affect the salmon on farms can be transferred to the wild animals that swim past the cages. Recently, important Scottish wild salmon runs have been decimated by parasites and chemicals linked to local salmon farms. Wild salmon are disappearing. 2018 was Scotland’s worst salmon season in living memory. Some famous rivers like the Spey and the Nith recorded not a single salmon caught during the entire fishing season. Just two salmon were caught on the River Fyne in Argyll last year, where once more than 700 were caught each season. Half of Canada’s chinook salmon are endangered, with nearly all other populations in precarious decline, according to a new report, confirming fears that prospects for the species remain dire.

1. Farmed salmon can be toxic

Some toxic chemicals such as cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) bioaccumulate up the food chain in carnivorous marine life. This means that although very dilute in seawater they accumulate in the fatty tissues of marine animals and the levels of pollution in top predators can become dangerously high. Tragically, scientists reported that one of the UK’s last killer whales discovered in Scotland after becoming entangled in fishing lines was contaminated with “shocking” levels of the toxic chemical. Globally, a new study warns that all world’s orcas are in trouble from a range of toxic chemicals released by industrial corporations.

A report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that most farmed salmon tested in the US contained PCBs at “levels that raise health concerns.” Just like with orcas the PCBs are bioaccumulating in the fish killed to be ground up into fish meal and then are found in the salmon. There may also be health risks associated with the pesticides used to kill sea lice and the dye added to farmed salmon to give it a pink colour.

Factory farming salmon has become a billion dollar a year industry and they can afford the best marketing. Don’t be fooled by the packaging. These products are riddled with serious issues and should be avoided like the plague.

To find out more – visit the following environmental and animal welfare organisations that are mobilising to challenge harmful fishing and aquaculture practices –

Compassion in World Farming – Rethink Fish
OneKind – Stop Salmon Farming Expansion
Feedback Global – Fishy Business
Changing Markets – Fishing the feed
And take the salmon pledge never to eat farmed salmon again!

10 Vegan Vitamin B12 Supplements
10 Vegan Vitamin B12 Supplements
By Chelsea Debret
12-15 minutesThere is lots to know when it comes to getting the right amount and variety of vitamins and minerals in a plant-based diet. This is especially true when it comes to vitamin B12 supplements.Turns out vitamin B12 is somewhat lacking in the plant-based world and is mostly present in animal-based products such as “fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products,” as well as fortified breakfast cereals and supplements.Alright, but why do we need vitamin B12?This water-soluble vitamin (meaning it doesn’t need fat to be broken down and absorbed), is “required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.” Vitamin B12 — also referred to as cobalamin due to its composition of mineral cobalt — is also super important for a variety of chemical reactions within the human body.Plus, vitamin B12 has been linked to a variety of health benefits including the prevention of anemia, major birth defects, osteoporosis, and loss of neurons, as well as increased bone and heart health, reduction in macular degeneration, and a boost in energy. On top of that, certain studies have linked appropriate vitamin B12 levels to improved mood and symptoms of depression, along with healthier hair, nails, and skin.All-in-all, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough of this vital nutrient! If you’re practicing a strictly plant-based diet, then you’ll want to speak with your doctor about a possible supplement in order to get that daily dose. Once you’ve gone over the options with a healthcare professional, here are a few vegan-friendly B12 supplements to get you started!

1. Mary Ruth’s Vegan Vitamin D3+B12 Gummy Supplements

Mary Ruth’s Vegan Vitamin D3+B12 Gummy Supplements/Amazon.comMary Ruth’s is a known vegan-friendly and high-quality supplement brand, which gives it first digs on this vegan vitamin B12 list! These Mary Ruth’s Vegan Vitamin D3+B12 Gummy Supplements not only offer a healthy dose of vitamin B12, but they also offer a healthy dose of vitamin D3, which is also difficult to find naturally in an exclusively vegan diet. Plus, these gummies are non-GMO, paleo-friendly, wheat-free, yeast-free, soy-free, and celiac-friendly! They contain zero nightshades (for nightshade sensitive folks), zero gelatin, and they provide a boost of energy to boot. These strawberry flavored gummies are a perfect addition to your plant-based diet. A 60-count bottle costs $23.95.Lisa Bee says “Slowly on the course of moving myself to a veganism diet, I decided to start switching over my supplements (let’s be real, this girl doesn’t even take vitamins on a daily) but upon starting to take them I have noticed I had just a little more energy to boost me through my mornings. I will say that I am pleasantly pleased with the product and I will be buying them again in the future.”
2. Garden of Life B12 Vitamin Liquid SupplementGarden of Life B12 Vitamin Liquid Supplement/Amazon.comAnother trusted, plant-based, high-quality, oftentimes vegan brand, this Garden of Life B12 Vitamin Liquid Supplement is a great on-the-go or travel-friendly option. This blend of methylcobalamin-based vitamin B12 supports a healthy metabolism and central nervous system, boosts energy, and increases heart health, while also protecting the body against anemia. This product is certified USDA organic, non-GMO verified, vegan certified, gluten-free certified, and kosher made. A 2-ounce liquid bottle costs $12.59.J, Ru says “I have been using tablets for years with sketchy results. After researching liquid VS tablet I thought I would give it a try. I suffer from Hashimoto’s, and my husband had thyroid cancer, From taking 5-6 10 mg tablets at a time with little results to two sprays a day, the results are dramatic. we can finally tell it is working for us. Highly recommend. Shipping was fast and well packaged.”

3. Global Healing Center Vegansafe B12Global Healing Center Vegansafe B12/Amazon.comThis Global Healing Center Vegansafe B12 uses a blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, which are the “most pure, active, bioavailable coenzyme combination available.” This formula promises to offer results faster and absorb better and more efficiently than other supplement types, as well as offer natural sleep support! Global Healing Center promises this product is certified organic, vegan-safe, and free of gluten, soy, dairy, GMOs, nuts, sugar, artificial flavors, synthetic dyes, and toxic fillers. A 1-fluid ounce bottle costs $19.95.Kimberly M. says “Love! I let a drop sit under my tongue for a minute in the morning and around 2-3 pm. Increases energy without the effects of stimulants…very mellow natural energy boost with no side effects.
UPDATE: my B12 levels were around 645 when I started this a year ago, and today my levels are 1,450 which is high. I reduced the amount to 1/4 dropper and will check my levels in a few months.”

4. Deva Vegan Vitamin B-12 Fast Dissolve LozengesDeva Vegan Vitamin B-12 Fast Dissolve Lozenges/Amazon.comNot a capsule or liquid supplement fan? These Deva Vegan Vitamin B-12 Fast Dissolve Lozenges may be the perfect in-between supplement to help you get that daily dose of vitamin B12. Deva promises this blend of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid to be 100 percent animal product-free and pure. This unique formula is especially helpful at maintaining healthy nerve cells! A 90-tablet bottle costs $13.78.RDS says “This is an excellent product, both in its obvious and not-so-obvious attributes. First, the form of B12 in Deva’s formula is methylcobalamin, which is the only form that is readily absorbed by us in oral form. Second, the formula also contains Folic Acid and B6, which act synergetically with B12 to optimize utilization. Third, this is one of the few purveyors of B12 that guarantee they do not use genetically modified sources. And finally, the sublingual tablets help to ensure maximum absorption by the system. And the price is right. This is the best source of B12 I have found.”

5. EZ Melts B12 as MethylcobalaminEZ Melts B12 as Methylcobalamin/Amazon.comThis EZ Melts B12 as Methylcobalamin offers a high-quality, bioactive form of vitamin B12 made with methylcobalamin. This unique blend supports mental clarity, emotional balance, energy levels, and helps with the renewal of cells to boost healthy skin, hair, and nails. EZ Melts promises this product to be vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and is free of sugar, gluten, and artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors. A 90-fast dissolve tablet bottle costs $18.99.Shellie M. says “Phenomenal product. Literally kicks in within 30 minutes and instant energy. Doesn’t feel like a coffee jump of energy, it’s more natural. I haven’t experienced any downsides to this product even after not using it because I finished the bottle.”
6. VitBoost Vegan Liquid B-12 DropsVitBoost Vegan Liquid B-12 Drops/Amazon.comThis VitBoost Vegan Liquid B-12 Drops offers all the goods in a fast-acting vegan-friendly form! This blend offers a much-needed energy boost throughout the day, while also supporting the adrenal glands, red blood cell formation, mental clarity, cognitive function, and helps improve concentration. This product is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, allergen-free, gluten-free, and also happens to be free of soy, gluten, milk, egg, wheat, GMOs, peanuts, shellfish, and sugar. A 2-fluid ounce bottle costs $19.95.Huevos rancheros says “This stuff is amazing?! I have thyroid issues and problems with fatigue. i take one dropper in the morning and one in the afternoon and my workouts and energy has never been better and its just been several days! im almost mad i didnt find this sooner because no other b complex bvitamins ever worked for me.”

7. NATURELO B Complex

NATURELO B Complex/Amazon.comThis NATURELO B Complex is not just about getting that vitamin B12 in your body but is an advanced B-complex formula with Thiamin (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), B6, Folate (as Methylfolate, not Folic Acid), B12 (as Methylcobalamin), Biotin and Pantothenic Acid, as well as organic fruit and vegetable blend, PABA, Choline, Inositol, and CoQ10. This unique formula seeks to support energy metabolism, maintains the immune system, supports heart and nervous system health, and is a great source of folate for pregnant women. This product is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, gluten-free, and does not contain soy, dairy, yeast, eggs, corn, nuts, caffeine, additives, preservatives, or coloring. A 120-capsule bottle costs $26.95.Seeka Kinsey says “I wanted to wait a while before I reviewed this to see if I noticed any physical/mental changes. It’s been about a month of taking this and I can honestly say I feel more energy and less depression, which is what I had hoped for. My hair is growing faster (falling out less, too) and my skin is clearing up (initially I broke out but I stuck to it and am leveling out). I find myself getting more done throughout the day and just in general feeling better. It hasn’t been a drastic change, just a light boost that was much needed. I appreciate that it is vegan, it actually smells good and is easy to swallow.”

8. Doctor’s Best Fully Active B12

Doctor’s Best Fully Active B12/Amazon.comThis Doctor’s Best Fully Active B12 uses methyl-cobalamin, which is the most biochemically active form of vitamin B12, hence the supplement name “fully active.” This product is vegan-friendly and is formulated to support healthy memory, mood, circulation, and well being. A 60-capsule bottle costs $4.55.Samantha Boyden says “This product really helps my family not worry about our B12 intake. The pills are nice and small, they are vegan friendly, and there is no funky after taste or smell. This is such a great deal to be able to feel at ease about our health for such a low price. I would recommend this product to anyone interested in ensuring they get enough B12.”

9. Vitamin B12 Sublingual Liquid Drops

Go Nutrients Vitamin B12 Sublingual Liquid Drops/Amazon.comThese Go Nutrients Vitamin B12 Sublingual Liquid Drops have all the goods! Go Nutrients promises the highest-quality ingredients using a formula of bioactive B12 that is 100 percent methylcobalamin (not cyanocobalamin) offering an increase in energy to help fight sluggishness and a boost for memory to help lift brain fog. This product is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, alcohol-free, gluten-free, and is also free of soy, sugar, wheat, dairy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A 2-ounce bottle costs $19.47.Brenda Matthewsq says “Omg! I received my bottle of go nutrients B-12 2 weeks ago and couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Not only is my energy level up but so is my mood( family is happy with that). I’m always a bit hesitant with liquids vitamins due to taste but this was totally pleasant. I will absolutely buy this product again.”

10. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin B12

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin B12/Amazon.comAnother Garden of Life Vitamin B12 supplement makes the list, yet this one is part of the Raw Code variety, meaning raw ingredients! This Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin B12 is essential for protecting the body from anemia and supporting a healthy central nervous system, as well as boosting energy, avoiding constipation, and taking the edge off of fatigue. As this is part of the Raw Code vitamins, these also have gut-friendly probiotics and enzymes to support digestive health and add nutritional support. This product is vegan-friendly, raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, and has zero binders or fillers. A 30-capsule bottle costs $11.89.Amazon Customer says “I was ill for a few months, no energy, weak, foggy-brained and lightheaded, no appetite. I finally had a blood test and was found to have a severe vitamin B-12 deficiency. Within a week of starting a daily regimen of these, I felt like a new person. My doctor told me to take this brand, as whole food source was important to her, and she likes the quality of these. I am completely back to normal, feel great now.”We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!For more Vegan Food, Health, Recipe, Animal, and Life content published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter!Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please support us!

Update on the Wuhan Coronavirus

China’s new killer virus is mutated SARS & may be one more mutation away from infecting millions. Will it make the lethal leap? | RT World News

Truth2Freedom's Blog

The deadly Chinese virus is turning up in more and more places, and the number of cases tripled over the weekend. But how bad could things get, and is there anything that could stop it before it’s too late?

It seems a bit like the beginning of a Hollywood thriller. An ordinary winter’s day at Wuhan’s seafood and wildlife market. Market traders, stalls packed with meat and fish, trying to flog their wares. The shoppers, handling the produce and trying to find the best deals. But Wuhan is hundreds of miles from the ocean, meaning any ‘fresh’ fish and shellfish for sale was probably anything but.

Police outside the Wuhan fish market where the SARS-like virus epidemic began to spread through Wuhan. ©  NOEL CELIS / AFP

We know that something at the market, perhaps a batch of dodgy crabs or some squawking chickens packed together in cages, was carrying…

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“Mysterious coronavirus kills 2, sickens dozens”

What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12

15-19 minutes

Below is an Open Letter containing detailed information on vitamin B12 from the health professionals and organisations listed at the end. If you simply want to know what to do, read ‘Vitamin B12 : your key facts’.

The information below was prepared by Stephen Walsh, a Vegan Society trustee, and other members of the International Vegetarian Union Science Group (IVU-SCI), in October 2001. This information may be freely reproduced but only in its entirety.

Very low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimize potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.

To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:

Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or µg) of B12 a day
OR Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms
OR Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.

If relying on fortified foods, check the labels carefully to make sure you are getting enough B12. For example, if a fortified plant milk contains 1 microgram of B12 per serving then consuming three servings a day will provide adequate vitamin B12. Others may find the use of B12 supplements more convenient and economical.

The less frequently you obtain B12 the more B12 you need to take, as B12 is best absorbed in small amounts. The recommendations above take full account of this. There is no harm in exceeding the recommended amounts or combining more than one option.

Good information supports vegan health, pass it around.

If you don’t read another word about B12, you already know all you need to know. If you want to know more, read on.
Vitamin B12 and vegan diets – Lessons from history

B12 is an exceptional vitamin. It is required in smaller amounts than any other known vitamin. Ten micrograms of B12 spread over a day appears to supply as much as the body can use. In the absence of any apparent dietary supply, deficiency symptoms usually take five years or more to develop in adults, though some people experience problems within a year. A very small number of individuals with no obvious reliable source appear to avoid clinical deficiency symptoms for twenty years or more. B12 is the only vitamin that is not recognised as being reliably supplied from a varied wholefood, plant-based diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, together with exposure to sun. Many herbivorous mammals, including cattle and sheep, absorb B12 produced by bacteria in their own digestive system. B12 is found to some extent in soil and plants. These observations have led some vegans to suggest that B12 was an issue requiring no special attention, or even an elaborate hoax. Others have proposed specific foods, including spirulina, nori, tempeh, and barley grass, as suitable non-animal sources of B12. Such claims have not stood the test of time.

In over 60 years of vegan experimentation only B12 fortified foods and B12 supplements have proven themselves as reliable sources of B12, capable of supporting optimal health. It is very important that all vegans ensure they have an adequate intake of B12, from fortified foods or supplements. This will benefit our health and help to attract others to veganism through our example.
Getting an adequate amount of B12

National recommendations for B12 intakes vary significantly from country to country. The US recommended intake is 2.4 micrograms a day for ordinary adults rising to 2.8 micrograms for nursing mothers. The German recommendation is 3 micrograms a day. Recommended intakes are usually based on 50% absorption, as this is typical for small amounts from foods. To meet the US and German recommendations you need to obtain sufficient B12 to absorb 1.5 micrograms per day on average. This amount should be sufficient to avoid even the initial signs of inadequate B12 intake, such as slightly elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels, in most people. Even slightly elevated homocysteine is associated with increased risk of many health problems including heart disease in adults, preeclampsia during pregnancy and neural tube defects in babies.

Achieving an adequate B12 intake is easy and there are several methods to suit individual preferences. Absorption of B12 varies from about 50%, if about 1 microgram or less is consumed, to about 0.5% for doses of 1000 micrograms (1 milligram) or above. So the less frequently you consume B12, the higher the total amount needs to be to give the desired absorbed amount.

Frequent use of foods fortified with B12 so that about one microgram of B12 is consumed three times a day with a few hours in between will provide an adequate amount. Availability of fortified foods varies from country to country and amounts of B12 vary from brand to brand, so ensuring an adequate B12 supply from fortified foods requires some label reading and thought to work out an adequate pattern to suit individual tastes and local products.

Taking a B12 supplement containing ten micrograms or more daily provides a similar absorbed amount to consuming one microgram on three occasions through the day. This may be the most economical method as a single high potency tablet can be consumed bit by bit. 2000 micrograms of B12 consumed once a week would also provide an adequate intake. Any B12 supplement tablet should be chewed or allowed to dissolve in the mouth to enhance absorption. Tablets should be kept in an opaque container. As with any supplement it is prudent not to take more than is required for maximum benefit, so intakes above 5000 micrograms per week should be avoided despite lack of evidence for toxicity from higher amounts.

All three options above should meet the needs of the vast majority of people with normal B12 metabolism. Individuals with impaired B12 absorption may find that the third method, 2000 micrograms once a week, works best as it does not rely on normal intrinsic factor in the gut. There are other, very rare, metabolic defects that require completely different approaches to meeting B12 requirements. If you have any reason to suspect a serious health problem seek medical advice promptly.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency

Clinical deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid clinical deficiency. Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk of B12 deficiency: long-term vegans who avoid common fortified foods (such as raw food vegans or macrobiotic vegans) and breastfed infants of vegan mothers whose own intake of B12 is low.

In adults typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes. Often these symptoms develop gradually over several months to a year before being recognised as being due to B12 deficiency and they are usually reversible on administration of B12. There is however no entirely consistent and reliable set of symptoms and there are cases of permanent damage in adults from B12 deficiency. If you suspect a problem then get a skilled diagnosis from a medical practitioner as each of these symptoms can also be caused by problems other than B12 deficiency.

Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite and failure to thrive. If not promptly corrected this can progress to coma or death. Again there is no entirely consistent pattern of symptoms. Infants are more vulnerable to permanent damage than adults. Some make a full recovery, but others show retarded development.

The risk to these groups alone is reason enough to call on all vegans to give a consistent message as to the importance of B12 and to set a positive example. Every case of B12 deficiency in a vegan infant or an ill informed adult is a tragedy and brings veganism into disrepute.
The homocysteine connection

This is not however the end of the story. Most vegans show adequate B12 levels to make clinical deficiency unlikely but nonetheless show restricted activity of B12 related enzymes, leading to elevated homocysteine levels. Strong evidence has been gathered over the past decade that even slightly elevated homocysteine levels increase risk of heart disease and stroke and pregnancy complications. Homocysteine levels are also affected by other nutrients, most notably folate. General recommendations for increased intakes of folate are aimed at reducing levels of homocysteine and avoiding these risks. Vegan intakes of folate are generally good, particularly if plenty of green vegetables are eaten. However, repeated observations of elevated homocysteine in vegans, and to a lesser extent in other vegetarians, show conclusively that B12 intake needs to be adequate as well to avoid unnecessary risk.
Testing B12 status

A blood B12 level measurement is a very unreliable test for vegans, particularly for vegans using any form of algae. Algae and some other plant foods contain B12-analogues (false B12) that can imitate true B12 in blood tests while actually interfering with B12 metabolism. Blood counts are also unreliable as high folate intakes suppress the anaemia symptoms of B12 deficiency that can be detected by blood counts. Blood homocysteine testing is more reliable, with levels less than 10 micromol/litre being desirable. The most specific test for B12 status is MMA testing. If this is in the normal range in blood (<370 nmol/L) or urine (less than 4 mcg /mg creatinine) then your body has enough B12. Many doctors still rely on blood B12 levels and blood counts. These are not adequate, especially in vegans.
Is there a vegan alternative to B12-fortified foods and supplements?

If for any reason you choose not to use fortified foods or supplements you should recognise that you are carrying out a dangerous experiment – one that many have tried before with consistently low levels of success. If you are an adult who is neither breast-feeding an infant, pregnant nor seeking to become pregnant, and wish to test a potential B12 source that has not already been shown to be inadequate, then this can be a reasonable course of action with appropriate precautions. For your own protection, you should arrange to have your B12 status checked annually. If homocysteine or MMA is even modestly elevated then you are endangering your health if you persist.

If you are breast feeding an infant, pregnant or seeking to become pregnant or are an adult contemplating carrying out such an experiment on a child, then don’t take the risk. It is simply unjustifiable.

Claimed sources of B12 that have been shown through direct studies of vegans to be inadequate include human gut bacteria, spirulina, dried nori, barley grass and most other seaweeds. Several studies of raw food vegans have shown that raw food offers no special protection.

Reports that B12 has been measured in a food are not enough to qualify that food as a reliable B12 source. It is difficult to distinguish true B12 from analogues that can disrupt B12 metabolism. Even if true B12 is present in a food, it may be rendered ineffective if analogues are present in comparable amounts to the true B12. There is only one reliable test for a B12 source – does it consistently prevent and correct deficiency? Anyone proposing a particular food as a B12 source should be challenged to present such evidence.
A natural, healthy and compassionate diet

To be truly healthful, a diet must be best not just for individuals in isolation but must allow all people all over the world to thrive and achieve a sustainable coexistence with the many other species that form the “living earth”. From this standpoint the natural adaptation for most (possibly all) humans in the modern world is a vegan diet. There is nothing natural about the abomination of modern factory farming and its attempt to reduce living, feeling beings to machines. In choosing to use fortified foods or B12 supplements, vegans are taking their B12 from the same source as every other animal on the planet – micro-organisms – without causing suffering to any sentient being or causing environmental damage.

Vegans using adequate amounts of fortified foods or B12 supplements are much less likely to suffer from B12 deficiency than the typical meat eater. The Institute of Medicine, in setting the US recommended intakes for B12 makes this very clear. “Because 10 to 30 percent of older people may be unable to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12, it is advisable for those older than 50 years to meet their RDA mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a vitamin B12-containing supplement.” Vegans should take this advice about 50 years younger, to the benefit of both themselves and the animals. B12 need never be a problem for well-informed vegans.

Good information supports vegan health, pass it around.
Further information

Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline, National Academy Press, 1998 ISBN 0-309-06554-2
Vitamin B12: Are you getting it? by Jack Norris
Homocysteine in health and disease, ed. Ralph Carmel and Donald W. Jacobsen, Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-521-65319-3
this open letter is available on many other websites too, including here, here and here.

Endorsers of the above information include:

EVA Ethisch Vegetarisch Alternatief, Belgium,
Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Vegan Action, US
Vegan Outreach, US,
The Vegan Society, UK
Paul Appleby, medical statistician, UK
Dr Luciana Baroni, MD, Neurologist-Geriatrician, President of Società Scientifica di Nutrizione Vegetariana, Italy
Amanda Benham, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Dietitians Association of Australia’s nominated expert on vegetarian nutrition
Dr Glynis Dallas-Chapman, MB, BS, UK
Brenda Davis, RD, Co-author of Becoming Vegan and former Chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association
Michael Greger, MD, USA
Dr William Harris, MD, USA
Prof. em. Dr. Marcel Hebbelinck, Belgium
Alex Hershaft, PhD, President, FARM, USA
Sandra Hood, State Registered Dietitian and UK Vegan Society dietary consultant
Dr Gill Langley, MA PhD MIBiol, author of Vegan Nutrition, UK
Stephen R. Kaufman, MD, USA
Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, Co-author of Becoming Vegan,
Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, Nutrition Advisor, The Vegetarian Resource Group, USA
Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, Co-author of the Dietitians Guide to Vegetarian Diets
Jack Norris, RD, Vegan Outreach director
Dr John Wedderburn, MB, ChB, Founder of the Hong Kong Vegan Society
Portuguese Vegetarian Association (Associação Portuguesa Vegetariana)
French Société végane

This information sheet was prepared by Stephen Walsh, a Vegan Society trustee, and other members of the International Vegetarian Union science group (IVU-SCI), in October 2001. The information may be freely reproduced but only in its entirety (list of endorsers may be omitted).
Since you’re here…

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Please keep your pets safe this holiday season 🎄

World Aids Day


This is not just a female health issue guys need to be checked too…


Dengue Fever Spreading Rapidly Across Central America; Size of Outbreak Unprecedented

Mining Awareness +

From VOA News:
Dengue Fever Spreading Rapidly Across Central America
By VOA News September 27, 2019 08:46 AM
Dengue fever is spreading rapidly across Central America, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Friday.   

The size of this outbreak is unprecedented across Central America,” said Dr. Maria Frana Tallarico, head of health of IFRC’s regional office for the Americas.

Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica are reporting “massive increases in dengue cases compared to previous years,” the IFRC said.

More than 71,200 people in Honduras have been affected by the mosquito-borne viral disease.

Seasonal rains and high temperatures have created stagnant pools that are “perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” according to IFRC.
What is alarming about the disease in Honduras, however, is that 65 percent of the 128 deaths thus far are children under 15 years-old.

“This is due to a lack of…

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Found a Bug? | Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the U.S. | Texas A&M

Found a kissing bug?

/Precautions and Procedure

Citizen science offers the opportunity for non-scientists and scientists to work together to collect large amounts of data. This project is currently seeking the help of citizens scientist (like you!) To submit carefully collected kissing bugs from Texas and throughout the U.S.

We are interested in learning more about the distribution of different species of kissing bugs, their interactions with host species. If you have come across a suspected kissing bug in or around your home, kennel, yard, or other area, we are interested in hearing about it.

Continue reading here for more information and pictures.