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Spike in Harm to Liver Is Tied to Dietary Supplements4
HSVG misson P.O. Box 206, Hagatna, GU 96932, USA
Vaccines alone won't suppress COVID surge  The recent wave of COVID infections since August is not the first frightening surge in Guam. The island community experienced something similar last August and September, and actually the situation was even getting worse in the fourth quarter.   While vaccines have been rolled out and, as of Aug. 31 this year, 80.43% of Guam residents 12 years and older were fully vaccinated, our island reported a total of 47 COVID-related fatalities in September, which was surprisingly higher than the death number of 39 reported last September, when no vaccine was available at that time.   Obviously, vaccines alone aren’t suppressing the surge.   Guam is not the only place having a bad September. Singapore reported 28,901 new infections and 40 deaths in the month after the vaccination rate was, exactly like Guam, beyond 80%. Their COVID death number was zero last September. The epidemiological investigation and laboratory results concluded the changed situation was mainly caused by the delta variant of the coronavirus.   So, Guam and Singapore have been using the same effective vaccines, have reached the same high vaccination coverage, and then encountered the same more contagious variant. However, Guam, with less than 200 thousand residents, relatively reported much more COVID deaths (47) than Singapore, with a population of 5.7 million, did (40) this September. It is very likely that, under the same conditions, Guam had more severe cases than other places. Perhaps that consequently resulted in more fatal tragedies.   Of the 60 COVID patients in the hospital on Oct. 7, five were children, ranging in ages of 1 day old to 8 years old. However, the worldwide data show that children usually do not develop serious illness once they are infected with the coronavirus. More information, therefore, is needed. For example, if these little patients have any underlying health conditions, to help Guam figure out the factors.   For adults, Guam also needs to investigate if the high prevalence of obesity, diabetes, renal issues and heart disease might be the reason why Guam is, relatively, having more severe COVID cases than other places. If it is the case, the system has to pay a bit more attention to the control and prevention of those chronic diseases and consider it an important part of the long-term strategy in the post-COVID era.   Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong emphasized in his Oct. 9 national address: “When the number of cases grows very large, even 2% of a very large number will translate to many patients needing hospital and ICU beds. Our healthcare system would rapidly be overwhelmed.”   Singapore therefore further expands health care capacity and strengthens case management so that they can “better identify COVID patients with mild symptoms to recover at home” and make sure the system can “properly care for those who fall seriously ill” as well as continue to attend to many non-COVID patients who also have urgent medical needs.   It seems Guam needs to do what Singapore is doing now. Guam also needs to learn from Palau’s effort to promote a healthy new normal after their vaccination coverage reached 80%. Thoroughly adjusting to the new normal might be the reason why Palau is still a paradise of extremely low COVID risk. Guam should take its inspiration from the neighboring island’s success.   http://www.hsvg.org/hot_405520.html Vaccines alone won't suppress COVID surge 2021-10-21 2022-10-21
HSVG misson P.O. Box 206, Hagatna, GU 96932, USA http://www.hsvg.org/hot_405520.html
HSVG misson P.O. Box 206, Hagatna, GU 96932, USA http://www.hsvg.org/hot_405520.html
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Links:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/spike-in-harm-to-liver- ...

The New York Times reported that dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries that turn up in hospitals, up from 7 percent a decade ago, according to an analysis by a national network of liver specialists.

The new research, presented at a conference in Washington in November 2013, was produced by the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network, which was established by the National Institutes of Health to track patients who suffer liver damage from certain drugs and alternative medicines. It includes doctors at eight major hospitals throughout the country. When the network began tracking liver injuries in 2004, supplements accounted for 7 percent of the 115 severe cases. But the percentage has steadily risen, reaching 20 percent of the 313 cases recorded from 2010 to 2012.

The report emphasized that the research included only the most severe cases of liver damage referred to a representative group of hospitals around the country, and the investigators said they were undercounting the actual number of cases.

Those patients included dozens of young men who were sickened by bodybuilding supplements.  Tests showed that a third of the implicated products contained steroids not listed on their labels.

 

A second trend emerged when the investigators studied 85 patients with liver injuries linked to herbal pills and powders. Two-thirds were middle-aged women, on average 48 years old, who often used the supplements to lose weight or increase energy. Nearly a dozen of those patients required liver transplants, and three died.

 

One product that patients used frequently was green tea extract, which contains catechins, a group of potent antioxidants that reputedly increase metabolism. The extracts are often marketed as fat burners, and catechins are often added to weight-loss products and energy boosters. Most green tea pills are highly concentrated, containing many times the amount of catechins found in a single cup of green tea, Dr. Bonkovsky,  an investigator with the network, said. In high doses, catechins can be toxic to the liver, he said, and a small percentage of people appear to be particularly susceptible.

The New York Time article also said that Americans spend an estimated $32 billion on dietary supplements every year, attracted by unproven claims that various pills and powders will help them lose weight, build muscle and fight off everything from colds to chronic illnesses. About half of Americans use dietary supplements, and most of them take more than one product at a time. But the supplement business is largely unregulated. In recent years, critics of the industry have called for measures that would force companies to prove that their products are safe, genuine and made in accordance with strict manufacturing standards before they reach the market.

However, the article added that a federal law enacted in 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, prevents the Food and Drug Administration from approving or evaluating most supplements before they are sold. Usually the agency must wait until consumers are harmed before officials can remove products from stores. Because the supplement industry operates on the honor system, studies show, the market has been flooded with products that are adulterated, mislabeled or packaged in dosages that have not been studied for safety.

Since 2008, the F.D.A. has been taking action against companies whose supplements are found to contain prescription drugs and controlled substances, said Daniel Fabricant, the director of the division of dietary supplement programs in the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. For example, the agency recently took steps to remove one “fat burning” product from shelves, OxyElite Pro, that was linked to one death and dozens of cases of hepatitis and liver injury in Hawaii and other states.

 

HSVG wholesome would like to take this opportunity to remind vitamin shoppers to take a look at our webpage www.hsvg.org/hot_cg1990.html to see which brands and products are in the list of HSVG wholesome certification. The certified brands and products were reviewed carefully and were ensured safe and of good quality by HSVG wholesome.