An Arkansas toddler died of a rare brain-eating amoeba infection, which was likely contracted at a splash pad at a country club, according to health officials and the county coroner.
Indiana’s attorney general has sued the state’s largest hospital system, claiming it violated patient privacy laws when a doctor publicly shared the story of an Ohio girl who traveled to Indiana for an abortion
|(NaturalNews) Big Tech mogul Elon Musk revealed that the far-left Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which has pushed for censorship of conservatives on all platforms,…|
Northampton General Hospital is told to compensate a pregnant woman for repeated failings.
In spite of the rising cost of meat in general, and, according to CNBC , predictions that pork belly in particular is going to skyrocket in price soon, Americans love bacon. Sales of the breakfast staple reached nearly $6.5 billion last year, according to industry publication The National Provisioner , and account for one-fifth of all processed meat sales. Bacon Nation , an entire restaurant devoted to bacon, opened in Las Vegas in October 2022 and is still going strong. The meat even has its own national recognition day, per Awareness Days . The enduring popularity of bacon flies in the face of its lackluster nutritional profile. As a processed meat, bacon is not what most experts would consider a health food. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared bacon and other processed meats class one carcinogens, a category of substances known to cause cancer that also includes cigarettes and asbestos. But is enjoying a slice or two of bacon with brunch every once in a while really as bad for your health as lighting up? What happens if you eat bacon every day? Can you eat bacon every week as long as you do it in moderation? What does moderation even mean when it comes to bacon? See what nutrition experts have to say about the answers to these, and other questions about one of America’s favorite meats. The Nutritional Value of Bacon Traditionally, bacon is meat from the sides and belly of a pig that’s been preserved with salt and cut into strips. These cuts are some of the fattiest on the animal, and the salt curing means it has much more sodium than other noncured cuts of pork. Two slices of pan-fried bacon contain 108 calories, 8 grams (g) of protein, 2.76 g of saturated fat, and 386 milligrams (mg) of sodium, according to data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture . Flavored bacon, such Hormel’s brown sugar bacon , means added sugar comes along as well. Opting for thick-cut bacon will increase those numbers. Oscar Meyer center-cut thick-cut bacon , for instance, has 90 calories and 7 g of fat per two slices, compared with just 60 calories and 4.5 g of fat in the brand’s traditional center-cut bacon . Like most foods, bacon isn’t all bad, however. “Bacon is high in protein, and it provides a good amount of B vitamins,” says Grace Derocha, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). While health advocates have been praising plant-based diets in recent years, research published in Current Nutrition Reports in June 2022 does acknowledge that meat delivers leucine and other essential amino acids, and that research on the benefits of animal- versus plant-based proteins has been mixed. The main concern about bacon is its high levels of saturated fat and sodium, says Kristen Smith, RD, also a spokesperson for the AND. A diet high in saturated fat and sodium is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . A daily diet that includes bacon makes it tough to stay within the recommended limits for saturated fat and sodium. Four slices of bacon take most people about halfway to the recommended limit of saturated fat and one-third of the way to the daily limit for sodium for a day. For those reasons, Smith suggests that bacon be enjoyed in moderation, like other high-fat or high-sodium foods. “Eating a few slices of bacon a few times a month with a balanced diet shouldn’t be a problem,” she says. But few bacon enthusiasts show that kind of restraint when faced with an abundance of their favorite cured meat. Restaurants typically serve three or four slices of bacon, often thick-cut, as a breakfast side dish. And when people fry up a pound of bacon at home, they struggle to resist serving themselves even more. Some people don’t even try to hold back — some of those who follow keto or other low-carb diets eat as much bacon as they want. Cramming as much bacon into a dish as possible has become a sport on TikTok, and many recipes call for topping dishes already high in saturated fat (burgers, meatloaf) with layers of bacon. Nutritional Drawbacks of Bacon Bacon is a rich source of two well-known dietary troublemakers: saturated fat and sodium. “Diets high in sodium and saturated fat can lead to adverse health issues such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and heart disease,” says Derocha. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends getting no more than 13 g of saturated fat and 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Bacon is also what is known as a processed meat, a category that also includes other cured and preserved foods, like charcuterie, hotdogs, pepperoni, and sliced deli meats. The WHO found that there is sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies to state that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer, and may be associated with pancreatic, prostate, and stomach cancers. Based on the data the organization analyzed from 10 studies, it was estimated that every 50-g portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18 percent. The increased risk for cancer isn’t the only reason to be wary of processed meats. For every additional 25 g of processed meat (about two slices of bacon) a person ate daily over a span of eight years, their risk of dementia increased by 40 percent, according to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July 2021 . There’s also the question of nitrates, which are used in bacon to preserve color and flavor. At the store, you’ll find cured bacon, which is treated with nitrates, as well as “fresh” or “uncured” bacon, which, in fact, is also cured with nitrates — ones that occur naturally in some ingredients like celery juice powder. Your body doesn’t know the difference between these natural nitrates and the synthetic ones traditionally used, Harvard Health reports. A review has found nitrates to be associated with increased risk for colorectal cancer, while other research has found an association with breast and prostate cancer. Because sodium levels vary greatly among brands, the best option is to read nutrition labels carefully rather than simply assuming fresh bacon is necessarily healthier. Though the majority of the research into processed meats suggests it can have negative health consequences, a recent meta-analysis suggests that the cancer risk of processed meat consumption has likely been overstated due to flaws in past studies’ design and other factors. How Much Bacon Is Safe to Eat? The good news is that, unlike cigarettes, nutrition experts don’t recommend cutting bacon out of your life entirely. “For general good health, I would recommend keeping processed meats limited to once a week or once every other week. At that rate, a serving could be three to four slices. If you eat bacon more often than that, one to two slices should be a serving,” says Derocha. That recommendation covers all processed meats, so if you have a hot dog or pepperoni pizza, that counts against your once-a-week limit. You can’t add bacon, too. “For someone with no health issues, eating a few slices of bacon a few times a month with a balanced diet shouldn’t be a problem,” Smith says. “But for individuals with preexisting heart disease such as cardiovascular artery disease or hypertension, I would recommend minimizing bacon as much as possible.” Remember, all bacon is a highly processed food rich in sodium. Smith and Derocha both say there’s a way to make bacon a little healthier. Instead of frying it in fat, they suggest baking bacon in a sheet pan lined with a wire rack so that much of the fat renders while it cooks, landing on the sheet pan instead of in your bloodstream. “Once the bacon is cooked, immediately remove it from the pan or tray and place it on super-absorbable paper towels to catch any additional fat that may drip,” says Smith. Summary Armed with the facts, you don’t need to be afraid of bacon. If you love it, rest assured that even dietitians say you can eat it in moderation. “You just have to consider when and where a serving of bacon can fit into your daily allowance of sodium, saturated fat, fat, and calories,” says Derocha. When you enjoy it, fully savor it and always keep an eye on the bigger picture of your overall diet and lifestyle.
Klinefelter syndrome is a common genetic chromosomal condition that occurs when a boy is born with an extra copy of the X chromosome. Klinefelter syndrome can affect both physical and cognitive development. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute , Klinefelter syndrome is found in about 1 out of every 500 to 1,000 newborn males, making it one of the most common chromosomal conditions. The Association for X and Y Chromosome Variations (AXYS) , a group that focuses on Klinefelter syndrome and other similar conditions, estimates the Klinefelter occurrence at 1 in 600 male births. Klinefelter Syndrome Causes Klinefelter syndrome occurs as the result of a random genetic error during the formation of the egg or sperm at or soon after conception, according to MedlinePlus . The syndrome is not inherited through the parents’ genes or the result of something the parents did or did not do. Women who become pregnant after 35 years of age have a slightly increased risk of having a boy with Klinefelter syndrome, per the National Human Genome Research Institute. People normally have 46 chromosomes in each cell. Two of those 46 chromosomes, known as X and Y, are called sex chromosomes because they help determine whether a person will develop male or female sex characteristics. Females usually have two X chromosomes, while males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. However, Klinefelter syndrome occurs because of one extra copy of the X chromosome in each cell (XXY), notes the Mayo Clinic . Because Klinefelter syndrome involves an extra X chromosome, it is also sometimes referred to as 47,XXY syndrome, notes AXYS. Some males with Klinefelter syndrome have the extra X chromosome only in some of their cells. When this occurs it is called mosaic Klinefelter syndrome, per the Mayo Clinic. While rare, a similar but more severe condition known as 48,XXXY can occur when a male has two extra copies of the X chromosome, according to AXYS . Klinefelter Syndrome Symptoms The most common symptom of Klinefelter syndrome is infertility, which often isn’t noticed until adulthood, notes the Mayo Clinic. Klinefelter syndrome adversely affects testicular growth, resulting in smaller than normal testicles, which often leads to low production of testosterone . Although most men with Klinefelter syndrome produce little or no sperm, reproductive procedures may make it possible for some men with the condition to father children. The effects of Klinefelter syndrome vary from person to person, and signs and symptoms of the syndrome can appear differently at different ages, according to the Mayo Clinic . Symptoms in babies: Weak muscles Slow motor development of things like sitting up, crawling, and walking Speech delay Docile personality Testicles that haven’t descended into the scrotum Symptoms in boys and teenagers: Taller than average stature Longer legs, shorter torso, and broader hips Absent, delayed, or incomplete puberty Less-muscular bodies and less facial and body hair after puberty Small, firm testicles Small penis Enlarged breast tissue Weak bones Low energy levels Shyness Difficulty expressing feelings or socializing Problems with reading, writing, spelling, or math Difficulty being attentive Symptoms in men: Infertility Small testicles and penis Taller than average stature Weak bones (osteoporosis) Decreased facial and body hair Enlarged breast tissue Decreased sex drive Complications Men with Klinefelter syndrome may be at increased risk for the following: Varicose veins and other problems with blood vessels Breast cancer and cancers of the blood, bone marrow, or lymph nodes Lung disease Autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes and lupus Belly fat, which can lead to other health problems Testosterone replacement therapy can reduce the risk of the health problems listed above, especially when therapy is started at the onset of puberty. Klinefelter Syndrome Diagnosis If you suspect that you or your son may have Klinefelter syndrome, your doctor will examine your (or your son’s) genital area and chest, as well as conduct tests to check reflexes and mental functioning. Additionally, the following tests are used to diagnose Klinefelter syndrome, per the Mayo Clinic : Chromosomal Analysis Also called karyotype, this involves drawing a small sample of blood, which is sent to a lab to check the shape and number of chromosomes. Hormone Testing This can be done through blood or urine samples and can detect if abnormal sex hormone levels — a sign of Klinefelter syndrome — are present. Klinefelter Syndrome Treatment While there is no cure for sex chromosome changes caused by Klinefelter syndrome, treatments can help minimize effects, especially when they’re started early. Treatment may include the following: Testosterone replacement therapy Since males with Klinefelter syndrome don’t produce enough testosterone, undergoing testosterone replacement therapy at the onset of puberty can allow a boy to undergo the body changes that normally occur at puberty, such as developing a deeper voice, growing facial and body hair, and increasing muscle mass and penis size. Testosterone therapy can also improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures, but it will not enlarge the testicles or help with infertility. Testosterone may be given as an injection or with a gel or patch on the skin. Fertility Treatments Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can help men with minimal sperm production by removing sperm from the testicle and injecting it directly into a woman’s egg. Breast Tissue Removal For those who develop enlarged breasts, excess breast tissue can be removed with plastic surgery. Educational Support Teachers, school counselors, or school nurses may be able to help with finding extra support for learning. Speech and Physical Therapy These can help overcome problems with speech, language, and muscle weakness. Psychological Counseling Whether from a family therapist, counselor, or psychologist, counseling can help people with Klinefelter syndrome work through emotional issues related to puberty, young adulthood, and infertility.
The chief executive officer of a firm hired by New York City to house and care for hundreds of migrants has resigned abruptly
|(NaturalNews) Newly-elected Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has announced his plan to relocate about 1,600 illegal immigrants housed in different police stations in…|
People who are at high risk of acquiring the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) should know how to protect themselves from the virus. According to HIV.gov , those especially at risk include: Men who have sex with men Couples who are in mixed status relationships in which one person is HIV positive and one HIV negative People who do not use protection during sex People who inject drugs What’s important to note, though, is that you can have a healthy relationship (and sex life) with someone who has HIV without exposing yourself to the virus. A growing body of evidence is finding that when people with HIV take certain steps, the risk that they will transmit the virus to someone else can be extremely low. But because you can get HIV from even a single encounter, prevention requires an ongoing commitment by everyone involved. Here’s what you should know to protect yourself from HIV.
Get a Prescription for PrEP (or PEP) Short for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” PrEP is medication that can reduce a person’s risk of contracting HIV by about 99 percent when taken as prescribed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . PrEP can be taken as a once-daily pill; as an “on-demand” regimen of three pills (2 to 24 hours before sex, 24 hours after the first dose, and then 24 hours after the second dose); and as an injection. If you (or your partner) regularly have sex with someone who is HIV positive, have sex without using condoms, or share needles with others, PrEP can be a powerful tool for preventing the spread of HIV. Organizations like PleasePrEPMe and Emory University offer free web tools that can help you find PrEP treatment nationwide and also get financial resources for the treatment if needed. Additionally, if you believe you were exposed to HIV during sex — for example, if a sexual partner was recently diagnosed with HIV — you can take emergency pills called PEP, or “postexposure prophylaxis.” A 28-day course of medication, PEP treatment needs to be taken within three days after a potential infection to help block the virus from taking root in your body, according to HIVinfo .
If Your Partner Is HIV-Positive, Talk About Antiretroviral Therapy Antiretroviral therapy , or ART, can reduce the amount of HIV in a person’s blood to undetectable levels — an amount that can’t be detected by modern technology, which is less than 200 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood. If your partner is taking ART and maintaining undetectable levels, the risk of them passing the virus to you during sex may be virtually nonexistent, according to the CDC . This conclusion has been demonstrated by the results of the PARTNER and PARTNER 2 studies, published in 2016 and 2019, respectively: When researchers from Europe recruited more than 1,000 HIV-positive people (both gay and straight) with undetectable viral loads for the PARTNER study, they found that during an average two-year period, none of the participants passed the virus to their HIV-negative partners. The PARTNER 2 study, which followed gay couples only for one year, also found that the risk of HIV transmission through condomless sex is effectively zero when HIV viral load is suppressed through ART. If you know that your partner is HIV positive, try to talk with them about ART if they aren’t already using the treatment.
Understand Viral Load For ART to be effective, people must take the medication every day, at the same time each day. Skipping doses can cause the virus to replicate unchecked and possibly mutate into a form that’s resistant to the medication. If that occurs, a person’s viral load count may increase, which means there is a greater likelihood that the virus can be transmitted to someone else during sex. If you or your partner are HIV positive and taking ART, doctors recommend that you get viral load tested at least twice a year, if not more often. If the results demonstrate undetectable levels of HIV, “It’s pretty safe [to have sex],” says Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH , associate chief of the division of HIV, infectious diseases, and global medicine at University of California, San Francisco-San Francisco General Hospital.
Use Condoms Condoms continue to be an important and highly effective method to prevent HIV infection, advises the CDC . Even if an HIV-positive partner’s viral load count is undetectable, there are plenty of additional reasons to use condoms. Not only do they help prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but they also protect against other STIs — such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia infections — some of which can increase inflammation and raise your risk of getting HIV. “If you [or your partner] have a genital sore and you’re going to have sex that day,” says Dr. Gandhi, “use a condom.”
If You Inject Drugs, Avoid Sharing Equipment Anytime you share a needle with someone, whether you’re injecting steroids, hormones, or drugs, you’re at risk of HIV and other blood infections. And it’s not just the needle and syringe that can transmit the virus; you can also get HIV by sharing the water that’s used to clean the equipment or reusing filters and other containers. That’s because the equipment or water could contain blood and, therefore, the virus itself. The best thing you can do if you use drugs is to seek treatment. For example, if you use heroin, joining a methadone program could help you manage your addiction without the use of needles, lowering your risk of HIV. The CDC also offers information about Syringe Services Programs (SSPs) , which are community-based organizations that provide disposable syringes and safe injection sites (among other services) for people who do continue to use drugs. And research has found that SSPs are associated with a 50 percent reduction in HIV and hepatitis C in areas where they are located, notes the CDC.
Get Tested for HIV Regularly If you’re currently HIV negative, it’s important to be tested for any change in your status. If a test shows you’ve contracted the virus, your risk of spreading it to someone else is greatest in the acute phase, or the first two to four weeks after being infected, per the CDC . During that period, the viral load (a measurement of how much HIV is in your blood) spikes, increasing the likelihood you’ll transmit the virus. Although some people experience flu-like symptoms in the acute phase, many are not aware that they are infected because they don’t feel sick at all or might not feel sick until later, according to the CDC.
If You’re Taking Steps to Be Safe, Try to Relax and Enjoy Yourself The virus is only transmitted in specific ways: mainly through anal or vaginal sex or by sharing needles. There are plenty of ways HIV isn’t spread, including kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils, all of which you can do with a loved one who has HIV without worrying about contracting the virus. And if you know that your HIV-positive partner is on ART and their viral load is undetectable, try to forget about HIV during sex, too, Gandhi says: “It should be a pleasurable thing.”
(NaturalNews) The U.S. is becoming heavily reliant on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) â€“ shunned worldwide for its lax child labor policies and other…