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Daily Archives: June 30, 2022

Music Video: Mama Told Me (Not To Come)

Three Dog Night

Watch video at You Tube (3:18 minutes) . . . .

Infographic: 中国共产党党内统计公报

Source : 新华社

Expert Panel: Vitamins, Supplements Useless for Most People

Denise Mann wrote . . . . . . . . .

Millions of people pop vitamins and supplements every day in hopes of staving off heart disease and cancer, but a new report finds the evidence to support that strategy is largely lacking.

While there is some research showing that a daily multivitamin may slightly reduce cancer risk, the bigger picture suggests a lack of enough evidence to say that supplements can help prevent heart disease and cancer.

There is, however, enough evidence to state that beta carotene supplements may actually increase risk of lung cancer, especially among folks who are at high risk, and may also increase the chances of dying from heart disease. What’s more, vitamin E provides no cancer or heart disease prevention benefits.

Those are the main takeaways from the new report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of national experts that regularly make evidence-based recommendations about preventive health issues. This report updates the group’s 2014 stance on this topic.

“This is not a negative message, and it isn’t saying that there are no [cancer or heart disease prevention benefit] for vitamins and minerals,” cautioned task force vice chair Dr. Michael Barry. He’s the director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program in the Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

“We called for more research with longer follow-up, as well as studies across different racial and ethnic groups, to see if there are variations,” Barry added.

The recommendations are based on a review of 84 studies on multivitamins, supplement pairs or individual supplements, and cardiovascular disease and cancer risk in healthy, non-pregnant adults, published between January 2013 and February 2022.

“For the most part, vitamin and mineral supplementation did not reduce cancer or heart disease [risk],” said Elizabeth O’Connor. She is an associate director at Kaiser Permanente Evidence-Based Practice Center in Portland, Ore. O’Connor is one of the researchers who helped analyze the studies included in the new recommendations.

Research did show a 7% reduction in cancer risk among people taking a multivitamin, compared to those taking a dummy pill or placebo. Still, the studies that led to this conclusion had limitations, including short follow-up. “Even though this finding was statistically significant, there are some lingering questions,” O’Connor said.

Importantly, the new recommendations do not apply to people with known or suspected nutritional deficiencies or special needs, such as people who are or may become pregnant and need folic acid.

The recommendations were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Vitamin and mineral supplements are not a silver bullet for healthy Americans,” said Dr. Jenny Jia, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new study. She is an instructor of general internal medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

Instead of popping vitamins, focus on eating a balanced diet that is loaded with fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and getting the recommended screening tests to help prevent heart disease and cancer, she said. “Vitamins and minerals are a distraction, and offer minimal to no benefit for healthy American adults,”Jia noted.

Dr. Mark Moyad is the Jenkins/Pokempner director of preventive & alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. He sees things differently, especially when it comes to daily multivitamins. “They may reduce cancer, and even though it’s a modest reduction, this is not a small deal,” said Moyad, who had no ties to the research.

“It’s not so much of a Wild West out there anymore when it comes to supplements,” he added. Many third-party groups now offer seals of approval for brands that are quality tested and contain what the label says they do.

“If you do take supplements, seek out ones that have a clean track record,” Moyad suggested.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, which represents the supplements industry, took issue with the new report.

“Americans fall short in many key nutrients,” Andrea Wong, the organization’s Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, said in a statement. “In fact, the Food and Drug Administration and the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified that under-consumption of calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D is of public health concern for the general U.S. population because low intakes are associated with numerous health concerns.”

Wong pointed to evidence from the recent Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), which she said suggests that “multivitamins help delay cognitive decline in older people.” Wong also cited data from the ongoing Physicians’ Health Study II, a “controlled trial [that] showed an 8% reduction in overall cancer risk in older male physicians who took a multivitamin.”

Source: HealthDay


U.S. Has Eight Years to Cut Its Emissions by Half. Scientists Say There’s a Way

Adam Barnes wrote . . . . . . . . .

The U.S. can achieve its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 if it implements several goals, including operating the electric grid with 80 percent clean energy and ensuring most cars sold by the end of the decade are electric, according to a new study.

“By 2030, wind, solar, coupled with energy storage can provide the bulk of the 80 percent clean electricity. The findings also show that generating the remaining 20% of grid power won’t require the creation of new fossil fuel generators,” said Nikit Abhyankar, one of the study’s authors and a scientist at the Electricity Markets & Policy Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

President Biden announced his emissions reduction goal last year, months after rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels.

The authors noted the main barrier to achieving the goals laid out in the study will not be based on costs but developing a coordinated effort among policy makers.

“This study should give policy makers and other energy stakeholders some level of comfort, by showing that everybody in the field is pointing in the same direction. The case for clean energy is stronger than ever before and our study shows that the 2030 emission target can be achieved,” Abhyankar said in a release.

The study’s findings, which were based on an analysis of six recent economic models that simulate U.S. energy operations, might also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by further electrification of industries and buildings.

Findings also suggest that powering the U.S. electric grid with renewable energy, while there may be a net benefit of 1,000 per households with electric cars. Meanwhile, they note the transition could prevent up to 200,000 premature deaths and save up to $800 billion in environmental and health costs.

“Since announcing the nation’s emissions reduction pledge at the 2021 United Nations climate conference, the United States has taken steps in the right direction,” Abhyankar continued. “But a lot still needs to happen. What we are hoping is that this study will give some level of a blueprint of how it could be done.”

Source : The Hill

China Creates Yuan Liquidity Reserve Pool With BIS, Five Others

The People’s Bank of China will create a yuan reserve pool with the Bank for International Settlements and five other regulators to provide liquidity to participating economies in periods of market volatility.

China along with Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Chile will each contribute a minimum of 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) or US dollar equivalent to so-called Renminbi Liquidity Arrangement, according to a PBOC statement on Saturday. The funds will be placed with the BIS.

“When in need of liquidity, participating central banks would not only be able to draw down on their contributions, but would also gain access to additional funding through a collateralised liquidity window,” according to the statement.

The agreement marks the latest step from Beijing to push the internationalization of the Chinese currency, challenging a global financial system dominated by the US dollar.

Source : BNN Bloomberg