First-ever Plant-based Pudding from Ezaki Glico, Japan

No milk and egg in the pudding

Soy milk, cane sugar and almond are used in the pudding.

The price for a family pack (65 g x 3 ) is 200 yen and a large 155 g pudding is 140 yen.

Chickpea and Citrus Chicken Salad


1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups cooked, diced chicken breast meat
3 cups canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 small red (Spanish) onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
6 cups mixed salad greens
3/4 cup chopped fresh mint


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until well blended.
  2. Add the chicken, beans, cucumber, onion, and raisins, stirring and tossing to coat well.
  3. To serve, divide the salad greens among individual plates. Top each with an equal amount of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the mint.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Consumer Safety: Lip Balms Found to Contain Substances Posing Health Risk

Cannix Yau wrote . . . . . . . . .

More of half of lip balm models sold in Hong Kong contained potentially carcinogenic substances, while 80 per cent included mineral oil ingredients that could inflame internal organs, the Consumer Council said on Monday.

The watchdog called on cosmetics manufacturers to review the ingredients in their lip balms and how they are made to reduce the amount of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) and mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH).

The council tested 45 models, priced between HK$13 and HK$505, and found 23 had MOAH mixtures, with Vaseline Intensive Care Lip Essence (Advanced) containing the highest concentration, at 4.5 per cent.

Some overseas consumer organisations had suggested people minimise exposure to MOAH substances as much as possible, said Dr Lui Wing-cheong, vice-chairman of the council’s research and testing committee.

The manufacturer of Vaseline said its production process included removing all carcinogens from MOAH mixtures, rendering them harmless.

The Consumer Council said 36 models, or 80 per cent of those tested, contained potentially harmful MOSH, including all that claimed to offer sunscreen protection.

MOSH can accumulate in the body and possibly be linked to lipogranulomas – a type of inflammation – in the liver, spleen, lymphatic system and other organs.

“Based on the model detected with the highest amount, in one year of usage one may ingest 10.3 grams of long-chained MOSH substances, an intake amount that gives rise to concern,” Lui said, referring to the structure of mineral oil hydrocarbons, which had either long or short carbon atom chains.

Among the models, five with short-chained MOSH substances failed to limit them to 5 per cent as recommended by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. The tested model with the highest proportion was Palmers’ Cocoa Butter Formula Ultra Moisturising Lip Balm Sunscreen Stick, at 40.8 per cent.

The long-chained MOSH mixtures in 14 models failed to meet the 10 per cent threshold recommended by the European Consumer Organisation, with QV’s SPF 30 Lip Balm reaching 49.7 per cent.

Lui said people who used such products, as well as children and pregnant women, should avoid using ones with mineral oils as a major ingredient.

Parents should be aware that children might use some flavoured or scented lip balm products often, which could lead to a higher intake of mineral oil substances, he said.

The tests also found that more than 90 per cent – 41 samples – contained fragrance allergens, with five containing elevated levels, ranging from 0.85 per cent to about 2.1 per cent. “Consumers who are allergic to fragrance substances should be more cautious,” Lui said.

The labelling on most models was unsatisfactory, with nine failing to include a detailed list of ingredients.

“The council urged manufacturers to improve product ingredients labels swiftly and enhance information transparency of product composition to allow consumers to make informed choices,” Lui said.

But council chief executive Gilly Wong Fung-han admitted it was difficult to call on Hong Kong authorities to set benchmarks for MOAH and MOSH content in cosmetics as no limits had been established by a recognised global body.

“But we call for manufacturers not to use these substances to produce lip balms. And in terms of labelling, they can do far better,” she said.

Source: SCMP

Study Details First Known Person-to-person Transmission of New Coronavirus in U.S.

Person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred between two people with prolonged, unprotected exposure while the first patient was symptomatic. Despite active monitoring and testing of 372 contacts of both cases, no further transmission was detected

New research published in The Lancet, describes in detail the first locally-transmitted case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, in the USA, from a woman who had recently travelled to China and transmitted the infection to her husband. No further transmission was detected, despite monitoring contacts for symptoms and testing all those who developed fever, cough, or shortness of breath, as well as a sample of asymptomatic healthcare professionals who had come into contact with the patients.

On January 23, 2020, Illinois reported the state’s first laboratory-confirmed case (index case) of COVID-19 in a woman in her 60s who returned from Wuhan, China in mid-January, 2020. Subsequently, the first evidence of secondary transmission in the USA was reported on January 30, when her husband, who had not travelled outside the USA but had frequent, close contact with his wife since her return, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Public health authorities conducted an intensive epidemiologic investigation of the two confirmed cases. This study describes the clinical and laboratory features of both patients and the assessment and monitoring of several hundred individuals with potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

In total, 372 individuals were identified as potential contacts — 347 of these people were actively monitored after confirmation of exposure to the woman or her husband on or after the day of symptom onset (including 152 community contacts and 195 healthcare professionals). There were 25 people that had insufficient contact information to complete active monitoring. A convenience sample of 32 asymptomatic healthcare personnel contacts were also tested.

These 347 contacts underwent active symptom monitoring for 14 days following their last exposure. Of these, 43 contacts who developed fever, cough, or shortness of breath were isolated and tested for SARS-CoV-2, as well as asymptomatic healthcare professionals. All 75 individuals tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

On December 25, 2019, the female patient travelled to Wuhan where she visited a hospitalised relative and other family members with undiagnosed respiratory illness. On her return to the USA on January 13, 2020, she experienced six days of mild fever, fatigue, and cough before being hospitalised with pneumonia and testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Prior to hospitalisation she was living with her husband who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic cough. These conditions made it difficult to determine the timing of his symptom onset related to COVID-19. Eight days after his wife was admitted to hospital, the husband was also hospitalised with worsening shortness of breath and coughing up blood, and also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Both patients recovered and were discharged to home isolation, which was lifted 33 days after the woman returned from Wuhan, following two negative tests for SARS-CoV-2 taken 24 hours apart.

“This report suggests that person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 might be most likely to occur through unprotected, prolonged exposure to an individual with symptomatic COVID-19,” says Dr Jennifer Layden, Chief Medical Officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health, USA, who co-led the research. “Our experience of limited transmission of SARS-CoV-2 differs from Wuhan where transmission has been reported to occur across the wider community and among healthcare professionals, and from experiences of other similar coronaviruses. Nevertheless, healthcare facilities should rapidly triage and isolate individuals suspected of having COVID-19, and notify infection prevention services and local health departments for support in testing, management, and containment efforts.”

The authors emphasise that individuals who think they might have been exposed to COVID-19 and experiencing a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider before seeking help so that appropriate preventive actions can be taken.

“Although further detailed reports of contact investigations of COVID-19 cases could improve our understanding of the transmissibility of this novel virus, the absence of COVID-19 among healthcare professionals supports US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations around appropriate infection control,” explains co-lead author Dr Isaac Ghinai from the Illinois Department of Public Health, USA.

Co-lead author, Dr Tristan McPherson from the Chicago Department of Public Health, USA adds: “Without using appropriate facemasks or other personal protective equipment, individuals living in the same household as, or providing care in a non-healthcare setting for, a person with symptomatic COVID-19 are likely to be at high risk of infection. Current CDC recommendations for individuals with high-risk exposures to remain quarantined with no public activities might be effective in reducing onward person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”

The researchers acknowledge that these data are preliminary and note several limitations, including that the report describes only one known transmission event, therefore the findings may not be generalisable or representative of broader transmission patterns. They also point out that this investigation might not have identified all individuals with potential exposure to COVID-19 as it was dependent on the couples’ recall of the places they visited, the people they met, and the time of symptom onset. Finally, the investigation into these cases took place prior to updated CDC guidance on classifying exposure risk among contacts of patients with COVID-19. For example, updated guidance suggests that a sore throat should be included as a possible symptom of COVID-19 when evaluating healthcare workers, and indicates that a single PCR test, as used in all the contact tracing in this study, might not be sufficient to definitively rule out infection over a 14-day incubation period, and as a result some cases of COVID-19 might not have been detected.

Source: Science Daily

Study: Heart Drug Combos Might Also Lower Your Dementia Risk

Certain combinations of cholesterol and blood pressure drugs may do more than help the heart — they might also lower a person’s risk of dementia, a new study finds.

The drugs in question include two common types of blood pressure medications — ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) — as well as cholesterol-lowering statins.

It’s long been known that keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control is important for a healthy heart. But “this study tells us there might be certain combinations of drugs that have additional benefits for Alzheimer’s and other dementias beyond the management of those targeted conditions,” study co-author Douglas Barthold said in a University of Southern California news release.

Barthold is a research assistant professor in the department of pharmacy at the University of Washington in Seattle.

In the study, a team led by USC researcher Julie Zissimopoulos tracked 2007-2014 data from nearly 700,000 Medicare beneficiaries. The participants were ages 67 and older, and had used both a high blood pressure drug and a cholesterol-lowering statin drug for the two previous years. None had been diagnosed with dementia, and they had never taken any Alzheimer’s disease-specific medications.

The use of the statins pravastatin and rosuvastatin, combined with ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) for high blood pressure, was associated with a reduced risk for dementia, compared to other combinations of drugs.

One combination — pravastatin or rosuvastatin in combination with ARBs — was especially good at lowering the risk, with men benefiting even more than women.

For example, using a combination of ARBs and pravastatin was associated with a 21% lower risk of dementia diagnosis over the seven years of the study, compared to other combinations of drugs, according to the study.

Dementia affects about 7 million Americans and that number is expected to increase to 12 million over the next two decades.

“We don’t currently have drugs that are proven to treat dementia, but even small delays in onset can dramatically reduce the burden on patients, caregivers, and the health system as a whole,” Zissimopoulos said in the release. She directs the Aging and Cognition program at USC’s Center for Health Policy and Economics. “Our research found dementia risk may be reduced with specific combinations of drug treatments for vascular health.”

If these findings are replicated in future research, they might lead to specific combinations of statins and high blood pressure drugs being recommended to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the researchers said.

Two experts in brain and heart health said the new findings make sense, given links between the two organs.

“Yet another study that says heart health equals brain health,” said Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist and psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

She said that besides using meds to better your heart health, people interested in keeping their brain healthy should consider “eating a Mediterranean diet, doing aerobic exercise 30-45 minutes three to four days a week, maintaining healthy sleep habits and having community involvement.”

Dr. Guy Mintz directs cardiovascular health at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. Reading over the findings, he said that “this choice of medications make sense because not only do ARBs reduce blood pressure, but they have an anti-inflammatory effect,” as do statins — and inflammation negatively affects blood vessel health in the brain.

“As we move into an era of precision medicine, the idea of targeted combination therapies for hypertension and cholesterol in patients over 67 years of age — translating to better vascular health in the brain and leading to a reduction of brain dysfunction — is exciting and warrants further research,” Mintz said.

The study was published recently in the journal PLOS One.

Source: HealthDay

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