The World’s First Sustainable Face Mask Made Using Vietnamese Coffee

AirX has been introduced as the world’s first face mask made from Vietnamese coffee. The mask is produced using 100% vegan components and is antibacterial, reusable, and biodegradable.

The creation of the mask is in response to the increasing environmental damage caused by the disposal of millions of tons of face masks and medical waste caused by the global spread of the coronavirus. According to statistics, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mainland China, 116 million tons of masks were consumed every day. And during the peak of the outbreak, hospitals in Wuhan released about 240 tons of medical waste every day. While most of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million people have been utilizing single-use face masks daily.

Thanh Le, the founder of ShoeX, said, “AirX is not just a recommendation to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but preserve the planet as well.”

AirX antimicrobial face masks offer 99.99% dual antibacterial technology with 2 layers of protection. The first layer is woven from coffee yarn using PowerKnit technology and provides a comfortable fit for sensitive skin. The mask has a biodegradable filter inside developed by silver nanotechnology and coffee. It is washable, reusable, and its filter does not need to be washed and lasts for 30 days. The mask has a natural coffee aroma while offering UV Ray protection. It is available in several designs and colors.

AirX has obtained the AATCC 100 certification, the textile industry’s standard for antimicrobial fabric performance in the US, from third-party QUATEST 3.

“The face mask deserves to have a longer life than just one-time use. Eco-friendliness, according to us, is not the only selling point of AirX because we all need to take it by default, as a proactive step towards cleaner living habits,” Thanh Le said.

“For the next development, we have successfully embedded technology in producing recycled AirX coffee masks with the N95 feature, the product will be launched soon to the demanding market,” The founder unveiled.

Thanh Le also shared, “The best thing about AirX is being the first step to deliver a healthy solution with 100% vegan components that everyone can buy. It is not too difficult or expensive to start being mindful of our consumption habits for environmentally friendly, natural, and green products. With current resources, AirX can supply to mass production with quantity up to 10,000 masks daily, associated with high demand rate for face masks globally.”

Founded in 2013, Canada-based, Veritas Bespoke, has invented a new approach to the traditional shoe-making method by creating bespoke lasts from 3D scanning technology used in orthopedics footwear. In 2019, ShoeX brands launched sustainable coffee shoes, the ShoeXcoffee. The newly introduced AirX coffee mask is ready to launch in Vietnam and worldwide.

Source: Vegconomist

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash


1 butternut squash
1 Tbsp olive oil


2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks
1 yellow onion, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
85 g wild rice
85 g white rice
60 g walnuts, chopped
50 g dried cranberries
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then put both halves on a baking tray, cut-side up.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil on top of each squash and rub around to coat. Bake for 60-75 minutes until the squash is cooked and fork tender.
  4. Once baked, remove the squash from the oven. Let it cool enough so that you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh in the centre of both squash halves, leaving about a 2.5-cm border all around. Chop the scooped-out squash flesh and set aside.
  5. Prepare the stuffing while the squash is baking. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat. When hot, sauté the carrots, celery, onion and garlic until the veggies soften and begin to brown.
  6. Add the wild rice and veggie broth to the pan, give it a stir, then cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the white rice to the pan, cover and continue to cook another 8-10 minutes until the rice absorbs the broth.
  8. Add the walnuts, dried cranberries, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. When ready, add in the squash flesh. Stir well to combine.
  9. Pack in as much of the stuffing into both sides of the squash as you can. Pick up one squash half and flip it on top of the other. Use kitchen string to tie up the squash in 3 or 4 places, holding it together.
  10. Lightly brush the top with more olive oil. Bake for 20-35 minutes until hot all the way through. Season the top with cracked pepper and a sprinkle of chopped sage. Carefuly cut into slices and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Vegan Food and Living

What’s for Lunch?

Vegetarian Set Lunch at Lotus Vegecafe in Toyohashi, Japan

The Menu

  • Soybean Nugget
  • Deep-fried Bamboo Shoots
  • Oven-baked Quinoa and Potato in Soy Milk Cream
  • Mixed Vegetables and Soy Pulp
  • Miso Pickled Fuki
  • Stir-fried Assorted Mushrooms and Amaranth with Garlic
  • Curry-flavoured Macaroni Salad
  • Seaweed with Wasabi Dressing
  • Spring Cabbage Salad with Amazake and Carrot Dressing
  • Soy Milk Soup with Chickpea and Cabbage
  • Cooked Sprouted Brown Rice

Study: Cognition and Gait Speed Often Decline Together

Will Sansom wrote . . . . . . . . .

Do thinking and walking go hand in hand in determining the health course of senior adults? A study published by UT Health San Antonio researchers found that, indeed, the two functions often parallel each other in determining a person’s health trajectory.

The researchers analyzed data from 370 participants in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA) and found that they grouped into three distinct trajectories. These classifications were based on the participants’ changes on a cognitive measure and a gait speed task over an average of 9½ years:

  • Stable cognition and gait class (65.4% of the participants).
  • Cognitive and physical vulnerability class (22.2%).
  • Physical vulnerability class (12.4%).

“In our community-based sample of Mexican American and European American older adults aged 65 to 74 years old at baseline, the majority of individuals began the study with higher scores in both domains, cognition and gait speed. During follow-up, this group demonstrated resilience to age-related declines and continued to be functionally independent,” said study senior author Helen Hazuda, Ph.D., professor in UT Health San Antonio’s Long School of Medicine and the principal investigator of SALSA.

“In contrast, one-fifth of individuals began the study with lower scores in cognition and gait speed. They experienced deterioration in each domain during the follow-up period,” Dr. Hazuda said.

The third group of individuals, termed the physical vulnerability class, demonstrated stable cognition throughout the study, but their gait speed slowed over time.

2 effects, 1 root?

Cognition was assessed using English or Spanish versions of the Folstein Mini-Mental State Examination, a 30-item tool that assesses orientation to time and place, attention, recall, language and other aspects. Gait speed was measured with a timed 10-foot walk.

“For most of the population we studied, changes in cognition and gait speed were parallel, which suggests shared mechanisms,” said Mitzi M. Gonzales, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a neuropsychologist with the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, which is part of UT Health San Antonio.

Cognition and gait speed may be altered by blood vessel disease, brain tissue insults, hormone regulation, and abnormal deposits of amyloid beta and tau proteins in the brain, Dr. Gonzales said. Amyloid beta and tau deposits are well-known indicators of Alzheimer’s disease but may impact gait, too.

“Abnormal protein deposition promotes neurodegeneration and synaptic loss, which may induce dysfunction in brain regions governing cognition and gait,” said study coauthor Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor of neurology in the Long School of Medicine and director of the Biggs Institute. “Another possibility is damage to white matter in regions integral to both cognition and gait coordination.”

Groundbreaking San Antonio research

SALSA investigators led by Dr. Hazuda launched the study in 1992 and completed the baseline examination in 1996. Follow-up examinations were conducted at 18-month intervals between 2000 and 2005.

Among the 370 participants in this new analysis, 182 were Mexican American and 188 were European American. The Mexican American participants were almost four times more likely than European Americans to be in the cognitive and physical vulnerability class, even after statistical adjustment for educational attainment, income and chronic medical conditions, Dr. Gonzales said.

Prevalence of a key risk factor in this group, diabetes, was significantly higher in Mexican Americans (23%) than in European Americans (7%). Diabetes was associated with a 4½ times higher likelihood of being part of the cognitive and physical vulnerability class.

Poor start, poor course

Individuals who entered the study with poorer cognition and slower gait speed went on to decline in both domains at an accelerated pace through the years of follow-up, Dr. Hazuda said.

“In this at-risk group, we observed steeper rates of decline over and above the low starting point,” Dr. Hazuda said. “This suggests that preventive efforts should ideally target young and middle-aged adults in which there is still time to intervene to alter the trajectories.”

Overall, individuals in the cognitive and physical vulnerability class and the physical vulnerability class had a five- to sevenfold increased risk of mortality in comparison to the stable cognition and gait class.

The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry published the study in April.

Source: The University of Texas

Long-term Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors Could Increase the Risk of Developing Dementia

“We’ve been able to show that proton pump inhibitors affect the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a significant part in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease,” says Taher Darreh-Shori, senior researcher at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet. “Since there’s no effective treatment for the disease, it’s important to avoid risk factors. We therefore want to draw attention to this so that the drugs aren’t used needlessly for a long time.”

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) work by blocking the pumps that transport acidic hydrogen ions from the cells that form the mucosa. When the pumps are out of action, there is a reduction in acid and, ultimately, the corrosive damage it does to tissue. Population studies have previously shown higher rates of dementia in people using PPIs (see background material), but what form such a connection could take has remained unknown – until now.

Inhibited synthetization of important neurotransmitter

First, the researchers used 3D computer simulations to examine how six PPI variants based on different active substances interacted with an enzyme called choline acetyletransferase, the function of which is to synthesize the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. As a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine is needed for passing signals among nerve cells, but this only works if enough of the substance is produced. The simulations showed that all the tested drugs were able to bind with the enzyme.

The researchers then analysed the effect of this binding. They found that all the drugs inhibited the enzyme, resulting in a reduced production of acetylcholine, where the stronger the binding, the stronger the inhibitory effect. Drugs based on the active substances omeprazole, esomeprazole, tenatoprazole and rabeprazole had the greatest affinity and were therefore the strongest inhibitors of the enzyme, while the variants pantoprazole and lansoprazole were the weakest (see illustration).

Complementary studies are now needed to examine whether these laboratory observations represent what occurs in the body. However, Darreh-Shori is already advising against the overuse of PPIs.

Avoid excessive use

“Special care should be taken with the more elderly patients and those already diagnosed with dementia,” he says. “The same also applies to patients with muscle weakness diseases such as ALS, as acetylcholine is an essential motor neurotransmitter. In such cases, doctors should use the drugs that have the weakest effect and prescribe them at lowest dose and for as short a time as possible.”

“I would, however, like to stress that the correct use of the drugs is safe also in the elderly, as long as the drugs are used for a limited time and when they’re really needed, as our nervous system is pretty flexible when it comes to tolerating short-term impact,” he adds.

Source: Karolinska Institutet

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