New Donut of Mister Donut in Japan

Mugyutto donuts (むぎゅっとドーナツ) with 4 flavours

The prices of the donuts are from 130 yen to 150 yen (plus tax) each.

Research Identifies Link Between Gut Microbes and Stroke

New findings from Cleveland Clinic researchers show for the first time that the gut microbiome impacts stroke severity and functional impairment following stroke. The results, published in Cell Host & Microbe, lay the groundwork for potential new interventions to help treat or prevent stroke.

The research was led by Weifei Zhu, Ph.D., and Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. The study builds on more than a decade of research spearheaded by Dr. Hazen and his team related to the gut microbiome’s role in cardiovascular health and disease, including the adverse effects of TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) – a byproduct produced when gut bacteria digest certain nutrients abundant in red meat and other animal products.

“In this study we found that dietary choline and TMAO produced greater stroke size and severity, and poorer outcomes in animal models,” said Dr. Hazen, chair of the Department of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Sciences and director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Microbiome & Human Health. “Remarkably, simply transplanting gut microbes capable of making TMAO was enough to cause a profound change in stroke severity.”

Previously, Dr. Hazen and his team discovered that elevated TMAO levels can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease. In clinical studies involving thousands of patients, they have shown that blood levels of TMAO predict future risk of heart attack, stroke and death -findings that have been replicated around the world. Earlier studies, also led by Drs. Zhu and Hazen, were the first to show a link between TMAO and enhanced risk for blood clotting.

“This new study expands on these findings, and for the first time provides proof that gut microbes in general – and through TMAO specifically – can directly impact stroke severity or post-stroke functional impairment,” said Dr. Hazen.

The researchers compared brain damage in preclinical stroke models between those with elevated or reduced TMAO levels. Over time, those with higher levels of TMAO had more extensive brain damage and a greater degree of motor and cognitive functional deficits following stroke. The researchers also found that dietary changes that alter TMAO levels, such as eating less red meat and eggs, impacted stroke severity.

“Functionality after a stroke – which occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked – is a major concern for patients,” said Dr. Hazen, who is also co-section head of Preventive Cardiology & Cardiac Rehabilitation in Cleveland Clinic’s Miller Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. “To understand if choline and TMAO affect post-stroke functionality, in addition to stroke severity, we compared performance on various tasks pre-stroke, and then both in the short- and long-term following stroke.”

The team found that a gut microbe enzyme critical to TMAO production called CutC drove heightened stroke severity and worsened outcomes.

According to Dr. Zhu, targeting this gut microbe enzyme may be a promising approach to prevent stroke. “When we genetically silenced the gut microbe gene that encodes CutC, stroke severity significantly diminished,” she said. “Ongoing research is exploring this treatment approach, as well as the potential for dietary interventions to help reduce TMAO levels and stroke risk, since both a Western diet and a diet rich in red meat are known to elevate TMAO levels. Switching to plant-based protein sources helps to lower TMAO.”

Source: Cleveland Clinic

Israel Says the Delta Variant Is Infecting Vaccinated People, Representing As Many As 50% of New Cases

Marianne Guenot wrote . . . . . . . . .

As Israel faces a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, its health officials suggested that as many as half of new cases were among people who’d been vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated people who’ve come into contact with the Delta variant will have to quarantine, Chezy Levy, the director-general of Israel’s health ministry, said on Wednesday, Haaretz reported.

“Even though the numbers are low, the fact that this is reaching vaccinated people means … that we are still checking how many vaccinated people have also been infected,” Levy said, according to Haaretz.

Levy told the state broadcaster Kan Bet that about 40% to 50% of new cases appeared to be people who had been vaccinated, Haaretz reported. He did not appear to specify a time frame for the new cases.

The figure is likely an estimate, as the ministry is still analyzing the cases. On Monday, Levy said that a third of the new daily cases were people who had been vaccinated.

It also wasn’t clear whether those people had been fully or partially vaccinated.

Though they are preliminary, the figures underline the worry that the Delta variant could mean the virus continues to spread even in places like Israel where large portions of the population have been vaccinated.

New daily cases reported in Israel have jumped to over 100 (205 on June 24), the highest level there since May. About 70% of the cases have been caused by the Delta variant, Levy said on Monday.

Israel had been ending its virus restrictions — it ended indoor masking last week as daily cases hovered in the single digits.

As of Thursday, about 57% of Israel’s population had been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Though the infections among vaccinated people have alarmed Israelis, the infections do not appear to be as severe as they are in unvaccinated people.

As of Monday, no severe cases of COVID-19 had been reported from the latest surge, Ran Balicer, an executive at the Israeli healthcare organization Clalit, said in a tweet.

Of all the coronavirus variants, the Delta variant could pose the greatest risk to vaccinated people. Research suggests it’s better able to break through in people who’ve had only one dose of two-dose vaccines, such as those from Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

On Monday, Mike Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s health-emergencies program, said the Delta variant could “be more lethal because it’s more efficient in the way it transmits between humans.”

Two doses of the vaccines appear to be protective against Delta.

An analysis by UK health officials found that two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine were 88% effective against Delta while a single shot was 33% effective. That’s compared with 95% efficacy against the original strain, or 52% after one shot.

But no vaccine is 100% effective, and so-called breakthrough cases are still possible.

With other variants, breakthrough infections were mostly mild.

In the UK, where the Delta variant makes up more than 90% of cases, 26 of 73 total deaths associated with the Delta variant were among people who had been fully vaccinated, The Telegraph reported this week.

Source : Business Insider

Read also at Haaretz

Israel to Reinstate Indoor Mask Mandate Next Week as COVID Delta Variant Spreads . . . . .

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FDA to Add Warning About Rare Heart Inflammation to Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines

Michael Erman and Manojna Maddipatla wrote . . . . . . . . .

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday it plans to move quickly to add a warning about rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults to fact sheets for the Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory groups, meeting to discuss reported cases of the heart condition after vaccination, found the inflammation in adolescents and young adults is likely linked to the vaccines, but that the benefits of the shots appeared to clearly outweigh the risk.

Moderna shares closed down 4.2%, while Pfizer fell 1.4%.

Pfizer, whose vaccine has been authorized for use in Americans as young as 12, said in a statement that it is aware of the reports of myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA vaccination. It said that the benefit risk profile of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine “remains positive”.

Moderna said it is aware of reports of heart inflammation cases following administration of mRNA vaccines and is working with regulators.

Health regulators in several countries have been investigating whether the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots using new mRNA technology present a risk and, if so, how serious.

The CDC said that patients with heart inflammation following vaccination generally recover from the symptoms and do well.

The U.S. Department of Health And Human Services, joined by leading U.S. doctors groups and public health officials, put out a statement underscoring that the vaccines are safe and effective and that the heart side effect is “extremely rare.”

“We strongly encourage everyone age 12 and older who are eligible to receive the vaccine under Emergency Use Authorization to get vaccinated,” it said.

Doctors and hospitals have been warned by the CDC to watch for symptoms of myocarditis or pericarditis, and the FDA warning will further raise awareness.

Concerns about the more highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant taking hold in the United States, and its impact on younger people, have added to the urgency to increase vaccinations even as the inoculation effort here has slowed considerably.


“Based on the available data, a warning statement in the factsheets for both healthcare providers and vaccine recipients and caregivers would be warranted,” FDA official Doran Fink said at the advisory committee meeting.

Fink, deputy director of the agency’s vaccines division, said the FDA expects to move quickly to add the warning after the meeting concludes.

The cases of heart inflammation appear to be notably higher in the week after the second vaccine dose and in males. The CDC identified 309 hospitalizations from the heart inflammation in persons under the age of 30, of which 295 have been discharged.

Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, said in a presentation that data from one of the agency’s safety monitoring systems – Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) – suggests a rate of 12.6 cases per million in the three weeks after the second shot in 12- to 39-year-olds.

“We’re observing this in the younger age groups, mainly in people in the teens and early 20s, and observing it more in males, compared to females,” Shimabukuro said. “This effect largely kind of disappears once you get into these older age groups – individuals 50 and over.”

The CDC has been investigating heart inflammation cases mainly in young men for several months. The Israeli health ministry earlier this month said it saw a possible link between such cases and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. read more

The CDC said it was still assessing the risk from the condition and did not specifically confirm a causal relationship between the vaccines and the heart issue.

It did, however, say that a much-higher-than expected number of young men between the ages of 12 and 24 have experienced heart inflammation after their second vaccine dose.

According to data from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), there were 347 observed cases of heart inflammation in the week after the second vaccine dose in males aged 12 to 24. That compares with expectations of 12 or fewer cases for males in that age range based on U.S. population background incidence rates, the CDC said.

Over 138 million Americans have so far been fully vaccinated with one of the two mRNA vaccines, according to CDC data as of Monday.

Source : Reuters