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B.C. study finds low but increased risk of myocarditis after 2nd Moderna COVID shot

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A Canadian study suggests cases of heart muscle inflammation related to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are rare but higher than expected among young men who got a second dose of Moderna compared with those who were administered Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine.

Lead author Dr. Naveed Janjua, an epidemiologist at the BC Centre for Disease Control, said the findings related to second doses for both vaccines show men between the ages of 18 and 29 are most at risk of myocarditis if they received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

He said the study bolsters previous research elsewhere with more robust data, which is based on hospitalizations, emergency room visits and lab tests in British Columbia after 10.2 million doses of both vaccines were administered to those aged 12 and over between December 2020 and March 2022.

The study, published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, used the data to determine if people sought care for myocarditis seven and 21 days following vaccination.

About seven million doses of Pfizer and 3.2 million doses of Moderna were administered. Nearly four million first doses were given, along with 3.8 million second doses and nearly 2.4 million third shots.

Researchers identified 99 cases of myocarditis among a total of 10.2 million doses that were administered. They expected to see about seven cases, most of them among females, based on what would have been typical. Instead, the study showed 80 males developed myocarditis, and 19 females.

Most cases were among men and after the second dose. On average, the males were younger than females, age 28 versus 45 among cases within seven days, and age 31 versus age 49 among cases within 21 days.

Out of 100,000 second doses of Moderna administered to men between the ages of 18 and 29, the study found 22 cases of myocarditis. That compares with five cases for those who received a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine per 100,000 men in that age group.

However, seven days after a third dose of Moderna, the findings show there were four cases of the heart condition per 100,000 doses in that age group, versus three cases per 100,000 doses following a booster of Pfizer.

Cases of myocarditis are typically mild for young men who seek medical help for chest pain following vaccination, Janjua said, adding treatment involves monitoring of symptoms, sometimes in hospital, as their condition may resolve with or without medication.

“When I say mild, I mean self-resolving. So, these were people who had illness for one or two days, or three days, and then they recovered. When we compare that with a COVID infection-related myocarditis, we see that (condition) stays for a very long time, that for 10 to 12 days people were admitted to hospital.”

Symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath or a rapid or abnormal heart rhythm.

Myocarditis can occur for various reasons, he said, including a viral infection like the flu, for example, typically among older people.

“We don’t expect any residual effects given the mildness of illness,” Janjua said of myocarditis involving mRNA vaccines administered to young men, who are otherwise not susceptible to the condition.

Authors of the study say they support the use of Pfizer for second shots among men between the ages of 18 and 29, based on their findings. That’s in keeping with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendation last December, when it said Pfizer is preferable for first and second doses over Moderna for those between the ages of 12 and 29.

For booster shots, NACI said in a statement that Pfizer “may be preferred” for those aged 18 to 29.

Earlier this month, the agency said there is currently no evidence to suggest any meaningful difference in protection between different bivalent booster vaccines targeting the original COVID-19 strain and the Omicron subvariant, “nor any clinical trials directly comparing the Moderna (50 mcg) and Pfizer-BioNTech (30 mcg) bivalent booster products.”

Authors of the British Columbia-based study found there is little to no difference in myocarditis rates between Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech following a third dose.

Janjua, who is also a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of population and public health, said that may be because Moderna slashed the dosage by half to 50 micrograms for the booster shot, while it remained the same for Pfizer’s booster, at 30 micrograms.

“Moderna had a better response compared to Pfizer,” Janjua said of the primary doses. “But, of course, with the higher dose, you may see some of these complications, such as myocarditis.”

Moderna did not respond to requests for comment on the study or the risk of myocarditis from second doses.

Cases of post-COVID-19 vaccination linked with myocarditis and pericarditis, inflammation of the two-layered sac surrounding the heart, have been reported internationally since 2021 among males as young as 12, prompting ongoing research.

A study published in January in the Journal of the American Medical Association with research that included the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was based on data seven days following a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.

For men aged 18 to 24, it reported 56 cases per million doses after the Moderna vaccine compared with 52 cases per million doses for those who received a second shot of Pfizer.

Janjua said researchers elsewhere are trying to determine why males face a higher risk of myocarditis linked to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines compared with females, but hormonal differences related to immunity are believed to be a factor.

While most cases have been mild and resolved quickly, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization strongly recommended last December that people aged 12 to 29 receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Overall, Janjua said the risk of complications from a COVID-19 infection is much higher than developing myocarditis from a Moderna vaccine, which he would advise if there is no other choice.

“Go with whatever is available to reduce your risk of getting infected.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2022.

This story was produced with financial assistance from the Canadian Medical Association.

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

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Several Vitamins Recalled Due to Potential Metal Contamination, Including Products Sold at Costco and Walmart

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Several types of vitamins, including some popular brands sold at major retailers like Costco and Walmart, are being recalled due to the possible presence of metal fibers. Health Canada issued three recall statements on Friday, highlighting the affected products and advising consumers on the necessary steps.

Among the brands involved in the recall is Kirkland Signature, a staple at Costco, along with Webber Naturals and other brands sold at multiple retailers across Canada, including Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart.

The vitamins listed in the recall are:

  • Kirkland Signature: B100 Complex Timed Release
  • Life: Vitamin B Complex with Vitamin C
  • Option+ & Life: Prenatal Multi-vitamins 100 Tablets with Folic Acid, Spectrum Prenatal Postpartum, Multivitamins & Minerals Women, Spectrum Women 22 Vitamins & Minerals plus Lutein, Lycopene
  • Webber Naturals: B50 Complex Timed Release, Most Complete Multi Womens 50+ One Per Day, Most Complete Multi Mens 50+ One Per Day, Vitamin B50 Complex
  • Wellness by London Drugs, Option+ & Life: Multi Women/Femmes 50+ with Lycopene and Lutein Multivitamin and Mineral, Multivitamin & Minerals Women 50+, 50+ SPECTRUM Women/Femmes 50+ 23 Vitamins & Minerals plus Lutein, Lycopene
  • Wellquest, Equate, Option+, Wellness by London Drugs & Life: Vitamin B100 Complex, Timed Release
  • Natural Factors: Hi Potency B Complex, RevitalX, Super Multi® IRON FREE
  • VegiDay Vegan Organic ALL IN ONE: VegiDay Vegan Organic ALL IN ONE

Health Canada advises consumers who have purchased any of the affected products to consult their healthcare provider before discontinuing use and to monitor for any health concerns.

Customers with concerns or questions can contact the recall firm directly. Additionally, any side effects or health product safety complaints should be reported to Health Canada.

For more detailed information, you can access the three Health Canada notices, which are listed under the Factors Group of Nutritional Companies Inc. recall, on the Health Canada website.

This recall serves as a reminder to consumers to stay vigilant about product safety and to follow recall advisories to ensure their health and well-being.

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8 Tips for Incorporating More Fruits into Your Dessert

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Incorporating more fruits into your desserts is not just a way to enhance flavours, but also a smart approach to add nutritional value to your treats. While desserts are often indulged as guilty pleasures, introducing fruits can transform these moments into healthier delights, enriching them with vitamins, minerals, and fibres. Whether you’re a home cook looking to improve your family’s diet or a culinary expert aiming to innovate your menu, adding fruits offers a myriad of benefits. These range from boosting the aesthetic appeal of your dishes with vibrant colours to enhancing the natural sweetness with a lower calorie count.

The tips provided here will help you seamlessly integrate more fruits into your dessert recipes, making them irresistibly wholesome and appealing to all ages. This approach not only caters to the health-conscious consumer but also opens up a palette of fresh, tantalizing flavours that can redefine what dessert means.

Explore Variety

Diversity is key in enriching desserts with fruits. Experiment with different textures and flavours, from berries to tropical fruits. This variety ensures each bite is unique and delightful. Try combining sour cherries with sweet mangoes, or add citrus segments to balance richer desserts. Even blending frozen bananas into a creamy texture can mimic ice cream. Consider adding a double fudge bar frozen dessert to your fruit platter for an indulgent twist.

Use Fresh and Seasonal Fruits

Seasonal fruits offer the best in flavour and nutrition. Incorporate fresh, local produce into your desserts to capture peak tastiness. Fresh strawberries or peaches can elevate simple dishes like ice cream or cakes. Local farmers’ markets are ideal for finding the freshest options. Remember, the closer the fruit is grown to its consumption point, the more nutrients it retains. This approach supports local agriculture as well.

Make Fruit the Star

Create desserts where fruits are the main attraction. Dishes like fruit tarts or berry-packed pavlovas highlight the natural sweetness of fruits, reducing the need for added sugars. Let fruits dictate the dessert’s flavour profile and design, focusing on the natural colours to attract the eye. This strategy can make even simple dishes feel luxurious and crafted with care. Plus, it often leads to lighter, less calorie-dense desserts.

Opt for Healthier Preparations

Instead of always baking or frying, try raw preparations or use healthier cooking methods like grilling or poaching. Grilled pineapple or poached pears offer a delightful texture and are easy to prepare. These methods preserve the integrity and nutritional value of the fruit better than baking or frying. Cooking fruit in this way can also unlock new flavours, enhancing your dessert experience. Try brushing fruit with a little honey or maple syrup before grilling for a caramelized finish.

Experiment with Spices

Spices can enhance the natural flavour of fruits. A dash of cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla complements fruits like apples and pears beautifully, adding complexity to any dessert. Nutmeg and ginger are also excellent with juicy fruits like peaches and plums. Experimenting with spices can transform a simple fruit dish into an exotic and enticing dessert. Such additions are simple but effective ways to elevate the taste without added sugar.

Incorporate Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are concentrated in flavour and can be a great addition to desserts. Sprinkle raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dates over oatmeal cookies or mix them into homemade granola bars for a chewy texture. Dried fruits work well in baked goods because they provide a burst of sweetness and texture. They are also perfect for decorating cakes and adding to snack mixes. Be mindful of the sugar content in store-bought dried fruits, opting for unsweetened varieties when available.

Create Colourful Fruit Layers

Layer fruits in parfaits, trifles, or cakes to create visually appealing and delicious desserts. Layers of colourful fruits not only look spectacular, but also offer varied flavours and textures. This layering technique can be applied in smoothie bowls and gelatin desserts for a stunning visual effect. Try to choose fruits that contrast in colour and texture for the most striking presentations. These desserts are particularly appealing to children and can make eating fruit more exciting for them.

Finish with A Healthy Twist

Top off your desserts with a nutritious twist, such as a dollop of Greek yogurt or a sprinkle of nuts and seeds for extra crunch and nutrients. These additions provide a contrast in textures and increase the health benefits of your dessert. Nuts add healthy fats and proteins, making the dessert more satisfying. Consider using a drizzle of natural sweeteners like honey or agave nectar to enhance flavour without resorting to refined sugars. Such finishes not only improve taste but also boost nutritional value, aligning with a healthier lifestyle.

Incorporating fruits into your desserts is an enjoyable way to make your sweet dishes healthier and more flavourful. By using fruits in various forms, from frozen to dried, and employing them in creative ways, such as natural sweeteners or vibrant toppings, you can transform any dessert into a delightful and nutritious treat. So next time you prepare a dessert, remember these tips and enjoy the added benefits of fruits in your culinary creations.

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5 Life-Transforming Tips to Make it More Fun-Filled

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Everyone wants to make the most out of life. From personal life to establishing a successful career, enjoyment is all that people crave the most. But the key to happiness is having fun most of the time. It can be challenging to find time and moments of fun in the routine as life becomes boring and dull for many.

However, you can cultivate your mindset and embrace more pleasure and laughter in your everyday routine. To transform your boring and dull life into a fun-filled one, here are a few tips that you can consider in this blog.

Read on to explore!

 

1.    Start Enjoying Little Moments

The fun doesn’t need to come from an extensive and spectacular event happening around your life all the time. There are so many small moments in your life that can turn into more fun. All you have to do is embrace those little times in your life and be happy.

For example, you can give yourself a little break from a hectic day and enjoy some chocolate. Or you can make time to enjoy things that you like.

 

2.    Be Spontaneous In Life

Just like life becomes unexpected most of the time, you can be a little unpredictable with it as well. To bring fun to your life, you can work on being more open to new and unplanned experiences.

If you get an invitation for any activity, event, or sport, don’t say no to it. Getting to indulge in more social activities will help you create new memories and experience new thrills in life.

 

3.    Bring a Furry Friend in Life

A boring life can easily distance you from fun. To embrace joy in life, having a furry company can do wonders. You can cherish love and warmth and have little moments of joy with a furry one.

If you don’t have a furry companion, you’re majorly missing joy. It’s time for you to look for the best puppy-selling company, such as Fou Fou Puppie’s website, to bring a cute puppy into your life.

 

4.    Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness will help you to live the present to the fullest. As most people worry more about their future, it makes them overlook the current joys of life.

What you can consider best to bring fun to your life is practicing mindfulness for at least 2 minutes. Let go of all the thoughts that pop into your head and focus on the positive aspects of living.

 

5.    Participate More in Fun Activities

There should be no excuse for having fun in life as there are many low-cost fun activities for the community that you can explore to have fun. It can be simple, but it prevents you from living a boring and less-inspiring life.

For example, you can call your group of friends to have coffee together and share more laughter, or you can go to the movies to unwind yourself. These activities will not cost you a fortune and allow you to make the most out of your day, week, and month.

 

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