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Lawrie McFarlane: Could a vaccine prevent type 1 diabetes? – Times Colonist

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There has been some encouraging news on the health-research front. Several studies underway suggest that it may in future be possible to vaccinate against some forms of type 1 diabetes.

At present, there are no medications that cure either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

We’re dealing here with an auto-immune disorder, in which the patient’s body attacks the insulin-producing mechanism located in the pancreas. In less-severe cases of type 2, the damage may be limited, meaning the pancreas still produces a diminished amount of insulin. That can often be managed with diet changes.

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But many patients with type 1 ­diabetes get no such relief. Their only option is life-long injections of manufactured ­insulin, often on a daily basis.

And the costs can be formidable. Many Canadians with type 1 diabetes use up to $7,000 worth of manufactured insulin a year.

Patients who have no drug insurance may find they cannot afford an optimal regimen.

Part of the problem is that the cost of manufactured insulin in Canada has jumped 50 per cent in the past few years. Although that’s nothing compared to what has happened south of the border.

Since 2001, the main producer of insulin in the U.S. has hiked its price 28 times, for a total increase of 628 per cent. Keep in mind that the two ­Canadians who invented manufactured insulin, Frederick Banting and Charles Best, gave their patents to the University of Toronto for $1 each.

I raise this scandalous behaviour because it brings into heightened relief the need for a permanent cure, in the form of a vaccine for type 1 diabetes.

So where are we at on this front? The first suggestive fact lies in the curious distribution of this ailment across the globe.

Three of the four countries with the highest incidence are Finland, ­Sweden and Norway. There seems to be a ­geographic grouping here.

And eight out of the top 10 countries are advanced western economies, Canada included. Our incidence rate is 20 times the level found in some third-world ­countries.

One potential explanation for these geographic groupings is that a ­region-specific virus may be responsible for the ailment.

A series of studies conducted by ­Norwegian researchers found that young adults recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes had CVB virus in the pancreas. CVB is an intestinal virus not normally found in the pancreas.

That suggests that anti-viral ­medications could be effective. A ­clinical trial is underway in Norway and ­Denmark to test this possibility.

Other researchers in Norway and Finland have gone a step further. They believe a vaccine can be developed, ­possibly within a few years. A small early clinical trial proved successful.

This is still a work in progress. And it’s possible that only some variants of type 1 diabetes may be suitable for these ­treatments.

Nevertheless, for the first time, it does appear we are close to establishing the cause of this disease. And if indeed it is a virus, a whole new field of treatment opens up.

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Many good health reasons to eat an apple every day – Delta Optimist

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Apples are one of the oldest cultivated fruit, dating back at least 6,500 years, and have some of the greatest health benefits.  There is truth behind the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

They are high in soluble fibre, low calorie, low on the glycemic index, and contain beneficial vitamins like Vitamin C, quercetin, pectin and potassium. They are a good antioxidant (especially the peel) and are the number one fruit to help prevent diabetes, cancer and heart disease. They help lower cholesterol as the soluble fibre in apples binds with saturated fat (preventing it from entering the bloodstream). 

To aid weight loss, it is beneficial to eat an apple prior to a meal, as they curb your appetite. Apples encourage more saliva production, which protects your teeth. Some studies show mental health benefits of increased intellectual capabilities and a slowing down of mental aging and Parkinson’s (due to their antioxidant properties). The fibre and quercetin (a plant polyphenol) builds immunity to combat virus and bacteria, especially when one is stressed. The antioxidant properties help regulate ocular muscles and nerves, helping to preserve one’s eyesight.

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Apples also speed up liver regeneration. The pectin in apples binds with heavy metals in the gut (aluminum and lead) and helps eliminate them. Heavy metal poisoning is one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s disease.  Apples are also proven to reduce anxiety when eaten regularly. The soluble fibre pectin aids IBS symptoms and ulcerative colitis.

Apple cider vinegar (fermented apple juice) has become a health rage and has its own set of health benefits including aiding digestion and weight loss, lowering inflammation and boosting energy.

Consuming it before a meal is said to help reduce blood sugar spikes afterward. It also helps with the absorption of the following nutrients: protein, calcium, iron, carbohydrates, fats, Vitamins A,B,C and E and magnesium.  Apple cider vinegar is an antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral helps with absorption of calcium and other minerals. Even though it is acidic, once absorbed in the gut it is slightly alkaline.  As it is acidic before digestion, it shouldn’t sit on the teeth as it may soften enamel. It is best to drink apple cider vinegar through a straw or rinse your mouth out afterwards with water.

These are some (proven and unproven) folk remedies using apple cider vinegar. Here are several but not all: removes age spots, as a soak for arthritic hands and feet or for athlete’s foot, soften foot corns, prevents asthma, heals bruises, fights cancer, helps prevent cataracts, eliminates cold sores, soothes a sore throat, eliminates cramping, treats dandruff, lowers blood sugars, kills diarrhea causing bacteria, soothes eczema and itching due to rashes, bites or stings, eliminates fatigue, increases stomach acid for those with gallbladder issues (associated with low stomach acid), aids hay fever, reduces headaches, dissolves the glue that holds nits (head lice eggs) onto the hair, treats hiccups, lowers blood pressure, aids osteoporosis by aiding calcium absorption, stops nose bleeds, aids absorption of all vitamins and minerals, treats smelly feet and warts.   

As with any alternative remedy, it is important to talk to your naturopath and doctor beforehand to make sure there are no contra-indications with existing medicines, but there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that apples and apple cider vinegar contribute to healthy living.  There are also many beauty aids but space prevents me from covering them in this article.

I personally use apple cider vinegar in a wonderful salad dressing with our Lemon-Honey Elixir, crushed garlic, avocado oil and a pinch of dried mustard. 

Claire Nielsen is a health coach, author, public speaker and founder of www.elixirforlife.ca. The information provided in the above article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health and medical advice. Please consult a doctor or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses and/or treatment.

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Hospitalizations fall at North Vancouver’s Lions Gate – North Shore News

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COVID-19 infections haven’t gone away on the North Shore.

But serious illnesses from respiratory diseases of all types are on the decline.

That’s the latest information this week that can be teased from statistics from both B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health.

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One of the biggest indicators of serious illness – hospitalizations – are thankfully on the decline.

Number of people in Lions Gate Hospital drops over 7%

Between Jan. 6, when Health Minister Adrian Dix first raised the alarm about high numbers of hospitalizations, the number of people in hospital at Lions Gate on the North Shore has fallen 7.2 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health. The number of people in hospital at Lions Gate went from 319 on Jan. 6 to 296 on Jan. 26.

A similar trend was seen at most major hospitals in B.C.

In Vancouver Coastal Health, hospitalizations fell 10.6 per cent in Richmond, 6.5 per cent at St. Paul’s and 4.2 per cent at Vancouver General. The only hospital where that didn’t happen was B.C. Children’s, where numbers remained stable.

As of Jan. 26, there were 42 people hospitalized who had tested positive for COVID-19 in VCH, two of those in critical care. There were also three new deaths in VCH among people who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, flu – which peaked early in November – has now fallen to low levels. RSV infections – which have hit children hardest – remain high but have continued to decline. COVID cases have remained relatively stable.

North Shore sewage plant data shows small COVID uptick

According to recent data from wastewater sampling, levels of COVID-19 measured on the North Shore rose slightly from early January, although levels of virus being shed in sewage water were still not as high as they were over the Christmas period. Levels of the virus in most other Lower Mainland plants had declined as of Jan. 16.

Numbers of people vaccinated haven’t changed much on the North Shore. Between 92 and 95 per cent of adults 18 and over received at least two doses of the vaccine. But those numbers fell with each subsequent booster shot. Only 47 per cent of adults on the North Shore have received two boosters. There is also a relatively small uptake for children. Between 52 and 64 per cent of children age five to 11 have received two doses of vaccine, while under 20 per cent of the youngest children have received two doses.

Monday marks the third anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 as a global public health emergency.

On Friday, a committee of WHO voted on whether to maintain that designation. A final decision will be announced on Monday, but it isn’t expected to change anything in practical terms in Canada.

jseyd@nsnews.com

twitter.com/JaneSeyd

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COVID-19 outbreak declared at Seaforth Community Hospital – My Stratford Now

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A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Seaforth Community Hospital.

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance officials say it’s in the hospital’s Inpatient Unit which is now closed to admissions until further notice.

Outbreak status refers to two or more confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among patients or team members that could have possibly been acquired in the hospital.

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HPHA is working with Huron Perth Public Health and patents, family/caregivers and team members impacted by the outbreak are being notified with necessary contact tracing
taking place.

Family and caregiver pesence on the unit has been restricted with the only exception is for palliative patients at end of life.

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