The danger for the Unborn through “natural substances” – Naturopathy naturopathy specialist portal

Even herbal substances can cause harm to the Unborn

Pregnant women are advised to eat a healthy diet and to avoid certain foods better, in order not to endanger your child. The diet should be as free as possible of chemical additives. Researchers now report that “natural” substances can cause harm to the fetus.

According to a recent communication from the University of Bern, herbal preparations, which Pregnant about your food record will be decomposed by the intestinal flora in chemical substances, some of which cross the placental barrier and pass through into the fetus move. The experts say these body-foreign substances can the Unborn harm, even if they are “of natural origin”. They warn against the effects of such substances to underestimate.

We are populated by billions of microbes

All mammals and so, too, we humans are colonized by billions of microbes that live mainly in our intestines, which are, however, also be found in the respiratory tract, on the skin and in the urogenital tract.

In the research group of gastroenterology of the Department for BioMedical Reserarch (DBMR) at the University of Bern (Switzerland) and at the Inselspital, University hospital Bern, investigate Stephanie Ganal-Vonarburg, and Andrew Macpherson, the Interaction of these benign gut microbes with the host organism.

It has a positive influence on the immune system

The positive influence of gut flora on our immune system, is already known for a long time. The maternal intestinal flora has an influence on the development of the child’s system of immune in the womb and right after birth.

Stephanie Ganal-Vonarburg, and Andrew Macpherson to have borne together in a in the journal “Science” published review article, the current knowledge about the extent to which the maternal gut flora in the development of the child’s immune assisting system.

The experts also found evidence that the effect of herbal substances, which include Pregnant women about the diet, has been underestimated in research to date and a potential risk for the Unborn is.

Drugs can interfere with the development of the child

The research is a long time, the developing Embryo and fetus is completely sterile, that is, in the absence of colonizing microbes, grows up, and that the settlement takes place only at the time of birth.

“However, the fetus is not protected, in spite of everything against microbial metabolic products derived from the intestinal flora of the mother,” says Ganal-Vonarburg.

The data suggest that the placenta provides only partial protection, and contact with microbial substances leads system in the mother’s womb for the maturation of the infant’s innate immune. This could show that previous studies of the group of Ganal-Vonarburg, and Macpherson.

“It is common that Pregnant women taking medication only with caution and after consultation with your doctor, because many medications can cross the placenta and the development of the child’s disturbing,” said Ganal-Vonarburg.

“Much less is however known about what naturally-occurring substances can be excreted in the diet on the unborn child and the extent to which it’s beneficial or harmful for the development of the child can be immune system,” explains the scientist.

Also, the intake of Superfoods can be problematic

Ganal-Vonarburg has now worn with Andrew Macpherson, current research results and evidence found, that the metabolic products of the food, not only directly, but often only after metabolism by the intestinal flora in the maternal organism, and so also in the developing fetus can get.

This also applies to the use of herbal products, for example Superfoods that will apply just in pregnancy is considered to be very healthy, such as Goji berries or Chia seeds:

“Although herbal products are “natural” substances, they are still a so-called xenobiotic, so the body of foreign substances, with which handled very carefully as it should be,” explains Macpherson. “Just when Pregnant plant-based products in large quantities in the future”.

The researchers recommend that future studies should investigate how and which substances are beneficial or a negative effect on the development of the Unborn child have, and what is the influence of differences in the maternal intestinal flora in this process can have.

How the immune system develops

As soon as the Baby passes through the birth canal of the mother, begins the colonization of its body surfaces with the benign Flora. In the course of the first years this Matures to a complex community of microbes.

External influences, such as delivery (spontaneous birth, caesarean section), as well as nutrition (breast-feeding or bottle-feeding) influence this process in the long term.

In Parallel with this, the child’s immune system develops. Today is considered to be evidence that certain microbial Stimuli dominate in this early time, the immune system for life. (ad)

Fine-tuning treatment for triple-negative breast cancer

Researchers at the University of Queensland may have found a way to improve treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.

The team found that triple-negative breast tumours with the highest energy usage respond best to chemotherapy because the ‘recycling stations’ that deal with metabolic by-products, called proteasomes, also make cancer more ‘visible’ to the immune system.

Lead researcher Dr. Jodi Saunus said the discovery could improve a patient’s response to treatment of the aggressive cancer.

“Previous research has indicated that inhibiting proteasomes could be effective in triple-negative breast cancer, but we have found the opposite to be true,” Dr. Saunus said.

“If we can figure out how to boost the activity of tumour proteasomes, we could improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy, and potentially increase the prospects for immunotherapy.”

Until recently, chemotherapy has been the main drug therapy for triple-negative breast cancer, but research now suggests immunotherapy—which activates the body’s in-built cancer defences—may also work.

Triple-negative breast cancer is negative for three receptors commonly found in breast cancer cells—oestrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors.

This means hormone therapies are ineffective and treatment usually involves surgery, radiotherapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy that produce harrowing side-effects.

It affects 15 per cent of patients and is one of the most severe breast cancers because it tends to grow and spread faster, with many patients experiencing relapse in the lungs, liver or brain.

Dr. Saunus’ research team analysed the molecular features of 3,500 breast tumours over two years to make this finding.

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Public torn over COVID-19 contact tracing apps, study shows

Early results from a study by researchers at Swansea University and The University of Manchester shows people are torn over whether they will use the COVID-19 contact tracing smartphone app planned for release in the UK.

The study finds:

  • Only one-third of people taking part said they will be downloading the app, with the rest either saying they will not be downloading it or are not yet sure.
  • Common concerns are that the app will infringe on people’s privacy, will stigmatise those with COVID-19, or will not be used by enough people for it to be effective.
  • Misinformation about the app and how it works is common.
  • Some people are actively avoiding COVID-19 news coverage which may be contributing to lack of information about the app and might affect whether they use it.

The researchers conducted online focus groups with UK adults across a range of gender, ethnic, age and occupational backgrounds to explore their attitudes on the proposed NHSX contact tracing app currently being trialled in the Isle of Wight.

Though the five focus groups consisted of 22 people, the researchers say because it is a qualitative study, it is likely to be indicative of general public opinion.

The research is led by Dr. Simon Williams, Senior Lecturer in People and Organisation at Swansea University, with collaborations from Dr. Kimberly Dienes and Professor Christopher Armitage of The University of Manchester’s Centre for Health Psychology, and Dr. Tova Tampe, an independent consultant at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Williams from Swansea University said: “Our study suggests that the government is far from guaranteed the level of support they need to have the kind of uptake that will make a big difference. A lot of work needs to be done to build public confidence and trust in their handling of COVID-19, and to improve communication around the app, especially after recent criticism over the handling of lockdown easing.

“The protection of privacy remains a widespread concern. People associated the app with the growth of ‘Big Brother’ surveillance. People were also concerned that uptake would not be high enough for it to be effective. The irony of course is that if enough people decide not to use it because they think others won’t, it becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy.”

Dr. Dienes, lecturer in clinical and health psychology at the University of Manchester and co-author of the study said: “People who told us they would download the app indicated they would do it for the “greater good”, which means those people trusted the app and what the government is trying to achieve. Indeed, the question of whether they trusted the government had their wellbeing at heart, seemed to be at the centre of their concerns and positive intent to download.

“It seems one of the main reasons why some people are worried about privacy is they either do not have enough information or have the wrong information. For example, one of the big misconceptions is that the app allows its users to specifically identify, and even stigmatise, those with COVID-19 symptoms among their contacts and in their vicinity, which is not the case. Also, some people are starting to actively avoid news on COVID-19, because they find it too overwhelming. So, it is important that Government gets the information out there in as many ways as possible, much as they did initially with the lockdown guidance.”

Dr. Williams added: “We recommend that government should communicate as clearly as possible and using a variety of media. They should switch to a de-centralised approach, focus on reassuring the public over privacy, and promote the key message that using the app is part of a collective responsibility to stop the spread of the virus and can help save lives.”

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Study shows patients with hemorrhagic brain disease have disordered gut microbiomes

A new study shows that people with a rare genetic disease that causes bleeding in the brain have gut microbiomes distinct from those without the disease. Moreover, it is the molecules produced by this bacterial imbalance that cause lesions to form in the brains of these patients.

The results are the first in any human neurovascular disease. They have implications both for treating the disease and in examining other neurovascular diseases that could be affected by a person’s gut microbiome.

The study was led by investigators at University of Chicago Medicine and published May 27 in Nature Communications. It examined the gut bacteria of patients with cavernous angioma (CA), a disease where blood vessel abnormalities develop in the brain and cause strokes, seizures and serious neurologic complications. The disease is caused by a genetic mutation in the lesion —which may be inherited or occurs sporadically—and its severity and course vary widely among patients.

UChicago is a leader in studying this disease. It has been designated as a cavernous angioma center of excellence and treats patients with the condition from all over the world.

Investigators had hints that the disease could be affected by the gut microbiome: Senior author Issam Awad, MD, the John Harper Seeley Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Neurovascular Surgery at UChicago Medicine, was a partner in a previous study in mice, which showed that the cells that lined the blood vessels of the brain reacted to the animals’ gut bacteria.

“The implications of that were very big,” he said. “But we didn’t know if this concept of a unique microbiome that favors the development of lesions would be true in human beings.”

To find out, UChicago researchers—working with investigators at the University of California San Francisco, University of New Mexico, University of Pennsylvania, and the Angioma Alliance patient support group—collected stool samples from more than 120 CA patients.

The samples were then analyzed for their bacterial content and compared with samples from the general population. The CA samples showed significantly higher amounts of gram-negative bacteria and less gram-positive bacteria. The researchers identified a combination of three common bacterial species, whose relative abundance can distinguish CA patients from control patients without CA lesions, with high sensitivity and specificity.

The CA samples also showed an imbalanced network of bacteria that was much more disordered than the general population’s bacterial network. “The CA patients from all the different collection sites had the same distinctive microbiome, regardless of whether they had inherited the mutation or had a sporadic lesion, and regardless of the number of lesions they had,” Awad said. The investigators further showed that the bacterial imbalance in patients with CA produces lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecules, which travel through the bloodstream to the brain and attach to the brain’s blood vessel lining, facilitating lesion development. “All this evidence pointed to the microbiome as a cause of lesions rather than an effect,” Awad said.

The investigators also collected blood from several CA patients and used advanced computational machine learning to identify the combination of molecular signals associated with the disease. Those with CA had significantly different LPS-related related blood biomarkers and inflammatory molecules. The result was essentially a smart, personalized test for each CA patient. “By looking at both bacteria combinations and the blood biomarkers, we were able to measure just how aggressive the disease was in each patient,” said Sean Polster, MD, a neurosurgery resident at UChicago Medicine and first author on the paper. Polster spent two years of his neurosurgery residency coordinating the study among the different institutions.

The researchers are beginning to think about how these results affect treatment. Earlier studies in mice showed that those fed emulsifiers—which are often used as preservatives in processed foods—had more bleeding in the brain, likely due to the way they disrupted the gut’s bacterial network. The researchers now tell patients to avoid these preservatives.

Though antibiotics and probiotics might seem like natural courses of treatment, they could change the bacterial balance in ways that lead to bigger problems. “This is more complicated than it appears,” said Awad. However, he tells CA patients who have infections caused by gram-negative bacteria (such as urinary tract infections or prostatitis) to have them treated right away to avoid more potential brain lesions.

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Amid lockdown, is chemotherapy and cancer care at home the way forward?

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2, combined with an unprecedented, near-complete global lockdown, has prompted cancer patients to seek healthcare at home. This has provided a window for healthcare companies to offer home services.

For a Gurgaon-based breast cancer patient, the lockdown has been a difficult time. Fearing hospital-led infections, she has been undergoing chemotherapy at home. A stage four metastatic breast cancer patient, aged 50-plus, she has been undergoing treatment for three-and-a-half years. She said, “Before the lockdown, I was going to the hospital for chemotherapy cycle and treatment every 21 days. But now, undertaking one at one.”

The sentiment is echoed in the case of a Delhi-based 79-year-old, who was detected with stage three breast cancer in early 2019. “She was in hospital care but after the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, we decided to look after her at home as per the oncologist’s advice,” mentioned a family member. The family was initially concerned about the risk of infection with “nurses and physicians” visiting the home, “but the qualified and educated professional treatment has made us feel better about taking such a service”. For two months now, the bedridden patient has been administered the essential IV drugs at home as part of chemo care.

With the lockdown restrictions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, there has been rising concern among cancer patients whose immune systems make them susceptible to the respiratory viral infection. They are increasingly raising queries and even opting for chemotherapy at home among other oncology services for multiple type of cancers including breast cancer, blood cancers, multiple myeloma and ovary cancer.

Their concerns are not unfounded as a March 2020 report of Cancer Care Delivery Challenges Amidst Coronavirus Disease – 19 (COVID-19) Outbreak published in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention stated how cancer patients are more susceptible to coronavirus as they are in an ‘immunosuppressive state because of the malignancy and anticancer treatment’. The report went on to highlight that ‘Oncology communities must ensure that cancer patients should spend more time at home and less time out in the community’.

Agreed Dr Manish Singhal, senior consultant, medical oncology, Apollo Hospital, “While it is not a preferred mode of treatment, it is an arrangement between the patient, oncologist and the healthcare provider/medical company to maintain the schedule of chemo sessions.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures. While there is a risk involved in tertiary anti-cancer therapy at home, it is to be monitored effectively. Also, since at least two or more sessions are first completed in the hospital, such treatment can be provided at home if the oncologist is on board with the course of treatment that includes administering anti-cancer drugs,” Dr Singhal told He informed that he has done 25 such infusions in the past few months with the help of Apollo HomeHealth Care, hinting at an “unprecedented” demand for such tertiary care.

That is perhaps why Portea Medical, a consumer healthcare brand, recently launched chemotherapy at home services in metro cities of Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata to help cancer patients and survivors to avoid the risk of hospital-acquired infections by recuperating at home, said Dr Vishal Sehgal, MD, Portea Medical.

“Today, medical care is at an advanced level and both hospital and home-based care is possible. If there have been no adverse reactions after the initial sessions of chemotherapy in the hospital and if the oncologist approves with a detailed protocol formulated by  them, only then such a service is provided,” Dr Sehgal said.

While international brand HealthCare atHOME has been providing such a service for the past six years in India, it is now that the demand has seen a steep rise. “As OPDs are closed and patients don’t want to visit them for fear of contracting COVID, home chemotherapy and other oncology services have become a lifesaver,” said Dr Gaurav Thukral, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, HealthCare atHOME, India.

“The concept is slowly growing in India and we are trying to replicate the same model here. To build the confidence of doctors, we get them interviewed and train our existing experienced nurses. We keep them updated remotely via technology at every step of care delivery,” he said.

What happens in such at-home patient care settings?

As part of the home-based service, a trained and certified chemotherapy nurse is appointed for the session, which is supervised by a full-time doctor provided by the healthcare company. Besides administering medications like pills and injections, and IV chemotherapy or antibiotics, therapies administered via patch or suppository, the nurse reviews the health history, keeps a record and tracks pathological, laboratory and imaging studies, assesses and monitors emotional and physical status and carries out regular communication with the oncologist on a patient’s behalf.

“It is a very comfortable and smooth experience. I faced no issues at all. They have been very supportive. The oncologist has also been in constant touch with me,” according to a patient. She added that her procedure is done in a “different room where I don’t allow my family members and anyone else to come; only the doctor and the nurse who attend to me are there with me throughout”.

Cancer patients require specialised care, attention, and monitoring as they undergo recovery at home. In such a situation, having an oncology nurse by your side ensures a proper monitoring of one’s needs and offers the care required for a speedy recovery. From assisting them in daily activities to mitigating stress during complications arising out of pain, nausea, etc, home-care assistants help prevent unnecessary distress from symptoms and make the patient feel as comfortable as possible,” remarked Dr Thukral. He added, “High standards of hygiene and infection-control at par with that of hospitals is followed.”

How convinced are doctors with it?

While several oncologists like Dr Singhal are on board with the concept, there are still others like Dr Shyam Aggarwal, senior consultant, medical oncologist, Sir Gangaram Hospital, Delhi, who holds that “it amounts to jeopardising one’s life”. “What if an adverse reaction takes place? Jeopardising the life of a patient is a risk not worth taking. Administering a drug at home is definitely very different and opens up the possibility of something going wrong manifold. The risk, therefore, lies with the treating oncologist,” said Dr Aggarwal, who has more than three decades of clinical experience.

However, given the “improvement in the quality of care for cancer patients through a patient-centered approach”, patients’ needs rather than prognosis is seen as a way of improving the quality of care, pointed out Dr Thukral. “The delivery of oncology care at home is increasingly seen as a way of improving the quality of care and as a cost-effective alternative in recent times,” he said.

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Alzheimer’s gene risk triggers blood-brain barrier damage

Scientists have known for some time that the APOE4 gene is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. A new study helps to explain why, by showing that the variant has an association with damage to the blood-brain barrier.

APOE4 is the leading genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Almost one-quarter of people have one copy of the gene, which increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to four times.

In rarer cases, approximately 2–3% of the population, people carry two copies of the gene, which increases the risk of developing the disease by up to 15 times.

People who carry the variant, whether they have one copy or both, also develop the disease earlier than those who do not.

Although APOE4 is clearly important in the onset of many cases of Alzheimer’s disease, precisely how the genetic variant increases risk has been unclear.

Scientists from the University of Southern California (USC) have now shown a link between APOE4 and damage to the blood-brain barrier, the key structure that protects the brain from toxic substances.

The findings, which could aid the development of personalized treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s disease, appear in Nature.

APOE4 and the blood-brain barrier

This latest study focused on the blood-brain barrier, the protective border of cells separating the blood from the brain. Previous research from the group had shown that people who develop problems with their memory early on also had damage to this structure.

Their research has also shown that people with the APOE4 variant who go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease have a leaky blood-brain barrier, even before doctors can see any changes to cognition.

To investigate the connection between APOE4 and the blood-brain barrier in more detail, the team behind this study used a specialized form of MRI. They looked at the blood-brain barrier of people with mild cognitive impairment — which can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease — and those with normal cognitive function, both with and without APOE4.

They found that people who carried the APOE4 variant had a leaky blood-brain barrier in parts of the brain that are critical for memory function, including the hippocampus, even if they were cognitively healthy at the time of the scan.

Those who were experiencing cognitive decline had even worse damage to their blood-brain barrier.

Changes link with cognitive decline

To understand what was causing the leakage in the blood-brain barrier, the researchers looked for damage to a particular cell type — the pericytes — which wrap around blood vessels in the brain to form the critical barrier.

Using a biomarker of pericyte injury, they found higher levels of damage in APOE4 carriers. What is more, the researchers associated levels of the biomarker with both blood-brain barrier damage and cognitive decline.

“Severe damage to vascular cells called pericytes was linked to more severe cognitive problems in APOE4 carriers,” explains senior author Prof. Berislav Zlokovic, director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at USC.

Further experiments showed that the damage also correlated with levels of a protein that causes inflammation called cyclophilin A, which is known to be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Thus, the team was able to put together a hypothesis for how APOE4 causes damage to the blood-brain barrier, potentially leading to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

“APOE4 seems to speed up the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier by activating an inflammatory pathway in blood vessels, which is associated with pericyte injury,” says Prof. Zlokovic.

Treating the damage

Some parts of the theory need fleshing out, for example, how damage to the blood-brain barrier causes the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Nevertheless, these findings are a step forward in our understanding of how APOE4 shapes Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Future work will be necessary to better understand the genetic risk factors for the disease and, potentially, developing personalized treatments.

“This study sheds light on a new way of looking at this disease, and possibly on treatment in people with the APOE4 gene, looking at blood vessels and improving their function to potentially slow down or arrest cognitive decline.”

– Prof. Berislav Zlokovic

Experiments in mice have already shown that blocking the inflammatory process that APOE4 triggers can restore the blood-brain barrier and improve neuronal function, raising hope that doctors could use similar treatments for Alzheimer’s.

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COVID-19-the Dead: autopsies show severe lung damage – natural healing naturopathic specialist portal

Lung damage: Important information about the cause of death of Corona patients

The largest part of the people who have been infected with the COVID-19-causative agent, the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, attached, show only mild symptoms. However, in some patients the disease can take a severe course and lead to death. In a new study has now shown that there is often severe lung damage, for the death of the Sufferers are not the cause.

Recently, Research reported from Germany and the United States, the COVID-19 the lungs, damage other than a Influenza. How much the lungs are damaged in many of the Corona-treated patients and in-patients, have also shown autopsies of COVID-19-deceased.

Massively impaired oxygen absorption in the lungs

As the University of Augsburg writes in a recent communication, shows a study of the Augsburg University hospital, the lung tissue of COVID-19-is damage of the deceased, is irreversible.

The cause of the damage to the Coronavirus whose genome was able to be in the respiratory tract detected was.

Lung damage due to mechanical ventilation could be excluded as the cause largely because more than half of the patients were not ventilated.

The massive impaired oxygen absorption in the lungs led according to the experts, finally to the death of the Diseased.

The results of the study were published recently in the prestigious journal “Journal of the American Medical Association” (JAMA).

Almost all of the deceased were autopsied on

The infection with the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 runs in the majority of cases, as little complication-prone disease of the upper respiratory tract, particularly the pharynx.

Some of the Infected develop pneumonia, which is a small proportion of the cases so hard, that an artificial respiration is required. In spite of intensive medical measures inherit patients die of this disease.

An interdisciplinary team of Doctors, the Augsburg-based pathologist Dr. Tina Schaller led since the 4. April of this year, 19 autopsies in deceased patients with COVID-19.

Thanks to a careful reconnaissance of the relatives could be reached in Augsburg, an autopsy rate of close to 90 percent of the deaths, which allowed the Physicians a genuine assessment.

The genome of the Virus in the respiratory system shown

“During the investigations, we were able to the genetic material of the Virus in the respiratory system of the deceased to prove,” explains Dr. Schaller, senior physician and first author of the study.

The information that was revealed in the lung tissue itself was unusually severe, in part allegedly irreversible damage.

The team of Doctors looks at this change as a cause of death, because in this way the oxygen uptake is through the lungs to supply the organs, massively compromised.

With the impact of SARS – and MERS-diseases similar

“The most important finding from the first analysis is that the described pulmonary lesions are clearly a complication of mechanical ventilation,” Prof. Dr. Bruno Märkl, Director of the Institute for pathology and Molecular diagnostics of the University hospital of Augsburg and holds the chair for General and Special pathology at the Medical faculty of the University of Augsburg.

“Rather, they arise independently of this intensive medical intervention most likely to be directly due to the viral injury. All patients suffered from severe underlying diseases, but did not lead directly to death,“ explains the physician.

According to the message in the other organs no obvious serious changes were able to be detected.

By the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 caused marked damage to the lungs are comparable with the effects of the SARS – and MERS-related diseases. (ad)

Read this before buying hearing aids at Costco

Unlike eyeglasses, hearing aids are considered “elective devices” by insurance companies, making them out of reach for many people (via Audicus). Some states mandate coverage, like Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. But if you don’t live in one of these places, chances are your insurance policy won’t cover the cost of a hearing aid, which can run anywhere from $2,000 to $4,600 a pair (via MD Hearing Aid). As a result, millions of people around the country live with some kind of hearing loss, and fewer than one in three of the folks that might be hard of hearing wear hearing aids.

To find hearing affordable hearing aids, you can opt to go online, where you can save money by passing on the cost of an audiologist. Then there’s Costco, which holds an 11 percent market share for all hearing aids sold in the country, under its Kirkland Select brand. Hearing Health Matters even notes that the prices for Kirkland hearing aids have been dropping in recent years, from $1,999 for the KS 4.0 model, to $1,499 for the KS 9.0 model which was released in June 2019.

Costco goes to reputable hearing aid manufacturers to get KS-branded stock

Like most (all?) things under the Kirkland Select label, Costco’s hearing aids are made by a reputable company known for their branded products. But because all of the hearing aids are branded “KS,” finding out which firm made which model takes a bit of research. The latest KS 9.0 model, for instance, is manufactured by Sonova and hit Costco’s hearing aid section in June 2019; the KS 7.0 and 8.0 were manufactured by Rexton, and it seems customers have a preference.

That’s why it’s worth keeping the KS 9.0’s release date in mind when you scan Consumer Affairs reports for reviews on Costco’s hearing aids, which have received a broad range of stars. It seems the devices are a love ’em or hate ’em product. Some reviewers appear to have given Costco’s hearing aids a one star for service at the store’s Hearing Center; others took to the reviews to complain about products bought before the June 2019 switch.

Costco may need to improve its customer service

Costco appears to have taken previous customer reviews to heart when they commissioned the KS 9.0, which received a solid video review by Arizona audiologist Clifford Olson on YouTube. Olson said the device appears to have many pros (helps with a wide range of hearing losses, is easily customizable, has Bluetooth functionality) and a few cons (including the lack of a telecoil, and that it doesn’t have rechargeable batteries). But he also highlighted that no matter how good a hearing aid might be, it is nothing without a professional who can make sure the device is properly fit.

Costco might need to take the customer service complaints as seriously as it took feedback on the design of previous hearing aid models. Costco currently staffs its centers with hearing aid specialists who can recommend hearing aids, but few audiologists who specialize in treatment of hearing loss. It’s worth noting Costco offers free hearing screenings and hearing aid cleaning.

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Right in the middle of the Abitur-exams: Covid-19-the case of Bavarian grammar school

The Coronavirus pandemic, keeps the world in breath: More than 5 million people globally have become infected with the novel Sars-CoV-2 – 178.568 of them so far in Germany.

Right in the middle of the Abitur-exams: Covid-19-the case of Bavarian grammar school

Ironically, in the midst of the Abitur-exams: A teacher of the Graf-Rasso-gymnasium Fürstenfeldbruck is positive in the Coronavirus tested. The “Münchner Merkur” citing the competent district office.

The teacher was, according to the “mercury” in the on Wednesday (20. May) will be held in German-Abitur supervisor for six students. It is supposed to have passed, there is no direct contact, which is why the students as a "Contact persons of the level 2" were classified. You don’t have to put in quarantine and could continue their baccalaureate exams.

The rest of the class and school were not affected, the tests would be normal. The teacher, according to good, said the head of the school, Doris Hübler the news portal said.


All messages to the Corona-crisis in Germany, Europe and the world, you will find in the News Ticker of FOCUS Online.

Cheese cake: lightning recipe without the ground – in less than 10 minutes in the oven

Appetite cheese cake: lightning recipe without the ground – in less than 10 minutes in the oven

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The sign in your vision you could be lacking B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when the autoimmune system attacks cells in the stomach – named pernicious anaemia. There’s a sign in your vision that you could be lacking the nutrient.

Inside the stomach there’s a protein called intrinsic factor.

Someone suffering from pernicious anaemia has an immune system that attacks cells in the stomach.

Specifically, the immune system targets cells that are responsible for making intrinsic factor.


  • Vitamin K2 deficiency: The sign in your body to watch out for

Usually, intrinsic factor combines with vitamin B12 – sourced from food – and travels to a part of the gut called the distal ileum.

Here, the mixture of vitamin B12 and intrinsic factor is absorbed into the body.

This enables the nutrient to benefit the body’s red blood cells, nerve cells and DNA.

With pernicious anaemia, this doesn’t happen – instead, prolonged absence of vitamin B12 leads to symptoms.

Researchers from Mahidol University, Thailand, did a case study on a young man who had some of his bowel removed.

Having suffered from gangrene at a young age, the boy had his parts of his bowel – including the ileum – cut out at 11 years old.

At the time of the study, the 19-year-old has low levels of vitamin B12 in his body.

This would make sense, as the part of the bowel where vitamin B12 is usually absorbed – the ileum – had been cut out.

He also had less than the normal number of cells in his bone marrow – called hypocellular – and the bone marrow is where red blood cells are created.

He had complained of blurred vision and his visual acuity was 5/200.

Treatment was intramuscular injections of 1,000 micrograms of cyanocobalamin – a man-made form of vitamin B12.

Four months later, the man’s visual acuity improved, as did his levels of vitamin B12 and the bone marrow returned to normal functioning.


  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: Nine symptoms of the condition

The researchers concluded: “This is a frank case of optic neuropathy in a patient with vitamin B12 deficiency due to a massive small bowel resection.”

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

The NHS confirms “disturbed vision” is one symptom caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Others include depression, irritability, and changes in the way you walk and move around.

Additionally, some people may experience mouth ulcers, pins and needles, and a pale yellow tinge to the skin.


Treatment for a vitamin B12 deficiency is injections of man-made versions of the nutrient.

This would either be hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin – the latter was the treatment option for the boy in the case study.

In the UK, hydroxocobalamin is the recommended option as it stays in the body for longer.

These injections will be administered by a medical professional, such as a nurse or doctor.

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