The Potential Legalization of Imported Drugs, and what 4 Former FDA Commissioners Have to Say About It

Recently, an idea that has surprisingly gained the support of both President Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders has triggered alarm and worry among the Food and Drug Administration. The most recent four FDA commissioners have advised both Trump and Sanders against potentially legalizing the importation of drugs to the United States from other countries. Doing this could cause many problems for consumers, exposing them to medications that are fake, substandard, and even contaminated.

On one hand, it is understandable how one could view the importation of drugs from other countries as a positive change in America by allowing Americans to have access to far less expensive medications. Though, at what cost? Robert Califf, Margaret Hamburg, Andrew Von Eschenbach, and Mark McClellan – all former FDA heads who have served under both former presidents Barrack Obama and George W. Bush – have written an open letter to congress stating that allowing this importation will “harm patients and consumers and compromise the carefully constructed system that guards the safety of our nation’s medical products”.

Many who support the drug importation feel that the former FDA heads are exaggerating the risks in order to delay or prevent change, but that is not the case. For example, there are drug distributing companies online who claim to be Canadian, but in all actuality are based in places such as South America, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Because of this, consumers have no reliable way of knowing what they’re taking and whether or not it is safe, nor can recipients know if they are receiving exactly what they have ordered. It’s like playing “Pin The Tail on the Donkey” – you might get it, you might not. This isn’t a game, however. If you don’t correctly pin the tail on this donkey, your health and even your life could be jeopardized to the point of no redemption, which is a huge step backwards in medicine.

Recently Sanders has stated that if the government can ensure complete safety of the food that comes into this country, they can ensure that very same safety for the drugs that come in as well. Though, the former FDA commissioners wrote in their letter that “obtaining sufficient resources and expertise to screen and verify the authenticity of every product destined for American consumers presents enormous challenges,” Additionally, Scott Gottlieb – a physician who the White House has recently announced would be nominated to lead the FDA – feels the same as his predecessors regarding this subject.

Activities to do in the Cayman Islands During Spring Break

Foodies, shoppers, and those looking for unique attractions, family-friendly entertainment and fun things to do while in the Cayman Islands for spring break will be delighted by Camana Bay. This top destination for tourists and residents alike is only steps away from Grand Cayman’s world-famous Seven Mile Beach.

Camana Bay’s Town Centre is the heart of the Cayman Islands experience with its world-class shopping and dining, all surrounded by lush outdoor spaces and fountains. Regularly held events provide visitors with a lively local experience and endless entertainment.

Here are some tourist-friendly tips for things to see and do at Camana Bay:

Farmers’ and Artisan Market
Soak up some local culture at the Farmers’ and Artisan market. The market began as a tradition in 2010 and is held on Wednesdays on the Paseo from noon to 7pm. Shop for handmade souvenirs and sample the island’s fruits and vegetables as you enjoy live music, art, and cultural demonstrations.

Flavour Tour
Immediately after the market closes at 7pm, you won’t want to miss The Flavour Tour, a guided culinary experience where local ingredients are presented in samples at signature restaurants. Begin the evening with a glass of wine at West Indies Wine Company. A sampling plate course at four different restaurants follows.

Camana Bay Weekly Events
Camana Bay offers delightful family-oriented weekly events. Here are some popular choices.

• Imagination Playground- Tuesdays & Saturdays 10am-7pm, The Crescent. Fun, interactive play with giant foam blocks.
• Story Time- Tuesdays at 11am, Regal Cinemas, and Saturdays at 10:30am
• Live music from local bands, free, at sundown, open to the public.

Attractions
• Interactive Fountains- Jasmine Court- dancing colorful waters with 30-feet skyward bursts
• Observation Tower- 75-foot tower to climb for 360-degree views of the island
• Poof the Blue Dragon- one of 15 larger than life sculptures of the Cayman’s endangered Blue Iguanas
• Courtyards- relax in one of four courtyards of distinct character named after the flowers that grow there: Jasmine, Cassia, Gardenia, and Canella

‘Minibrains’ Could Help Drug Discovery For Zika And For Alzheimer’s

Some tiny clusters of brain cells grown in a lab dish are making big news at this week’s Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.

Known as “minibrains,” these rudimentary networks of cells are small enough to fit on the head of a pin, but already are providing researchers with insights into everything from early brain development to Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s and Zika.

At a Sunday press conference at the neuroscience meeting, researchers said minibrains are helping them figure out how the Zika virus can disrupt human brain formation in the early stages of fetal development.

Minibrains are highly organized structures that actually start out as human skin cells. They are then coaxed in the lab to become neural stem cells, then to differentiate into some of the different types of cells found in a real brain.

What makes these lab-grown structures so useful is that they replicate part of the cell diversity and connectivity of the human brain, said Dr. Thomas Hartung, a researcher and experimental toxicologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Source: npr.org

“Walk in Her Shoes” Shines Light on Domestic Violence

Stilettos, sling backs, sandals and platforms were all on the move up and down Market Street in Grand Cayman’s premier shopping center, Camana Bay, for a very important event. It’s known as the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes race and was held in support of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, which provides much needed shelter and loving support to women affected by domestic violence.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a global event, but this was the first time the race was established locally in Grand Cayman. Expectations were high, and the men did not disappoint, raising a whopping $53,000 plus for the crisis center. The men, attired in women’s footwear or man-heels, took off in stride solo or in teams to try and win the race and take a firm stand against domestic, sexual and gender violence.

Hundreds of men displayed glamorous shoes or sandals, all happy and ready to take their mark. Some even put on frilly skirts to match their lovely footwear. The participants secured sponsorships ranging from $1 to $1,000 to take part in the competition which consisted of a 5-lap distance.

It was all in good fun, a great crowd turned out and the male species got to experience firsthand what it was like to “walk a mile in someone’s shoes,” as the old saying goes. In this case, it was supporting women who are often victims of violence and showing compassion in a wonderful tribute that raises a lot of money for a very worthy cause.

Fundraising doesn’t come to a stop for the Cayman Island Crisis Centre following the event. The organization is constantly looking for support, according to Executive Director Ania Milanaowska.

“With an annual budget of over $650,000, we receive a $300,000 grant from the Cayman Islands government,” she stated. “However, to raise the outstanding $350,000 we rely heavily on sponsorship from corporations as well as private donors. Our fantastic fundraising committee is working tirelessly to make sure that the remaining funds are raised during different events throughout the year just to cover our operational costs.”

The Crisis Centre is hoping to make the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes race an annual fundraiser and is just one of the many things to do in Grand Cayman each year. It brings excellent awareness to situations of violence against women and allows men to participate in their own way and deliver a strong message of support.

FDA bans trans-fat in foods

In what officials are calling a highly important step forward, those at the Food and Drug Administration have announced an official ban of substances known as trans fats. These artificially engineered fats have long been in the sights of health officials who believe they are responsible for many serious health problems. Officials today have announced that companies, federal agencies and private spaces have three years in which to finish phasing them out of any foodstuffs. While many food manufacturers have begun to phase them out, others have not. This ruling is intended to help push such companies in the right direction and give them more incentives to do so.

Getting Them Out of the Food Supply

Health officials have become increasingly aware of just how dangerous it can to have such items in the food supply. Such fats have been directly linked to heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Sudden heart attacks have been directly linked to this form of fat. The fats are used to help extend shelf life for baked goods. When the fats are added to many baked goods, it appears to make the item fresh enough to sell to consumers for a lot longer. However, the net result are unhealthy goods that may directly cause serious problems when eaten. Margaret Hamburg, who previously served as FDA Commissioner help spearhead the ban.

The Formation of Trans Fats

Trans fats are formed as part of the process of creating foods for sale. They happen when the liquid oils that are used in baking are inadvertently chemically altered via a process that has been dubbed hydrogenation. As a result, the fats that are used can respond far more like butter. Such fats also have a similar taste when cooked. Unfortunately, the process that is used to crate them ultimately makes the fats even more unhealthy than alternatives such as butter and possibly even far more dangerous.

No Longer Safe

The new FDA ruling will recognize that such trans fats are no longer seen as generally safe for human consumption. Under this ruling, any company will now have to ask for specific permission from the agency should they decide to use them again. It is hoped this will do much to discourage the use of such fats and help Americans buy products such as baked goods and fried items that are hopefully healthier for consumption. Nutrition advocacy groups are applauding the ruling as they hope it will help Americans eat healthier food.

Avocado A Day

Eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet cuts bad cholesterol levels in overweight people, say doctors in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the study, 45 overweight patients between 21 and 70 were put on three different cholesterol-lowering diets: a lower fat diet without avocado; moderatefat diet without avocado.

The two moderate-fat diets had 34% of calories as fat. The low-fat diet was 24%. Researchers found:

– Compared to the average diet, low-density lipoprotein (LDLs, the “bad” cholesterol) was 13.5 mg/dL lower after consuming the moderate fat diet that included an avocado, and superior to the other diets.

Read more.

Source: healthylivingmagazine.us

Skin Care Market Booms in Texas

The United States’ skin care market is set to hit $18 billion by 2018 according to the GCI beauty magazine. The growth of the U.S. skin care industry is a result of an increasing number of players and products entering the market. In particular, state of Texas is home to several notable skin care companies such as Mannatech, Gurwich Products, Sozo Skin Care Products and Essencia.

Mannatech
Mannatech (http://allaboutmannatech.com/) is based in Texas, right outside of Dallas. The company manufactures a wide range of products revolving around skin care, health, wellness, weight and fitness. Some of the company’s best-selling products include Generation Uth Skincare system, Essential Oils and Emprizone. These products are manufactured using some of the finest natural ingredients and advanced skin care technologies. Mannatech is driven by the passion to produce high quality and scientifically proven products. The company’s broad based mission is to fight the scourge of global malnutrition by nourishing the world through its Real Food Technology.

Gurwitch Products
The Houston, Texas based Gurwitch Products is a subsidiary of Alticor. The parent cosmetics company produces, markets and manages a host of skin care and cosmetic products. The two main brands of skin care products manufactured by Gurwitch are ReVive Skincare products and Laura Mercier Cosmetics. The skin and beauty products manufactured under the Laura Mercier label include fragrances, cosmetics, body and bath and skincare products. Essencia is a Fort Worth, Texas based cosmetics products company. The company manufactures eyeliners, anti-aging products, makeup and various skin care products.

Essencia
Essencia (http://www.manta.com/c/mt4lvtj/essencia) believes in bringing out the true essence of beauty by creating products that nourish and improve the skin and face using the scientifically proven ingredients such as Aloe, Vitamin A and peptide. Essencia skin care products cater for people with all types of skins, including dry skin, sensitive skin and oily skin.

Sozo Skin Care Studio
Sozo Skin Care Studio is the other popular skincare products manufacturer in the south. The company is based in the affluent city of Frisco, Texas. The products made by Essencia include chemical peels, lasting hair removers, botanical facials and ultrasonic microdermabrasion products. The facial products incorporate the finest chemical peels, state-of-the-art botanical ingredients, essential oils as well as the best micro-current and ultrasonic technology available in the industry. Sozo Skin Care products are designed to rejuvenate and relax the skin.