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A Genetic Connection to Kidney Disease

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How APOL1-mediated kidney disease can impact you, your kidneys and your family

(Family Features) A genetic condition that can cause kidney failure, APOL1-mediated kidney disease (AMKD) represents a group of kidney diseases associated with mutations (changes or variants) in the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) genes.

Typically, the APOL1 genes – of which every person has two, one from each parent – create proteins that play a role in immunity. However, some people are born with mutations in one or both genes, and having mutations in both can increase the risk of developing kidney disease and even kidney failure.

In honor of National AMKD Awareness Day on April 30, consider this information from the experts at the American Kidney Fund to better understand the disease and become APOL1 aware.

Understanding Risk Factors
Research shows Black people with kidney disease are more likely to develop kidney failure than any other racial or ethnic group. The reasons for these health disparities include social determinants of health, a higher burden of diabetes and high blood pressure in the Black community, barriers to health care access and genetics.

The APOL1 gene mutations evolved over the past 3,000-10,000 years in people who lived in western and central Africa and are associated with increased protection from a parasite carried by the tse tse fly that causes African sleeping sickness. While protecting from one disease, the mutation – if inherited in both APOL1 genes – is more likely to lead to kidney disease in those of certain African descent, including people who identify as Black, African American, Afro-Caribbean or Latina or Latino.

In fact, an estimated 13% of Black Americans have two APOL1 gene mutations, according to the American Kidney Fund. While not everyone who has two APOL1 mutations will get kidney disease, there is a 1 in 5 chance they will go on to develop AMKD.

Identifying Symptoms
If you have kidney damage, symptoms may not occur until your kidneys are close to failing. As kidney damage worsens, one or more of these symptoms may occur:

  • Protein in urine
  • Swelling in legs or weight gain
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • High blood pressure

Should these symptoms occur and you have a family history of kidney disease, talk to a doctor about getting tested for kidney disease, as testing is the only way to determine kidney function. AMKD can cause damage to parts of the kidney that filter blood or, in some cases, cause cells in the kidneys to die, which can lead to damage and scarring that may eventually lead to kidney failure.

Getting a Diagnosis
The only way to know if you have APOL1 gene mutations is to do genetic testing via a blood or saliva sample. Genetic testing may be considered if you have kidney disease and don’t know the cause or if you’re considering donating a kidney. Testing may also be considered if a family member is a carrier for the mutation. If you have questions about genetic testing, discuss your options with a doctor or ask for a referral to a genetic counselor.

Taking Steps to Prevent Kidney Disease
There are currently no treatments available for AMKD. However, there are steps you can take to protect your kidneys and promote general health. Work with your doctor to create a plan to prevent or delay the progression of kidney disease, which may include:

  • Doctor visits to check how your kidneys are working through urine and blood tests
  • Checking for and managing diabetes and high blood pressure
  • A healthy eating plan, which may involve limiting things like sodium (salt)
  • Taking prescription medications as directed
  • Being active at least 30 minutes each day of the week
  • Quitting smoking or using tobacco

If you have the APOL1 gene mutations, you may be able to take part in clinical trials. Trials could provide an opportunity for researchers to develop and test safe treatments for AMKD. Also speak with family members about having genetic testing done if you have the mutation as they may also have it.

Learn more and find additional resources at kidneyfund.org/APOL1aware.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Kidney Fund

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Health Alert: Classic Delight Sandwiches May Pose a Risk of Contamination

Potential contamination alert: Classic Delight sandwiches recalled due to Listeria monocytogenes risk. Take necessary precautions.

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Classic Delight sandwich recall due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination risk
Fresh sub sandwich on white and wheat hoagies.(Adobe Stock)


In a recent public health alert, Classic Delight LLC, a food company based in St. Mary’s, Ohio, has announced a voluntary recall of certain individually wrapped sandwiches due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. This organism can result in severe infections, especially among vulnerable individuals. While no illness or adverse reactions have been reported thus far, the company is taking proactive measures to ensure consumer safety.

Details of the Recall:
The affected products, produced between May 11, 2023, and June 6, 2024, were distributed to several states, including Arkansas, California, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. These sandwiches may have made their way into food service distribution, convenience stores, and vending machines. To assist in identifying the recalled items, here is a list of the specific products:

  • 7060 Classic Delight Twin Chili Cheese Dog
  • 514713 Wakefield Charbroiled Cheeseburger
  • 311 Classic Delight Turkey Ham and Cheese Sub
  • 551697 Wakefield Ham Cheddar Pretzel Croissant
  • 314 Classic Delight Turkey Cheese Sub
  • 648899 Wakefield Chorizo Egg Ciabatta
  • 6731 Classic Delight Turkey Cheese Round
  • 806604 Wakefield Ham Egg Cheese Muffin
  • 6757 Classic Delight Twin Breaded Chicken Sliders
  • 806612 Wakefield Ham Egg Cheese Croissant
  • 7626 Classic Delight Breaded Chicken Waffle
  • 806620 Wakefield Bacon Egg and Cheese Bagel
  • 73131 Nutrisystem Turkey Sausage and Egg Muffin
  • 806638 Wakefield Sausage Egg and Cheese Biscuit
  • 176586 Wakefield Pretzel Bacon Angus Cheeseburger
  • 806646 Wakefield Sausage Egg and Cheese Muffin
  • 176594 Wakefield Southern Chicken Biscuit
  • 806653 Wakefield Bacon Cheeseburger
  • 195263 Wakefield Spicy Hawaiian Sliders
  • 806661 Wakefield Blazin Chicken
  • 514711 Wakefield Bacon Egg and Cheese Bagel
  • 806679 Wakefield Charbroiled Cheeseburger
  • 514712 Wakefield Sausage Egg and Cheese Biscuit
  • 806687 Wakefield Chicken and Cheese
  • 942821 Wakefield Sausage Egg Pancake

Reasons for Recall:
Classic Delight initiated the recall after routine environmental testing revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes. The company is actively collaborating with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the origin of the issue. As a precautionary measure, production of the affected products has been halted until the source of contamination is identified and resolved.

Action Steps for Consumers:
If you have purchased any of the recalled Classic Delight sandwiches, it is crucial to take immediate action to safeguard your health and well-being. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Discard the affected products if they are still in your possession.
  2. For a full refund, return the recalled items to the place of purchase.
  3. Any concerns or queries can be directed to the Classic Delight Consumer Hotline at (419)-300-3202, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Pacific Time. Alternatively, you may contact them via email at info@classicdelight.com.

Health and Safety Measures:
While there have been no reported cases of illness linked to these products thus far, it’s important to remain vigilant. Should you experience any symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, or diarrhea after consuming these sandwiches, contact your healthcare provider immediately.


Classic Delight’s voluntary recall underscores their commitment to ensuring the safety of consumers. By swiftly addressing the potential risk of Listeria monocytogenes contamination, Classic Delight is taking proactive steps to protect public health. Remember to check your refrigerators or storage areas for the listed products and follow the recommended actions to minimize any potential harm. Always prioritize your well-being and stay informed about food recalls to make educated choices about the food you consume.

Company Contact Information

Consumers:Classic Delight Consumer Hotline (419)-300-3202 info@classicdelight.com

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts

Press Release: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/classic-delight-llc-issues-public-health-alert-due-possible-health-risk

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/health-and-wellness

About the FDA?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA or US FDA) is a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by overseeing food safety, tobacco products, caffeine products, dietary supplements, pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices (ERED), cosmetics, animal foods & feed, and veterinary products.

The FDA primarily enforces the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) but also enforces other laws like Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act. This includes regulating lasers, cellular phones, and condoms, and controlling diseases in household pets and human sperm for assisted reproduction.

The FDA is led by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, reporting to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Robert Califf is the current Commissioner as of 17 February 2022.

The FDA’s headquarters is in White Oak, Maryland, with 223 field offices and 13 laboratories across the US, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Since 2008, the FDA has posted employees to various foreign countries like China, India, Costa Rica, Chile, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. (Wikipedia)

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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 101: What every student-athlete should know

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(Family Features) You may find it difficult to wrap your mind around the idea of an energetic student-athlete with a cardiac diagnosis. Heart conditions may be more often associated with older individuals, but you might be surprised to learn hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common condition responsible for sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In fact, it’s the cause of 40% of sudden cardiac death cases.

It’s estimated 1 in every 500 adults living in the United States has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to the American Heart Association, but a significant percentage are undiagnosed. More than 80% of individuals who experience this condition show no signs or symptoms before sudden cardiac death. While sudden cardiac death is rare, it can occur during exercise or in its aftermath. That’s why it’s important for student-athletes and their loved ones to learn more about this condition and talk to a doctor about their risk.

With proper knowledge and the support of a skilled care team, it’s possible to manage hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with heart-healthy actions to prevent complications or worsening cardiovascular conditions like atrial fibrillation (a quivering or irregular heartbeat), stroke or heart failure. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy awareness and education for athletes by the American Heart Association is made possible in part by a grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation.

What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common form of inherited heart disease and can affect people of any age. It’s defined by thickening and stiffening of the walls of the heart. The heart’s chambers cannot fill up or pump blood out adequately, so the heart is unable to function normally.

There are different types of this condition. Most people have a form of the disease in which the wall that separates the two bottom chambers of the heart (the septum) becomes enlarged and restricts blood flow out of the heart (obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

However, sometimes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs without significant blocking of blood flow (nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). The heart’s main pumping chamber is still thickened and may become increasingly stiff, reducing the amount of blood taken in then pumped out to the body with each heartbeat.

What are possible symptoms?
Symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • heart palpitations
  • fatigue

The severity of symptoms can vary, but if you experience them or if you have a family history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or sudden cardiac death, it may be a good idea to speak to your doctor about whether you have this condition.

For some people, symptoms can get worse and new symptoms can appear over time, resulting in people dealing with harsher effects and a diminished ability to do the activities they love. This decrease in functions can be one of the most challenging aspects of the disease. Keeping your health care team aware of any new or changing symptoms allows them to work with you to develop a plan to manage these symptoms and reduce their impact.

How is hypertrophic cardiomyopathydiagnosed?
Medical history, family history, a physical exam and diagnostic test results all factor into a diagnosis. A common diagnostic test is an echocardiogram that assesses the thickness of the heart muscle and observes blood flow from the heart.

If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, other heart diseases or has been told they had thick heart walls, you should share that information with your doctor and discuss the need for genetic testing. Because this condition is hereditary, first-degree relatives, which include siblings and parents, should be checked.

Learn more at heart.org/HCMStudentAthlete.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Heart Association

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle

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Soft Drinks Recall: Undeclared Ingredients Pose Health Hazards

Recalled soft drinks by Charles Boggini Company contain undeclared ingredients, posing health hazards. Stay informed for a safer choice!

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In a recent development, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall on three soft drink products produced by Charles Boggini Company. The recall was initiated by the company due to undeclared ingredients in their Pink Lemonade, Cola Flavoring Base, and Yellow Lemonade and Yellow Lemonade X. These undisclosed components have now been classified by their risk level, helping consumers make informed decisions regarding their health and wellbeing.

Understanding the Risk Levels:
The FDA classifies health hazards into three levels: Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I indicates the most severe risk, where the product has the potential to cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.” Class II signifies that exposure or use of the product might result in temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences. Class III denotes a situation where the product is unlikely to cause adverse health consequences.

Recall Details:
The recalled soft drinks include 28 gallons of Pink Lemonade, 2,723 gallons of the Cola Flavoring Base, and 112 gallons of Yellow Lemonade and Yellow Lemonade X. The Pink Lemonade and Cola Flavoring Base were classified as Class II health hazards, while the Yellow Lemonade and Yellow Lemonade X products received a Class III categorization. It’s important to note that these recalls were voluntary and initiated by Charles Boggini Company in March this year.

Undisclosed Ingredients:
The Pink Lemonade was found to contain undeclared FD&C Red No. 40, the Cola Flavoring Base contained undisclosed sulfites, and the Yellow Lemonade and Yellow Lemonade X contained undeclared FD&C Yellow No. 5.

FD&C Red No. 40:
FD&C Red No. 40, also known as E129, is a red dye used in a wide range of products worldwide. While various organizations agree that dietary exposure to this dye is generally not a health concern, some studies have suggested potential links to allergies, migraines, and mental disorders, particularly ADHD in children. Consequently, the FDA mandates that any product containing this dye must declare it as an ingredient. Failure to comply can lead to product recalls.

Sulfites:
Sulfites, commonly used as preservatives in food products, were found in the Cola Flavoring Base. Although the FDA requires sulfites to be declared in food products with a level over 10 ppm (parts per million), some individuals may have sensitivities to sulfites. These sensitivities can manifest as skin reactions, digestive issues, or respiratory problems.

FD&C Yellow No. 5:
The Yellow Lemonade and Yellow Lemonade X were found to contain FD&C Yellow No. 5, also called tartrazine or E102. This synthetic food dye is commonly used in soda, colored candy, and pastries. For individuals with asthma or an aspirin intolerance, allergic and intolerance reactions may occur.


Customer safety and well-being are of utmost importance, and the voluntary recall by Charles Boggini Company, along with FDA classifications of the health hazards posed by undeclared ingredients, demonstrates their commitment to consumer protection. By being aware of the potential risks associated with undisclosed ingredients, individuals can make informed choices and support a culture of transparency in the food and beverage industry.

Check out the article in Newsweek.

https://www.newsweek.com/fda-food-recall-soda-food-dye-sulfites-1907882

https://stmdailynews.com/category/food-and-beverage

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