Vitamin K May Offer Protective Health Benefits in Old Age, Finds Study
Vitamin K, a nutrient found in leafy greens and vegetable oils, may have protective health benefits as we age and directly affect longevity in older adults, a new multi-ethnic study has found.
 
Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study reports that older adults with low vitamin K levels had a higher risk of death over a 13-year period compared to those with adequate levels. The research was conducted by involving nearly 4,000 Americans aged 54-76, one-third of whom were non-white, and was led by a team at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (USDA HNRCA) and Tufts Medical Center.
 
For the study, researchers categorised participants according to their vitamin K blood levels and then compared risk of heart disease and death across the categories over a period of 13 years.
 
Although the results showed no significant association between vitamin K levels and heart disease, people with the lowest vitamin K levels had a 19% higher risk of death, compared to those with levels that reflected adequate vitamin K intake. The results were adjusted for age, gender, race, ethnicity, body mass index, triglycerides, cholesterol levels, smoking status and the use of medications for high blood pressure or diabetes.
 
The meta-analysis for this research combined data from three ongoing studies, namely, ‘the health, aging and body composition study’, ‘the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis’ and the ‘Framingham heart study (offspring cohort)’. Vitamin K levels were measured in participants in all of the studies after fasting with the same test and were processed at the same lab minimising the potential for variations. Participants were free from heart disease at baseline, and those on warfarin blood thinners were excluded as vitamin K counteracts the effects of the drug.
 
Vitamin K is a nutrient that is important for maintaining healthy blood vessels, blood clotting, bone metabolism and regulating blood calcium levels. It is found in leafy greens, such as lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, as well as parsley, among others, and in some vegetable oils, especially soybean and canola.
 
"The possibility that vitamin K is linked to heart disease and mortality is based on our knowledge about proteins in vascular tissue that require vitamin K to function. These proteins help prevent calcium from building up in artery walls, and without enough vitamin K, they are less functional," said Dr Kyla Shea, one of the lead scientists on the HNRCA team.
 
Dr Sarah Booth, a co-author on the study and director of the USDA HNRCA, developed the methodology for measuring vitamin K in blood. Her research team measured the vitamin K levels in the study participants and continues to generate data about vitamin K status in population and clinic-based studies.
 
"Similar to when a rubber band dries out and loses its elasticity, when veins and arteries are calcified, blood pumps less efficiently, causing a variety of complications. That is why measuring risk of death, in a study such as this, may better capture the spectrum of events associated with worsening vascular health," said Dr Daniel Weiner, nephrologist at Tufts Medical Center, whose research includes vascular disease in people with impaired kidney function.
 
While this study adds to existing evidence that vitamin K may have protective health benefits, being a purely observational study, it does not establish a causal relationship between low vitamin K levels and risk of death. Additional research is required to clarify why circulating vitamin K was associated with risk for death but not heart disease.
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    He Removed Labels That Said “Medical Use Prohibited,” Then Tried to Sell Thousands of Masks to Officials Who Distribute to Hospitals
    Using TaskRabbit and Venmo, a Silicon Valley investor and his business partner had workers repackage non-medical KN95 masks so he could sell them to Texas emergency workers.
     
    Lucas Rensko was making money through a popular handyman-for-hire app called TaskRabbit, doing odd jobs and delivering groceries, when he picked up a task that led him to a leaky-roofed warehouse on a tattered road in northwest San Antonio.
     
    Inside, a man named Jaime Rivera had set up long tables where five or six other “Taskers” earning about $20 an hour were ripping Chinese masks out of plastic bags and stuffing them into new ones that were identical but for one potentially deadly difference. The old packages were labeled in all caps “MEDICAL USE PROHIBITED,” meaning not to be used by doctors and nurses who need the strongest protection from tiny particles carrying the novel coronavirus. The new bags, intended to make their way to Texas hospitals, simply omitted that warning.
     
    This seemingly small deception highlights a huge problem for medical workers whose best defense against a virus that ravages the body with horrifying complexity is a simple, but trustworthy, mask. That trust has eroded as Chinese-made masks claiming, sometimes falsely, to be 95% effective at filtering virus-laden particles made their way into hospitals and now local convenience stores. You might have bought them: KN95s.
     
    Texas officials have tried to block ineffective masks from making their way to hospitals with screenings and by rejecting anything labeled as non-medical, yet at the same time, the mysterious brokers sourcing millions of masks were working hard to evade those safeguards. The operation Rensko witnessed had the potential to push faulty masks into the Texas supply chain just as Gov.
     
    Greg Abbott eased lockdown restrictions and COVID-19 infections began to soar.
     
    “He kind of takes us on this tour of his facility, which is essentially a shelled out warehouse,” Rensko, 36, told me over the phone, detailing how Rivera described the work at the warehouse. “He was saying they were designated for personal or residential use, not for medical. And so what he was doing was basically putting them into other packaging where the city of San Antonio and the state of Texas are able to look at them and then sell them for medical purposes.”
     
    Rensko knew something wasn’t quite right and walked away from the TaskRabbit gig. He told his wife, who told a friend, who told another friend, who told me.
     
    Over weeks of reporting, I’d learn that Rensko had scratched the surface of a larger scheme involving a Silicon Valley investor named Brennan Mulligan to sell what Texas health officials later flagged as “fraudulent” masks to the agency directing protective equipment to hospitals. Mulligan had enlisted Rivera, who was desperate for money after the pandemic had sapped his primary source of income, building furniture and manual labor via TaskRabbit. As countless others have, the two had a chance to make money off of the country’s public health nightmare.
     
    When I caught up with Mulligan, he emphasized that he didn’t break any U.S. laws in his mask business. Rivera would acknowledge it was a gray area that had caught the attention of federal investigators. Both would defend their actions as simply cutting through onerous red tape put up by the Chinese and U.S. governments to get masks to those desperate for them.
     
    The absurdity, greed and incompetence surrounding the distribution of coronavirus-era masks has taken me to Chicago, California and, now, Texas.
     
    The federal government’s efforts to get protective equipment out quickly to essential workers had failed spectacularly, and the supply chain that normally moves products from producers to vendors to end users had almost completely broken down. Counterfeit masks were flooding the market, and prices for even unreliable masks had skyrocketed.  Continue Reading
     
    This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan local newsroom that informs and engages with Texans. Sign up for The Brief weekly to get up to speed on their essential coverage of Texas issues.
     
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    COMMENTS

    shirish.s

    1 week ago

    That means, even in Texas, America, during this Covid19 pandemic
    corruption is going on, in selling medical masks.
    Then there is no difference between our country and America, as far as corruption in this Pandemic time is concerned

    REPLY

    thindgurminder_s

    In Reply to shirish.s 21 hours ago

    There is a huge difference, culprits in America will get punished while they will go scot free in India. BTW I never understand why this infatuation with comparing India with America and trying to prove that America is not any better from India while the matter of fact is America is any day far far better than India.

    shirish.s

    In Reply to thindgurminder_s 18 hours ago

    Let us wait and watch, for action to be taken by America, in present case.

    India vulnerable to second wave of coronavirus: AIIMS Director
    India has jumped past 4.5 lakh coronavirus cases and 14,476 people have succumbed to the viral infection so far. In this backdrop, speaking to IANS in an exclusive interview, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said India is also vulnerable to second wave of coronavirus and people should continue to follow social distancing, wearing mask and other precautions, after cases begin to decline.
     
    He added that in order to contain the outbreak of Covid-19, a limited lockdown in hotspots, where volume of cases is very high, may be considered along with a micro-plan to prevent leakage of cases from these areas to other non-containment areas. Excerpts of the interview are below:
     
    Q: Reports say China and South Korea are witnessing a second wave of coronavirus infection, what is this second wave, is India also vulnerable to this?
     
    A: When cases come down significantly, people tend to drop their guard against the viral infection, and this leads to the second wave (which means a sudden increase in the number of cases). After cases begin to decline, people should continue to follow the precautions -- continue to maintain social distancing and wear masks regularly. See what happened in Singapore, it was struck by a second wave of coronavirus. Look, what happened in the 1918 pandemic, people dropped their guard and the second wave of viral infection struck back. If people do not follow social distancing then the spike in cases is apparent. We need to take these precautions at least for one year. India is also vulnerable to this second wave.
     
    Q: If Covid-19 cases continue to rise rapidly, do you think we need another lockdown in areas where volume of cases are very high?
     
    A: A large volume of cases is concentrated in specific areas like hotspots, and in order to maintain things in order, we may need a limited lockdown in these areas. This should be followed by a micro-plan which entails extensive testing of people and also extensive contact tracing of people who have got in touch with positive people. Need to ensure there is no leakage of cases from these areas. People from these areas should not mix with others in non-containment areas. This will aid in containing the outbreak of the virus. People who have developed symptoms should get themselves tested, especially in the containment areas. 
     
    Q: With more than 4.5 lakh cases and close to 14,500 deaths, do you think India has reached its peak and a decline in cases is prominent?
     
    A: The cases will continue to increase for some time. The doubling time of cases has also increased. But, the cases will also begin to flatten. Though, it is difficult to give an exact time period in this viral infection, it seems, the growth in cases will flatten in the end of July or beginning of August. A decline will come to this viral infection, but it does not mean that people should drop their guard. As a measure, we need to decrease community participation and citizens should continue to follow social distancing. People should get themselves tested. All these efforts will help in preventing people from contracting this virus. These precautions will also prevent us from the second wave, and we must continue to take precautions. The virus has not gone away, it is still lurking.
     
    Q: India has crossed the 4.5 lakh coronavirus cases so far, although our recovery rate is good, but still 10,000 to 15,000 cases are reported daily. Why do cases continue to spiral, what is the reason?
     
    A: We have to remember a few things -- the bulk of cases are in 10 cities, nearly 70 per cent, and if we take into account cases per million population, the number is not very high, as compared with countries including countries in Europe. Many European countries put together still do not add up to the Indian population. Do not compare India to countries like Italy, Spain etc. We need to focus on hotspots, which contribute to between 70 -80 per cent of cases, and we have to identify cases in these areas at an early stage. The population density is very high in these cities. People in lower socio-economic status are highly vulnerable to the viral infection, as many live together in small spaces and there is a lot of mixing of people happening there. Look at the market places, people are not following social distancing and not wearing masks. In fact, many are in close vicinity of each other.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    tillan2k

    1 week ago

    is this person only job is to remain on TV screen like politicians only Bhashans is he Politician in Doctors robes

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