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Are hangover pills a holiday miracle or hogwash?

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Like most of us after a night of hard drinking, Vancouver-based Nishal Kumar suffered bad hangovers. And he found the severity of his symptoms worsened as he got older. Often, after consuming three or four alcoholic drinks the evening before, he’d wake up feeling nauseous and would vomit.

Kumar tried a number of suggestions to alleviate the problem — he drank plenty of water before bed in an effort to stave off dehydration and consumed vitamin and mineral supplements to replace any loss from excess drinking.

DHM Detox natural supplements, vitamins and minerals are designed to lessen the severity of hangovers.
DHM Detox natural supplements, vitamins and minerals are designed to lessen the severity of hangovers.  (DHM Detox)

“But nothing quite solved the problem,” he said.

While Kumar understood that the recommended weekly alcohol consumption in Canada is no more than 14 drinks for men (up to three a day) and nine for women (up to 2 a day), he was at times easily swayed to surpass these guidelines.

So he went in search of a cure.

Kumar, who studied chemistry, biology and geophysics at the University of British Columbia, learned that the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a poisonous toxin that causes splitting headaches and nausea the next day. He also discovered claims that dihydromyricetin, a harmless, naturally derived extract of an oriental raisin tree, helps break down acetaldehyde and can prevent or lessen the effects of that dreaded morning-after malaise.

So Kumar purchased dihydromyricetin by the kilogram from a supplement manufacturer, along with ingredients like prickly pear (which naturopaths claim is an anti-inflammatory), milk thistle (said to protect the liver) and N-Acetyl Cysteine (an amino acid precursor that is said to promote healthy liver function). He and fellow UBC science grad Luke Gooding began testing them during alcohol-filled nights out.

After further testing with a group of friends and consultations with professionals in the supplement industry, Kumar and Gooding eventually settled on a formulation that they found best minimized the nausea and brain fog associated with a hangover. They named the product DHM Detox, a natural supplement in the form of a pill, which they released through a crowdfunded campaign in the summer. Two white powder-filled capsules packaged in a single-dose pouch are to be taken while drinking, followed by a few glasses of water before bed and a good night’s sleep to help reduce the effects of a hangover the morning after.

A pack of 10 doses of the supplements costs $30.99 (U.S.) and are available at DHMDetox.com.

DHM Detox is one of a number of herbal supplements available that claim to cure the hangover. Each has its own proprietary combination of natural ingredients, vitamins and minerals and Kumar says the formulation and dosage of ingredients in his product is “optimized” for effectivity.

One of the most widely available products in Toronto is PartySmart, created by India-based Himalaya Herbal Supplements. PartySmart contains ingredients such as chicory, date palm and grape extracts, which naturopaths claim help support liver function and speed up the removal of alcohol byproducts from the liver. PartySmart is to be taken “sometime during alcohol consumption.” It is available at Healthy Planet and Nutrition House for about $3.49 per one-pill dose.

Recoup is another hangover pill. It was developed by Toronto naturopathic doctor Andra Campitelli. It contains feverfew, milk thistle and B vitamins, all said to help relieve headaches and support energy production and liver function. The suggested dosing is three pills before drinking and three pills before going to bed. One dose costs $3.49.

But do these herbal hangover supplements actually work?

Dr. David Jenkins, a professor in the department of nutritional sciences and medicine at The University of Toronto, has conducted a systematic review of common vitamins and mineral supplements. While he has not specifically studied the effects of vitamins and minerals on hangovers, he has not found consistent health benefits, nor overall harm from taking supplements.

“I don’t know whether you will get any great relief (from hangovers) when taking supplements,” Jenkins says. Any treatment, including using vitamins and minerals to combat hangovers, comes with an element of the placebo effect, he says, adding “if it’s entirely harmless, a placebo effect may actually be an advantage.”

Toronto writer Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall has tried more than 85 hangover cure products along with some unconventional methods like bungee jumping, getting buried in hay and consuming fireplace charcoal.

He documented his search for a hangover cure — and his excessive drinking antics — in his newly published drinking memoir Hungover: The Morning After and One Man’s Quest for the Cure.

Through months of informal research on himself and friends, he found that N-Acetyl Cysteine, magnesium, frankincense (an anti-inflammatory that doesn’t contribute to liver damage) and vitamins such as B1, B6 and B12 work best when taken after a night of drinking. He suggests avoiding B3 because it can heighten the effects of alcohol sensitivity and cause redness for those already prone to flushing while drinking (this is only in those already with existing alcohol sensitivities).

Even after finding the right ingredients, Bishop-Stall says consumers have to take a “leap of faith” when choosing a supplement.

“Most of the products you’ll find, they will have ingredients on the label but they won’t necessarily have the amount on the label,” he says. “That’s how they try to keep a proprietary blend.”

While Bishop-Stall reminds us that he isn’t a medical professional or scientist, he has developed his own combination of ingredients in quantities that he says “work 100 per cent of the time” for him when taken at the end of a night of drinking before going to sleep.

But he’s unsure of whether he’ll produce or market it to the public because he’s concerned about the widespread effects of eliminating the negative outcomes of drinking. “This might become a very drunken world very fast.”

Whether any of these hangover cures work for you or not, there is only one foolproof way to sidestep hangover — avoid alcohol. And for New Year’s Eve revellers who will inevitably imbibe to excess, Dr. Jenkins offers age-old advice: “As Plato said 2,500 years ago — moderation.”

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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