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Compositional Quality and Possible Gastrointestinal Performance of Marketed Probiotic Supplements

The local pharmacies and shops are brimming with various probiotic products that herald a range of health benefits. The poor quality of probiotic products in both dosage and species is symptomatic of this multi-billion-dollar market making it difficult for consumers to single out reliable ones. This study Bio Med Frontiers aim to fill the potential gap in the labeling accuracy of probiotic products intended for human consumption.
We describe a combinatorial approach using classical culture-dependent technique to quantify and molecular techniques (16 s rRNA gene sequencing, multilocus sequence, and ribotyping) for strain recognition of the microbial contents.
The full gamut of probiotic characteristics including acid, bile and lysozyme tolerances, adhesiveness, anti-pathogenicity, and degree of safeness were performed.
Their capacity to endure gastro-intestinal (GIT) stresses and select drugs was assessed in vitro. Our results forced us to declare that the local probiotic market is essentially unregulated. Almost none of the probiotic products tested met the label claim.
Some (11%) have no viable cells, and a quarter (27%) showing significant inter-batch variation. A lower microbial count was typical with undesirables constituting a quarter of the total (~ 27%).
Half of the products contained antibiotic-resistant strains; the unregulated use of these probiotics carries the risk of spreading antibiotic resistance to gut pathobionts. Poor tolerance to gut conditions and mediocre functionalism make the case worse.
The current regulatory systems do not take this discrepancy into account. We recommend an evidence-based regular market surveillance of marketed probiotics to ensure the authenticity of the claims and product effectiveness.

Toothless Rhetoric or Strategic Polemic? A Textual and Contextual Analysis of Japan’s Hate Speech Law.

  • In May, 2016 the Diet passed a law on the “Promotion of efforts to eliminate unfair discriminatory speech and behavior against people originating from outside Japan”, widely referred to as (Heito Supiichi Hō /Hate Speech Law). Study More For some residents of Japan it had been a long time coming.
  • Without any laws specifically prohibiting racially discriminatory speech or writing, aggrieved parties had hitherto been forced to resort to indirect lines of protection.
  • In 1999, for example, a Brazilian national ejected from a jewelry shop displaying a poster saying “No foreigners allowed” obtained a favourable ruling citing Japan’s ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and in 2013 an injunction for defamation and obstruction of business was granted on behalf of a school for children of North Korean descent repeatedly subjected to provocative demonstrations.
  • But others questioned the need to reinforce limits on freedom of expression even in the face of aggressive taunts, with some claiming that incidents of racial discrimination in Japan lacked the historical, entrenched, and violent dimensions that had prompted hate speech laws in Europe and elsewhere.
  • When the text of the proposed law became public there was also debate about its utility as such an abstract measure seemed inapplicable to many potential victims and lacked punitive sanctions.
  • Against this criticism it could be argued that the law went about as far as the government could expect to go if it were to get it passed; that it appears to be curtailing a particularly aggressive form of hate speech; and that it has ushered in a number of more specific initiatives, especially at local level.
  • This study will begin with the 2016 text itself, drawing on the semiotic framework of Systemic Functional Grammar to explore how it prioritises general principles over specific regulations.
  • This textual analysis will be followed by a contextual account of why the Law was constructed as it was, how it has influenced awareness of hate speech, and where it fits in with an existing genre of non-coercive legislation in Japan.

Purchasing of tobacco-related and e-cigarette-related products within prisons before and after implementation of smoke-free prison policy: analysis of prisoner spend data across Scotland, UK.

 To examine the effect of smoke-free prison policy implementation in November 2018 on purchasing patterns in the prison canteen (shop).
Design:Interrupted time series.
Setting:All 12 closed, publicly run prisons in Scotland, UK.
Participants:People in custody (PiC) between August 2018 and end of March 2019 (n=11 944).
Interventions:Implementation of smoke-free prisons policy.
Total spent on all products, nicotine-related products, and food and beverage products per week.
 Canteen data were provided for the period July 2018-September 2019 by the Scottish Prison Service.
In a series of generalised linear mixed effects models, the amount spent before and after implementation of smoke-free prison policy was compared for all purchases in the time period, and for PiC identified as ‘smokers’ and ‘non-smokers’ from their pre-implementation tobacco purchasing patterns.
The amount spent on nicotine-related products significantly decreased from pre-implementation to post-implementation (incident rate ratio (IRR) 0.40; 99% CI 0.33 to 0.51, p<0.001).
However, total canteen spend did not change over the study period (IRR 0.92; 99% CI 0.84 to 1.00).
Post implementation about 25% of previous ‘smokers’ total canteen spend was on nicotine-related products. The amount spent by previous ‘smokers’ on food and beverages increased from £8.67 (99% CI 8.23 to 9.13) pre-implementation to £10.24 in the post implementation period (99% CI 9.58 to 10.90).
Although the amount of money previous ‘smokers’ in prison spent on nicotine-related products decreased after smoke-free policy, nicotine products still account for a large proportion of canteen spend among PiC in smoke-free prisons in Scotland.
Results indicate that many PiC may continue to use nicotine in smoke-free prisons where e-cigarettes are permitted.

Disaster preparedness and resilience at household level in Yangon, Myanmar.

Resilience has become important in disaster preparedness and response. Unfortunately, little is known about resilience at the household level. This study presents the results of a survey into individual and household level preparedness to disaster events in Yangon, Myanmar, which is prone to natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, flooding, and earthquakes.
The study aimed to understand societal resilience and to provide information that could be used to develop a holistic framework.
In four different Yangon townships, 440 households were interviewed. The results of the survey indicate how risk preparedness could be improved by specific measures related to the following five factors:
(1) increasing the general public’s knowledge of first aid and its role in preparedness;
(2) improving mobile phone infrastructure and capacity building in its usage so that it can be used for communication during disasters, along with building up a redundant communication structure;
(3) better use and organisation of volunteer potential;
(4) more specific involvement of religious and public buildings for disaster response; and
(5) developing specific measures for improving preparedness in urban areas, where the population often has reduced capacities for coping with food supply insufficiencies due to the high and immediate availability of food, shops, and goods in regular times.

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The findings of this survey have led to specific recommendations for Yangon. The identified measures represent a first step in developing a more general framework. Future research could investigate the transferability of these measures to other areas and thus their suitability as a basis for a framework.

Djoumana

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