French parliament approves COVID vaccine pass: Live – Al Jazeera English

France’s parliament has approved a law that will exclude unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports arenas and other venues – the central measure of government efforts to protect hospitals amid record numbers of infections driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

In China, the city of Xi’an has gradually begun lifting restrictions after over three weeks of lockdown, following a coronavirus outbreak last month that officials attributed to the Delta variant.

India has reported its highest daily count of new novel coronavirus infections, with more than 271,000 cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, vaccinated travellers will not be asked for COVID-19 tests on their return from holidays starting from next month, according to British daily The Times.

Here are the latest updates on January 16:

Baby dead from COVID-19 in Qatar: ministry

A three-week-old baby has died from COVID-19 in Qatar, the health ministry said, reporting a rare child fatality from the illness in the Gulf country.

“A three-week-old baby has sadly died as a result of severe infection from Covid-19,” the emirate’s public health ministry said in a statement.

“The baby had no other known medical or hereditary conditions”, and was the second child to have died in the country since the pandemic began, it added.

French parliament approves vaccine pass

France’s parliament gave final approval to the government’s latest measures to tackle the COVID-19 virus, including a vaccine pass contested by anti-vaccine protestors.

The new law, which had a rough ride through parliament with opposition parties finding some of its provisions too tough, will require people to have a certificate of vaccination to enter public places like restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains.

Currently, unvaccinated people can enter such places with the results of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Nearly 78 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the health ministry on Saturday.

People queue for COVID-19 tests in front of a testing booth outside a pharmacy in Paris amid the spread of the coronavirus diseasePeople queue for COVID-19 tests in front of a testing booth outside a pharmacy in Paris amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in France, January 7, 2022. [Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters]

Anti-vaccine far-right rally attracts hundreds in Hungary

Over a thousand people marched in Budapest protesting against COVID-19 inoculation at a rally organised by the far-right Our Homeland Movement, which has been campaigning on a fierce anti-vaccine and anti-immigration message ahead of April 3 elections.

“Vaccines should not be mandatory! We don’t tolerate blackmail,” said the slogan of the rally where people held up banners saying: “I am unvaccinated, not a criminal” and “Enough of COVID dictatorship.”

Hungary’s nationalist government has made COVID-19 vaccines mandatory only for teachers and healthcare workers.

With 10 million people and 40,237 people deaths from COVID-19 so far, Hungary has a vaccination rate of just over 60 percent, which lags western European levels.

Protest in Netherlands against coronavirus measures

Thousands of protesters packed Amsterdam’s streets in opposition to the government-imposed COVID-19 measures and vaccination campaign as virus infections hit a new record.

Authorities were granted stop and search powers at several locations across the city and scores of riot police vans patrolled neighbourhoods where the demonstrators marched with banners and yellow umbrellas.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen said the mood has been “quite heated but peaceful”.

“There’s a wide range of people against government measures and a general distrust of politics,” she said.

“A lot of people are now not obeying the rules and are violating many of the rules that are still place. The government has lifted the lockdown last Friday but in the last couple of days we’ve seen many business owners going against the government, opening their shops, restaurants and businesses saying they can’t go any longer.”

Chinese city Xi’an lifts some restrictions after lockdown

The Chinese city of Xi’an has gradually begun lifting restrictions after over three weeks of lockdown, as authorities sought to stamp out a local outbreak before the Beijing Winter Olympic Games are due to start.

State-owned broadcaster CCTV reported that certain counties and development zones in Xi’an, a city of 13 million famous for the Terracotta Warriors, had begun restoring production.

Officials told a news conference that lockdown measures had been either partially or completely lifted in some communities that have been designated as lower risk, allowing people to leave their homes for a limited time to purchase daily necessities.

Turkey backtracks on allowing unvaccinated on domestic flights without PCR test

Turkey has rescinded a measure that allows people unvaccinated against COVID-19 to board domestic flights without a PCR test, the state-owned Anadolu Agency said, a day after the requirement was lifted.

The Interior Ministry on Saturday lifted the PCR requirement for unvaccinated people in various areas, including planes, buses, theatres, cinemas and concert venues, Anadolu said.

Ankara had also lifted the PCR test and isolation requirement for those who come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. PCR tests are given only to those who show sypmtoms of the illness.

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in IstanbulPegasus Airlines employees wearing protective masks and face shields inform passengers at the domestic departure terminal of Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul, Turkey June 11, 2020. [File: Murad Sezer/Reuters]

COVID deaths and cases are rising again at US nursing homes

COVID-19 infections are soaring again at US nursing homes because of the omicron wave, and deaths are climbing too, leading to new restrictions on family visits and a renewed push to get more residents and staff members vaccinated and boosted.

Nursing homes were the lethal epicentre of the pandemic early on, before the vaccine allowed many of them to reopen to visitors last year. But the wildly contagious variant has dealt them a setback.

Nursing homes reported a near-record of about 32,000 COVID-19 cases among residents in the week ending January 9, an almost sevenfold increase from a month earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Austria tweaks vaccine mandate plan, to come in next month

The Austrian government has announced revised plans for a strict vaccine mandate, which it said will now apply to all residents age 18 and over, rather than 14 as originally intended.

The government announced nearly two months ago that it would implement a general vaccine mandate early this year, becoming the first European country to do so. In early December, it produced a first draft, calling for the measure to be introduced in February and foreseeing fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,100) for people who flout it.

Key aspects of the plan remain in the final version, which the government aims to have parliament approve on Thursday, but officials said consultations with two opposition parties and others showed the need for significant changes to details.

A demonstrator holds a placard reading 'Against compulsory vaccination' A demonstrator holds a placard reading ‘Against compulsory vaccination’ during an anti-vaccination protest at the Ballhausplatz in Vienna, Austria [File: Georg Hochmuth/AFP]

Germany’s seven-day incidence of infections passes 500 for first time

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warned Germans against complacency and warned of “difficult weeks” ahead as the country’s disease control body recorded a new high in its seven-day incidence of coronavirus infections.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 515.7 new infections per 100,000 people per week on Sunday, marking the first time the measure has passed the 500 mark.

This compares to the figure of 497.1 a day earlier and 362.7 a week earlier. German health authorities recorded 52,504 new infections in the past 24 hours. A week earlier 36,552 were recorded.

“We must not lull ourselves into a false sense of security in view of the fall of hospitalization numbers, especially in intensive care units,” Lauterbach told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Australian PM welcomes court decision to dismiss Djokovic visa case

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has welcomed a federal court ruling that upheld the cancellation of tennis player Novak Djokovic’s visa, saying the decision will help “keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe”.

A medical exemption that allowed Djokovic to enter the country without being vaccinated had sparked fury in Australia, becoming a political issue for Morrison, who has to call a federal election before May.

“It’s now time to get on with the Australian Open and get back to enjoying tennis over the summer,” Morrison said in a statement.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speakingMorrison promised to ‘keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe’ [File: AFP]

Serbia says Australia’s decision to deport Djokovic ‘scandalous’

Serbia’s prime minister has denounced as “scandalous” Australia’s decision to deport tennis player Novak Djokovic over his decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Serbian president said he would always be welcome in his homeland.

A unanimous ruling by a three-judge bench rejecting Djokovic’s appeal against the cancellation of his visa dealt a final blow to his hopes of chasing a record 21st Grand Slam win at the Australian Open.

“I think the court decision is scandalous … I find it unbelievable that we have two completely contradictory court decisions within the span of just a few days,” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic told reporters in Belgrade.

Thailand reports first death from Omicron variant

Thailand has reported its first death from the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant, a health official said on Sunday.

The death of an 86-year-old woman from the southern province of Songkhla came after Thailand detected its first Omicron case last month that led to the reinstatement of its mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for foreign visitors.

“The woman is a bed-ridden, Alzheimer patient,” health ministry spokesman Rungrueng Kitphati told the Reuters news agency.

Such a death was expected as the country has so far reported more than 10,000 Omicron cases, he said, adding that Thailand would not need further containment measures.

A woman receives vaccine from a health worker in ThailandThailand reported 8,077 new infections and nine deaths on Sunday [File: Sakchai Lalit/AP Photo]

Djokovic boards flight after Australia court upholds visa cancellation

Tennis star Novak Djokovic boarded a flight bound for Dubai after an Australian federal court upheld the government’s cancellation of his visa in a drama over his decision not to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

The player was seen boarding an Emirates flight from Melbourne just hours after the court ruling.

Beijing Omicron case prompts temple closures, queues for COVID tests

China reported 65 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for January 15, including the first Omicron case in Beijing, just weeks from the February 4 start of the Winter Olympic Games and the country’s Lunar New Year holiday.

That was down from 104 comparable cases a day earlier, as the outbreak in the northwestern city of Xian winds down after strict lockdowns.

But the highly transmissible Omicron variant has been detected in at least five provinces and municipalities, prompting cities to impose curbs to stop its spread and threatening to further undercut slowing economic growth.

Australia court rules Djokovic to be deported

Tennis player Novak Djokovic has lost his chance to defend his Australian Open title after an Australian court upheld a government deportation order.

Three federal court judges sided with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision made on Friday to cancel the 34-year-old Serb’s visa on public interest grounds.

Read more here.

Djokovic playing tennis in Melbourne ParkSerbian tennis player Novak Djokovic practises at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2022 [Diego Fedele/AAP via Reuters]

UK Conservative chairman asks Johnson to address culture of staff parties

The British Conservative Party chairman has rejected calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign but said he must address the culture within his government that resulted in multiple staff gatherings at his residence during coronavirus lockdowns.

Johnson has apologised for attending a gathering in the garden of his Downing Street residence in May 2020 where staff had been invited to bring their own alcohol at a time when strict rules forbade the public from almost all socialising.

Amid a public backlash at the perception that the government did not follow its own rules during the pandemic, an internal investigation is looking at that party and several others – including two separate parties on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.

British Prime Minister Boris JohnsonJohnson apologised after a report revealed his staff parties during COVID lockdown times [File: Reuters]

India daily COVID-19 case count touches eight-month peak

India has reported 271,202 new daily cases of the novel coronavirus, its highest daily count in eight months, taking its total tally to 37.12 million, the federal health ministry said.

Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 314 to 486,066, the ministry said.

A healthcare worker gives a dose of vaccine to a man in IndiaA healthcare worker injects a dose of vaccine to a man in Ahmedabad, India [File: Reuters]

N Korea train makes first crossing into China since border lockdown: Reports

A North Korean cargo train pulled into a Chinese border town on Sunday, in what would be the first confirmed crossing since anti-coronavirus border lockdowns began, according to media reports.

North Korea has not officially reported any COVID-19 cases and has imposed strict anti-virus measures, including border closures and domestic travel curbs, since the pandemic began in December 2019.

A North Korean freight train crossed the Yalu River railway bridge to arrive in the Chinese town of Dandong on Sunday, Yonhap News Agency said, citing multiple unnamed sources.

Beijing reports first local Omicron case

The first locally transmitted Omicron case has been detected in the Chinese capital, Beijing, officials said, weeks before the city is due to host the Winter Olympic Games.

State television reported on Saturday that the new COVID infection had been identified as the Omicron strain.

Lab testing found “mutations specific to the Omicron variant” in the person, an official at the city’s disease control authority, Pang Xinghuo, told a news briefing.

Read more here.

UK will not require COVID tests for fully vaccinated travellers: Report

Britain’s vaccinated travellers will be able to go on half-term holidays next month without taking COVID-19 tests on their return, The Times reported.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps is in favour of ending the testing system for the double-jabbed in time for the February break, the report said.

An announcement on the change in guidance would be made on January 26, the report said.

Travellers stand at Heathrow airport in LondonAn announcement on the change in travel guidance in the UK will reportedly be made on January 26 [File: EPA]

China urges authorities to minimise effects of COVID curbs over Lunar New Year

China’s state planner has urged local governments to minimise the effects of COVID-19 restrictions over the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday to help a rebound in consumption, as rising cases of the Omicron variant threaten economic growth.

“Local governments should avoid simplified, one-size-fits-all … COVID-19 epidemic and control measures [over the holiday] and minimise the impact on the people’s life,” the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement.

It said low-risk places in China meet the reasonable demand for short trips from urban and rural residents, and urged a step-up in the supply of everyday products over the holiday period.

What exercises improve anxiety? Why the answer is unexpectedly simple – Inverse

For 12 weeks, 149 people ran around a fitness facility in Gothenburg, Sweden three times a week — not because they wanted to lose weight or attain some New Year’s resolution, but because they wanted to see how exercise changed their mental health.

Divided into two groups — one focused on low-intensity training and the other high-intensity — the participants went to the facility three times a week for an hour. They did circuits, going from cardiorespiratory exercises like step-ups and lunges to resistance training exercises like push-ups and crunches, ultimately moving through 12 stations along the circuit, twice. Then they did a 5-minute cool-down and stretching.

The people in the study range in age from 18 to 65 years old, but every one of these individuals is united by a commonality: each is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The most common diagnosis among the group is generalized anxiety disorder, followed by panic disorder. Anxiety, for many in this group, is chronic: Half have lived with anxiety for at least a decade.

In a study published in the January edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers reveal how all of these individuals experienced a significant reduction in anxiety after completing the exercise program. Ultimately, the participants went from a baseline of moderate to high anxiety to low anxiety. Their experience was the opposite to that of a control group who was only given advice on physical activity from a physiotherapist, but who experienced little change in their anxiety (they also got a 3-month gym membership after the study was over).

The study participants who exercised moved from a baseline of moderate to high anxiety to low anxietyGetty Images

The results specifically speak to the influence of exercise on anxiety: It’s established that moving your body benefits mental health, especially depression, but the study authors say previous research on anxiety and exercise has been inconclusive.

And contrary to the initial hypothesis, changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength did not significantly correlate to changes in anxiety symptoms. The intensity of a workout is not necessarily a game-changer either: The low-intensity group benefited almost as much as the high-intensity group, the difference being so slight that the first author, Malin Henriksson, says it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters is that exercise helped — and could be a new treatment for anxiety.

Henriksson is a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg. She’s also a general practitioner, as is senior author Maria Åberg. Henriksson tells me she and Åberg have seen many patients with anxiety, and “seen a large need for more treatment alternatives.”

One alternative could be prescribed exercise.

Alternative treatments for anxiety

Today’s standard treatments for anxiety are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and drug medications. These treatments are helpful for many, but not for all.

“Despite notable pharmacological advances, treatment resistance, side-effects, and poor medication adherence are common among patients with anxiety disorders,” Henriksson says. “Long waiting lists, which is common for CBT, may worsen symptoms and long-term prognosis.”

General practitioners need treatments that are low on side effects and easily prescribed, she says. In Sweden, there are specific guidelines for treating depression with exercise. Henriksson says her team hopes this research can inform similar guidelines for treating anxiety.

But while exercise has a lower barrier to entry than therapy and medication, it’s not necessarily an easy additive. Cost, childcare, and a lack of time all keep people away, especially those in low-income groups. We know exercise is good for us, but regular exercise can be difficult to execute.

The study participants completed resistance training exercises like push-ups and crunches.Getty Images

This reality may, in part, explain some of the success seen in this study group: Many in the study group didn’t work out before participating; their cardiorespiratory fitness was considerably lower and their alcohol use was higher compared to the Swedish population. Twenty-seven of the participants were on sick leave. This may underlie why the low-intensity program resulted in “a significant increase in physical activity compared to their previously sedentary lifestyles,” the researchers write.

It’s also good news, demonstrating gains can be made by people who are physically capable. How frequently one needs to exercise to see these benefits, however, isn’t certain: Henriksson emphasizes her team can only say “you have to exercise 12 weeks, 3 times a week, 45 to 60 minutes per occasion to get the benefit.”

Work is underway to see if the changes last: The same team is analyzing the results from the one-year follow-up. For now, Henriksson’s advice is guided by her clinical observations: Patients who routinely exercise and then stop find they get anxious again quite quickly.

“Exercise can take many forms — for example, swimming, cycling, dancing; power-walking — but it’s important you do it regularly and you get the pulse to go up and start sweating,” Henriksson says.

How does exercise help mental health?

It’s not clear why exercise improves mental health, namely because it there may be several different mechanisms at play.

Regular fitness activity, for example, is known to enhance the creation of blood vessels, communication between nerve cells and brain synapses, and the new formation of nerve cells from stem cells, Henriksson says.

“… mental distraction and improved self-confidence can also be a part of the improvement.”

Research also suggests exercise stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor 1, contributing to reduced anxiety-like behavior in mice and benefiting the brain’s ability to change and adapt.

Other studies suggest exercise can reduce levels of proinflammatory cytokines, increase levels of beta-endorphins, reduce response to stress through regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and increase levels of endocannabinoids in the bloodstream. This boost promotes relaxation.

“Psychological theories propose mental distraction and improved self-confidence can also be a part of the improvement,” Henriksson says. The study team believes — but can’t yet prove — exercising as a group also benefited the participants, and the presence of a supportive physiotherapist at the training sessions likely helped too.

These results seemingly counter objectives typically stressed over in the gym: you don’t need to get stronger, or get skinnier, or prove your ability to withstand fatigue to see benefits. You do need to sweat and you do need to show up. Your brain can take it from there.

This Popular Fruit Could Help Lower Your Cholesterol, New Study Suggests — Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

A natural way to lower cholesterol could be as close as the produce section of your favorite market: A new study in the journal Nutrients suggests that grapes may not only improve this heart-health marker but also boost the diversity of your beneficial gut bacteria, too.

Researchers asked 19 healthy adults to eat a diet low in fiber and polyphenols—the compound in fruits and vegetables that reduces inflammation and helps to regulate blood pressure—for a month, in order to see how grape powder would affect them afterward. They continued to eat the same diet but added 46 grams of the powder, the equivalent of two servings of fresh grapes, which comes in at two cups.

After four weeks of the daily grape powder, participants all saw increases in gut bacteria diversity, especially a type associated with glucose regulation and breakdown of fatty acids. They also had an almost 8% decrease in “bad” cholesterol levels, as well as a 40 percent drop in steroid acids—a substance that plays a role in how cholesterol works in the body. At high amounts, these acids can lead to blocked blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.


Related: What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Grapes

This effect is likely because grapes are such a rich source of fiber and polyphenols, which both provide benefits to the gut and cardiovascular system, according to study co-author Jieping Yang, PhD, at the Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.

Although this was considered a pilot study due to its small number of participants, Yang says it adds to ample, previous research showing that compounds in grapes have a range of benefits, including antibacterial and antiviral properties.

The main finding in the recent study was the boosted gut health, but Yang says the cholesterol effect is also promising. That’s especially the case since participants had to refrain from eating fruits and vegetables for a month, which means that even those who rarely eat these foods could see benefits after only a few weeks of including them in their diet.

“Dietary intervention is the primary approach to cholesterol management,” she says. “In this study, the equivalent of two servings of grapes provided enough dietary fiber to have a small but significant impact.”

More research will need to be done, Yang adds, but in the meantime, this adds to other research that suggests grapes definitely have a heart-healthy—and gut boosting —place in your fruit bowl.

For more, check out the Secret Effects of Eating Grapes, Says Science.

Hyperlipidemia vs. Hypercholesterolemia: What’s the Difference? – Healthline

You may have heard that you have high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, or even a high level of lipids in your blood.

You may have also heard of hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia and wondered if these conditions are the same and how they relate to your cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Hypercholesterolemia is a specific type of hyperlipidemia. The two conditions have many common factors, but there are also some differences.

Read on to learn more about the differences between the two, as well as the risk factors, potential complications, and treatments for these conditions.

Hyperlipidemia is a condition where you have a high level of lipids (fats) in your blood. Specifically, with hyperlipidemia, you have high levels of the following types of lipids:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. It plays a key role in the buildup of fatty deposits in arteries, causing them to narrow (atherosclerosis).
  • Triglycerides. When you take in more calories than you burn, your body converts the excess calories into triglycerides, a type of fat. Having high triglyceride levels plus high LDL may increase the risk of plaque buildup in your arteries.

Hyperlipidemia is a common condition. It’s estimated that 50 percent of Americans have hyperlipidemia in some form.

What’s considered a high level of cholesterol and triglycerides?

A blood test called a lipid panel, or a lipid profile, can determine your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Levels are often measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

According to the National Library of Medicine, your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides can be classified as follows:

Causes and risk factors of hyperlipidemia

Hyperlipidemia can be genetic, meaning it runs in families and is an inherited condition. This type of hyperlipidemia is called primary hyperlipidemia, or familial hyperlipidemia.

But hyperlipidemia is more often the result of lifestyle factors, such as:

  • an unbalanced diet, especially one that’s high in saturated fat
  • too little physical activity
  • having overweight or obesity
  • smoking
  • heavy alcohol use

Other factors that can put you at an increased risk of hyperlipidemia, even if you don’t have other risk factors, include:

  • your age — males over age 45 and females over age 55 have a higher risk of developing hyperlipidemia
  • taking certain medications, including:
  • having an underlying health condition, such as:

Hypercholesterolemia is a specific type of hyperlipidemia. With hypercholesterolemia, you either have too much LDL cholesterol or too little high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in your blood.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is also known as “good” cholesterol. This healthy type of cholesterol helps to remove LDL cholesterol — the “bad“ type — from your arteries. Because HDL cholesterol plays an important role in getting rid of LDL, you want higher levels of HDL in your blood.

The risk factors, potential causes, and possible health impacts are the same for hypercholesterolemia as they are for hyperlipidemia.

What’s considered a healthy level of HDL cholesterol?

A desirable level of HDL cholesterol is considered to be 60 mg/dL or above. A level of 40 mg/dL or lower (for males) and 50 mg/dL or lower (for females) is considered to put you at a higher risk of a heart attack and stroke.

Hypercholesterolemia is a type of hyperlipidemia. In other words, hyperlipidemia is an umbrella term. Various inherited or acquired disorders that cause high lipid levels in the blood fall under this umbrella category.

The key differences between hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia can be summarized as follows:

Neither hyperlipidemia nor hypercholesterolemia cause symptoms in most people. That’s one reason why it’s important to get your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked on a regular basis.

Your doctor may order a blood test called a lipid panel to check your lipid levels if you have certain risk factors or if you have a family history of either condition.

These tests are also often part of routine care after you reach a certain age — usually 35 years old for males and 45 years old for females, unless you have other risk factors.

You may need to fast for 9 to 12 hours before your blood test to get an accurate reading.

For many people with hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia, lifestyle changes are enough to help manage their condition.

Lifestyle changes that may help reduce lipid or cholesterol levels include:

  • Reducing your intake of saturated fat and trans fat; this may include eating less:
    • red meat
    • whole milk dairy products
    • fried foods
    • processed foods
  • Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, skinless poultry, nuts, and seeds.
  • Exercising regularly. Aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week can help reap the most health benefits.
  • Losing weight if you have overweight or obesity.
  • Quitting smoking, if you smoke.
  • Cutting back on your alcohol intake.

If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to reduce your lipid or cholesterol levels, your doctor may consider prescribing medications as well.

Medications that may help manage hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia include:

If left untreated, hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia can both lead to serious health complications, including:

Hyperlipidemia is an umbrella term that includes various disorders that cause high lipid levels in the blood. Hypercholesterolemia is a type of hyperlipidemia that involves above normal levels of cholesterol in the blood.

By maintaining a moderate weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly, you may be able to help keep both cholesterol and other blood lipids under control and reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

If you have any risk factors for either hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia, talk with a doctor about getting your lipid levels checked.

Bodybuilder Sadik Hadzovic Says He’s Competing at the 2022 New York Pro in May – BarBend

On Jan. 12, 2022, bodybuilder Sadik Hadzovic took to his YouTube channel to share his chest and triceps workout with his 336,000 YouTube subscribers. During that workout, Hadzovic announced his return to the competitive bodybuilding stage at the 2022 New York Pro, alluding more specifically to the Men’s Physique division.

The 2022 New York Pro, promoted by Olympia Head Judge Steve Weinberger, is currently scheduled for May 21, 2022, in Teaneck, NJ. Check out Hadzovic’s entire chest and triceps workout and announcement in the video below. He mentions the 2022 New York Pro at the 6:48 mark:

[Related: Bodybuilder Terrence Ruffin Trains Back and Biceps at Westside Barbell]

Hadzovic mentioned that he needs to look at the feedback from his previous Men’s Physique show — a sixth-place finish at the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival (ASF), according to NPC News Online — as his current physique might look too large in board shorts:

Excited to grow into the show. I don’t even know if I should grow anymore, I’m kind of big already.

Hadzovic’s return to the gym came after resting for two weeks to recover from illness. During that time, he dropped seven pounds. However, he packed eight pounds back on after recovering and feeling strong enough to return to training.

The two-time Men’s Physique Olympia runner-up opened his workout with an incline dumbbell bench press. He gradually added a resistance band and worked his way up to 110 pounds in each hand. He followed those up with sets of seated chest press, where he made a conscious effort to retract and depress his shoulder blades, so the tension of the work is placed primarily on his pecs. Sets ranged from 180 pounds up to what appeared to be 240 pounds.

Returning to the dumbbells for triceps work, Hadzovic knocked out several sets of triceps extensions on an upright bench. He positioned his body with a slight backward lean to allow for a more natural angle for the triceps to take the brunt of the weight. Staying too perpendicular on the bench can hinder stability and limit the triceps’ range of motion.

No pain, no gain. That’s the worst advice ever. Discomfort is good. You gotta know the difference between discomfort and pain.

Shifting to the cable machine, Hadzovic repped out triceps pushdowns with a neutral grip. He then swapped the triceps rope for a pair of D-handles for additional triceps pushdowns with a supinated grip at the top and a rotated, fully-extended position at the bottom for a stronger contraction.

Hadzovic closed out the workout with dips focusing on the negative to give his triceps more time under tension.

[Related: Bodybuilder Chris Bumstead Finds His 2022 Bulking Diet]

Sadik Hadzovic’s Bodybuilding Career

Hadzovic made his competitive bodybuilding debut on May 5, 2012, at the 2012 NPC Junior USA Championships, where he ranked second overall. He competed in five additional shows that year — all in Men’s Physique — to the following results:

In 2013, Hadzovic competed in four shows in Men’s Physique, including a big win at the New York Pro. Additionally, he made his Olympia debut:

  • 2013 IFBB Europa Show of Champions — Second place
  • 2013 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro — Fourth place
  • 2013 IFBB New York Pro — First place
  • 2013 IFBB Mr. Olympia — Fourth place

In 2014, he returned to the Olympia and improved by two ranks:

  • 2014 IFBB New York Pro — Second place
  • 2014 IFBB Tampa Pro — First place
  • 2014 IFBB Mr. Olympia — Second place

In 2015, he won the inaugural Men’s Physique contest at the ASF and maintained his position at the Olympia:

  • 2015 Arnold Sports Festival — First place
  • 2015 IFBB Mr Olympia Second place

2016 saw Hadzovic make his move into the Classic Physique division. He competed in one show that year — the Olympia — where he ranked third overall. He returned to the Classic Physique Olympia in 2017 but fell four ranks from the year prior.

  • 2016 IFBB Mr. Olympia — Third place
  • 2017 IFBB Mr. Olympia — Seventh place

Hadzovic did not compete in 2018 but returned to the competitive stage in 2019 at the ASF:

When Hadzovic steps on stage at the 2022 New York Pro in the Men’s Physique contest, it will have been over two years since his previous contest and nine years since he first won that show. We’ll see if his physique can compete with some of the best bodybuilders in the world nearly a decade later to earn his way back to the Olympia.

Featured image: @sadikhadzovic on Instagram

TikToker Tries Mocking Guy in Gym, Bodybuilder Responds – Distractify

“This is literally why I don’t go to the gym… because of people like this. I know I won’t do things correctly and someone will record it.”

Someone else wrote, “That mans pays his membership just like anyone else.”

“The way your main focus of your video was education. Here for that.”

“That’s my biggest fear. That I’ll try something for the first time and I’ll get judged and a new fear, filmed.”

How to Cope with Eco-Anxiety or Climate Anxiety, According to an Expert – Shape Magazine

How to Cope with Eco-Anxiety or Climate Anxiety, According to an Expert | Shape

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Cheerios: Can they lower cholesterol, and alternatives – Medical News Today

High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease. Certain foods can reduce a person’s cholesterol levels. There is some evidence to suggest that Cheerios, a popular breakfast cereal, is one such food.

Cheerios are a breakfast cereal made by Nestle under the umbrella of General Mills. One cup, or 28 grams (g), of Original Cheerios contains 2.83 g of dietary fiber along with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C.

Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. Some cholesterol is normal and even necessary in the body, but too much of a type known as LDL cholesterol can cause problems.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can sometimes build up in blood vessels and cause them to narrow. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

This article examines the relationship between Cheerios and cholesterol. It also considers other foods that can help people reduce their cholesterol.

The theory behind Cheerios being able to lower cholesterol stems from a General Mills-funded study in 1998 on whether whole grain oat, ready-to-eat cereals could influence cholesterol. Cheerios primarily consist of whole grain oats.

The study found that those who ate oat cereal experienced reduced total cholesterol levels by 3.8% and reduced LDL-cholesterol levels by 4.2%.

It is important to note that while this study suggests Cheerios specifically have an impact, the findings could be extrapolated to any other whole grain oat ready-to-eat cereals.

According to a 2019 article, consuming oat products can reduce cholesterol. Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan.

The authors note that beta-glucan can help reduce cholesterol by promoting the metabolism of cholesterol and removing it from the body via a person’s stool.

In addition, it can help to balance the gut microbiota. This can improve bile acid metabolism and create short-chain fatty acids that also work to improve cholesterol levels.

A 2019 study notes that consuming 3 g of beta-glucan each day as part of a balanced diet can help to lower cholesterol. Another 2014 meta-analysis found that 3 g or more of beta-glucan can reduce LDL and total cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol levels.

The Cheerios manufacturer states that a 1.5 cup serving (39 g) of Original Cheerios contains 1 g of soluble fiber.

People should also make sure they eat Cheerios as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. There are many different varieties of Cheerios, each with slightly different ingredients, so it is important for individuals to read the packaging.

Most varieties consist of mainly whole grain oats, and some may also include other grains. Some flavors of Cheerios may contain added sugar and may not be suitable for people aiming to limit their sugar intake.

There are many foods besides Cheerios that people can opt for to lower their LDL cholesterol.

A person should aim to eat foods containing dietary soluble fiber, which is present in beans, peas, most fruits, and oats. Beta-glucan is one type of soluble dietary fiber.

A person can also consume foods that contain plant stanols and sterols. These are compounds that resemble cholesterol. A person can find these compounds in the following foods:

  • vegetable oil
  • vegetable oil-based margarine
  • seeds
  • grain products
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • fruits
  • vegetables

Specific foods that can lower cholesterol levels include:

  • Oatmeal: Half a cup of rolled oats contains 2 g of soluble dietary fiber.
  • Avocado: A 100 g serving of avocado contains 10 g of total dietary fiber. Studies show that eating one avocado per day as part of a moderate‐fat, cholesterol‐lowering diet can be beneficial to specifically lower LDL levels without impacting HDL cholesterol.
  • Soy: Soy protein can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol. Studies show that it can lower it by around 3–4% in adults. People would need to eat approximately 25 g of soy protein or more each day for results.
  • Fruit: Certain fruits, such as apples, grapes, and strawberries, are rich in a substance called pectin. This is another type of soluble fiber that can help lower LDL levels.

Learn more about 15 foods that lower cholesterol here.

Cheerios consist of whole grain oats, which contain a type of soluble dietary fiber called beta-glucan. This can help to control LDL cholesterol levels in the body. A person may need to consume 3 g of beta-glucan per day.

Cheerios may be consumed as part of a balanced diet to reduce cholesterol, but people may find other foods they prefer with the same cholesterol-lowering effect. Examples include avocado, soy, and most fruits.

It is important for individuals to note that Cheerios are processed food and that some varieties contain high amounts of sugar. Cheerios and other processed foods should always be eaten in moderation and only as part of a balanced diet.

‘My Life Changed at 41, After a Lifetime of Anxiety’ – Newsweek

I think I am a self-actualized person. My mom is a therapist and, from the time I could speak, discussing and dissecting feelings were what we did at dinner. I have also spent the better part of my life in therapy. Yet, somehow, it wasn’t until six years ago, at the age of 41 that I finally acknowledged my clinical anxiety disorder.

It is likely that my anxiety grew over the years, compounded by the hormonal shifts of childbearing. Still, for as long as I can remember, I have been someone who anticipates things and considers worst case scenarios. I have, on occasion, been called an obsessive planner. When I travel, I make a packing list weeks in advance, leave for the airport a minimum of three hours before departure time and check the terminal map to see what food will be available; in spite of the fact that I always pack snacks.

Somewhere inside of me I knew that other people didn’t deliberate over every small detail of every aspect of their lives like I did. Still, I didn’t consider it a problem. It was just how I was wired. And it tended to serve me well. I anticipated everything so I was rarely caught off guard. I always had a plan. And a backup plan if that one didn’t work out. And a backup for the backup.

My childhood probably helped normalize my excessive anxiety. When I was a kid, my dad wouldn’t take me to the playground because he got too nervous watching other kids climb jungle gyms and swing from monkey bars. What if they fell and cracked their heads open? My mom, who always claimed to be cool and mellow, wouldn’t let me talk about anything I felt fortunate for, without wildly waving her hands and shouting “kinehora”—a Yiddish version of “knock on wood.” None of this was ever labeled as anxiety.

I’ve had multiple life moments that might have led me to a clinical diagnosis of my worries, the migraines that mysteriously started in college after my mom got a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis; after September 11, 2001 when, having seen first flaming hole in one of the twin towers as I got on the subway to go to work, I refused to take any form of public transportation in Manhattan for months; and, after I miscarried my first pregnancy at 33. Then, the panicked approach I took to conception, timing sex to ovulation sticks, and being so insistent meant that my husband lost interest in getting pregnant for nearly a year.

I was in therapy during these events, and it is possible that the idea of an actual anxiety disorder that might require medication was mentioned. But, if so, I dismissed it. As far as I was concerned, medicine was fine for other people, but I didn’t need it. I did yoga. I meditated. That should be enough. Except it wasn’t.

By my late 30s, I had two children, both have food allergies which became a major source of anxiety. I was living in the suburbs and had given up my corporate job in Manhattan. I never intended to be a stay-at-home mom, but my husband had a more demanding job, and I wanted one of us to be available to the kids. I had an MBA and a great resume, but nothing other than family life to structure my days. I spiraled. I put all my excess energy into exercising and watching what I ate. On the plus side, I fulfilled a decades-long desire to become a certified yoga teacher. On the downside, I became much too skinny and was frequently edgy and exhausted. Even with an almost daily yoga and meditation practice, my brain was in a constant whirl about every tiny detail of my life. I could not relax.

If I made plans with a friend to go to the city for dinner, I’d spend every quiet moment the week before consumed by doomsday questions: Should I take the train in and risk dying from a bomb in Grand Central station? Or take a car service where I could die in an accident? Typically, I would end up cancelling, too fearful to play the odds. I had always been a reliable friend, but anyone outside of the 10 miles radius of my house started to see me as a flake.

Still, somehow it never entered my mind that the way my brain processed concerns might not be healthy and, furthermore, might be an illness that medication could help.
I was on a family vacation in 2016 when I hit rock bottom. We had just finished eating at the breakfast buffet. Everyone was happy. Except me; I was completely overwhelmed. We needed to get to the pool to get chairs in both sun and shade so that the kids didn’t get sunburned. And was there anything on the menu for lunch that the kids could, or would, actually eat? And what time did we need to order to make sure they were fed before they got hangry? And what were we going to do when my son needed a nap?

Here I was, lucky to be on a gorgeous Caribbean island with my husband, my children, my mom and stepfather. My biggest concern could have been choosing between a daiquiri and a pina colada. Instead, I was perpetually tense. Actually, I was apoplectic. Why did no one else share my worries? How could they read their books in the shade when something was sure to go wrong soon?

At 41, Samantha Addressed Her Anxiety Disorder
Stock image.

I don’t know what made me open to observing how debilitating my anxiety was on this particular trip, but I do remember my mom saying, “This isn’t healthy. You are letting life pass you by and forgetting to enjoy it.” I decided to seek help.

When I returned from vacation, I confessed to my regular therapist, who I no longer saw in person because she was in the city, that I thought it was time to consider medication. Since she was not a psychiatrist and could not prescribe it, she referred me to someone local.

This psychiatrist was thoughtful and empathetic and asked questions that made me feel like she already knew me. Despite the entirely generic-sounding diagnosis she gave me—”anxiety disorder NOS (not otherwise specified)”—her approach was quite specific, tailored to my individual experience. She wasn’t looking to write me a prescription and send me on my merry way, instead she offered loads of cognitive behavioral techniques and insights into how the way I thought was driven by anxiety. I remember that she said something so simple: “part of anxiety is believing that by thinking about something you will make it true.” For me, this statement was life-changing. It turns out that we anxious people can trick ourselves into thinking that we can control things that are entirely beyond our control. It is a bit of a catch-22; we want to control to keep our anxiety in check but, often, the need to control is what creates the anxiety in the first place.

At 41, Samantha Addressed Her Anxiety Disorder
Samantha Greene Woodruff experienced debilitating anxiety throughout her life. She finally addressed it with professional help at the age of 41.
Samantha Greene Woodruff

My new psychiatrist was also a strong advocate for medicine, and even though this was why I went to her in the first place, I was still wary of the pharmaceuticals. What if they obliterated the me-ness of me? What if I became reliant on them to feel better? What if they didn’t work?

Fortunately, by then my fears paled in comparison to what I now understood as the obstacle in my brain that was short circuiting my happiness. She helped me to see that a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) antidepressant for an anxious person is no different than, say, insulin for a diabetic. It is something that helps me to function better. I struggled to find the right medication and the right dose but when I did, I suddenly felt like me, only calmer. My mind was like an old manually tuned radio that had found the sweet spot where the static disappeared, and the sound was clear. Everything in me softened and brightened.

It didn’t happen all at once but, in small increments, I started to expand my world again. I saw friends in the city. I traveled more with my husband. We went to Japan and Hong Kong for three weeks without our children and I even told him when I was scared that we would die in a plane crash, instead of thinking that was a dirty secret I had to hide.

Acknowledging and treating my anxiety enabled me to make time for myself and prioritize my needs instead of always worrying about everyone else. It cleared the path for me to be a better mother and wife. And to sit down and write a novel.

Everyone is unique, but for me, medication was necessary to find my baseline. I am not “cured.” I still see the same psychiatrist. and I still worry. Sometimes I even ruminate. But now I can pause and break the cycle, observe myself long enough to disaggregate the thought and the feeling from reality. I remember that “just because I think something, doesn’t mean it is true.” And to accept that while I am not always perfectly ok, I am ok enough.

Samantha Greene Woodruff graduated with a degree in history from Wesleyan University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is the author of The Lobotomist’s Wife, her first historical fiction novel. She lives in Connecticut with her family. You can find out more about her at

All views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

If you identify with the themes in this article, confidential help is available for free at the National Eating Disorders Association. Call (800) 931-2237 or text text “NEDA” to 741741. The line is available 24 hours, every day. You can also chat to them online here.
Specialists from the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation are also available via email. You can contact them here.

Can High Cholesterol Cause a Stroke? – Healthline

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found throughout your body. It often gets a bad reputation, but you actually need a certain amount of cholesterol to make substances that are essential for good health, such as:

  • bile acids, which help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins
  • hormones, like estrogen and androgen
  • cell membranes

However, cholesterol levels that are too high can increase the risk of several chronic conditions, including a stroke.

Read on to learn how high cholesterol can cause a stroke, plus ways to reduce your blood cholesterol if needed.

The cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver. Your lifestyle and the foods you eat can affect your cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is unable to travel through your blood on its own. Your liver makes lipoproteins, or particles that transport cholesterol in your arteries.

There are different types of cholesterol:

  • LDL cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad“ cholesterol, transports cholesterol from the liver to other cells. This unhealthy type of cholesterol can contribute to the buildup of plaque, which can narrow and clog your arteries.
  • HDL cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol. This healthy type of cholesterol helps clear LDL cholesterol from your arteries, which reduces your risk of stroke. Unlike LDL cholesterol, you want to have higher levels of HDL cholesterol in your blood.
  • Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat that’s found in your blood. Your body converts extra calories into triglycerides, which are stored in your fat cells. If you tend to eat more calories than you burn, you may have high triglycerides — a condition known as hypertriglyceridemia. Having high triglyceride levels plus high LDL or low HDL increases the risk of plaque buildup in your arteries.
  • Total cholesterol. Total cholesterol is the sum of your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, along with 20 percent of your triglyceride levels.

You need a fasting blood test to know what your blood cholesterol levels are. The test is called a lipid profile, or lipid panel.

The results will be listed as milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The following chart explains how the results are categorized:

A stroke occurs when your brain is unable to get sufficient blood in order to function properly. When this happens, the brain cells may begin to die.

There are two main types of strokes:

  • Ischemic stroke. With an ischemic stroke, a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot or plaque.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel ruptures, causing sudden bleeding.

High blood cholesterol levels can specifically increase your risk of an ischemic stroke. That’s because high cholesterol contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis. Plaque is a fatty substance that’s made of:

  • cholesterol
  • cellular waste products
  • fibrin
  • calcium

Plaque buildup can make your arteries narrower and stiffer. In turn, this can restrict blood flow in your arteries, including the arteries in your brain. If an artery becomes blocked, cutting off blood flow in parts of your brain, it can cause an ischemic stroke.

There are several causes of high cholesterol levels. Some causes are inherited, or present at birth, while others may develop later in life.

Causes can include:

  • Familial hypercholesterolemia. Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder in which your body is unable to properly remove LDL cholesterol from your blood. This causes high levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Consuming too much high fat food. Eating too much saturated fat and trans fats can lead to higher levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Consuming more calories than you need. When you eat more calories than you can burn, your body converts the extra calories into triglycerides, which can lead to more plaque buildup in your arteries.
  • Having overweight or obesity. A review of 25 studies found that obesity increased the risk of ischemic stroke by 64 percent.
  • Lack of exercise. Not getting enough physical activity can lead to higher triglycerides, higher cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of stroke.
  • Smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes increases LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also decreases HDL cholesterol.
  • Diabetes. According to 2017 research, people with diabetes are more than twice as likely to have an ischemic stroke compared with people who don’t have diabetes.
  • Older age. Over time, it becomes harder for the body to remove cholesterol from the blood. This can lead to higher cholesterol levels.

In addition to high cholesterol, other factors may increase your risk of an ischemic stroke, such as:

The leading risk factors for a hemorrhagic stroke include:

It’s possible to lower your cholesterol with lifestyle changes and medications.

Once your cholesterol levels are within a normal range, it’s important to continue following a health-promoting lifestyle in order to keep your cholesterol levels within a normal range.

High cholesterol contributes to the formation of plaque that can build up in your arteries and block blood flow to your brain, causing a stroke.

In some cases, high cholesterol may be due to familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder. Other factors that can affect your cholesterol levels include:

  • diet
  • exercise
  • tobacco use
  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes
  • older age

Since high cholesterol causes no symptoms, the best way to check your levels is to get a blood test. If your cholesterol levels are high, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes or cholesterol-lowering medications.