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Travel Tips: The Dirt on Hotels

Tip Sheet  

Tip #1: Bag in ice bucket

In case the ice bucket in your hotel room isn’t clean, be sure to use plastic bags that are provided before filling with ice.

Tip #2: Bed

Marketplace found almost half of comforters had coliform, a sign of fecal contamination.

There are various things you can pick up, microbiologist Keith Warriner says.

“One is very direct which is if we have an open cut…then it can actually get into that wound and start causing an infection.”

His suggestion? “It’s always a good idea to wear pyjamas, not go commando.”

 

 

Tip #3: Coffee maker in the bathroom

Avoid using coffee makers and ice buckets that are stored in hotel bathrooms. When you flush the toilet, it sprays bacteria into the air – including fecal contamination.

Tip #4: Tissue holder

Toss out the first tissue. It can have aerosol contamination from the toilet. It can also harbour bacteria from previous guests – someone with a cold, or flu.

Also, many tissue holders we tested weren’t clean. So, you might want to give the container a quick wipe down.

Tip #5: Glasses

Plastic cups are quite often found in hotel rooms, to decrease cross-contamination risk.

If you’re not sure about your glasses provided (especially ones in bathrooms), rinse with hot water, or ask for fresh ones.

 

Tip #6: Luggage rack

Use it! Placing your suitcase on the bed or carpet is a good way to pick up bugs. WE did not find bed bugs on our three-city test, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

source: CBC Marketplace

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Travel Tips: The Dirt on Hotels

Tip Sheet  
Tip #1: Bag in ice bucket
In case the ice bucket in your hotel room isn’t clean, be sure to use plastic bags that are provided before filling with ice.
Tip #2: Bed
Marketplace found almost half of comforters had coliform, a sign of fecal contamination.
There are various things you can pick up, microbiologist Keith Warriner says.
“One is very direct which is if we have an open cut…then it can actually get into that wound and start causing an infection.”
His suggestion? “It’s always a good idea to wear pyjamas, not go commando.”

Tip #3: Coffee maker in the bathroom
Avoid using coffee makers and ice buckets that are stored in hotel bathrooms. When you flush the toilet, it sprays bacteria into the air – including fecal contamination.
Tip #4: Tissue holder

Toss out the first tissue. It can have aerosol contamination from the toilet. It can also harbour bacteria from previous guests – someone with a cold, or flu.
Also, many tissue holders we tested weren’t clean. So, you might want to give the container a quick wipe down.
Tip #5: Glasses
Plastic cups are quite often found in hotel rooms, to decrease cross-contamination risk.
If you’re not sure about your glasses provided (especially ones in bathrooms), rinse with hot water, or ask for fresh ones.

Tip #6: Luggage rack
Use it! Placing your suitcase on the bed or carpet is a good way to pick up bugs. WE did not find bed bugs on our three-city test, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.


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Antibiotics in Meat May Thwart Efforts to Make Sausage Safe

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) – In uncured pepperoni or salami, antibiotic residues in the meat are strong enough to weaken the helpful bacteria that sausage makers add to the product in order to make it safe to eat, a new study finds.

It is common for antibiotics to be used to promote growth or prevent disease in livestock, the researchers explained in a news release from the American Society for Microbiology. These antibiotics can eventually end up in meat.
At the same time, sausage manufacturers commonly place lactic acid-producing bacteria in sausage meat so that the final product is acidic enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella that might have been present in the raw meat.
But the antibiotic residues from the livestock can kill these helpful lactic acid-producing bacteria, which then allows the potentially dangerous bacteria to multiply, the investigators found.
The new study, published online Aug. 28 in the journal mBio, found that antibiotic concentrations at levels that meet requirements set by American and European Union regulators can affect the process used to help destroy foodborne pathogens.
“At low concentrations and at regulatory levels set by authorities, we could see that the lactic acid bacteria are more susceptible to the antibiotics than the pathogens [germs] are,” Hanne Ingmer, of the University of Copenhagen, said in the news release. “So basically, we can have a situation where residual antibiotics in the meat can prevent or reduce fermentation by the lactic acid bacteria, but these concentrations do not affect survival or even multiplication of pathogens.”
This study involved small-scale laboratory experiments, and similar tests need to be conducted in manufacturing facilities, the study authors pointed out.
“The majority of sausages are manufactured at a commercial scale. It has to be addressed whether this is a problem in a real-life facility,” Ingmer explained in the news release.
– Robert Preidt


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Coconut Health Benefits, Life Saving and Antioxidant Properties

Danica Collins

Coconuts are one of the wonder foods on earth that amply provides for all human needs and have multiple health benefits… They can even save your life!
Few people (even fewer doctors) understand how important the coconut is to stabilizing blood sugar; lowering cholesterol; healing; hydration; and even replacing blood plasma in an emergency.
Referred to as kalpa vriksha (Sanskrit for “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live”) in ancient India, the coconut palm has been recognized as a top immune booster, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial remedy for thousands of years all over the world.
Yet, it has been only recently that modern researchers have begun to fully discover the massive coconut health benefits this amazing fruit seed offers.
To give just one example of coconuts’ life-saving properties, they were used extensively in the Pacific during World War II. Since blood plasma supplies were scarce, it was very common for medics to siphon pure coconut water from young coconuts to be used as emergency plasma transfusions for soldiers who were injured. Since coconut water is nearly identical to human blood, it was suitable for people of all blood types.

Because of its strong antioxidant properties and health benefits, the coconuts can be used to:

    • Lower cholesterol
    • Improve digestion
    • Ward off wrinkles
    • Stabilize glucose levels
    • Fight off viruses
    • Build cells
    • Regulate hormones
    • Increase thyroid production
    • Lose weight
    • Increase metabolism
    • Fight infections
    • Stave off memory loss
    • Kill bacteria
    • And more!
Considered one of the most treasured foods of all time, coconut products — including coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut cream — each deliver superb health benefits.
Coconut oil, for instance, is considered the best and safest oil to use for cooking — even superior to extra virgin olive oil when it comes to giving the body what it needs for optimum health. Unlike other fats and oils that we typically use for cooking and baking, coconut oil does not form polymerized oils or dangerous trans fatty acids in our bodies, which can raise our cholesterol levels; clog our arteries and even make our skin sag and wrinkle. Plus, this ultra-safe oil can give your body important antioxidants that can help build stronger cells and improve your overall health and well being.

Coconut health benefits found all-in-one

Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of coconut products to stave off disease and to recapture the look and feeling of youth:
Coconut Water – The coconut is a natural water filter. It takes almost 9 months for a coconut to filter every quart of water stored within its shell. This makes the resulting coconut water completely pure and sterile, which is one reason why it can be used for blood transfusions.
Another benefit of coconut water is the fact that it has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration.
Coconut Oil – In addition to being superior for cooking and baking, coconut oil also makes a superb topical oil that can help to naturally rid the skin of dangerous toxins. It also gives the skin the perfect mix of hydration and antioxidants that it needs to stay healthy, smooth and younger-looking longer.
Another great benefit of coconut oil is in protecting your teeth from the bacteria that can cause cavities and disease. Simply rubbing a little fresh coconut oil on your gums and teeth can keep them stronger and healthier than virtually any other dental treatment.
Most people don’t realize that coconut oil can actually help you lose weight! Yes, simply changing your cooking oil from the unsaturated fat variety to coconut oil can help you lose those extra pounds.
Here’s why: Unsaturated fats found in canola, corn and other vegetable oils, as well as margarine suppress the metabolism, which makes it harder to lose weight — and easier to gain it. Over time, this metabolism suppression may result in 20-30 pounds of excess weight that your body cannot get rid of. Coconut oil, on the other hand, helps to increase thyroid function and boost your metabolism — 2 important components to shedding unwanted pounds.
Coconut Cream – The best skin treatment product one can use to achieve flawless skin may quite possibly be coconut cream. Unlike traditional skin creams which can actually introduce fats and oils to the skin that will break it down over time, making it look older, creams derived from the coconut can actually replenish the skin, giving it a more youthful and healthy glow than most other skin care products on the market.
When it comes to buying coconut products, coconuts are not all created equal. Wild coconuts are always best, but can be hard to obtain if you don’t live in a tropical country. Whether you are using this wonder food to boost your immune system; increase your metabolism or fight wrinkles, using products from young coconuts will help you reap the most benefit.
Young coconuts contain the purest unsaturated fat, compared to the fat found in the more mature varieties. This is why they offer the most rejuvenation properties for the body’s tissues. But how can you tell how old a coconut is? Young coconuts are usually green in color and oddly shaped. The brown hairy ones are mature coconuts, and while they offer a lot of healthy benefits, they aren’t nearly as good for you as younger varieties.
The best place to find young fresh coconuts is, of course, in the markets of the tropics, so be sure to seek them out if you travel to those areas considering all the health benefits from a coconut. Coconut-producing regions export coconuts all over the world so it’s relatively easy to find coconuts at your local health food store or Asian grocer.

source: undergroundhealthreporter


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Coconut oil can combat tooth decay, study suggests

Digested oil inhibits growth of streptococcus bacteria, Irish researchers find
CBC News Posted: Sep 3, 2012 

Researchers at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland have found that digested coconut oil inhibits the growth of common bacteria that cause tooth decay and could be an effective alternative to chemical additives in dental hygiene products.
The researchers tested the effect of coconut oil on several common strains of streptococcus bacteria found inside the mouth.
They tested the effect of the oil in both its natural and digested form.
To mimic the process of digestion, they treated the oil with enzymes.
They found that in the digested form, the oil inhibited most strains of the bacteria, including streptococcus mutans, a common acid-producing bacteria that is is a major cause of tooth decay.
The coconut oil was also harmful to candida albicans, a yeast that causes a mouth infection called thrush.
The researchers presented their findings Monday at the autumn conference of the Society for General Microbiology, underway at the University of Warwick in England.

Of interest to dental hygiene industry

Damien Brady, who led the research, and his colleagues say their findings could be used to market coconut oil as an antimicrobial in dental care products.
“Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations,” Brady, associate director of the Bioscience Research Institute at the Athlone Institute, said in a press release.
“Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”
Brady said finding effective weapons against the bacteria that cause tooth decay is important given the high number of adults and children who have some form of tooth decay.
“Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90 per cent of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries,” he said in the release.
Coconut oil is not the only food product to have exhibited antibacterial properties in a partially digested form.
Past studies have shown that enzyme-modified milk reduced the binding of the streptococcus mutans bacteria to tooth enamel.
Brady said he and his colleagues hope to further investigate which other bacteria strains and yeast the coconut oil might be effective against and exactly how the oil and other enzyme-modified foodstuffs interfere with the processes by which bacteria cause disease.
source: CBC 


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Scientists: Garlic Fights Common Illness Better than Antibiotics

7th May 2012
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Scientists at Washington State University are now confirming once again what natural health experts have known for years — garlic fights one of the most common food-borne illnesses much more effectively than antibiotics. Garlic has built a strong reputation in fighting infections, a benefit that is but one of many.
Campylobacter bacterium, the name for the common bacteria that often results in intestinal illness, affects around 2.4 million Americans per year and is often treated with illness-linked antibiotics, but maybe not anymore.
According to the researchers, the information ‘opens the door’ to the many benefits of garlic when it comes to preventing and fighting infections. This means treating certain food items, cleaning, and use as a healing food substance. Once again, however, these mainstream scientists are simply re-discovering what many cultures have known (and have been utilizing) for centuries! It’s no secret that garlic is really a nutritional powerhouse, a superfood that can boost overall immunity and combat diseases — even superviruses that have the medical community in a frenzy.

Even Greek athletes used garlic to boost their physical performance in the arena due to the deep knowledge of the food’s empowering properties. Leading expert Dr. David Kraus explains:

“People have known garlic was important and has health benefits for centuries,” said Dr. David W. Kraus, associate professor of environmental science and biology at the University of Alabama. “Even the Greeks would feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympic games.”

Garlic even has a role in the prevention of cancer — the disease that is currently ravaging the population. In fact, it is a role that is quite notorious among cultures who have been using garlic in their dishes for countless years. Scientists believe that the role of garlic in cancer prevention quite possibly has to do with the way that garlic boosts the production of something known as hydrogen sulfide. It is this very substance that also protects the heart. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that directly injecting hydrogen sulfide into mice almost completely stopped damage to heart muscles as a result of heart attack.

The benefits of garlic are many, and the mainstream scientific community is just catching on to how important of a role garlic plays in the diet.
About the Author
Anthony Gucciardi is an accomplished investigative journalist with a passion for natural health. Anthony’s articles have been featured on top alternative news websites such as Infowars, NaturalNews, Rense, and many others. Anthony is the co-founder of Natural Society, a website dedicated to sharing life-saving natural health techniques.
source: wakeup-world


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The 8 germiest places in the mall

By Cari Wira Dineen, Health.com
November 26, 2011

(Health.com) — During the craziness of the holidays, the last thing you want is to get sidelined with a cold, flu, stomach bug — or worse. But while you’re checking items off your shopping list, you may be exposing yourself to germs — like flu viruses, E. coli, and staph — that can make you sick.

“Anywhere people gather is filled with bacteria and viruses, and a crowded shopping mall is a perfect example,” says Philip Tierno, Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center.

With that in mind, we asked a panel of experts to rank the worst germ hot spots at your local shopping center. Check out the ewww-inducing results — and tips for keeping yourself in the clear.

1. Restroom sinks
The filthiest area in a restroom (and therefore in the whole mall) isn’t the toilet handle or the doorknob — it’s the sink, our experts say. Bacteria, including E. coli, fester on the faucet and handles because people touch those surfaces right after using the toilet, explains panelist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona.
“The sink area is a moist environment, so bacteria can survive longer there,” he adds.
Watch out for soap dispensers, too — not only are they handled by many dirty hands, but the soap itself may harbor germs. When Gerba’s team tested liquid soap from refillable dispensers in public bathrooms, they found that one in four contained unsafe levels of bacteria.
Protect yourself: Wash your hands thoroughly after using a public loo: Lather with soap for at least 20 seconds, then rinse well. Use a paper towel to turn off the water and open the door. If there’s no soap or paper towels, kill germs with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, using at least a tablespoon of product.
Gerba also advises avoiding refillable soap dispensers (usually made of clear plastic with a removable lid) and only using liquid soap that comes in a sealed refill; if that’s not an option or you’re not sure, follow up with hand sanitizer.

2. Food court tables
Even if you see the table being wiped down, that doesn’t mean it’s clean, says panelist Elaine Larson, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University: “The rags themselves can actually spread harmful bacteria such as E. coli if they are not changed and washed regularly.”
Protect yourself: Consider stashing a pack of hard-surface disinfecting wipes in your purse so you can swipe the table before you sit down. “Look for ones that contain alcohol or another disinfecting agent in order to make sure you’re killing germs, not just wiping away grime,” Tierno says.

3. Escalator handrails
“In our testing, we have found food, E. coli, urine, mucus, feces, and blood on escalator handrails,” says Gerba. “And where there is mucus, you may also find cold and flu viruses.” Tierno concurs: “We’ve found respiratory flora on handrails,” he says, “which makes sense because people cough into their hands, then touch the rails.”
Protect yourself: Play it safe: Avoid touching handrails altogether, recommends Gerba, unless you absolutely have to — in which case, give yourself a generous squirt of hand sanitizer afterward.

4. ATM keypads
After testing 38 ATMs in downtown Taipei, Chinese researchers found that each key contained an average of 1,200 germs, including illness-inducing microbes like E. coli and cold and flu viruses, Tierno says. The worst key of all? The “enter” button, because everyone has to touch it, Gerba points out.
Protect yourself: “Knuckle” ATM buttons — you’ll avoid getting germs on your fingertips, which are more likely to find their way to your nose and mouth than your knuckles. And be sure to wash your hands or use sanitizer afterward.

5. Toy stores
Toy stores can actually be germier than play areas, carousels, and other kid-friendly zones, Tierno says, simply because of the way little ones behave there. “Kids lick toys, roll them on their heads, and rub them on their faces, and all that leaves a plethora of germs on the toys,” he says. The goods their parents don’t buy end up back on the shelves, where your kid finds them.
Protect yourself: If you make a purchase, wipe down any toy that isn’t in a sealed box or package with soap and water, alcohol, or vinegar (which has antimicrobial properties) before giving it to your child. And, of course, reach for the hand sanitizer after you’ve been hands-on in the toy aisle.

6. Fitting rooms
You won’t pick up much from the hooks or the chair. The germ culprit? What you try on.
“After people try on clothing, skin cells and perspiration can accumulate on the inside,” says Tierno. “Both can serve as food for bacterial growth.” You can even pick up antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), just by trying on clothes, says Tierno.
Protect yourself: Always wear full-coverage underwear (no thongs!) when trying on clothes, especially pants, bathing suits, and any other garment that touches your genitals or rectum. Bandage cuts or scrapes before trying on clothes, as “open wounds can be a gateway to dangerous bacteria,” Tierno says. And be sure to wash new clothes before you wear them.

7. Gadget shops
While you’re playing around on that new smartphone, you could be picking up germs from the thousand people who tested it out before you. “Most stores do clean their equipment,” says Tierno, “but they certainly don’t clean after each use.”

A study published last year in the Journal of Applied Microbiology found that viruses easily transfer between glass surfaces (think iPad or smartphone faces) and fingertips. And a recent report found that of four iPads swabbed in two Apple stores located in New York City, one contained Staphylococcus aureus, the most common cause of staph infections, while another registered a bacteria associated with skin rash. That’s not even counting the cold and flu germs that might be lurking.

Protect yourself: Before you try out the latest gizmo, quickly wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe. And (yes, once again) use a hand sanitizer after you’re done.

8. Makeup samples
Heading to the makeup counter? You might end up picking up a staph infection right along with the latest lipstick shade. A 2005 study found that between 67% and 100% of makeup-counter testers were contaminated with bacteria, including staph, strep, and E. coli. “This study shows us that someone was sick or went to the bathroom, didn’t wash their hands, and then stuck their finger in the sample,” Tierno says.
Protect yourself: “Avoid using public makeup samples to apply cosmetics to your lips, eyes, or face,” says Tierno, who suggests asking for a single-use unit (you open it, try it, and throw it away). If that’s not available, use a tissue to wipe off the sample and then apply the product to the back of your hand.

The best line of defense: Buy then try. Returning stuff to the store may be a little more of a hassle, but it’s a heck of a lot better than bringing home a nasty bug.

Health Magazine 2011
source: CNN