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New summer wave of COVID-19; Turmeric supplements linked to liver injury; Facial fitness gum? – Morning Medical Update

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Morning Medical Update : © deagreez - stock.adobe.com

Morning Medical Update : © deagreez - stock.adobe.com

New summer wave of COVID-19

COVID-19 infections are growing in at least 38 states, according to data from the CDC. While wastewater surveillance suggests that viral activity is still low, hospitalizations and deaths continue to increase.

Levels are particularly high in the West and the South, with the CDC saying they are back to what they were in February.

Robert Hopkins, MD, said, “The virus tends to replicate well and to stay alive in an environment with warm and moist conditions. That fits with what we’re seeing. The South and the West are steamy and hot right now.”

Find out how to protect yourself from COVID-19 this summer here.

Turmeric supplements linked to liver injury

In The American Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at turmeric-associated liver injury cases recorded in the US by the US Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) between 2004 and 2022. Researchers found 10 cases of turmeric-associated liver injury, all after 2011. Six of the cases occurred since 2017. Five patients were also hospitalized, with one patient dying of acute liver failure.

Published last year, the authors of the study identified a risk associated with taking turmeric and black pepper supplements together.

Jay Hoofnagle, MD, one of the study’s authors, said, “So the question we’re always asked is, how come now, suddenly you’re seeing this? And that’s a very important question. Why? One reason is that it’s being used by millions of people now. But the other reason is turmeric is a spice, right? It is not absorbed. You don’t absorb pepper. Your body doesn’t absorb it. You don’t absorb curry, the spice turmeric. Okay, so how could this possibly cause liver disease if it’s not absorbed? Well, the answer, we think, is that these modern products of turmeric have been altered so that they are absorbed.”

Facial fitness gum?

Facial fitness gum has become a new beauty trend, gaining popularity on social media platforms like TikTok. This new trend has caused companies like Rockjaw, Jawz Gum, and Stronger Gum to capitalize on young adults, claiming their products can help “build the most attractive jawline” and “tone and tighten 57+ facial and neck muscles, anytime, anywhere.”

The companies also claim that chewing these products equates to a facial workout, as facial fitness gum is tougher than regular gum. However, health experts say there’s little evidence to suggest that these products actually work.

Cosmetic doctor Kieren Bong said, “As a doctor, I find the claim that chewing gum defines the jawline oversimplified. While chewing gum can engage the jaw muscles, any resulting definition is likely minimal and varies between individuals.”

Read more about the viral trend in this article.

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