Find best supplements to improve endocrine and metabolic functions

When it comes to find perfect growth of your body, your body depends on various hormones. These hormones are present in various parts of our body and operated by pituitary gland that is present in our mind. In many people, the level of these hormones gets low due to various reasons. When your body fails to manufacture the hormones at higher level, you need to use supplements to increase the hormone level in your body. If you are also looking to find a good supplement for it, you should prefer HGH supplements as best option. Whether you want to get massive muscle mass or want to improve endocrine and metabolic functions, HGH supplements will be a perfect choice for it.

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These supplements are very effective when used to increase the hormone level in body. With these supplements, you will find various benefits for your body. In these supplements, you will find synthetic protein that is used to make muscles at higher level. You will find massive muscle mass with these supplements and your muscles will recover at good level.

Find best benefits to boost hormone level:

When you are facing the problem of low level of growth hormones in your body, you always need to boost the hormones. There are two ways to boost the hormone level in your body. You need to get the hormone therapy by any good health specialist. The other option is better and easier in which you need to use the HGH supplements for better growth of these hormones. By using these supplements, you can easily find help to grow these hormones naturally.

The treatment of hormone imbalance:

Are you facing the problem of hormone imbalance in your body? If you want to get a proper solution of these problems, HGH supplements are very effective for it. By using these supplements, you can balance the hormone level in your body. By balancing the hormone level, it will improve endocrine and metabolic functions in your body. It is important for overall health improvements in your body.

Achieve goals of bodybuilding:

When it comes to achieve the goal of bodybuilding, HGH supplements are very effective in it. These supplements are effective in various ways because of various benefits. The first use of HGH supplement is cutting. It helps to cut extra fat from body and you can accelerate this process of fat loss.

In these supplements, you will find higher level of amino acids. These supplements are very effective to boost the recovery time and process after workout. You will get help to have massive muscles by using these supplements. This is very effective to make new muscles and to improve the bone density.

So these are various effects of HGH supplements that you will find during bodybuilding. By using these supplements, you will find overall improvements in your body and you can make more muscles and can improve your metabolic functions. With better and faster metabolic functions, your body will burn the fat easily and will make new muscles.

Did You Know These 6 Benefits of HealthyEating?

Perhaps eating healthy is easier said than done because it involves leaving out edibles that are very high in sugar, or food items that are loaded with sodium or saturated foods. Also, healthy eating restricts you from consuming fast food, sodas, chips, and anything that can lead you towards bad health condition.

However, sticking to a healthy diet is one of the smartest decisions. Not only eating good and eating healthy makes you feel and look better but it also keeps a large number of health disorders and concerns at bay.

If you believe that eating healthy is something that is not your cup of tea, then it is time to ponder over your thoughts.

Here are top 6 benefits of healthy eating habit that professional dieticians keep telling about. Have a look!

  • Boost in Productivity

As a car or any other vehicle needs regular and proper maintenance to run efficiently, your brain and body require energy to keep you focused on your work. When it comes to ajob or any other activity, increased productivity could help you earn and learn more, and only undivided attention assists you in the same.

So, be it increased focus or concentration, the same can be achieved when you eat healthy. But how much eating healthy can help? Let numbers answer your query!

  • Population Health Management published a study in the year 2012. The study mentioned that people who consume an unhealthy diet are 66% more likely to lose productivity.
  • The Journal of Occupational and Environmental conducted another study wherein it was found that out of 19 possible risk factors of productivity loss that included lack of exercise, chronic pain, etc. an unhealthy diet contributed the highest in decreasing the productivity of a worker.

Thus, choose a healthy diet and witness your productivity increasing by leaps and bounds.

  • Saves Cost

When you eat healthy, you end up paying less life insurance cost. When you go out to purchase a life insurance cost, the life insurer will require you to go through a medical exam or demand your medical records. In case, if he finds that:

  • You are obese
  • You are undergoing any treatment for major health disease
  • Or medical reports suggest that you have diseases such as diabetes, persisting chronic pain problem, etc.

He might charge a high price. Thus, if you are planning to purchase a life insurance in future, make sure to switch to a healthy diet now.

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  • Healthy Eating Enhances Your Mood

Whatever you eat impact your brain and even that part of your brain that regulates mood swings. Though no food can be branded as an anti-depressant, proper nutrition can help you feel better for the whole day. It is advised to go for foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. These food items include:

  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fats

Interestingly, the antidepressant foods are also known to reduce the stress. When a person is in stress, the worries and concerns can break the protein of the body. These foods are known to moderate the body’s level of cortisol or the stress hormone. Thus, consume protein-rich diets to feel better and for a healthy and ‘happy’ lifestyle.

  • Maintain Weight

A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and nutrient-packed edibles that improve body weight and keep the body away from any major health disorder such as obesity. When you are obese, you are prone to:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Stroke
  • Kidney Disease

Thus, it is essential to manage your weight. Though many believe that regular exercise and an unhealthy diet don’t harm anyone. In fact, this is a wrong notion that prevails. Sweating every morning and gulping down a burger packed with fat in the breakfast balances the equation and your efforts land in soup.

Make sure to strictly stick to a healthy diet to keep obesity and related health disorders far away from your body.

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  • For a Healthy You

Healthy eating is not merely about gaining or reducing weight. You should not wait for a disease to affect you before you switch to a healthy diet. Always have a habit of consuming healthy. Though it might sound fearful, but if you miss too much of:

  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Energy Boosting Nutrients

you make yourself prone to early death. Also, a study that published in the year 2014 in the British Medical Journal stated that in order to stay away from dying from any health-related issue, it is necessary to intake at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a week.

  • To Live a Longer and Healthy Life

When you do not consume healthy meals and rely on junk or fast food, you fall prey to various diseases and disorders. The same health issues lower your life expectancy. To lead a happy, long and disease free life, a diet brimming with fruits and vegetables along with exercise is indispensable.

A healthy and nutritious diet plays an integral role in how long you’ll live.

Quick Tips to Consume Healthy

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Switching to a healthy diet is not as easy as it sounds, you might need help of a professional dietician. However, with attainable goals and tips, you can accomplish the bigger task of consuming healthy.

  • Stay Hydrated.
  • Don’t Skip Meals.
  • Incorporate Exercise into Your Routine.
  • Reduce Craving for Unhealthy Food

Healthy Diet: A Good Choice

When you decide to switch to healthy eating, you make a smart choice. However, to achieve the desired result, make sure to take baby steps towards your goal. Consume healthy, look healthy and stay healthy!


Want to switch to a healthy diet but can’t reduce your craving for unhealthy food items? Here are top 6 benefits that will encourage you to switch to a healthy diet!

The Treasured and the Reliable Usage of the 5-HTP Pills

Here is the authentic source of 5-HTP and this is even known as Griffonia Simplicifolia extract. For the right availability of the supplement you should contact the authentic suppliers in time. The usage of 5-HTP has increased over the years and the users are well aware of the goodness of the supplement. It is known to be the effective solution for the reason of weight loss. The same can even cause enhancement in mood and attitude. The supplement is used for alleviating pain and it can even help in the successful reduction of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, the source of the herbal extract may not be the same in all cases.

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Right Source of 5-HTP Pills

Some vendors are known to sell the unauthentic version of 5-HTP pills. It is important that you consider the many of the benefits of 5-HTP. This will help you make the best use of the supplement and feel good with the obvious improvement in the medical condition. It is not right to have the sub standard version of the 5-HTP pills. These are mainly the solution containing impurities or the unwanted additives. In case you want to have the supplement of the truest version it is best that you obtain the same from the cGMP certified manufacturer.

Buying right from the Trusted Supplier

When buying the supplement from the trusted supplier you will get in hand the version devoid of the contamination. When not stored the right way there are chances for the pills to get contaminated. Therefore, it is important that you consider the authenticity and the reputation of the supplier in the market and obtain the proven supplement in time. In case you are not sure regarding the honest presence of the supplier you can ask for a Certificate of Analysis (COA).

Detecting Faulty Presence in the Supplement

In some of the herbal supplements the researchers have detected the presence of antibiotics and toxic elements. In case, you are going for a surgery you should stop the intake of the 5-HTP pills before two weeks. In case you are not doing so the effect of the pills can cause complications at the time of surgery. The component works right in increasing the serotonin level inside the brain. Therefore, with the consumption of the supplement you can see an improved working of the brain. This is the apt solution to help in matters of mood enhancement.

5-HTP will give you the Right Feel

5-HTP pills acts best when you suffer from unnecessary stress and depression. This is the time that you count on the many of the benefits of 5-HTP. Once you are sure of the advantages of the pills you can readily use the supplement for an improvement in health and existence. This is the supplement to cause sleep improvement and can even regulate the appetite the right way. The pill will not make you have the feel of hunger and you can go about long without having food. However, the delay in diet will not make you feel uncomfortable.

Variety Is Truly The Slice Of Life

Variety exists in so many aspects of life that it truly represents everything that life is about. Moreover, without variety, everything would be completely dull and you would have absolutely no alternatives or choices to make. Similarly, when you are facing trouble with one type of product, you should always have a go-to product that you can start using and this is more so the case with performance boosters since they are products that are meant for internal use. Here is a rundown of the variegated types of health boosters.

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A spoonful of health boosters

If you would like to know the different types of health enhancers, you should consider visiting a website that is as informative as Now, all you need to do is go through the information provided on the website and decide for yourself as to which variety or type you would like to go in for by comparing each and every variety that is on offer. While some varieties help release the stress hormone, the others help increase your metabolic activity. Again, some are available in an injectable format, while the others are available in tablet forms or intranasal sprays. You can choose to buy whichever format is most convenient to you.However, you would need to determine the quality of the same before purchasing a pack of performance enhancers.

Greener pastures overseas

There are also other varieties in performance enhancers – the kind that are made overseas in countries such as China and Mexico. However, you need to be wary of these performance boosters since they do not even come close to the quality that you might have expected. Plus, they do not give you or anyone else that purchase them value for money. Always make sure you are not just going in for some alternative because you think that the grass is greener on the other side. Unless and until there have been testimonials to prove that certain varieties of health boosters are truly good, there is no reason why you should consider purchasing them. Plus, there is also a possibility that you might realize that there are also other ways to determine the quality of the product including asking your gym coach and buddies about what they think about it.

The cutting and bulking varieties

Last but not the least, there are two other varieties that have been discussed on reliable websites such as That is, these performance boosters are available in the form of both gels as well as patches. At the end of the day, it is totally up to you as towhich type or variety you would like to choose. However, you should make an informed decision rather than just blindly purchasing something or because the assistant at the store that sells performance enhancers says that a certain variety is more popular among the people. Eventually, you should consider opting for what you find is most suitable and reliable. Going for something without checking anything would only make you feel disappointed about your purchase because even if variety is a slice of life, it won’t be useful to you if you don’t make the right choice.

Quick Facts You should know about Thyroid Imbalances

Located at the anterior portion of our neck, thyroid forms one of the seven endocrine glands of our body. Endocrine glands are those that secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream of our body. The thyroid gland controls the body’s sensitivity to other hormones, the rate at which energy sources are used and most importantly, protein synthesis.

The thyroid gland produces two key hormones – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which are synthesised from iodine and tyrosine. The hormonal outputs from the thyroid gland are themselves regulated by TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) indirectly produced by hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the portion of the brain that links the nervous system of the body to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland.

The effects of thyroid imbalances can range from mood swings to enlargement of the thyroid gland (goitre).  Thyroid imbalances can be one of two varieties – hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism, as the name implies, is when the gland produces excessive amounts of the thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is when the gland produces an inadequate amount of the thyroid hormones. Both of the above conditions lead to thyroid imbalances and do not allow the bodily functions to occur normally.

Below are some quick facts you should know about thyroid imbalances:

Women are at a higher risk

Pregnancy and menopause are the time in a woman’s life when there is a high hormonal flux which puts them at a higher risk.

Family History

Another factor that increases the risk of a thyroid imbalance is a family history of thyroid diseases, Type I diabetes and stress.

Needs immediate attention

If you are diagnosed with thyroid imbalances, treatment is essential and should be top-priority. If left untreated, it may lead to heart diseases, infertility, Alzheimer and other irreversible effects. In order to aid timely treatment, you can order medicines, after you consult a doctor, via the pharmacy online of Zigy.

You can improve thyroid function

Although imbalances need immediate treatment, we can prevent an onset of imbalances by maintaining a proper diet and exercising. Eating iodine rich foods like seafood for non-vegetarians and spinach and sesame seeds for vegetarians can keep the gland in good condition. Yoga has proven to be tremendously beneficial to regulate hormonal balance and can be practised on a regular basis. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian science has treatments for thyroid imbalances. Buy Ayurveda medicines online at, your one-stop shop for online Medicine.

Identification can be difficult

Being able to identify the fact that you may have thyroid-related imbalance is somewhat restricted due to the nature of symptoms associated with it. Weight loss/gain, fatigue, sleep disturbances or intolerance to cold are some of the symptoms that can be attributed to tiredness or lifestyle changes. These effects may seem inconsequential but have roots in hormonal imbalances. After the age of 35, it is important to get regular check-ups done.

Emotional Aspect

Most often than not, there are emotional reactions to thyroid imbalances. Patients might feel irritable or depressed. It is important that while diagnosing depression, the thyroid hormonal levels must be taken into consideration. But, not to worry, these symptoms disappear once the imbalances have been treated.

‘Love Handles’ Transformed into Insulin-Producing Cells

abdomen, pancreas, anatomy

A body part that many would wish away — their love handles — can be turned it into life-saving transplant: Researchers reprogramed fat cells from a person’s waistline into pancreatic cells capable of producing the crucial hormone insulin.

If further testing shows that the cells are safe to implant into a person’s body, and effectively produce insulin once they are there, they could one day be used to treat people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, experts say.

In a petri dish, researchers coaxed these reprogrammed pancreatic cells, called beta cells, to produce ample amounts of the hormone insulin, which helps the body turn food into fuel for muscles and organs such as the brain.

“We’re very confident that we’re the closest to natural beta cells which you can get,” said study co-author Martin Fussenegger, a bioengineer at ETH Zurich, a science and technology university in Switzerland.

Blood sugar regulation

Normally, when food is broken down, levels of glucose (or sugar) rise in the blood, and in response, the cells of the pancreas produce insulin and release it into the bloodstream. Insulin then binds to receptors on cells throughout the body, essentially unlocking them and allowing body cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream and use it for energy.

But in people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakes the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas for foreign invaders, and often early in life, it systematically destroys them all. People with type 1 diabetes need lifelong injections of insulin to survive.

In those with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas continues to produce insulin, but the insulin receptors on body cells grow misshapen and no longer bind insulin as well, meaning the cells develop insulin resistance and cannot take in sugar efficiently. Up to a point, the pancreas can compensate for this by cranking out more insulin to offset insulin resistance. But at some point, the pancreas simply can’t keep up with the body’s insulin needs, and people develop type 2 diabetes.

For decades, researchers tried to find ways to treat people with type 1 diabetes by implanting pancreatic cells from people who had died. However, there is a shortage of pancreatic cells for transplant, and people who received these transplants had to take powerful immune-system-suppressing drugs to prevent the body from rejecting the foreign tissue.

Stem cell reprogramming

To get around that obstacle, some researchers have focused on finding ways to reprogram a person’s own cells to become pancreatic beta cells. For instance, earlier this year, researchers turned skin cells in insulin-producing beta cells.

The first step in this line of research is to take cells from a patient and turn back the clock on them, so they are stem cells, meaning they can turn into many different cell types. Researchers then have to persuade the cells to become pancreatic beta cells, through a process called differentiation.

In previous work, researchers “threw all kinds of chemicals and factors on them to make them differentiate, and that was kind of trial and error,” Fussenegger told Live Science.

The cells that resulted acted similar to, but not exactly like, normal human pancreatic beta cells. For instance, the cells did not produce as much insulin as normal cells do in response to rising blood sugar levels, Fussenegger said.

More exact replicas

To produce better replicas of beta cells, Fussenegger and his colleagues took a closer look at the tightly choreographed rise and fall of chemical signals that cause stem cells to become mature beta cells during normal embryonic development. Then, the team created a genetic program to produce these chemical signals at just the right time, and inserted the program into a virus.

Next, they harvested fat from a 50-year-old woman and converted the fat cells into stem cells. Then, they inserted their genetic program, and coaxed the cells to become beta cells. Once the cells were mature, the viral DNA was gradually removed by ordinary cellular processes, so that no extra genetic material was left behind in the cells, Fussenegger said.

In a petri dish, the cells behaved much more like real pancreatic beta cells than previous reprogrammed stem cells had, the researchers reported Monday (April 11) in the journal Nature Communications.

“The glucose responsiveness of those beta cells, which is the hallmark of beta cells, was practically identical to human islet cells that are used for transplantation,” Fussenegger said.

Long road to a cure

The next step will be to find a suitable animal model to see if the cells work similarly in animals.

For people with type 1 diabetes, these cells would need to be encapsulated in a protective shield, such as a gel, so the immune system would not destroy them. For people with type 2 diabetes, the cells could be implanted as is, boosting insulin production and eliminating the main symptom of their disease, Fussenegger said.

The new technique is a “‘Star Trek,’ starship Enterprise kind of thing: designer genes, designer cells, synthetic switches,” said Dr. Joel Habener, a physician and molecular endocrinologist at Harvard University who was not involved in the study. “It’s pretty ingenious, I think.”

The cells that the researchers made do an impressive job of producing insulin in response to glucose, or sugar concentrations, just as normal beta cells do, Habener said.

However, the cells still need to be tested in animals, such as mice, to make sure they are safe, Habener added. Then, the cells could be tested in human patients in five to 10 years, Fussenegger said.

9 Tips for Choosing the Best Bug Spray

A woman sprays bug spray onto her legs while sitting next to a lake,

As the weather warms up and you head outdoors, remember, humans are not the only species to delight in such balmy days: Summer is also a busy season for pesky insects that can bite or sting you, or even transmit a disease.

Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself from being bitten up by eager mosquitoes, ticks or flies.

One important strategy is to avoid those times when biting insects are most active, whenever it’s possible, said Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach. Mosquitoes are most active right before sunrise and around sunset, he said.

But in the summer, dawn and twilight are also popular times for people to take a walk or have a barbecue, Day said. In that case, you can tellmosquitoes to buzz off by covering up as much exposed skin as possible with clothing, Day suggested. Wear breathable fabrics that have a tight weave and are comfortable in hot and humid conditions, he said.

Even when you’re wearing protective clothing and avoiding peak activity times, however, some areas of the skin will remain exposed to biting insects, such as the neck, forehead, cheeks, wrists and ankles. That’s where an effective insect repellent comes into play, Day told Live Science.

Insect repellents are useful against any blood-feeding arthropods, which include mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and fleas, Day said. Repellents are also partially effective against horseflies and deerflies, which have an annoying tendency to fly around people’s heads, he said.

Insect repellents will not work on any stinging insects, such as bees, hornets and wasps, Day said.

Insect repellents may be sold as sprays, lotions, sticks, foams and wipes. When you’re looking for a reliable repellent, Day suggests that you should consider the following points:

1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you use products containing one of three active ingredients — synthetic chemicals, such as DEET; picaridin; or plant-derived chemicals, such as oil of lemon eucalyptus — provide the longest-lasting protection. (The chemical names for DEET may be listed on the product label as the ingredients N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diemethylbenzamide.) Read product labels carefully, because not everyone should use every product: They may say that oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under age 3 or that products containing DEET should not be used on infants under 2 months of age.

2. Look for a product that offers at least 60 minutes of complete protection with the first application, Day said. DEET products, even those containing the lowest concentrations of DEET (5 to 7 percent), provide about 90 minutes of complete protection when first put on. Your level of activity also affects how long the protection will last. If you are lying in a hammock, you might get that entire hour and a half of complete protection from a low-concentration DEET product. That same product won’t last as long if you’re playing softball, running or engaging in some other sweaty activity, he said.

3. Most repellents have chemicals in them that can be irritating to the skin as well as to areas close to the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. To keep irritation to a minimum, Day suggests using a lower-concentration DEET product or some other product. Also, when you’re applying bug spray to your face, first place the repellent on your hands, and then use your hands to put it on your face, Day said.

4. Parents should not allow young children to apply their own insect repellent, and they should not put repellent on young children’s hands, because kids might use their hands to rub their eyes or nose, or put them in their mouths, Day warned. Avoid placing repellent on areas near kids’ eyes and mouth.

5. Studies have found that alternative repellents containing plant-based ingredients, such as citronella, geranium oil or vanilla, may only provide about 20 minutes of complete protection, Day said. People who want to use these products may need to reapply them more often, he recommended, and you should be careful even when you’re applying these plant-based chemicals near your ears, eyes, nose and mouth, because they also can be irritating to your skin.

6. You may have to take a slightly different strategy than you take with mosquitoes when you want to prevent tick bites. When Day goes to a place with a high density of ticks, he wears long sleeves to cover up exposed skin, puts his pant legs into his socks and then applies repellent to his boots and socks, he said. “Ticks can get onto shoes and pant legs, then crawl up a person’s body,” he said.

7. Read the label to make sure the product protects against the specific insect you want to repel. Some repellents are not formulated to work against certain insects.

8. Avoid products that combine insect repellent and sunscreen, because mixing these two products on your own reduces the effectiveness of both of them, Day said. In addition, when you need sunscreen, it’s usually during those times of day when mosquitoes are not that active, he said.

9. On the other hand, the following methods are ineffective ways to repel mosquitoes: ultrasound devices attached to a belt or installed in a yard, wristbands containing repellent and citronella candles, Day said. He said that repellents work by providing a protective layer on the skin or body that insects need to make contact with. Repellent found in a wristband that’s worn on one arm does a poor job of preventing a person from getting bitten on that arm or on skin elsewhere, according to research from Consumer Reports. Placing a citronella candle on a patio deck, for example, may only provide protection in one quadrant of the deck, and mosquitoes would go around this one area and into the three other quadrants that don’t contain citronella, Day said.

In addition, some people swear that eating certain foods, such as garlic or bananas, or taking a dietary supplement like vitamin B12, will ward off biting insects, Day said. But there’s no evidence that any food or supplement can help prevent insect bites, he said.

Zika Virus Does Cause Microcephaly, Report Confirms

zika, mosquito, aedes aegypti

The Zika virus can cause microcephaly — a condition in which an infant has an abnormally small brain and head — when the infant’s mother is infected during pregnancy, according to a new report, published today (April 13) in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that if a woman is infected with Zika during pregnancy, the result can indeed be microcephaly and other congenital problems in the babies of those women. Researchers had strongly suspected that a link existed, but they needed sufficient evidence to definitively establish that there is a direct, cause-and-effect relationship between the virus and microcephaly — not just an association between the two.

“It is now clear that the [Zika] virus causes microcephaly,” Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, said in a statement.

In the report, the researchers reviewed the existing evidence that links Zika infections during pregnancy to microcephaly, and they applied established scientific criteria to determine if the virus is the reason for the problems.

In the report, the researchers noted that there was no “smoking gun,” or single study that definitively showed that Zika causes microcephaly. Rather, the confirmation of cause and effect comes from considering several lines of evidence as a whole. Each line suggests — but does not prove when considered separately — that Zika infection during pregnancy can cause adverse outcomes, the researchers wrote.

For example, some research showed that babies who were born with microcephaly and other brain problems were strongly suspected, or were confirmed to have been infected, with Zika virus at the time of their birth, the researchers wrote. In addition, other evidence demonstrated a biological mechanism that could explain how the virus might cause microcephaly in fetuses. And other work identified the presence of the virus in the brain tissue of affected fetuses and infants, according to the report.

More evidence came from studies that lined up the specific times during pregnancy that women became infected, with the exact problems that were seen in their infants, the researchers wrote.

These findings mean that a woman who is infected with Zika during pregnancy has an increased risk of having a baby with microcephaly and other brain defects, according to a statement from the CDC. However, not all women who are infected with Zika will have babies with these problems, the statement noted.

More research is needed to determine the spectrum of problems that the virus can cause in fetuses whose mothers are infected during pregnancy, as well as how the timing of when during a pregnancy a woman is infected may affect the fetus, the researchers wrote.

Mysterious Outbreak: 5 Things to Know About Elizabethkingia

The bacteria Elizabethkingia anophelis growing in a lab dish

An outbreak of a rare bacterial illness that first appeared in Wisconsin has now popped up in two nearby states, officials say.

This week, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that a patient there died of an infection with the bacteria Elizabethkingia anophelis — the same bacteria that has infected 59 people in Wisconsin and one person in Michigan. So far, the bacteria has been linked with 20 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are some important things to know about the outbreak.

Why is this outbreak unusual?

One reason the outbreak is puzzling is that Elizabethkingia rarely causes illness in people. Typically, each U.S. state reports about five to 10 cases of Elizabethkingia infections per year, the CDC says. The current outbreak is the largest ever of this strain of bacteria in the United States.

Who is most at risk for infection?

Most of the infections have been in people over age 65 who had at least one serious underlying health condition. Often, the people who are infected have weakened immune systems, the CDC said.

How deadly is the bacteria?

About a third of people infected with Elizabethkingia in the current outbreak have died. However, officials have not yet determined whether the bacteria was the actual cause of death in these cases. These people could have died from their underlying illness, or a combination of their illness and the bacterial infection, the CDC said.

Most of the people in the outbreak have had bloodstream infectionswith Elizabethkingia, but in a few cases, the bacteria was found in the respiratory tract or the joints, the CDC said.

Where did the bacteria involved in the outbreak come from?

Elizabethkingia is commonly found in soil, rivers and reservoirs, but officials have not yet determined the source of the bacteria in the current outbreak. Officials are testing samples from the facilities where people were treated, including health care products and water sources, but so far, none of these samples has tested positive for the bacteria, the CDC said.

How is it treated?

Elizabethkingia is resistant to many antibiotics that doctors typically use to treat bacterial infections. But fortunately, doctors have identified several antibiotics that work to treat the bacteria in the current outbreak, the CDC said. These antibiotics include fluoroquinolones, rifampin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

It’s crucial to spot the illness early so that patients can get the appropriate treatment, the CDC said.

Chemicals in Fast Food: Should You Be Worried?

junk food

People who eat fast food may be ingesting potentially harmful chemicals called phthalates, a new study finds — another reason to avoid eating these typically unhealthy foods, experts say.

However, experts emphasize that most Americans are exposed to phthalates every day, and it’s not clear exactly how much of this exposure comes from fast food.

Still, for people who want to reduce their exposure to phthalates, a chemical used in plastics that can leach into foods, reducing fast food consumption could be one way to do this, said Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health, a health care network headquartered in Great Neck, New York.

“I think there are very pressing health reasons to avoid fast food to begin with,” including its ties to obesity, said Spaeth, who was not involved in the new study on phthalates. “Now, with this kind of information about phthalates [linked to fast food], that certainly becomes an additional reason” to avoid these foods, Spaeth said.

In the study, public health researchers at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., analyzed information from more than 8,800 people who took part in a national health survey and answered questions about their diet, including how much fast food they’d eaten in the past day. The survey participants also submitted urine samples, which the researchers analyzed to look for the breakdown products of two types of phthalates.

The results showed that the people who had eaten the most fast food in the past day had levels of phthalate metabolites that were 24 to 40 percent higher than those of the people who hadn’t eaten fast food, the study found.

The findings are concerning, Spaeth said, because exposure to phthalates has been linked with adverse health effects, includingreproductive problems in adults, and lower IQ in children. Although previous studies have shown that phthalates come from many sources, and that 98 percent of Americans have detectable levels of the chemicals, the new study suggests that fast food could be a “meaningful source” of phthalates, Spaeth said.

The findings are also impactful because they implicate a popular food category as a potential source of people’s phthalate exposure. “You clearly see that the sources of exposure are not subtle,” Spaeth said.

The study also suggested that meat and grain items — including bread, cake, pizza, burritos, rice dishes and noodles — were the biggest contributors to phthalate exposure in the people who ate fast food.

Phthalates might get into fast food if the food comes into contact with plastic packing or PVC tubing (used in food processing) that contains the chemical. It’s also possible that the plastic gloves that fast food workers wear may be a source of phthalates, the researchers said.

It’s hard for people to avoid exposure to phthalates altogether, Spaeth said, because the chemicals are found in a lot of consumer products, including cosmetics and personal care products, and other processed foods.

It’s important to note that the study found only an association between fast food consumption and exposure to phthalates in people, and does not prove that the phthalates actually came from fast food. Future studies are needed that take into account other sources of phthalates, including other processed foods, to better understand the role of fast food in phthalate exposure, Spaeth said.