Consumer Beware: Coronavirus Antibody Tests Are Still A Work In Progress

After hearing for months about serious access issues involving tests that diagnose COVID-19 based on swabs from the nose or throat, Americans are being inundated with reports about promising new tests that look for signs of infection in the blood.

There are high hopes for these antibody tests, which detect proteins that form in blood as part of the body’s immune response to an invading virus. Communities across the U.S. have been rolling out the results of serological surveys that examine blood samples from people who haven’t been diagnosed with COVID-19 to see if they were, in fact, previously infected.

The thinking is, if there are blood markers that can detect when people have been infected, such tests should be able to tell us how widely the novel coronavirus has spread. And equally optimistic: those same antibodies could convey immunity to the disease, signaling someone is safe from reinfection and

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Yoga, a lasting depression treatment | Health Beat

Yoga that emphasizes mastery of controlled breathing could be especially effective at alleviating symptoms of depression. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

New evidence bolsters the belief that yoga can offer real and lasting relief to people with depression.

Dr. Chris Streeter, a psychiatrist at Boston University’s School of Medicine, said the new study she led builds on earlier work showing a correlation between yoga and levels of GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid, a chemical in the brain.

Yoga seems to raise GABA levels, much as anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs do, she explained.

The effect was seen four days after performing yoga, but not eight days later, suggesting yoga should be done regularly to counter depression, Streeter said.

“Once depressive symptoms improve, twice a week is probably better,” she said.

The study focused on Iyengar yoga, a variety that emphasizes holding poses precisely for long periods, and controlled breathing.

But any type

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Dieting? Spurn the don’ts, embrace the do’s | Health Beat

Pre-roasting a batch of veggies on the weekend will ensure a steady supply of healthy, quick-hit snacks all week long. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Don’t eat sodium. Don’t eat sugar. Don’t eat trans fat.

In our quest to eat well, we certainly hear a lot of “don’t do this” and “don’t do that.”

But what if we focused more on the do’s for a healthy diet?

Do eat more whole grains. Do eat more fruits. Do eat more veggies.

According to a recent study, healthier eating could prevent 1 in 5 deaths worldwide.

Consuming too few healthy foods is just as bad as eating too many unhealthy foods.

The study found three things that account for more than half of all diet-associated deaths: not enough whole grains, not enough fruits and too much sodium.

Other problems arise from overconsumption of red meat, processed meats, sugary drinks and trans fats.

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