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Yes, we love cocoa in winter, particularly around Valentine’s Day. But does cocoa love us?While you may want to pass the mug, you also may also need to watch out for the saturated fat and sugar. Researchers at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are launching a massive, four-year, 18,000-person, randomized trial to get at some of the truths behind the potential health benefits of cocoa.Earlier observational studies and smaller clinical studies have hinted that compounds in cocoa called flavanols carry health benefits, protecting against everything from heart disease to stroke to dementia, so researchers want to learn more.“Cocoa flavanols appear to be very promising for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss, cognitive decline,” said JoAnn Manson, co-principal investigator of the study, Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). “But the evidence to date has been inconclusive. Most of the randomized trials previously done have been smaller in size, suggesting there may be favorable effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors, including lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow and dilation of blood vessels, decreasing inflammation, and maybe improving insulin sensitivity and the ability to metabolize glucose.”The bad news for chocoholics, however, is that though cocoa is a key ingredient, variations in processing methods make chocolate an unreliable source of flavanols, Manson said. Chocolate also typically contains enough fat, sugar, and calories that, however the trial turns out, it’s unlikely to result in prescriptions to eat more chocolate, though capsules or beverages high in cocoa flavanols are possible, Manson said.“The results of the COSMOS trial would not lead to a clinical recommendation to eat more chocolate, though it might provide more incentive for people to enjoy chocolate as a treat,” Manson said.Harvard Medical School researchers look at cocoa for health The investigation, called COSMOS, for COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcome Study, is also investigating the potential anti-cancer benefits of taking a daily multivitamin. The work follows up on an earlier study from the same research division at BWH that showed an 8 percent decline in cancer cases over 11 years among men over 50 taking a daily multivitamin. COSMOS will seek to replicate those earlier results and see if the benefit extends to women, according to Howard Sesso, the study’s other co-principal investigator, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and director of nutrition research in the Division of Preventive Medicine at the Brigham.Rather than isolating the effects of individual vitamins in megadoses, the trial’s multivitamin arm is intended to investigate the combined effect of lower doses of essential vitamins and minerals, Sesso said.Because COSMOS is evaluating health conditions that increase with age, like heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, and cancer, the trial is limited to men over age 60 and women over 65 who have no history of cardiovascular disease and have not been diagnosed with cancer over the last two years. Each participant takes three pills a day but doesn’t know which contain cocoa flavanols, multivitamins, combinations, or placebos. That allows researchers to test four different groups: one getting a daily multivitamin, one getting cocoa powder, one getting both, and the last getting only placebos. Many of the study volunteers agree to submit blood samples, and some undergo periodic physical and cognitive checkups.Cocoa flavanols, Manson said, are believed to promote production of nitric oxide in the blood vessels, which dilates and relaxes arteries, lowering blood pressure and keeping blood flowing to meet the body’s needs. The flavanols may also have anti-inflammatory properties that improve glucose metabolism and lower insulin resistance. Part of the trial’s purpose, she said, is to cast light on those processes.Though the trial is still enrolling participants and so is years away from conclusion, its large size and double-blinded design should allow it to address a range of scientific questions, Manson and Sesso said. It’s likely that the study eventually will lead to others that further explore relevant mechanisms and pathways.One difficulty in making dietary recommendations, Sesso said, is that consumer products vary widely. Even those that claim a high cocoa or cacao content, like dark chocolate bars, may vary widely in the amount of flavanols they contain due to differences in processing and content of cocoa beans.“This actually becomes a bit of a source of confusion for consumers as well, because when you hear about the potential health benefits of either cocoa products or cocoa flavanols or even chocolate or dark chocolate, it’s very difficult to isolate what is responsible for those potential benefits,” Sesso said. “When we consider cocoa products, we want to think back to the cocoa bean and focus upon its most bioactive components and test those in a large-scale trial such as COSMOS to provide the most definitive evidence of its health effects.” <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fbKNHRmmaQ” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/0fbKNHRmmaQ/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>
The DC scheme, which has been the main scheme for new joiners since 2009 and covers the majority of current BT employees, will also be upgraded for the benefit of existing members. Proposed changes include increasing BT’s standard maximum contribution rate to 10% for all members “and introducing other improvements”, the telecoms giant said in a statement.Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “The new hybrid pension is an innovative solution that will share future risk between BT and our members.“In the defined contribution scheme, all of our BTRSS members paying core contributions will be getting an increase in company payments – as well as key allowances counting towards [the] pension for the first time. This is clearly a major improvement.”The agreement affects around 20,000 non-management employees. In February the company agreed a deal with another trade union, Prospect, to close the DB scheme to around 10,000 managers, who will join the BTRSS.The proposals have been put to a vote, and CWU has recommended that BTPS members accept the agreement.Melrose pension statements ‘misleading’, says GKN Melrose Industries has offered to pay up to £1bn into the pension schemes of GKN as part of its bid to take over the UK-listed engineering group.However, GKN’s board has accused the bidder of making “misleading” comments about the state of the pension schemes in connection with its offer.Melrose yesterday said it had made a formal proposal to the GKN pension scheme trustees, which it claimed represented almost twice the value of the deficit reduction package offered by GKN as part of a proposed sale of its driveline business to Dana. GKN today said Melrose’s comments were “misleading as to the true status of GKN’s pension obligations”. It reiterated the elements of a binding agreement it reached with the UK pension trustees, which was conditional on Melrose’s offer lapsing or being withdrawn.Earlier this month Melrose wrote to the UK parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, on request of the politicians, to clarify its intentions with respect to GKN and its pension schemes.It had previously said it would invest some £150m in GKN’s UK pension schemes within 12 months of acquisition, and has defended itself as having “an excellent track record of managing pension schemes”.UUK speeds up expert panel creation UK universities are accelerating the creation of a panel of independent experts to review the valuation processes for the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).Universities UK (UUK), which represents UK higher education bodies, and its main union, the UCU, agreed last week to form the panel as part of mediation talks to inform future valuations. However, UUK said it was to be introduced immediately in order to address concerns over the current valuation.The panel will consider issues of methodology, assumptions and monitoring. It will have an independent chair, involve academics and pension professionals, and will liaise with both USS and the Pensions Regulator. The terms of reference and panel composition are to be announced shortly.Last week’s mediation talks led to UUK and UCU reaching an agreement over the future of the country’s largest pension scheme, but union branches rejected the agreement. UCU yesterday said it had “an incredibly strong mandate” for further strikes.Green light for south-west LGPS funds’ pooling effortsBrunel Pension Partnership, the £28bn asset pooling vehicle for 10 local government pension schemes (LGPS), has received regulatory authorisation.This paves the way for it to provide investment management services for its LGPS shareholders ahead of the government’s pooling deadline next month.Dawn Turner, CEO of Brunel, said: “This is an important milestone for us and means we are on schedule to deliver the benefits of LGPS investment pooling for our clients.”The LGPS pools have to be up and running by the start of April, although one – the £43.7bn Border to Coast Pensions Partnership – has agreed a three-month extension.Four of the eight have been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and while two (ACCESS and Wales Pensions Partnersip) have appointed external providers to set up pooled funds. BT is to close its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme and work with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to set up a hybrid scheme, the two parties have announced.The agreement follows more than 10 months of “exceptionally tough” discussions, according to the CWU.BT has pledged to set up a new hybrid pension plan with both DB and defined contribution (DC) elements. The new plan will be made available to members of the £49.3bn (€56bn) BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), which the company intends to close to future accrual from 31 May.This timetable was subject to the trustees being able to resolve “some complex administration-related issues”, the company said. The hybrid pension plan is due to be set up later this year following further discussions between BT and the CWU.In the meantime, current BTPS members will be moved to the company’s existing DC plan, the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS). Ex-BTPS members will be entitled to additional transition payments for up to 10 years. Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, where Brunel has its main office
Governor Ron DeSantis announced yesterday that two walk-thru testing sites will open tomorrow in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. The sites will cater to those who don’t have cars, but it’s only for those showing symptoms who make an appointment.Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the sites would open at Mitchell Moore Park at 901 Northwest 10th Street in Pompano Beach and at the Urban League at 560 Northwest 27th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.The sites will open for testing on Saturday and will start with 200 tests per day, DeSantis said.The governor will be in South Florida today for the opening of the new walk-through testing sites.During his Thursday briefing on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is visiting Broward County on Friday.DeSantis will be with Florida National Guard Adj. Gen. James Eifert and Jared Moskowitz, the director of the division of Emergency Management.DeSantis and his team is scheduled to arrive at 10 a.m. at the Urban League of Broward County, 560 NW 27th Ave., in Fort Lauderdale.Jen and Bill talked to Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez this morning on the South Florida morning show.
The University of Wisconsin volleyball team had been a dream team in the Big Ten, but when four key seniors graduated, the certainty of the program remained up in the air.Wisconsin was known for a dynamic team in 2016, and that was due in large part to the stellar senior class. Players like Lauren Carlini, Haleigh Nelson, Romana Kriskova and Tori Blake helped solidify the Badgers as one of the best teams in the nation.This powerhouse of players had been together for a long time, and they were the first class UW head coach Kelly Sheffield had the honor of working with all four years. The chemistry between the four women and their coach was evident, and it allowed for a dynamic style of play that Wisconsin hadn’t seen in a long time.Volleyball: Wisconsin heads to Kansas State for weekend tournamentComing off a strong showing at the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball heads to the Kansas State Read…Haleigh Nelson was one of the team’s best hitters, with a grand total of 418.5 points, 306 kills and a .396 percentage completion for attacks. Nelson was also a dynamic server, and had the second highest number of service aces on the team with a total of 33.Romana Kriskova was another dominant outside hitter for the Badgers. The Slovakian native had an impressive 305 points, 268 kills, .257 completion percentage with attacks and five service aces.Tori Blake was an anchor for the Wisconsin defense, and the middle-blocker received the Big Ten Sportsmanship award in 2016. It was thanks to players like Blake that Wisconsin was able to clinch most of their victories within the first three sets of the game.Wisconsin volleyball dominates at K-State invitationalThe University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team remains undefeated, moving to a 5-0 record off a very successful tournament at Read…And last but not least, Lauren Carlini, who made her mark as one of the best setters that Wisconsin volleyball has ever seen. The Sullivan award winner was a dynamic addition to the team and led the Badger with an impressive 34 services aces in her final season.These four women made for a very powerful team, and alongside Sheffield this team rose to heights they had never managed to achieve before. The Badgers achieved the No.1 ranking in collegiate volleyball and managed to beat a grand total of 13 ranked teams, the most in program history.With Carlini, Nelson, Kriskova and Blake all leaving Wisconsin in 2016, many wondered if the incoming freshman class would be able to fill the enormous shoes that had just been vacated. Players like Tionna Williams, Molly Haggerty and Kelli Bates all had standout seasons in 2016, but the biggest piece that was still missing was a setter.Carlini brings home UW’s first Sullivan AwardIt’s official: University of Wisconsin volleyball’s graduating senior Lauren Carlini won the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Tuesday night in Read…In comes Sidney Hilley, a freshman from Minnesota. Hilley was the No.3 recruit in the nation, and the list of accomplishments she has is outstanding, including MVP at the 2016 Junior World Championships.Hilley admitted that one of main reasons for coming to Wisconsin was Carlini, whom she had always been inspired by. Committing to Wisconsin during her freshman year of high school, Hilley would frequently attend volleyball matches and note the ways in which Carlini would handle herself, both on and off the court.However, Hilley did not want to be “just like” Carlini, and that is something that Sheffield was eager to point out.“But she’s not trying to be Lauren Carlini,” Sheffield told UW Athletics. “She’s trying to be the best Sydney Hilley.”Volleyball: Carilini remains in contention for AAU Sullivan AwardThe University of Wisconsin volleyball team’s most valuable player and graduating senior Lauren Carilini was named a semifinalist for the Read…Even though the Badgers season has just begun, Hilley is already earning honors within the Big Ten. On August 28th, 2017, Hilley earned the Big Ten setter of the week honor.Hilley is not the only freshman is making waves this year. She is joined by her teammate Dana Rettke, who is helping to hold down the Wisconsin defense after the departure of Blake.Rettke was the No.8 recruit nationally, and was the 2016 Illinois state Player of the Year, a title she shares with her teammate Haggerty, along with Carlini and AnneMarie Hickey.Rettke is off to a hot start with the Badgers, and has already earned the Big Ten co-player of the week and co-freshman of the week honors on August 28th 2016.She is also one of the reasons that Wisconsin has been handling formidable opponents so well this season. Rettke lead the team with 15 kills and six blocks against Louisville in August.While losing one of the greatest senior classes in Wisconsin history is never easy, it is clear that Wisconsin head coach Kelly Sheffield knows what he is doing when it comes to recruiting great players. This year’s freshman class might even usurp the senior class of 2016, and cement themselves as one of the greatest Wisconsin teams in history.
Share KSA draws up wishlist on casino games market surveillance July 13, 2020 Netherlands Remote Gambling Act submitted for EC review July 15, 2020 Submit Related Articles Share KSA issues ‘conduct warning’ following covid marketing breaches July 28, 2020 StumbleUpon Netherlands Minister for Justice Sander Dekker stated that his department would enforce restrictions on the use of customer databases as the Dutch government adds final conditions to its approved ‘Remote Gaming Act’.Responding to parliamentary questions in a legal briefing, Dekker said that approved Dutch online gambling licensees would have to terminate all existing customer databases acquired prior to market regulation.Dekker underlined that the Ministry of Justice would enforce its condition on the legal basis of protecting consumer data from online gambling incumbents. He explained that the condition would create a level playing field for all new licensed incumbents ahead of the market’s launch scheduled for the start of 2021.However, Dekker’s own VVD Party has raised concerns that the Minister’s order will undermine the key priority to channel players into regulated online operators.VVD associates believe that Dekker has been unclear on how his order will direct an estimated one million Dutch online gambling consumers towards legal offerings.Countering concerns, Dekker underlined that his database orders were in line with the legislative mandate of Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), who will undertake ‘reliability assessments’ on all licensee applicants ahead of market launch.He stressed that Dutch gambling laws should not reward prior illegal activities, as the Remote Gambling Act had to establish clear precedents on fair marketplace.Dekker said that channelization concerns would be overcome by the KSA who had been given ‘direct powers’ to restrict the capabilities of illegal actors, including blocking ISPs, payment services and imposing fines on those advertising unlicensed websites.Further to the briefing, Dekker has instructed the KSA to issue consumer guidance on the labelling of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ games with regards to casino content. Ahead of market launch, he stated that Dutch consumers must be made aware of the clear distinctions between game types and their elements of risk.