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The Truth About Your Health Habits

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Health habits

We are constantly being bombarded with news that praises some health habits one day, and disregards them the next. However, there are some health habits that industries desperately want you to believe are healthy, but have a negative overall effect on your wellbeing.

Drinking diet sodaCoca Cola

Multinational corporations like Coca Cola and Pepsi launch ad campaigns that promote diet sodas as zero calorie sugar free alternatives to traditional soda. However, the artificial sweeteners in diet soda like aspartame and sucralose have been shown to trigger the same insulin response that sugar triggers in the body. Recently, diet soda has also been shown in increase the risk of dementia and stroke. Instead of using sugary soda to satisfy your fizzy and sweet cravings, choose drinks like Kombucha, a fermented, sweet-sour fizzy drink filled with probiotics that are great for gut health.

Taking a daily multivitamin “just in case”

Vitamins

Over 50% of Americans take a multivitamin supplement daily. Yet, many studies have shown that a daily multivitamin is useless, and even harmful, for healthy individuals. If you eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains, a multivitamin has not been shown to prevent disease risk or extend your life. In fact, high doses of some supplements, like beta carotene, can increase cancer risk. However, taking specific supplements to plug nutritional gaps in your diet has proven beneficial. For example, people living in cold climates should take a vitamin D supplement since their skin cannot produce it without adequate sun exposure.

Consuming dairyCheese

Humans are the only animal on earth that regularly consume the milk of another mammal, and the only mammals that consume milk after infancy. Humans in central Europe began drinking milk only around 7,500 years ago. Because it is such a recent adaptation, over two thirds of the world is lactose intolerant. Europeans may be more adapted to drink milk than people from certain parts of Africa and Asia, where nearly 100% of people are lactose intolerant, but they still suffer health consequences. Milk comes from a pregnant or recently pregnant cow, so it is filled with mammalian estrogen, in addition to antibiotics, steroids, and pus (yes, really!). Instead, choose dairy free alternatives like almond, soy, oat, or rice milk.

Eating meatmeat

Did you know that calorie for calorie, broccoli has more protein than beef? Many people are surprised to hear that, since the meat industry spends millions of dollars on ad campaigns that try to change people’s health habits to believe that meat is a normal, natural, and healthy part of our diet. However, with the World Health Organization classifying processed meats as type 1 carcinogens (cancer causing substances), and blockbuster documentaries like “What the Health” making even the most dedicated meat eaters go plant based, the meat industry’s claims look more and more dubious by the day. The truth is that meat contains antibiotics, steroids, saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones that wreak havoc on our gut bacteria, inflammation, and overall health. Organic meat sidesteps some of these health risks, but is not much better. Additionally, animal protein has been shown to raise IGF-1 levels in our body leading to accelerated tumor and cancer growth. Plant based sources of protein like beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and seitan pack as much or more protein than meat without the harmful side effects of animal protein on our bodies, the environment, and the animals.    

Avoiding carbohydratespasta

Bread, pasta, and rice get a bad rep for being high in carbohydrates which people fear will make them gain weight. It’s true that refined carbohydrates have been shown to spike insulin levels, but brown rice, and whole wheat bread and pasta are a great source of fiber and have been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels. Whole grains can even boost the levels of good bacteria in our gut.  

Eating gluten free processed foodsBread

The recent ‘gluten free’ craze is just that, a craze. It’s one of those health habits that got out of control. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and a few other grains that gives bread its stretchy, chewy qualities. A small percentage of the population has celiac disease where avoiding gluten is essential to their health. Some double blind studies have demonstrated the existence of ‘non celiac gluten sensitivity’, but the majority of people do not suffer from it. That means that hopping on this bandwagon, if you do not have a diagnosed disease or sensitivity, is pointless and could even be harmful. Avoiding gluten in and of itself is not unhealthy if instead of wheat, you center your meals around gluten free grains like; amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, sorghum, legumes, and vegetables. Instead, many people start buying gluten free versions of their favorite processed foods which often compensate for their lack of gluten by increasing their sugar and fat content.

Juicing your fruits and veggiesjuice

A refreshing juice of fruits and vegetables every morning seems like the pinnacle of a healthy diet. However, most juice machines separate the fiber from the juice of the produce. By removing the bulk of the fiber, the sugars from fruits hit your bloodstream more directly and cause a high and a crash that does not happen when you consume whole plant foods. The cell walls of fruits and vegetables slow down the release of sugars into your bloodstream keeping insulin more steady. Juicing does provide your body with vitamins and minerals, so there is no reason to cut it out entirely. Aim for moderation and instead of juicing your produce, try consuming it whole. If you must drink your veggies, try using a blender instead to preserve the fiber in the produce.

Consuming oilsOlive oil

Many people believe that ‘healthy oils’ like coconut and olive oil are an essential part of a healthy diet. However, they are calorie dense and lack a robust nutritional profile. While it’s true that olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats is more indicative of the health of fat sources, and this is where olive oil, and most oils, fail. A diet that is high in Omega-6 fatty acids but low in Omega-3 fatty acids promotes inflammation. Oils should be used sparingly, and you should adjust your health habits to consume more nuts, and seeds for your omega 3. Flaxseed are an especially high source of omega 3 fatty acids, and do not have the same health risks that animal based sources do like fish.

Aaditi Tamhankar is a student at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. In her free time she can be found cooking healthy food, running, and watching too much Youtube.

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Business

Why Amazon’s Second Headquarters Should Choose Northern Virginia

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Amazon’s second headquarters

Among the top 20 shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, Northern, Virginia is not a stranger to the massive tech company. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have frequently conducted business in the region. Bezos is known to own The Washington Post and Amazon’s cloud service AWS is situated in a huge data center in the northern Virginia region. It is no surprise that Northern, VA is listed on the list. This region proved to be a safe home for Bezos’ businesses, it would only make sense that Northern, VA is the next home for HQ2.

While the nation waits for the announcements of Amazon’s second headquarters, speculations rise as Amazon employees crowd ARLnow.com. The local news-source for Arlington Virginia have reported major traffic from an internal Amazon site. The article reporting the county’s green building council had received over 6,000 page views and 3,500 visitors from an Amazon web page that is only visible to Amazon employees. Amazon’s interest in the community’s dedication to sustainability is predicted to help the company’s future development of a sustainable building of their own.

The area is surrounded by copious international airports including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Richmond International Airport for Amazon’s consideration  of transportation. The bid for Amazon had reports of the Hub property as a potential site for Amazon’s second headquarters. This 85-acre undeveloped location is near the Dulles Airport, perfect for Amazon’s demands.

Amazon’s second headquarters

Amazon announced that they are developing a second headquarter of up to 8 million square feet in order to accommodate 50,000 workers. The plan to bring in 50,000 lucrative jobs to the new location will create billions of dollars in investment for the community. This opportunity for economic expansion does not come often, but neither does a perfect business location in Northern Virginia that is close to Bezos’ other businesses.

A possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters is on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties along Metro’s Silver Line. “We are very excited that Northern Virginia is included on the short list as a potential location for Amazon’s second headquarters,” spoke the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova. “Fairfax and Loudoun counties are able to offer a great quality of life coupled with an innovative and business friendly culture for future Amazon corporate neighbors and employees. With our highly educated and talented workforce and a location close to Dulles International Airport and a new Silver Line train station, we hope we will have the opportunity to welcome Amazon HQ2 to Virginia.”

Small businesses and agencies within Virginia are able share their professional insight to Amazon now as well. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Virginia.

If you are an agency from Virginia, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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Why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Chicago

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HQ2

Most of the cities on the top 20 shortlist for Amazon HQ2 had given some extreme proposals. The majority of the pick is located on the East Coast with an important city that is Chicago, Illinois. The city of Chicago is an important business hub that is currently attracting millennial entrepreneurs and corporate talents. The region offers a broad selection of professionals that are specialized in tech, logistics, advertising, and more. This is a huge bonus for Amazon if the tech company picks Chicago as the rightful city for HQ2.

Chicago ranks high in tech, affordability, and infrastructure. These benefits will fulfill Amazon in their search for employment, land, and logistics. The city offers the O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport to the company for traveling affairs. This is just one of the city’s proposal, the entire bid for Chicago was put together by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner. There is a promising bid that if Amazon chooses Chicago, then the massive tech company will collect at least $2 billion in incentives and $1.3 billion in tax revenue back. Employees are still expected to pay the taxes, however, it would be Amazon who is receiving that money back and not Illinois.

HQ2

Image From PBS

There are 10 total potential sites to situate HQ2. One includes the Sterling Bay’s 70-acre Lincoln Yards, and many more sites including the Illinois Medical District. The forefront for a new location is The River District, Riverside Investment and Development in River West. This 37-acre site connects to Chicago’s downtown, River North, Fulton Market, and more. The best deal for any other location. 

Amazon will be able to create a substantial amount of benefits from Chicago’s bid for Hq2. Illinois has given over $1.4 billion of tax money to companies like Amazon ever since 2001 when EDGE was created. The EDGE Tax Credit Program provides tax credits for businesses that make capital investments in Illinois and more. The massive tech company is more than qualified for this program and this will be deemed beneficial to Amazon if they participate. 

The Chicago metro area grew by 0.6% and it will only get better from here. The region is populated by a big number of young and educated students from the notable schools of University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The work force in Chicago are tech driven and strives for professional support, which is an attractive atmosphere for all companies. Amazon  should be using up that advantage as well. 

HQ2

Proposals are still being presented to Amazon by representatives. Small businesses and agencies within Chicago are now able share their professional insight to Amazon. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Chicago.

If you are an agency from Chicago, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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How The Technology of 23andMe Benefits You

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23andMe

Tracing down our ancestry is a difficult but possible task thanks to 23andMe. Ancestry research is an obsessive hobby that is provoked by curiosity. You can discover historical events, trace medical conditions, find birth parents, and understand yourself through DNA testing. With 23andMe, people can now discover the truth about their genes. Through extensive DNA analysis, 23andMe can interpret your biological roots from a simple saliva sample.

More than 500,000 consumers have bought a test from 23andMe. For it to work, consumers have to spit into a tube and ship it to the company. To retrieve your results, you must first create an account on the 23andMe website and log in within six-to-eight weeks to view your data.

The massive biotech company employs scientific researchers to study customer data for research on inherited disorders. The team is filled with quality workers and a pool of professional partners in fields like pharmaceutical and biotechnology. 23andMe hopes to provide consumers who wanted to know about their DNA information on any potential genetic disorders or diseases. For the first time ever, the genetics company offers direct to consumer genetic tests on breast cancer. Anyone who is curious about their future health risk, 23andMe is the ideal service to get answers from.

In tracing back your genetic roots to compare you to a total of 150 regions, people can now discover their DNA background. 23andMe have united many disconnected families from their service. The option to publicize your results to rekindle with other family members have proved to serve a great purpose to users.

23andMe

Image From 23andme.com

The precision of 23andMe is impressive. The results are not vague responses. The scores show percentages and specific breakdowns on your ancestry. With a total of 150 regions, 23andMe ensures an informative report to fulfill your curiosity. The ancestry discovery has given people an identity and the chance to reconnect with their culture. Customers have the opportunity to share their results for research purposes, so most have consented while others chose to remain anonymous.

The health and wellness report will analyze your genetic risk for up to 10 diseases. This information is intended for people who are concern about their future health. The data comments on your potential variants to lactose intolerance, saturated fat and weight, alcohol flush reaction, genetic weight, deep sleep, muscle composition, sleep movement and more.

The more serious analysis are the findings of potential late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, AAT Deficiency (a lung and liver disease), Celiac Disease, Hereditary Hemochromatosis (iron-related) and Hereditary Thrombophilia (blood clots), and others. Users do not have to oblige and see the results, you can choose to keep the answer hidden.

Although the company have experienced issues with the FDA in the past, since last April, the FDA agreed to allow 23andMe to sell direct-to-consumer genetic predisposition tests for 10 diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Celiac disease. This innovative business idea is benefiting many consumers. 23andMe’s technology have reconnected families, provide useful knowledge, and give health warnings.

23andMe

Image From 23andme.com

The innovative biotech company proves just how rapidly technology is advancing. DNA testing will only improve from this point on. 23andMe have benefited many customers with their technology. As they continue to grow and improve, a 23andMe spokesperson shares how the technology of 23andMe benefits you:

How does 23andMe work?

“You can read about the process on our website here. You choose from our two products – the  Ancestry Service and Health + Ancestry Service. You can either buy the kits from one of our retailers (Target, Walgreens, CVS, Amazon, etc.) or from our website. Your kit will take 3-5 days to arrive, you follow the kit instructions to spit in the tube provided, register your kit with the 14-digit barcode associated with your kit, and mail the tube back in the prepaid package.

In approximately 6-8 weeks, we’ll send you an email letting you know your reports are ready in your online account!”

What inspired 23andMe?

23andme

Image From 23andme.com

“Our company’s founders believe that everyone has the right to access their personal genetic information. We believe in the power of genetics to transform health and empower people, and that your genetic information is the most valuable thing you can contribute to help accelerate research”.

How will people benefit from 23andMe?

“23andMe customers will benefit in three ways:

  • Access Revolutionary Science
    • The only crowdsourced data set for genotypic and phenotypic big data analysis.
    • Health and ancestry reports driven by top-tier scientific rigor
    • Data-driven drug development by accomplished scientists
  • Discover Evolving Insights
    • Explore your unique health, ancestry, wellness and personal trait data
    • Engage with family members or connect with new ones
    • Learn more as new reports are released
  • Improve Healthcare
    • Easily participate in disease-fighting research
    • Drug development based on human genetics
    • Stay informed about the impact you’re making”

Are the analysts completely accurate?

23andme

Image From 23andme.com

“We proved through the FDA review process our ability to accurately call, or find, these variants with 99.9% accuracy when compared to Sanger sequencing results, the gold standard for accuracy.

23andMe uses an Illumina genotyping chip, widely used in academic and medical research, to capture genetic information and samples are processed in a CLIA-certified laboratory, the gold standard for laboratory testing, that also adheres to CAP (College of American Pathologists) standards. These are the same standards applied to doctor-ordered tests. We also have a variety of proprietary validation processes and quality controls that are applied to data before information is ever returned to a customer”.

How does 23andMe stand out to other competitors?

“We offer the only FDA-authorized genetic health reports directly to consumers, without a prescription. We also have a unique Research division, in which our customers can consent to participate in research (over 80% of them do consent) and answer questions that we can then use for research. Our customers have contributed to over 100 studies/published papers to date!”

How does the company overcome setbacks?

“Our CEO has said she doesn’t shy away from conflict. If you put your head down, do the work you need to do, and don’t give up, persistence will pay off. In 2013, when we received the letter from FDA warning us to stop marketing the Ancestry + Health Service, we didn’t give up. We believe people have a right to their genetic information without going through a doctor, and we are committed to providing it in the most responsible way possible. We will continue to work with the FDA to get more genetic information out to the public”.

Are you looking to improve? If so, how?

23andMe

Image From 23andme.com

“Yes, we are constantly looking to improving and working to provide additional information to our customers. Prior to November 2013 had more reports than we currently offer. As an FDA regulated company we’re working with the agency to provide health-related reports to our customers, beginning with carrier status, authorized by the FDA in February 2015, and genetic health risk reports, authorized by the FDA in April 2017. In fact, we just announced the FDA clearance of our BRCA 1/2 (Selected Variant) report, that is the first FDA authorized genetic test for cancer risk, and also expanded our Ancestry Composition product to over 150 populations around the world. We also just launched our Conditions pages, where customers can rate various treatments for common health conditions they suffer from, including asthma and depression”.

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