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Exclusive Social Media Perfumes – Verified by Xyrena is a Scent for Elite Millennial & Gen Z Users (TrendHunter.com)

Verified by Xyrena is a Scent for Elite Millennial & Gen Z Users

Fragrance company Xyrena has introduced a range of unconventional products over the years—including “the world’s first unscented perfume”—and its newest release, Verified by Xyrena, is an exclusive one that is only available to those who have had their accounts verified on social media.

The unisex ‘Verified by Xyrena’ is branded as “the most exclusive fragrance for the digital era,” specifically appeals to just the 0.004% of the population that has been officially verified on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Xyrena’s GlamTube.
While the perfume is shared on Xyrena’s website, complete with a price, that resembles a traditional product sales page, prospective buyers are required to get verified by Xyrena before placing an order.

In terms of scent, Verified by Xyrena is said to be fresh and young with top notes of watermelon, grapefruit and spicy pink pepper, as well as grounding with its base of white musk, birch wood, cedar and sandalwood.

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Increased risk of harm from cannabis across Europe

Cannabis resin and herbal cannabis have significantly increased in potency and in price, according to the first study to investigate changes in cannabis across Europe.

The study, published today (Sunday 30 December) in the journal Addiction by researchers from the University of Bath and King’s College London, draws on data collected from across 28 EU Member states, as well as Norway and Turkey by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

The findings show that for herbal cannabis, concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (‘THC’ — the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis) increased by a similar amount each year, from 5% in 2006 to 10% in 2016.

For cannabis resin (or hash), THC concentrations were relatively stable from 2006 to 2011 (from 8% to 10%) but then increased rapidly from 2011 to 2016 (from 10% to 17%). The price of cannabis resin also increased, but to a lesser extent than for herbal cannabis.

Lead author Dr Tom Freeman from the Addiction and Mental Health Group within the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, said: “These findings show that cannabis resin has changed rapidly across Europe, resulting in a more potent and better value product.”

Unlike herbal cannabis, cannabis resin typically contains cannabidiol (CBD) in addition to THC. CBD has recently attracted considerable interest due to its potential to treat several medical conditions including childhood epilepsy syndromes, psychosis and anxiety. When present in cannabis, CBD may offset some of the harmful effects of THC such as paranoia and memory impairment.

Cannabis containing higher levels of THC and / or lower levels of CBD has been linked to greater long-term harms such as the development of cannabis dependence, and an increased risk of psychotic illness. New resin production techniques in Morocco and Europe have increased levels of THC, but not CBD.

Dr Freeman added: “CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek. What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful. These changes in the illicit market are largely hidden from scientific investigation and are difficult to target by policy-makers. An alternative option could be to attempt to control THC and CBD content through regulation.”

It is estimated that 24 million people (or 7.2%) of European adults used cannabis in the last year. Across the globe 192 million people use the drug in a variety of markets, ranging from heavily sanctioned prohibition to commercialised legal sale. Cannabis policies are rapidly changing across the globe.

Recreational use is now legalised in Canada and several US states, and medical use is permitted in many more countries, including very recently in the UK.

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Materials provided by University of Bath. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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The immune system's fountain of youth

If only we could keep our bodies young, healthy and energetic, even as we attain the wisdom of our years. New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests this dream could be at least partly obtainable in the future. The results of this research, led by Prof. Valery Krizhanovsky and Dr. Yossi Ovadya in the Molecular Cell Biology Department, were recently published in Nature Communications.

The research began with an investigation into the way that the immune system is involved in a crucial activity: clearing away old, senescent cells that spell trouble for the body when they hang around. Senescent cells — not completely dead but suffering loss of function or irreparable damage — have been implicated in diseases of aging by promoting inflammation. The researchers used mice in which a crucial gene for this immune activity was missing. At two years (elderly, for mice), the bodies of these mice had a greater accumulation of senescent cells compared with the mice in which the gene for removing these cells was intact. The mice missing the gene suffered from chronic inflammation, and various functions in their bodies appeared to be diminished. They also looked older — and died earlier — than their normal counterparts.

Next, the researchers gave the mice a drug that inhibits the function of certain proteins that help the aging cells survive in their senescent state, to see if this would contribute to the removal of these cells from the body. The drugs were administered to mice whose aging was a result of the malfunctions the group had uncovered in the immune system as well as those suffering premature aging from a different genetic error. The treated mice responded exceptionally well to the drug: Their blood tests and activity tests showed improvement, and their tissues appeared to be much closer to those of young mice. The scientists counted senescent cells, finding many fewer of them remaining in the treated mice’s bodies; and when they looked for signs of inflammation, they found that this, too, was significantly lower. The mice treated with the drug were more active and their median lifespan rose.

The scientists intend to continue exploring ways to prompt the human body to remove its old senescent cells, particularly to find means of activating the immune system to do this job. That is, if future experimentation proves their theories correct, they could end up creating truly “anti-aging” therapies.

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Moderate drinking not harmful for older patients with heart failure, study suggests

A new study suggests that people over age 65 who are newly diagnosed with heart failure can continue to drink moderate amounts of alcohol without worsening their condition.

The study, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, showed a survival benefit for moderate drinkers compared with those who abstained from alcohol. On average, survival for moderate drinkers was just over a year longer than abstainers, a difference that was statistically significant. However, the findings do not suggest that nondrinkers should start imbibing after a heart failure diagnosis, the researchers emphasized.

The study is published Dec. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

“My patients who are newly diagnosed with heart failure often ask me if they should stop having that glass of wine every night,” said senior author and cardiologist David L. Brown, MD, a professor of medicine. “And until now, I didn’t have a good answer for them. We have long known that the toxic effects of excessive drinking can contribute to heart failure. In contrast, we have data showing that healthy people who drink moderately seem to have some protection from heart failure over the long term, compared with people who don’t drink at all. But there was very little, if any, data to help us advise people who drink moderately and have just been diagnosed with heart failure.”

The new study suggests that such patients can safely continue to drink in moderate amounts — one serving of alcohol per day for women and two for men. The researchers found a slight association between moderate drinking and longer survival times. But since the study doesn’t establish cause and effect, the researchers can’t conclude that moderate drinking is actively protective. It is possible there is some other factor, or combination of factors, common among moderate drinkers that leads to this benefit. As such, the evidence does not support the idea that nondrinkers with heart failure will improve if they begin moderate alcohol consumption.

The researchers analyzed data from a past study called the Cardiovascular Health Study, conducted from 1989 to 1993. It included 5,888 adults on Medicare. Of these, 393 patients developed heart failure during the nine-year follow-up period. Heart failure occurs when the heart gradually loses the ability to pump sufficient blood to the body. It can be triggered by a heart attack or other chronic conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.

With an average age of 79, slightly more than half of the heart failure patients were women, and 86 percent were white. The patients were divided into four categories for the analysis: people who never drank, people who drank in the past and stopped, people who had seven or fewer drinks per week, and people who had eight or more drinks per week. The researchers defined one serving of alcohol as a 12-ounce beer, a 6-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.

The researchers accounted for important variables in their analysis, including age, sex, race, education level, income, smoking status, blood pressure and other factors. After controlling for these variables, the investigators found an association between consuming seven or fewer drinks per week and an extended survival of just over one year, compared with the long-term abstainers. The extended survival came to an average of 383 days and ranged from 17 to 748 days. The greatest benefit seems to be derived from drinking 10 drinks per week, but so few patients fell into that category that the data were insufficient to draw definite conclusions.

“People who develop heart failure at an older age and never drank shouldn’t start drinking,” Brown said. “But our study suggests people who have had a daily drink or two before their diagnosis of heart failure can continue to do so without concern that it’s causing harm. Even so, that decision should always be made in consultation with their doctors.”

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Materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Original written by Julia Evangelou Strait. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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High cholesterol levels after Christmas

Large quantities of rich Christmas food appear to boost Danes’ cholesterol levels. Right after the Christmas break, levels are 20% higher than in the summer. So says a new study carried out by researchers from the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Copenhagen University Hospital and the Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen.

All that butter and cream in Christmas food may possibly boost cholesterol levels more than assumed up to now. In a new study of 25,000 Danes, researchers conclude that cholesterol levels after the Christmas holiday are 20% higher than they are in the summer.

So the study by researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital and the University of Copenhagen shows that the risk of having elevated cholesterol is six times higher after the Christmas break.

“Our study shows strong indications that cholesterol levels are influenced by the fatty food we consume when celebrating Christmas. The fact that so many people have high cholesterol readings straight after the Christmas holiday is very surprising,” says Dr. Anne Langsted, M.D., who is one of the authors of the article.

Nine out of ten of the people participating in the so-called Copenhagen General Population Study had elevated cholesterol after Christmas. People who already have high cholesterol should perhaps be even more alert to their cholesterol levels during the Christmas holidays.

“For individuals, this could mean that if their cholesterol readings are high straight after Christmas, and they could consider having another test taken later on in the year,” says another of the article’s authors, Dr. Signe Vedel-Krogh, M.D.

“In any event, there is a greater risk of finding that you have elevated cholesterol if you go to the doctor and have your cholesterol tested straight after Christmas. It is important to be aware of this, both for doctors who treat high cholesterol and those wishing to keep their cholesterol levels down,” she concludes.

The article “The Christmas holidays are followed immediately by a period of hypercholesterolemia” has just been published in the international journal Atherosclerosis.

Facts about cholesterol

If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, your arteries can get furred up and there is a greater risk of developing heart attacks and stroke.

Heart attacks and strokes are what kill most people worldwide.

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Materials provided by University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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How 'Dry January' is the secret to better sleep, saving money and losing weight

New research from the University of Sussex shows that taking part in Dry January — abstaining from booze for a month — sees people regaining control of their drinking, having more energy, better skin and losing weight. They also report drinking less months later.

The research, led by Sussex psychologist Dr Richard de Visser, was conducted with over 800 people who took part in Dry January in 2018. The results show that Dry January participants are still drinking less in August. They reported that:

  • drinking days fell on average from 4.3 to 3.3 per week;
  • units consumed per drinking day dropped on average from 8.6 to 7.1;
  • frequency of being drunk dropped from 3.4 per month to 2.1 per month on average.

Dr Richard de Visser, Reader in Psychology at the University of Sussex, said:

“The simple act of taking a month off alcohol helps people drink less in the long term: by August people are reporting one extra dry day per week. There are also considerable immediate benefits: nine in ten people save money, seven in ten sleep better and three in five lose weight.

“Interestingly, these changes in alcohol consumption have also been seen in the participants who didn’t manage to stay alcohol-free for the whole month — although they are a bit smaller. This shows that there are real benefits to just trying to complete Dry January.”

The University of Sussex research showed that:

  • 93% of participants had a sense of achievement;
  • 88% saved money;
  • 82% think more deeply about their relationship with drink;
  • 80% feel more in control of their drinking;
  • 76% learned more about when and why they drink;
  • 71% realised they don’t need a drink to enjoy themselves;
  • 70% had generally improved health;
  • 71% slept better;
  • 67% had more energy;
  • 58% lost weight;
  • 57% had better concentration;
  • 54% had better skin.

Dr Richard de Visser’s findings come from three self-completed online surveys: 2,821 on registering for Dry January; 1,715 in the first week of February; and 816 participants in August.

A new YouGov poll undertaken for Alcohol Change UK showed that one in ten people who drink — an estimated 4.2 million people in the UK — are already planning to do Dry January in 2019.

Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, said:

“Put simply, Dry January can change lives. We hear every day from people who took charge of their drinking using Dry January, and who feel healthier and happier as a result.

“The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it’s not really about January. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.

“Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol — seven forms of cancer, liver disease, mental health problems — but we are often unaware that drinking less has more immediate benefits too. Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin, losing weight… The list goes on. Dry January helps millions to experience those benefits and to make a longer-lasting change to drink more healthily.”

Signing up for Dry January increases the chance that you’ll get the most out of the month. You can download Try Dry: The Dry January App to track your units, money and calories saved, plus many more features. Or you can sign up at dryjanuary.org.uk for regular support emails with tips and tricks from experts and others like you.

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Materials provided by University of Sussex. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Proportion of cancers associated with excess body weight varies considerably by state

A new study looking at the share of cancers related to obesity finds an at least 1.5-fold difference between states with the highest and lowest proportions. The proportion of cancer cases that could be attributable to excess body weight ranged from a high of 8.3% in the District of Columbia to a low of 5.9% in Hawaii, reflecting variations in obesity rates in the states. The study appears in JAMA Oncology.

Excess body weight is an established cause of cancer, currently known to be linked to 13 cancers. While differences in excess body weight among states in the United States are well-known, there is little information on the burden of obesity-related cancers by state, information that would be useful for setting priorities for cancer control initiatives.

To learn more, American Cancer Society investigators led by Farhad Islami, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Director, Surveillance Research, calculated the population attributable fraction (PAF) of incident cancer cases attributable to excess body weight among adults aged ≥30 years in 2011-2015 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

They found that in both men and women, there was at least a 1.5-fold difference between states with the highest and lowest proportions of cancers attributable to excess body weight. Among men, the population attributable fraction (PAF) ranged from 3.9% in Montana to 6.0% in Texas. Meanwhile, the PAF for women was approximately twice as high as for men, ranging from 7.1% in Hawaii to 11.4% in the District of Columbia. States with largest PAFs were mostly located in the South and Midwest, plus Alaska and the District of Columbia.

The proportion was far greater for some individual cancer types. For endometrial cancer, for example, the PAF ranged from 36.5% in Hawaii to 54.9% in Mississippi and was 50.0% or more in 19 states.

“The proportion of cancers attributable to [excess body weight] varies among states, but [excess body weight] accounts for at least 1 in 17 of all incident cancers in each state,” write the authors. “Broad implementation of known community- and individual-level interventions is needed to reduce access to and marketing of unhealthy foods (eg, through a tax on sugary drinks) and to promote and increase access to healthy foods and physical activity, as well as preventive care.”

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Materials provided by American Cancer Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Rerouting nerves during amputation reduces phantom limb pain before it starts

Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine are pioneering the use of primary targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) to prevent or reduce debilitating phantom limb and stump pain in amputees.

Losing a limb due to trauma, cancer, or poor circulation can result in phantom limb and stump pain in upwards of 75 percent of amputees in the United States. Primary TMR – the rerouting of nerves cut during amputation into surrounding muscle – greatly reduces phantom limb and residual limb pain, as reported in recent publications by Dr. Ian Valerio, division chief of Burn, Wound and Trauma in Ohio State’s Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Dr. J. Byers Bowen, a former resident who is now in private practice. Their latest work featured in the January 2019 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery describes how to perform this technique in below-the-knee amputations.

TMR was first developed to allow amputees better control of upper limb prosthetics. Traditionally doctors perform the surgery months or years after the initial amputation. When surgeons discovered the procedure also improves certain causes of pain, they started using it to treat disorganized nerve endings called symptomatic neuromas and/or phantom limb pain.

In this paper, Valerio and Bowen provide a detailed description of TMR in below-the-knee amputees and document the benefits of primary TMR for preventing pain.

“This paper provides a blueprint for improving patient outcomes and quality of life following amputation,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, dean of The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Over the course of three years, the surgeons performed 22 TMR surgeries on below-the-knee amputees, 18 primary and four secondary. None of the patients have developed symptomatic neuromas and only 13 percent of patients who received primary TMR reported having pain six months later.

“A significant amount of pain in amputees is caused by disorganized nerve endings, i.e. symptomatic neuromas, in the residual limb. They form when nerves are severed and not addressed, thus they have nowhere to go,” Valerio said. “Attaching those cut nerve endings to motor nerves in a nearby muscle allows the body to re-establish its neural circuitry. This alleviates phantom and residual limb pain by giving those severed nerves somewhere to go and something to do.”

Valerio said patients who’ve had TMR significantly reduce or sometimes stop using narcotics and other nerve pain related medications, which can greatly improve their quality of life.

“TMR has been shown to reduce pain scores and multiple types of pain via a variety of validated pain surveys. These findings are the first to show that surgery can greatly reduce phantom and other types of limb pain directly,” Valerio said.

Bowen added that upper extremity amputees are better able to use and control their prosthetics in addition to their improved pain outcomes. He said, “TMR allows for more individual muscle unit firings through the patient’s thoughts. It provides for better intuitive control resulting in more refined functional movements and more degrees of motion by an advanced prosthetic.”

The researchers believe primary TMR is a reliable technique to prevent the development of disorganized nerve endings and to reduce phantom and other limb pain in all types of amputations. When done at the time of initial amputation, there is minimal health risk and recovery is similar to that of traditional amputation surgery.

Surgeons perform TMR routinely at Ohio State, with primary TMR as the standard of care for most orthopedic-based traumatic and oncologic amputations. Valerio lectures and trains surgeons around the world on the primary TMR technique in an effort to make it a global best practice.

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Breaking down AGEs: Insight into how lifestyle drives ER-positive breast cancer

Poor diet and lack of exercise are associated with cancer development, but the underlying biology is not well understood. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) could offer a biological link to help us understand how certain lifestyle behaviors increase cancer risk or lessen the likelihood that an anti-cancer therapy will be effective.

AGE accumulation is the natural and unavoidable result of the breakdown of nutrients, sugars and fats. AGE levels, however, can be increased by the consumption of processed foods high in sugar and fat. Certain cooking techniques, such as grilling, searing and frying, also increase AGE formation.

High AGE levels could prevent patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer from responding to tamoxifen therapy, suggest preclinical findings reported by researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in a recent issue of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. The MUSC team was led by David P. Turner, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the MUSC College of Medicine and a member of the Hollings Cancer Center, who is one of the two corresponding authors on the article. Marvella E. Ford, Ph.D., a professor in the MUSC College of Medicine and associate director of Cancer Disparities at Hollings Cancer Center, is the other corresponding author.

“By showing that AGEs in the diet may impact how well breast cancer patients respond to therapy we can make breast cancer patients aware of their existence,” says Turner. “And we can design lifestyle interventions aimed at reducing AGE intake.”

AGEs cause an imbalance between molecules called free radicals and antioxidants, leading to chronic inflammation that can promote the development of a variety of chronic diseases. Furthermore, as AGEs accumulate in our organs, they cause damage that is associated with diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and cancer. However, AGEs have not been studied in depth in the context of cancer.

The publication by Turner, Ford and colleagues shows that elevated AGE levels lead to continual activation of pathways that promote cancer cell growth. A key molecule turned on by those pathways is important in the context of ER-positive and -negative breast cancer. This led the MUSC team to explore how AGE might affect cancer cell signaling in ER-positive breast cancer.

The MUSC team found that AGEs actually increase the phosphorylation (a process that turns on a biological pathway) of a protein called estrogen receptor alpha in a breast cancer cell line model. Adding tamoxifen to the cancer cells prevented their growth. However, adding AGEs caused them to grow once again. This could mean that patients with high AGEs are less likely to respond to tamoxifen treatment.

Turner’s team also found that a defined lifestyle intervention of exercise and dietary counseling lowered systemic levels of AGEs in overweight women with non-metastatic ER-positive breast cancer.

Next steps are to expand the published study to determine the effects of the intervention on a larger scale, while also further exploring the biological pathways in animal models. Together, they should shed light on how lifestyle interventions can beneficially affect cancer treatments by reducing AGE levels.

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Sugar-sweetened beverage pattern linked to higher kidney disease risk

Higher collective consumption of sweetened fruit drinks, soda, and water was associated with a higher likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) in a community-based study of African-American adults in Mississippi. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), contribute to the growing body of evidence pointing to the negative health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages.

Certain beverages may affect kidney health, but study results have been inconsistent. To provide more clarity, Casey Rebholz PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and her colleagues prospectively studied 3003 African-American men and women with normal kidney function who were enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study.

“There is a lack of comprehensive information on the health implications of the wide range of beverage options that are available in the food supply,” said Dr. Rebholz. “In particular, there is limited information on which types of beverages and patterns of beverages are associated with kidney disease risk in particular.”

For their study, the investigators assessed beverage intake through a food frequency questionnaire administered at the start of the study in 2000-04, and they followed participants until 2009-13.

Among the 3003 participants, 185 (6%) developed CKD over a median follow-up of 8 years. After adjustment for confounding factors, consuming a beverage pattern consisting of soda, sweetened fruit drinks, and water was associated with a higher risk of developing CKD. Participants in the top tertile for consumption of this beverage pattern were 61% more likely to develop CKD than those in the bottom tertile.

The researchers were surprised to see that water was a component of this beverage pattern that was linked with a higher risk of CKD. They noted that study participants may have reported their consumption of a wide variety of types of water, including flavored and sweetened water. Unfortunately, the investigators did not collect information about specific brands or types of bottled water in the Jackson Heart Study.

In an accompanying editorial, Holly Kramer, MD, MPH and David Shoham, PhD (Loyola University Chicago) noted that the findings hold strong public health implications. “While a few select U.S. cities have successfully reduced SSB [sugar sweetened beverage] consumption via taxation, all other municipalities have resisted public health efforts to lower SSB consumption,” they wrote. “This cultural resistance to reducing SSB consumption can be compared to the cultural resistance to smoking cessation during the 1960s after the Surgeon General report was released. During the 1960s, tobacco use was viewed as a social choice and not a medical or social public health problem.”

In an accompanying Patient Voice editorial, Duane Sunwold explained that he is a patient with CKD who changed his eating and drinking patterns to put his disease in remission. As a chef, he offers a number of recommendations to fellow patients trying to decrease their consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.

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Materials provided by American Society of Nephrology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.