Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 19th 2013 Contents B36
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, December 19, 2013
Attention low income pensioners, persons with
a certi ed disability, low income households and
CBOs, NGOs or FBOs
As of October 2013, the Utilities Assistance Programme (UAP) has been expanded to include the
1. Utilities Bill Assistance Extension
The subsidy on water and electricity bills has been extended to two new groups:
▶ other Low Income Pensioners who receive a pension other than the Senior Citizens
▶ other Low Income Persons with Disabilities who are not in receipt of the Disability Grant
The electricity consumption level criterion has increased from 400kWh to 500kWh per bill
with the maximum annual subsidy increased from $684 to $840.
2. The provision of a Water Tank to Low Income Households/Community Facilities; and
3. The provision of a Solar Panel to Low Income Households in remote areas
This programme targets the following persons:
1. Subsidy to WASA and T&TEC Bills
Recipients of the Senior Citizens' Pension, Disability or Public Assistance Grants, or TT Food
Pensioners over 65 years, who receive a monthly income equal to or less than $3,500, inclusive
of the pension
WASA residential customers who own one property in Class A2, A3 or A4
T&TEC customers with an average consumption over three (3) billing periods (6 months) of
500kW or less.
2. Water Tank Assistance
Households with a total income of no more than $6,000 per month who depend only on truck
Community Facilities used by Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Non-governmental
Organisations (NGOs) and Faith Based Organisations (FBOs).
3. Solar Panel Assistance
Households with a total income of $6,000 located in remote areas outside of the current
electricity grid and where it has been determined uneconomical for the installation of electricity
For additional information please contact the Customer Service Unit at the Ministry of Public Utilities at:
Ministry of Public Utilities
#2 Elizabeth Street
Phone: 628-9500 (exts. 1116, 1120); Fax: 628-6067
MINISTRY OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
Omega-3 fatty acids,
found in fish and
fish oil supplements,
are considered to be
important for a
Recent research into the potential benefits
of fish oil has been largely disappointing.
But sales of the supplements have con-
tinued to rise, according to a new report.
"About 10 per cent of US adults use fish oils,
most in the belief that they help heart health,"
study author Dr Andrew Grey, from the University
of Auckland in New Zealand, said.
He and colleague Dr Mark Bolland looked at the
results of 18 randomised controlled trials---the gold
standard in medical research---and six analyses of
past trials on fish oil published between 2005 and
The studies compared the risk of heart disease,
cancer, thinking and memory problems and
immune, digestive and respiratory conditions among
people who were randomly assigned to take fish
oil or not.
The researchers also searched for news reports
generated by the studies within two weeks of pub-
lication. They ranked how favourably the media
covered each study on a scale from 1 (very negative
toward fish oil) to 5 (very positive).
Only two studies identified a benefit from fish
oil. But most media coverage of the studies was
very positive, Grey and Bolland wrote Monday in
JAMA Internal Medicine.
For example, the researchers rated media coverage
as 4 for two 2012 studies that found no benefits
for heart disease or stroke and were each heavily
"It s clear fish oils don t improve heart health,"
Grey told Reuters Health. "People can safely dis-
continue fish oil supplements, and focus on pursuing
health behaviours with proven efficacy."
Sales of fish oil supplements in the US rose from
$425 million in 2007 to over $1 billion in 2012,
according to data from Euromonitor International,
a market intelligence firm. The supplements can
be bought over the counter for a couple dollars
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and fish oil
supplements, are considered to be important for
a healthy diet. But they don t appear to help prevent
major health problems for most people.
The World Health Organisation recommends
pregnant and nursing women consume at least
300 milligrammes of omega-3s daily to help boost
their baby s brain development, and no studies
included in the report refute that recommenda-
Most people don t take the supplements based
on a doctor s recommendation, Grey said. So other
factors, like commercial efforts, may influence
"Under certain circumstances, the pattern of
use of some medicines or food additives tends to
have a poor relation with the evidence provided
by clinical trials," Andrea Messori told Reuters
Messori, of Regional Health System in Prato,
Italy, authored a paper this year on fish oil and
heart disease, which found no benefit. He was not
involved in the new report.
It s tough to figure out why evidence and practice
don t always align, he said.
Grey agreed that fish oil is not unique among
"Vitamin D is another supplement for which
clinical trial evidence of lack of efficacy has been
accruing for some time, yet it remains very widely
used and very profitable for those who sell it," Grey
said. (Reuters Health)
Little evidence to back
benefits of fish oil
"It's clear fish oils don't improve
heart health," Grey told Reuters
Health. "People can safely
discontinue fish oil supplements,
and focus on pursuing health
behaviours with proven efficacy."
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
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