Bringing the Second COVID-19 Wave Under Control

Bringing the Second COVID-19 Wave Under Control

  • August 7, 2020

While Japan’s coronavirus epidemic appeared to have subsided, it is now roaring back with a vengeance. We asked leading immunologist Miyasaka Masayuki about the extent of the epidemic, his predictions for the future, and what he thinks should be done.

Where Japan Stands

INTERVIEWER  Tokyo and Osaka are seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases. What is your take on the current situation?

MIYASAKA MASAYUKI  There’s no question that we are seeing an uptick in cases. Without knowing the type of virus involved, we can refer to the current outbreak as either a continuation of the first wave, or the beginning of the second wave. The increase in infections has been concentrated in specific entertainment districts, including Tokyo’s Shinjuku and Ikebukuro and Osaka’s Minami, along with their surroundings. These areas harbored a very high number of COVID-19 carriers, and people who frequented these areas have unwittingly taken the virus back to their homes and workplaces, causing it to spread steadily through their communities.

The current spike in infections is by no means restricted to a small geographical area, either—we’re beginning to see outbreaks in surrounding areas as well. And it’s only a matter of time before this outbreak will no longer restricted to young people. While I thought people had learned the lessons of the first wave of infection, some have not, and continue to frequent entertainment districts. That is the problem.

INTERVIEWER  We were told the second wave would not arrive until autumn or winter. It appears to have hit much earlier than expected.

MIYASAKA  Those estimates were merely individual opinions. A lot of people thought the virus’s vulnerability to heat and UV light would keep it at bay in summer, so the second wave would not hit until autumn. While many believed this theory, in the United States we have seen significant outbreaks in summer, in places like Florida.

INTERVIEWER  How is the current outbreak different from the first wave?

MIYASAKA  The circumstances are different this time. The received wisdom, which invoked the concept of herd immunity, held that when a virus-naïve population is exposed to a novel virus, a given percentage of individuals will contract it. Nishiura Hiroshi from Hokkaidō University said that as none of us has immunity to COVID-19, up to 60 percent of the population in Japan could contract the virus. I disagree with his assessment, however.

Immunity levels vary significantly amongst the population, meaning that those with compromised immune systems will contract COVID-19 before their healthier counterparts. The chances of becoming infected after exposure to a given amount of virus are not the same for everyone—those with a high resistance to infection will remain uninfected, eventually halting the spread of infection. Another factor is the public’s knowledge about the virus. During an outbreak, people will maintain social distancing. The theoretical statement that every individual infected goes onto infect 2.5 others assumes no preventative measures are taken—if the population observes social distancing, infections will stop. R0—the basic reproduction number, pronounced “R-nought” or “R-zero”—is actually around 1.25 in Osaka, meaning that if just 20 percent of the population develops immunity, the spread of the virus will be stopped. R0 is approaching 1.25 in Tokyo as well. In other words, we are approaching a state in which the virus is no longer spreading.

Antibodies Are Not Everything

INTERVIEWER Can you briefly explain how immunity works?

MIYASAKA  People talk as if immunity is all about antibodies. There is a theory that the spread of COVID-19 will be stopped when 60% of the population develops immunity. However, this assumes that antibodies are the only things capable of conferring immunity. In fact, exposure to a given amount of COVID-19 will never result in 60 percent of a population becoming infected. Even in Wuhan, the percentage of the population that contracted the virus was no more than 20 percent.

The human immune system is comprised of two layers. The first line of defense is our innate immunity—think of soldiers guarding a gate—which attempts to repel all invaders. If our innate immunity is compromised, our acquired immunity kicks in in the form of lymphocytes. T helper cells, which perform the role of controllers, respond to the infection by instructing B lymphocytes to produce antibodies, which in turn attack the virus. The other avenue of defense involves helper cells creating cytotoxic T lymphocytes, or “killers,” that completely destroy infected cells. While antibodies are only able to kill viruses outside cells, these killer lymphocytes are able to kill viruses inside cells. You need both antibodies and killer lymphocytes to reliably defeat a virus.

INTERVIEWER  So it isn’t just the antibodies—the “soldiers at the gate” are also important.

MIYASAKA  People ignore the fact that some people are able to shake a virus they don’t have antibodies for with their natural immunity alone. Antibody seroprevalence is not the same as the infection rate. In other words, if your innate immunity is robust, you don’t have much to worry about.

It’s likely that the antibodies our bodies make in response to COVID-19 infection will only last for around six months. If this is indeed the case, it will be impossible to attain herd immunity. However, immunity is a two-pronged defense: Some individuals are able to defeat the virus using their innate immunity alone. People shouldn’t get too hung up on antibody seroprevalence rates.

The Risk of an Exponential Spike

INTERVIEWER  Cases are currently on the rise. Do you think the increase can be halted, or could we see a runaway number of cases?

MIYASAKA  While the true number of infections is definitely higher than the number of positive PCR results, I believe the rate of infection will eventually dwindle. That is, we will not see an exponential increase in cases. During the initial wave of infection, we were able to stop the virus from spreading further by restricting our movements by 65 percent. As long as people maintain social distancing, avoid the three Cs, namely closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings, and impose reasonable restrictions on their behavior, we will definitely be able to slow down the spread of the virus. However, if there is not enough testing, we get undetected clusters of infection, and the virus spreads rapidly through the community, as has been the case in Western nations, the epidemic will know no end. Fortunately, the prevalence of the virus in Japan is far lower than in the West.

INTERVIEWER  And yet levels of infection are now higher than the initial peak.

MIYASAKA  The statistics seem worrying if you only focus on the number of infections, but Japan’s prevalence of infection and morbidity rates are far lower than in Western nations. It should be noted, however, that the prediction that the second wave of infection would be only minor has proved to be untrue. While it initially looked like we had defeated the epidemic, this was only the picture on the surface. In reality, there were clusters of infection in Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Minami that we didn’t know about. These combined with community contact to create the second wave. By testing exhaustively and reducing cases in these areas, potential causes of infection can be reduced.

What We Should Do

INTERVIEWER  Budget restrictions mean that that it’s more or less impossible to demand that businesses close down. Is enough being done?

MIYASAKA  If each and every one of us can be alert, rather than waiting for local bodies to issue alerts, there is no need to panic. The problem is that people forget to be alert and go out carousing in bars. People will not catch the virus if they follow the rules.

INTERVIEWER  Does a state of emergency need to be declared?

MIYASAKA  No. Declaring a state of emergency does have some value because it forces people to moderate their behavior. However, issuing another state of emergency now would have grave consequences for the economy. Now is not the time to declare an emergency. As long as individuals remain alert, the virus will not spread that easily.

INTERVIEWER  The government has chosen the present time to launch its “Go To” travel campaign, although it has excluded Tokyo and its residents from participation. Should we be worried?

MIYASAKA  We have known all along that increased movement by the population would result in the virus being passed on again. Increased movement due to the campaign might or might not increase infections, although as long as travelers modify their behavior as required, the virus will not be passed on so easily. There is no need to order businesses or schools to close, with the exception of a few special industries, as long as individuals remain alert.

INTERVIEWER  Many more people are working from home now. Is remote working an effective strategy for fighting COVID-19?

MIYASAKA  Working from home obviously helps prevent the spread of infection, although just because you take the train to work does not automatically mean you will catch coronavirus. When we speak, a mist of droplets is propagated 2 meters from our mouths, but this volume can be cut by 90 percent by wearing a mask. While the micro droplets that waft out from the sides of our nose and mouth linger in the air for 10 to 15 minutes, they can be dispersed with fans and removed with ventilation. Packed trains are obviously not good, but people don’t need to be overly worried just because their train is a little full. Avoiding rush hour is also an effective strategy. The worst thing is to become so risk-averse that you can’t do anything.

Why Random Testing Won’t Work

INTERVIEWER  So a primary cause of the continuation of this epidemic is entertainment districts, and that if countermeasures are taken people can carry on as normal?

MIYASAKA  Effectively, yes. By no means do I believe entertainment districts are the only places people are becoming infected, though, as we know the virus has spread to surrounding areas as well. However, as long as we all observe social distancing, wear masks, and take precautions, the virus will not spread any further. Then it just becomes a matter of testing exhaustively in places with a high concentration of cases.

INTERVIEWER  I guess we need to increase PCR testing so that we can identify places with high concentrations of the virus.

MIYASAKA  Far too few PCR tests are being performed. Capacity needs to be boosted by a factor of ten or twenty. That said, sentinel, or random, testing will not achieve anything. In Tokyo, for instance, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and the surrounding areas need to be tested extensively. We need to make much more use of PCR testing to determine routes of transmission. I’m not saying we need to test everyone—rather, that we have to make a concerted effort in areas where it’s warranted. PCR testing is the most important part of that approach.

A PCR test is like a snapshot. You might be negative today, but that’s not to say you won’t be positive tomorrow. Because COVID-19 has a five-day incubation period, a negative PCR test result does not guarantee you are not infected. We need to perform frequent, exhaustive testing of those populations that need to be tested. Many people in Shinjuku started interacting with others again after a negative test result, only to later find that they were positive. It is therefore important to perform testing frequently. It is impossible to test everyone in the population.

As I have been saying all along, rather than relying on PCR testing, we need to make more use of faster, cheaper methods of detecting viral antigens. Tests can be performed on saliva samples, removing the risk of catching the virus at the test facility. While the saliva antigen test is slightly less sensitive than the PCR method, it does have the advantage of being more sensitive to individuals who shed larger amounts of virus. Frequent, repeated viral antigen screening is a much more useful way to prevent the spread of the virus than one-off PCR testing.

The Benefits of Vaccination

INTERVIEWER  There is still no vaccine or drug that can fight SARS-CoV-2. Is there a way of boosting our immunity to defend against COVID-19?

MIYASAKA  It may be possible for people to eliminate the virus by leveraging their innate immunity. Recent studies show that innate immunity can be trained. We often hear about BCG, a bovine pathogen that also protects humans from tuberculosis. BCG boosts your innate immunity by training it, thereby making your acquired immunity more easily triggered. A look at data from several dozen countries shows a clear trend to lower tuberculosis mortality and morbidity in countries that have embarked on widespread administration of BCG. There are, of course, exceptions. However, the amount of BCG that can be produced for pediatric vaccines is limited, and the vaccine is not produced for adult use.

In Japan, those in their fifties and sixties have gone over 30 years without a vaccination. Conversely, young children are immunized with nearly ten different vaccines, resulting in very low morbidity rates. Children are vaccinated annually, each time stimulating their innate and acquired immunity. This may explain the low incidence of COVID-19 in children and young people. Senior citizens, on the other hand, have not received an immunological challenge since they were last vaccinated decades earlier, and therefore their trained immunity is no longer effective. If senior citizens are happy to endure the inconvenience of being revaccinated against streptococcus pneumonia and influenza, they may receive unexpected benefits.

Differences Between Asia and the West

INTERVIEWER  Why are there far fewer infections and deaths in Japan and other parts of Asia than there are in the West?

MIYASAKA  There are many factors involved. Genes are part of it, as is the lack of kissing, hugging, and shaking hands in our culture, and the practice of removing one’s shoes indoors. But there’s something else that makes Asians less likely to be infected. BCG is part of the story, but it’s not everything.

One factor is region-specific infections. There are four varieties of nasal cold virus in the common human coronavirus family, which appear in frequent outbreaks in Japanese schools. Around 15 percent of common colds are caused by a common human coronavirus. It is possible that exposure to these viruses for some reason makes you less susceptible to COVID-19. Exposure to region-specific infections boosts your innate immunity, and to an extent stimulates acquired immunity as well. A strain specific to Asia would explain the disparity, although at the moment we don’t know if such a strain exists.

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Shinjuku Mayor Yoshizumi Ken’ichi, second from left, patrols host clubs in the city’s Kabukichō entertainment district. © Jiji.)

10 Minute Seitan

15 Recipes to Boost Mitochondrial Health

  • August 7, 2020

It may have been a while since high school biology … so … what are mitochondria?

Mitochondria are “power plants in the cell that turn your food and oxygen into energy in the form of ATP.” While they’re most well-known for their energy-producing gifts, mitochondria have also been linked to the proper functioning and health of your brain and they may also play a role in “a lot of the age-related diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and neurogenerative diseases.”

Given the importance of these teeny little organelles, it’s curious why we don’t think about them more when it comes to our health, especially when it comes to diet.

Specifically, how do we feed our mitochondria?

There are a few dietary changes we can all make to give our mitochondria a boost.

Of course, always speak with a medical professional before switching up your diet!

First and foremost, cut sugar and grainsgrains “turn to sugar in the bloodstream,” which means if you’re cutting sugar then you might as well cut grain. Sugar, in particular fructose found in artificial sweeteners and fruit, has been found to “damage the mitochondria found in the liver.”

Another tip is to try a low carb diet, as carbohydrates can also be loaded with sugar, depending on the type, and create more free radicals when processed, which damages mitochondria as well.

Next, integrate foods that feed your mitochondria including healthy fats, — such as “walnuts, avocado, coconut oil, and MCT oil” — and phytonutrientswhich are found in colorful vegetables. 

Looking to get a head start? Here are a few recipes loaded with mitochondria-loving foods!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!

1. Sauerkraut Lasagna

Sauerkraut Lasagna

Sauerkraut Lasagna/One Green Planet

If you’re looking for a one-two punch for both your mitochondria and your gut think about integrating some cabbage … specifically, fermented cabbage, also known as sauerkraut! This Sauerkraut Lasagna recipe by Peffe Stahl is the perfect way to get your daily dose of mitochondria-loving sulfur!

2. Wild Rice and Sauerkraut Salad

Wild Rice and Sauerkraut Salad

Wild Rice and Sauerkraut Salad/One Green Planet

Not down with a lasagna based around sauerkraut? Give this Wild Rice and Sauerkraut Salad recipe by Health Thomas! Thomas fills this salad with a mixture of savory and sour sauerkraut and sweet apple!

3. Almond Cashew Coconut Energy Bites

Almond Cashew Coconut Energy Bites

Almond Cashew Coconut Energy Bites/One Green Planet

Magnesium is yet another great nutrient that mitochondria thrive off of! Nuts, such as the almond and cashews used in this Almond Cashew Coconut Energy Bites recipe by Laura Nockett, are rich in not only magnesium, but also healthy fats, another mitochondria-loving food!

4. Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup

Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup

Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup/One Green Planet

Greens are an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, yet when it comes to mitochondria, they supply yet sulfur and small amounts of vitamin B. Collard greens are an excellent way to mix up your weekly diet, yet it’s important to know how to cook these oftentimes bitter greens! Try this Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Soup recipe by Rachel Hanawalt in order to fully appreciate these greens.

5. Winter Salad With Apple and Pomegranate

Winter Salad With Apple and Pomegranate

Winter Salad With Apple and Pomegranate/One Green Planet

Pomegranates are a great sweet treat that also offers phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They are a perfect mitochondria-food option! This Winter Salad With Apple and Pomegranate recipe by Daniela Modesto isn’t just great for the winter, but can also be a refreshing mid-day summer meal!

6. Green Pea Fusilli Salad with Orange Citrus Vinaigrette

Green Pea Fusilli Salad with Orange Citrus Vinaigrette

Green Pea Fusilli Salad with Orange Citrus Vinaigrette/One Green Planet

This Green Pea Fusilli Salad with Orange Citrus Vinaigrette recipe by Julie Zimmer makes the list not only because it’s super nutrient-dense, but also due to the fact that the vinaigrette calls for a half cup of extra virgin olive oil! This incredibly healthy plant-based fat is a great option for feeding those mitochondria.

7. Immune Boosting Lemon and Greens Juice

Immune Boosting Lemon and Greens Juice

Immune Boosting Lemon and Greens Juice/One Green Planet

This Immune Boosting Lemon and Greens Juice recipe by Nikki and Zuzana not only boosts your immune system, but it’s also a great way to boost the health of your mitochondria from that magnesium-rich spinach!

8. Kale and Avocado Salad

Kale and Avocado Salad

Kale and Avocado Salad/One Green Planet

Avocado is one of the most nutrient-dense, plant-based foods available! Yet, this Kale and Avocado Salad recipe by Rouxbe makes the list for avocado’s high healthy fat content. Plus, this superfood is paired with yet another superfood, kale, for a delicious salad to boost your mitochondria health.

9. Lemon Olive Oil Cake Baked Oatmeal

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Baked Oatmeal

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Baked Oatmeal/One Green Planet

While olive oil may be used most commonly in savory recipes, you can most definitely switch it up and use this healthy, mitochondria-loving oil in a sweet recipe. This Lemon Olive Oil Cake Baked Oatmeal recipe by Lauren Smith is a super unique way to start your day with a bit of natural sweetness and lots of healthy fat!

10. Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds

Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds

Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds/One Green Planet

If you’re not a nut fan, but you still want to benefit from those magnesium and healthy fat nutrients, give this Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds recipe by Robin Runner. These sweet treat almonds are a wonderful snack to have on hand!

11. Chickpea Broccoli Curry

Chickpea Broccoli Curry

Chickpea Broccoli Curry/One Green Planet

Broccoli is one of the best sources of plant-based sulfur! With that said, this cruciferous veggie can be somewhat hard to eat on a regular basis. Make sure to cook broccoli gentle and use lots of flavoring, like in this Chickpea Broccoli Curry recipe by Hayley Canning.

12. Blue Raspberry Overnight Oats

Blue Raspberry Overnight Oats

Blueberries are known as an antioxidant powerhouse, plus they “support healthy blood sugar levels, due to their low glycemic index, and high amount of fiber.” This Blue Raspberry Overnight Oats recipe by Lauren Smith is the perfect way to enjoy a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich, mitochondria-loving blueberries!

13. 10 Minute Seitan ‘Beef’ and Broccoli

10 Minute Seitan 'Beef' and Broccoli

10 Minute Seitan ‘Beef’ and Broccoli/One Green Planet

Another great broccoli recipe! This 10 Minute Seitan ‘Beef’ and Broccoli recipe by Kristen Genton is super fast, super easy, and filled with mitochondria-feeding sulfur.

14. Pomegranate Guava Smoothie

Pomegranate Guava Smoothie

Pomegranate Guava Smoothie/One Green Planet

This Pomegranate Guava Smoothie recipe by Viktoria Radichkova provides yet another creative and super yummy way to get those antioxidant and phytonutrient-rich pomegranates into your diet! Whip this up in the morning and enjoy a sweet treat for lunch.

15. Blanched Collard Wraps

Blanched Collard Wraps

Blanched Collard Wraps/One Green Planet

If you’re still down to try those collard greens, why not swap out that sugar-rich tortilla or grain-based wrap and use collard greens instead? This Blanched Collard Wraps recipe by Molly Patrick is a super-easy way to enjoy mitochondria-loving collard greens for lunch all week long!

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Avocado Nori Snacks

Avocado Nori Snacks/One Green Planet

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

BCG vaccine is safe, does not increase Covid risk: Study

BCG vaccine is safe, does not increase Covid risk: Study

  • August 7, 2020

London: The Bacille Calmette-Guerin or BCG vaccine, originally made against tuberculosis, has a general stimulating effect on the immune system and is therefore effective against Covid-19, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, compared groups of volunteers who have received a BCG vaccine in the past five years (before the corona pandemic), showing that the vaccine is safe and possibly influences Covid-19 symptoms.

“It is very important to confirm that someone who has been vaccinated with BCG does not experience any increased symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said study researcher Mihai Netea from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

The BCG vaccine is the most widely received vaccine in the world. Originally intended to treat tuberculosis, it later became apparent that it provides a long-lasting, general boost to the innate immune system.

The vaccine was therefore also effective against other conditions.

In the current study, the research team conducted research into these effects referred to as “trained immunity”.

The ‘300BCG’ study is a result of his work, in which a group of healthy volunteers received the BCG vaccine and could thus be compared to a group of healthy volunteers who did not.

Most volunteers received the vaccine between April 2017 and June 2018.

The purpose of that study was to determine the difference in the immune response, but now that the corona pandemic is present, the same subjects were questioned to see if there is an effect of the vaccine on the symptoms attributable to infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

It’s safe, perhaps a positive effect, the study showed.

What the comparison between the groups shows is that those who received the vaccine did not have more symptoms, did not get sick more often or become more seriously ill, during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Netherlands.

The data show also a cautiously positive picture, with a lower number of sick people in the period March-May 2020 among the BCG-vaccinated group, and also a lower incidence of extreme fatigue among the vaccinated individuals.

The researchers underline that this was to be expected given the well-known effects of the BCG vaccine on healthy volunteers.

“Although we see less sickness in the people who have had the BCG vaccination, only the ongoing prospective BCG vaccination studies can determine whether this vaccination can help against Covid-19,” Netea said.

Recently, another study published in the journal Science Advances, revealed that BCG vaccination can be effective in the fight against Covid-19.

(Inputs From IANS)

Functional Beverages Market Size 2020 – Increased Demand Due To Health Priorities During Pandemic

Functional Beverages Market Size 2020 – Increased Demand Due To Health Priorities During Pandemic

  • August 7, 2020

London, Aug. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The rapid spread of the coronavirus currently seems to only be controlled by social distancing and maintaining hygiene, but the disease has also caused an elevated consciousness among consumers, who are increasingly look for healthy alternatives in food and beverages to boost immunity and decrease chances of contracting the virus. The demand for functional beverages has thus increased since the pandemic began as they offer a high nutritional and health and wellness value. Substituting high sugar drinks and carbonated drinks with functional beverages has become a ‘health trend’ in 2020 and is viewed as a precautionary step towards curbing the effects of the virus. Consumer insights have also shown that the coronavirus has not ended the functional drinks trend, but rather more consumers have health at the top of their minds during the pandemic and are craving food and beverage products that make beneficial-to-health claims.

These health claims are supported by the various trends within the functional drinks market, such as natural botanicals that are extracted from plant parts such as roots, flowers, fruits, leaves, or seeds and offer various functional benefits ranging from enhancing memory to boosting energy, burning fat, and providing immune system support, relaxation drinks rather than energy drinks, for purposes such as switching off from busy lifestyles, a good night’s sleep, elevated happiness quotients, stress relief, and CBD-infused drinks as cannabidiol offers many health claims such as reduced anxiety, reduced inflammation, enhanced mood, and pain management. All of these are sought after in general lifestyles, but benefits such as immunity boosting, stress relief, reducing anxiety are especially needed during the pandemic.

The Business Research Company’s report titled Functional Beverages Market Global Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth And Change covers major functional beverages companies, functional beverages market share by company, functional beverages manufacturers, functional beverages infrastructure market size, and functional beverages market forecasts. The report also covers the global functional beverages market and its segments. The functional drinks market is segmented by type into energy drinks, sports drinks, nutraceutical drinks, dairy-based beverages, juices, enhanced water, others, by function into health & wellness, weight management, and by distribution channel into brick & mortar, online.

Request A Free Sample Of The Global Functional Beverages Market Report:

However, even with the advantages of functional drinks, lockdowns and social distancing norms imposed by various countries and economic slowdown across countries owing to the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures to contain it have resulted in a decline in the functional drinks market growth rate. The functional beverages market is expected to decrease from $128.66 billion in 2019 to $125.39 billion in 2020 at a rate of -2.5%.

Going forward, the increase in the demand for immunity boosting foods and beverages due to the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is likely to benefit the functional beverages market. COVID 19 is an infectious disease with flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. The virus was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province of the People’s Republic of China and spread globally including Western Europe, North America and Asia. Consumers have become more conscious about improving their immunity due to this pandemic and it is expected to have an unprecedented demand for established immunity-boosting products because of the growing importance on preventive healthcare, particularly with personal hygiene in the minds of consumers. For instance, according to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the sales of immunity-boosting foods have increased up by an estimated 20-40% since the initiation of lockdown due to the pandemic in the country. Thus, the rising concern in the minds of consumers regarding COVID-19 is expected to the increase the need for more preventive healthcare products to boost their immunity, thereby driving the growth of the functional beverages market. The functional beverages market size is expected to recover post the COVID-19 crisis and grow at a rate of 8.07% from 2021 and reach $158.28 billion in 2023.

FMCG Gurus surveyed 23,000 consumers across 18 countries in May 2020. 63% of respondents said that their health consciousness increased significantly due to the coronavirus outbreak, a marginal increase from the survey results conducted a month earlier (59%). 80% respondents said that they planned to eat and more healthily because of the virus. When asked about the steps taken towards these goals, the consumers said that they would reduce sugar intake and manage their weight. Being quarantined at home led to reduced activity levels and increased food indulgence, which made the consumers want to start monitoring their weights. These factors will drive the market for functional beverages as more consumers are becoming health conscious due to COVID-19.

Functional Beverages Market Global Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth And Change is one of a series of new reports from The Business Research Company that provide market overviews, analyze and forecast market size and growth for the whole market, segments and geographies, trends, drivers, restraints, leading competitors’ revenues, profiles and market shares in over 1,000 industry reports, covering over 2,500 market segments and 60 geographies. The report also gives in-depth analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the market. The reports draw on 150,000 datasets, extensive secondary research, and exclusive insights from interviews with industry leaders. A highly experienced and expert team of analysts and modelers provides market analysis and forecasts. The reports identify top countries and segments for opportunities and strategies based on market trends and leading competitors’ approaches.

Here Is A List Of Similar Reports By The Business Research Company:

Functional Food Market Global Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth and Change

Organic Tea Market Global Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth and Change

Non-Alcoholic – Beverages Global Market Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery

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Organique helps boost the immunity of frontliners in the fight against COVID-19

Organique helps boost the immunity of frontliners in the fight against COVID-19

  • August 7, 2020

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A person with a weakened immune system is an open target for germs, bacteria, viruses, toxins, and free radicals caused by pollution.

Now that we are faced with a frightening pandemic, the need for a superfood has never been more urgent. Organique Açaí contains the highest levels of antioxidants that help boost a person’s immunity and thus, help prevent potential onset of different life-threatening illnesses.

The brand is also sharing this wellness product to the country’s health workers for being the most vulnerable in this fight against COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, aides, lab and medical technologists have been unavoidably exposed to the virus while treating patients suffering from the viral disease.

Organique Inc. President and CEO Catherine Salimbangon is an internationally licensed nurse and former overseas Filipino worker who understands the sheer pressure of often working beyond eight to 12 hours during a health worker’s hospital shift, especially during this pandemic.

The regular intake of Organique Acai Premium Blend, also available in Freeze-Dried Capsules, will greatly help fortify our frontliners’ immunity and provide them the extra energy and mental clarity to perform numerous tasks in the hospital everyday.

Here is the list of hospitals where Organique Inc. has distributed the Organique Acai Premium Blend and Freeze-Dried Capsules to healthcare workers:

1. Makati Medical Center

2. St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City

3. St. Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City

4. Medical City Ortigas

5. Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)

6. San Lazaro Hospital

7. Lung Center of the Philippines

8. Philippine General Hospital

9. Manila Doctors Hospital

10. UERM

11. Philippine Heart Center

12. Cardinal Santos Medical Center

13. Sta. Ana Hospital

14. Quirino Memorial Medical Hospital

15. UST Hospital

16. Dr. Jose Natalio Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center

17. East Avenue Medical Center

18. Veterans Memorial Medical Center

19. Quezon City General Hospital

20. San Juan Medical Center

21. Asian Hospital and Medical Center

22. Perpetual Help Medical Center – Las Piñas Hospital

23. Paranaque Community Hospital

24. Chong Hua Hospital – Cebu

25. Cebu Doctors Hospital


For inquiries on how Organique Açaí can help improve your health and well-being, visit, or follow them on Facebook.

Organique Açaí is available in all Mercury Drugstores and other leading drugstores and supermarkets nationwide.

Breastfeeding an intervention to strengthen baby's immune system

Breastfeeding an intervention to strengthen baby’s immune system

  • August 7, 2020

Breastfeeding is an essential factor in reducing child mortality, high level of wasting, stunting, underweight, high levels of anaemia among children. An analysis of NFHS-4 shows breastfeeding within one hour is only 41.6% and exclusive breastfeeding (0-6 months) is only 54.9%.

It is noteworthy that in India institutional deliveries have increased almost up to 80% as per National Family and Health Survey-4 (2015-16) but irrespective of that, the rate of mothers breastfeeding within one hour of the birth or exclusively feeding their children is very low. This shows that somewhere we are missing on birth preparedness, counselling of mothers, weighing the benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child. Exclusive Breastfeeding for the first 6 months followed by complementary feeding practices together can prevent almost one-fifth of deaths in children under five years.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year for the last 29 years across the world from 1st to 7th August. This year the theme of the campaign is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. The newly mothers find themselves surrounded by a plethora of the myths and misconception associated COVID-19. Recently, the data from the states have reported a drop in institutional deliveries. The Main Reasons for Drop-in Institutional Deliveries has been due to lockdowns, fear of infections and thus people avoiding the physical contact or preference to go to small nursing homes or delivery at homes. Now since the lockdown is opened up, it is very essential to address the issue of myths and misconception.

The World Health Organization (WHO) endorses that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate or continue to breastfeed. Mothers should be counselled that the advantages of breastfeeding significantly outweigh the potential risks for transmission. Breastfeeding is especially effective against infectious diseases because it strengthens the system by directly transferring antibodies from the mother. Breastfeeding benefits baby’s Immune System. Mothers milk provides virtually all the protein, sugar, and fat your baby needs to be healthy, and it also contains many substances that benefit your baby’s immune system, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells.

(Inputs From IANS)

Monsoon pantry: Healthy must-haves!

Monsoon pantry: Healthy must-haves!

  • August 7, 2020

New Delhi: The monsoon season is possibly every Indians favourite season! Well it is certainly infamous for one’s cravings for all-things-fried, along with a plethora of diseases and infections that are highest during this time of the year.

However, this year due to the external situation, disease and virus is not just limited to water-borne or monsoon specific illnesses, the deadly pandemic continues to cause global havoc. With extra caution, we have not only become mindful of our surroundings while outdoors but are also watchful of the food consumed. Immune boosting foods have been emphasised to tackle monsoon woes, and also to build the body’s resistance in the long run.

While there is no such thing as a monsoon diet, prepare a fully stocked pantry with these common ingredients to secure good health in the coming months. Nutritionist Sheryl Salis suggests:


Corn is a staple favourite in the monsoon, whether as boiled or roasted bhutta, these yellow pearls when garnished with chili powder, salt and lemon is a taste in heaven!

Corn is easily available as a local delicacy during this season; it is also a great source of fiber, carbohydrates, and proteins. As a rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps in preventing constipation or digestive problems

The antioxidants in corn help prevent cancer and reduce the chances of heart problems and controls blood pressure

Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil (VCNO)

Virgin coconut oil has been a staple in many Indian households; it is a superfood with health benefits such as weight management, helps improve immunity and boosts energy

The important MCFAs present in Coconut Oil are lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. The function of monolaurin also found in coconut oil is an antiviral- that kills the virus by dissolving the protective lipids surrounding it. Makin VCNO an excellent superfood that helps improve the immune system

It can be used in cooking, baking vegan desserts at home or even as a salad dressing or sauteing basic vegetables

It is also recommended to consume 2 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil every day for a healthy and energetic start to the day


Whether it is infused in tea at your favorite roadside stall or prepared at home, adrak chai is an absolute favorite on a rainy day!

Ginger has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and therefore a great herb to incorporate in the diet. Ginger is used in Indian cuisine in every part of India.

Studies suggest that ginger may effectively protect against respiratory tract infections, fungal infections and inflammatory diseases

Ginger can be added to your cup of morning water/ kada or tea to boost immunity

Prepare an easy immunity drink by adding ginger and lemon slices to infused water

Groundnuts/ Monkey nuts

These deliciously crunchy nuts have several health benefits that are often lesser known. A rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, iron etc., it boasts of healthy fat, protein and is low in carbohydrates

It has resveratrol which is present in wine, which not only provides protection to the heart but also prevents Alzheimer’s.

Stock up on some monkey nuts and boil them for a quick evening snack. Don’t shun them thinking they are high in calories, rather have them in moderation for a much-required energy boost

Stock your pantry with these monsoon essentials and bring back sweet memories of the rainy days. While you’re at it, you’ll be gifting yourself the nutritional benefits to stay healthy too. Lastly, do not forget to maintain hygiene by washing hands regularly and keeping your surroundings clean.

Latest news from around the world

Latest news from around the world

  • August 7, 2020

Pakistan’s government has announced plans to reopen tourist hot spots, restaurants, salons and movie theaters next week due to a continued drop in coronavirus infections in the country.

The country has identified 281,863 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 6,035 patients have died. Authorities reported Friday that 727 cases and 21 fatalities had been identified in the previous 24 hours.

However, numbers are down overall. Data from the Ministry of Health shows that coronavirus cases and fatalities have both dropped 80% since their peaks in June.

Pakistan’s Planning Minister Asad Umar announced in a briefing that “the Covid-19 pandemic had greatly been controlled due to the effective strategy of government institutions.”

What’s opening when: Movie theaters, restaurants and businesses in the hospitality industry can open Monday. Tourism activities can restart tomorrow, Umar said.

All outdoor and indoor non-contact activities will also be allowed from Monday.

Umar said all the educational institutions in the country will be opened September 15 pending a final review by the Ministry of Education on September 7.

Marriage halls will be allowed to function from September 15, and train and airline restrictions will be lifted in October, Umar said.

More people looking to vitamins and supplements to help boost immune system

More people looking to vitamins and supplements to help boost immune system

  • August 7, 2020

BOZEMAN — Every day there seems to be more information and new things to learn regarding the coronavirus and how to keep yourself safe.

Following local and national guidelines like a wearing a mask is one thing, and now many people are considering supplements and vitamins in addition to the safety policies already in place.

People are looking for ways to boost their immune system and do all they can to prepare in the unfortunate event they do get the virus.

MTN News spoke with a few supplement suppliers, who say it should be considered as an addition versus an alternative.

“Obviously, we don’t make any claims. but nutrition’s a really big part of your health and your immune and some of the keys to your immune system that you’re going to get are through foods or through vitamins. mostly, the foods that we’re eating, they don’t have the nutrients that we need,” explained Ben Ziccarelli, the CEO of Complete Nutrition.

Supplements and vitamins have not been discussed as a safety recommendation by the Gallatin County Health Department.

Trump Orders Government to Buy ‘Essential’ Drugs From US Firms | Voice of America

Trump Orders Government to Buy ‘Essential’ Drugs From US Firms | Voice of America

  • August 7, 2020

With coronavirus cases in the United States rising and states struggling to combat the outbreak, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday mandating that the government buy what he called “essential drugs” from U.S. manufacturers instead of foreign companies.

“The United States must protect our citizens, critical infrastructure, military forces and economy against outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats,” the president’s order said. “It is critical that we reduce our dependence on foreign manufacturers for essential medicines, medical countermeasures and critical inputs … to minimize potential shortages, and to mobilize our nation’s public health industrial base to respond to these threats.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the order would require the U.S. government to develop a list of essential medicines and buy them from U.S. companies instead of from countries such as China.

‘Dangerously overdependent’

“If we’ve learned anything from the China virus pandemic, it is that we are dangerously overdependent on foreign nations for our essential medicines, for medical supplies like masks, gloves, goggles, and medical equipment like ventilators,” Navarro said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

Navarro said the order “establishes ‘buy American’ rules for our government agencies, strips away regulatory barriers to domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing,” and it also could boost manufacturing technologies needed to keep drug prices low.

But not all drug companies will be happy with the president’s “buy American” order.

The head of the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Stephen Ubl, said Trump had created “even more barriers” to innovation and efforts to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“Increasing U.S. manufacturing of medicines is a laudable goal, but it cannot happen overnight and should not come at the expense of medical innovation or Americans’ access to the medicines they need,” Ubl said.

He said a better alternative to government mandates would be a policy that enables more U.S. manufacturing without creating instability in pharmaceutical supply chains.

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