Channeling the immune system for head and neck cancer

Channeling the immune system for head and neck cancer

  • November 24, 2020

IMAGE

IMAGE: A normal healthy T cell versus a cancer T cell.
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Credit: Conforti’s lab

University of Cincinnati researchers have discovered new clues into why some people with head and neck cancer respond to immunotherapy, while others don’t.

Findings published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer show that it could all come down to “channeling” the power and function within one particular type of immune cell.

Laura Conforti, PhD, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and corresponding author on the study, says understanding these mechanisms could help in creating combination treatments to more effectively treat some patients with cancer.

She points out that head and neck cancers are the sixth most common cancers in the world, affecting about 53,000 Americans every year. To combat the deadly disease, doctors often turn to immunotherapy, which boosts the body’s own immune system in an effort to identify and kill cancer cells.

“Our immune cells are naturally programmed to distinguish between our body’s ‘normal’ cells and what they see as ‘foreign’ cells and attack only the foreign cells,” explains Conforti.

She says the immune cells — called T cells — lead the body’s attack against cancers but the impact of that attack can be proven futile if a molecule in cancer cells is able to bind to an immune checkpoint in the T cells and effectively “turn them off like a light switch.” As a result, the T cells leave the cancer cells alone, which Conforti says is “a major problem,” especially for head and neck cancers.

A known immunotherapy treatment (pembrolizumab) targets the checkpoint molecule and blocks the “off switch” of the T cells, but scientists are trying to determine why this method works in some people and not in others.

Conforti further explains that the ability of these T cells to attack and destroy cancer cells relies on molecules called potassium ion channels, which are present in T cells and are responsible for a variety of functions, including killing cancer cells.

Conforti’s team includes co-lead authors Hannah Newton, PhD, a recent UC doctoral graduate; Vaibhavkumar Gawali, PhD, postdoctoral fellow; and Ameet Chimote, PhD, research scientist in Conforti’s lab.

The team found that when patients with head and neck cancer were given immunotherapy at UC Medical Center, T cells in these patients showed increased activity in these channels, allowing them to more effectively reach the cancer cells and kill them.

The team also found that after the treatment was delivered to patients, these channels in the T cells circulating in their blood were more active, meaning they were more equipped to continue fighting off the cancerous cells.

“We also saw that head and neck cancer patients who were responding to this immunotherapy, meaning their tumors were shrinking, had greater channel activity in their T cells soon after treatment, and the T cells had more ability to enter into the tumors to continue killing cancer cells,” Conforti adds. “However, patients who did not respond lacked this increased activity.

“Immunotherapy is not one-size-fits all, since some patients respond to immunotherapy, while others don’t, but our research shows that ion channels within T cells of these patients play a crucial role in the response of immunotherapy. Now that we know the benefits of these channels, more research is needed to look at ways we can activate them or create combination therapies to help patients increase their chance of survival.”

Team member Newton, who recently completed her doctorate at UC and is now working at the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, says that working on this study at UC was invaluable.

“This research allowed me to collaborate with diverse professional individuals including medical oncologists, clinical coordinators and other researchers and gave me the opportunity to better understand the bench-to-bedside procedure for drug development,” Newton says. “Most importantly, it could help clinicians determine more personalized and effective treatment combinations for patients with head and neck cancer.”

###

Other investigators on the study include Maria Lehn, Sarah Palackdharry, Benjamin Hinrichs, MD, Roman Jandarov, PhD, David Hildeman, PhD, Edith Janssen, PhD, and Trisha Wise-Draper, MD, PhD.

This work was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (W81XWH-17-1-0374), the National Cancer Institute (CA095286; T32CA117846) and the Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation.

Wise-Draper received funding from Merck to complete the clinical trial.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Patch News

At-Home Exercises Can Help Older People Boost Immune System; Overall Health

  • November 24, 2020

By Mark A. Gluck, Bernadette A. Fausto, Lisa Charles – Nov. 24, 2020

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78% of the more than 114,000 COVID-19 related deaths between May and August 2020 were people age 65 and older. Many of those individuals had compromised immune systems due, in part, to a variety of other health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and hypertension. The CDC suggests these additional health problems could lead to increased severity of COVID-19.

The good news, however, is that regular exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness can significantly reduce the risk COVID-19 poses to older adults by improving overall health and boosting the immune system.

Now is not the time to stop moving

Staying active can be challenging, as many older adults are remaining at home most, if not all, of the time to avoid the novel coronavirus. As a result, the very changes in lifestyle that keep people safe from exposure can also result in their adopting sedentary habits – which leave people vulnerable to serious health consequences should they get COVID-19.

Firing up the immune system

Not only can exercise enhance overall health, it can also specifically improve immune system response, which is critical to surviving COVID-19.

Working out at home

How can older adults safely exercise and keep aerobically fit while stuck mostly at home without access to a gym? At the Aging & Brain Health Alliance at Rutgers University-Newark, we have been offering virtual exercise classes, by video conference or phone, for seniors using materials they can easily find around the home.

Here are a few suggested exercises from our fitness classes you can do on your own safely at home.

One of the best exercises to get you started on your fitness journey is to walk the floors of your home. Whether in a house or an apartment, take time every hour to get up and just walk. Set aside five to 10 minutes with the goal of increasing your daily step count and improving your overall cardiorespiratory health. Challenge a family member to join you and make it fun.

You should also take advantage of your walls. Wall sits are an easy way to engage your muscles and work your body. Simply stand with your back against a wall; step your feet two feet away from the wall and open your legs hip-distance apart. While keeping your shoulders against the wall, slowly and carefully lower your body until you are sitting in an imaginary chair.

Remember to keep breathing, inhaling through your nose and exhaling from your mouth, and you will begin to feel the burn in your leg muscles. Try coming up and down five times if you feel safe and comfortable doing so. (For extra security, keep a chair or something else near by to hold on to if you lose your balance.)

Finally, use a chair. Sit at the edge of a solid chair focusing on maintaining good posture. Plant your feet hip-distance apart; take a big inhale and, on the exhale, slowly lift one knee toward your chest. This is a seated crunch and it will engage your deep core muscles. Complete five of these knee lifts on each side, making sure to do each knee lift on the exhalation.

Exercise habits developed during this period of COVID-19 – and maintained after the threat has passed – will support your immune health for years to come.


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

These at-home exercises can help older people boost their immune system and overall health in the age of COVID-19

These at-home exercises can help older people boost their immune system and overall health in the age of COVID-19

  • November 24, 2020

Published

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Mark A. Gluck, Rutgers University – Newark ; Bernadette A. Fausto, Rutgers University – Newark , and Lisa Charles, Rutgers University – Newark

(THE CONVERSATION) Older adults, especially those over 65, have five times the risk of hospitalization and 90 times the risk of death from COVID-19 compared with younger adults.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78% of the more than 114,000 COVID-19 related deaths between May and August 2020 were people age 65 and older. Many of those individuals had compromised immune systems due, in part, to a variety of other health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and hypertension. The CDC suggests these additional health problems could lead to increased severity of COVID-19.



The good news, however, is that regular exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness can significantly reduce the risk COVID-19 poses to older adults by improving overall health and boosting the immune system.

Now is not the time to stop moving

Staying active can be challenging, as many older adults are remaining at home most, if not all, of the time to avoid the novel coronavirus. As a result, the very changes in lifestyle that keep people safe from exposure can also result in their adopting sedentary habits – which leave people vulnerable to serious health consequences should they get COVID-19.


Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, which gets the heart pumping hard and improves cardiorespiratory fitness, has multiple health benefits, including reduced risk for stroke, heart attack, depression and age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that older adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise. That means three 50-minute sessions each week, or a little over 20 minutes per day.

Firing up the immune system

Not only can exercise enhance overall health, it can also specifically improve immune system response, which is critical to surviving COVID-19.

As humans age, the immune system becomes progressively less effective at responding to new viruses because of an age-related weakening of the immune system, also known as “immunosenescence.”


The good news is that exercise improves the efficiency of the immune system in people of all ages. Every session of exercise mobilizes billions of immune cells throughout the body. The more immune cells circulate, the better they are at spotting and attacking potential pathogens.

Although there is no data yet on how exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness can reduce risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19, previous studies show that regular exercise improves the immune response to other viral infections. Regular exercise has also been shown to lower the risk of death from viral and respiratory illnesses. Furthermore, increased physical activity is known to improve and prolong the immune response from the flu shot.

Working out at home

How can older adults safely exercise and keep aerobically fit while stuck mostly at home without access to a gym? At the Aging & Brain Health Alliance at Rutgers University-Newark, we have been offering virtual exercise classes, by video conference or phone, for seniors using materials they can easily find around the home.

Here are a few suggested exercises from our fitness classes you can do on your own safely at home.

One of the best exercises to get you started on your fitness journey is to walk the floors of your home. Whether in a house or an apartment, take time every hour to get up and just walk. Set aside five to 10 minutes with the goal of increasing your daily step count and improving your overall cardiorespiratory health. Challenge a family member to join you and make it fun.

You should also take advantage of your walls. Wall sits are an easy way to engage your muscles and work your body. Simply stand with your back against a wall; step your feet two feet away from the wall and open your legs hip-distance apart. While keeping your shoulders against the wall, slowly and carefully lower your body until you are sitting in an imaginary chair.

Remember to keep breathing, inhaling through your nose and exhaling from your mouth, and you will begin to feel the burn in your leg muscles. Try coming up and down five times if you feel safe and comfortable doing so. (For extra security, keep a chair or something else near by to hold on to if you lose your balance.)

Finally, use a chair. Sit at the edge of a solid chair focusing on maintaining good posture. Plant your feet hip-distance apart; take a big inhale and, on the exhale, slowly lift one knee toward your chest. This is a seated crunch and it will engage your deep core muscles. Complete five of these knee lifts on each side, making sure to do each knee lift on the exhalation.

[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]

Exercise habits developed during this period of COVID-19 – and maintained after the threat has passed – will support your immune health for years to come.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/these-at-home-exercises-can-help-older-people-boost-their-immune-system-and-overall-health-in-the-age-of-covid-19-148142.


Easy Vitamin-Boosting Green Juice Recipes

  • November 24, 2020

With winter comes less sun, less fun, and also a weaker immune system as flu season kicks off once it starts getting cold. As the world is navigating through a global pandemic, it is important to stay healthy and safe and take care of your health, especially when it is so easy to get sick.

In addition to staying at home, wearing your mask when outdoors and washing your hands, you can also boost your immune system throughout the winter to make you feel more energized. Although it is not a cure for anything, a simple green juice can make you feel healthier as they are filled with vitamins, antioxidants and fibres. For example, celery juice has proven to help with digestion and bloating, and ingredients like ginger has been used for thousands of years due to its healing powers.

If you’re looking to give your body a vitamin boost this winter, we’ve put together a few easy recipes to start with below. Smoothies and juices are all about experimentation, so keep trying new combinations to see what you like. Whether you’ve got a blender or a juicer, you’ll be able to try out the following drinks.

Immune Booster Smoothie:

2 handfuls of spinach and kale
1/2 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup milk of your choice

Mix with a handful of ice in a blender, serve immediately.

Immune Booster Juice:

2 handfuls of spinach and kale
1 Granny Smith apple
1-2 cm piece of ginger root
1 lime

Use a juicer to combine ingredients and press into juice. Mix with a little bit of water to dilute, and serve with ice.

Detox Celery Juice:

1 big bunch of celery, leaves chopped off
1 lime
1 Granny Smith apple

Run ingredients through juicer, or mix using a blender and strain. Serve immediately. Nutrients are best absorbed early morning, 30 minutes before eating any other food, but can of course be consumed at any time throughout the day.

Green Kiwi Smoothie:

1 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)
2 kiwi fruits, peeled
1 cup water/coconut water/your choice of milk
1 handful spinach

Mix ingredients in a blender and add a squeeze of honey for added sweetness. Serve immediately.

Proper nutrition can boost your immune system

Proper nutrition can boost your immune system

  • November 24, 2020
A dietary defense against disease
Eating fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors is a good way to obtain vital nutrients. Credit: Jean Beaufort / publicdomainpictures.net

The holiday season is here, but unfortunately, so is the second wave of COVID-19 cases. As the days get cooler and wetter and the flu begins to circulate again, coronavirus prevention efforts—such as social distancing and wearing face coverings—are more important than ever.

Thankfully, an effective vaccine appears to be on the horizon. But until then, what else can we do to safeguard ourselves from infection? There is now ample evidence suggesting that critical COVID-19 cases are usually linked to such concurrent factors as obesity, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease—chronic conditions often related to poor diet. Furthermore, a supplies the body with a range of macro- and micronutrients that prime the immune system to prevent or fight disease. Proper nutrition could help us at least avoid the most severe symptoms.

However, notes Jody Margolis, registered dietitian nutritionist at UCI’s Student Health Center and Center for Student Wellness & Health Promotion, “there are health disparities and social justice issues that contribute to a , unhealthy weight and increased risk of developing chronic conditions that may raise one’s risk for a poor outcome related to COVID-19.”

The good news is that eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or terribly time-consuming. Below are tips on how to fortify the by eating the right foods while staying within one’s budget.

Eat the rainbow

Consuming whole foods is a guaranteed way to get a full range of vitamins. “A mostly plant-based diet including a rainbow of color from fruits and vegetables is a good start,” Margolis says. “The variety of color provides different phytonutrients—chemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits—that are important to keeping us healthy.” Pairing vibrant plants with a good source of protein, such as beans, eggs, fish, poultry, tofu or lentils, is also advised.

The gut microbiome also benefits from diversity. Margolis recommends eating seasonal, local foods as the days change. Produce that’s grown regionally and in season is more abundant, so it’s less expensive.

For fall, try adding the following items to your daily meals:

  • Root vegetables: beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips and sweet potatoes
  • Squashes: acorn squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini and pumpkin
  • Crucifers: kale, arugula, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower
  • Fruits: tangerines, pomegranates, persimmons, pears and apples

Saving money while eating healthy

Unfortunately, food insecurity is often at the root of malnutrition. To combat this issue, UCI’s FRESH Basic Needs Hub offers various food assistance services for students, such as a fully stocked pantry, emergency meal swipes, grants and consultations. Its Farm-to-FRESH program provides vouchers to use at a local farm’s drive-thru produce section.

Although fresh ingredients are desirable, frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy, Margolis says. Beans and grains, canned protein and frozen fish can also be inexpensive and packed with vitamins.

No fancy cooking skills necessary

For quick, nutritious meals, Margolis suggests “nourish bowls,” which in some cases require no cooking. They typically include a base of grains, which can be brown rice, quinoa, farro or barley; a protein source such as canned beans (drained and rinsed), tofu, hummus or cheese; fresh, steamed or sautéed veggies of all kinds; and simple salsas or dressings. Each bowl can be tailored to a particular ethnic palate—Southwestern, Asian or Mediterranean, for example. They are wholesome, balanced and open to variety.

If you’re in the mood for a seasonal twist but don’t want to make anything complicated, Margolis recommends adding canned pumpkin purée to smoothies, oatmeal or even marinara sauce. “Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants as well as potassium and fiber,” she says. “Just make sure to buy canned 100 percent pumpkin purée and not canned pumpkin pie filling.”

A wholesome holiday feast

Give this year’s festivities a healthy spin by preparing some of these dishes curated by Margolis. They’re equally easy, affordable and delicious.

  • Seasonal salad: Combine leafy greens, dried cranberries, half a chopped pear or apple, diced onion to taste, and a vinaigrette of your choice.
  • Wholesome boxed stuffing: Follow the instructions on the box and sauté a cup or two of chopped celery, carrots, onions and apple or pear in 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil. Toss in some almonds or pecans. Add these ingredients to the stuffing for extra nutrition, flavor and crunch.
  • Enhanced boxed macaroni and cheese: Follow the recipe on the box but add a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin purée, plain Greek yogurt and parmesan cheese. Heat and serve for a holiday twist and immune boost.
  • Microwaved : Wash and pierce it four or five times with a fork, then cook for five to six minutes, turning once. If not fork-tender, keep cooking in 30-second intervals. Cut it lengthwise with a knife and serve with a tablespoon of butter or vegan spread and a sprinkle of brown sugar or cinnamon.
  • Healthier mashed potatoes: Follow your favorite recipe for mashed potatoes but add cooked cauliflower (frozen or fresh) for some texture and bonus nutrients.
  • Roasted vegetables: Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnips are in season and rich in flavor when caramelized in the oven. Wash and cut them into bite-sized pieces, toss with a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender and slightly browned.
  • Dessert: Slice an apple or pear—leave the skin on for fiber—into thin pieces. Sauté in a pan over medium heat with 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Serve by itself or enjoy over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt. For added crunch and heart health, top with some chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans or your favorite granola.

Try roasted root vegetables for a tasty fall dinner


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India Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market Report 2020 with COVID-19 Impact Analysis

India Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market Report 2020 with COVID-19 Impact Analysis

  • November 24, 2020

Dublin, Nov. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “India Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market, by Product Category (Supplements, Beverages, Food and Others), by Distribution Channel (Convenience Stores, Specialty Stores, Others), by Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, FY2026” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The Indian Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market is projected to reach $ 347 million by FY 2026 owing to increasing consciousness and focus among Indian consumers towards preventive health.

Further, rising per capita income and expanding middle-class and urban population are some of the key factors fueling the growth of immunity boosting packaged products market. Increasingly busy lifestyle is resulting in a lack of nutrition and fitness among people, which is creating a huge demand for immunity boosting packaged products across the country.

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has created a growing need for products which boost the body’s immune system. Apart from that, rising prevalence of various chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer are also driving the growth of immunity boosting packaged products market in the country. The soaring healthcare costs and rising consumer focus on preventive healthcare are expected to further augment the market growth in the coming years.

The Indian Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market is categorized based on product category, distribution channel and region. Based on the product category, the market is split into supplements, beverages, food, and others. The food segment is further divided into instant food, seeds, and others. The beverages segment is categorized into juice, tea, coffee, probiotic shots and others and the supplements segment is divided into mixes, capsules, and powder.

In India, the supplements segment held the largest market share in FY 2020 owing to easy product availability of trusted manufactures and proven health claims. However, the food segment is also expected to witness a healthy CAGR during the forecast period due to focus on preventive healthcare in the country and broad range of products offered by the manufactures.

Based on the distribution channel, the Indian Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market is segmented into convenience stores, specialty stores, supermarkets & hypermarkets, medical stores and online. The convenience stores segment dominated the Indian market in FY2020 and is expected to grow substantially during the forecast period. However, the online segment exhibited significant growth in FY2020, especially during the spread of COVID-19.

Major players operating in the immunity boosting packaged products market include The Himalaya Drug Company, Dabur India Ltd., Patanjali Ayurved, Organic India Private Limited, Amway India Enterprise Private Limited and Herbalife India Private Limited, Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt. Ltd, Kerala Ayurveda Ltd, Aeronutrix Sports Products Private Limited, TBOF Foods Ltd, and Del Monte India, among others.

Companies are focused on launching new products carrying all the essential nutrients as well as on strengthening distribution network to increase their market share in the country’s immunity boosting products market.

Years considered for this report:

Key Topics Covered:

1. Product Overview

2. Research Methodology

3. Impact of COVID-19 on India Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market

4. Executive Summary

5. India Immunity Boosting Packaged Products Market Outlook
5.1. Market Size & Forecast
5.1.1. By Value
5.2. Market Share & Forecast
5.2.1. By Product Category (Supplements, Beverages, Food and Others)
5.2.2. By Distribution Channel (Offline (Convenience Stores, Specialty Stores, Supermarkets & Hypermarkets, Medical Stores), Online)
5.2.3. By Region (North, East, South, West)
5.2.4. By Company (FY2020)
5.3. Market Attractiveness Index

6. India Immunity Boosting Supplements Market Outlook
6.1. Market Size & Forecast
6.1.1. By Value
6.2. Market Share & Forecast
6.2.1. By Product Type (Mixes, Capsules, Powder)
6.2.2. By Distribution Channel (Offline (Convenience Stores, Specialty Stores, Supermarkets & Hypermarkets, Medical Stores), Online)

7. India Immunity Boosting Packaged Beverages Market Outlook
7.1. Market Size & Forecast
7.1.1. By Value
7.2. Market Share & Forecast
7.2.1. By Product Type (Juice, Tea, Coffee, Probiotic Shots and Others (Syrup, etc.,))
7.2.2. By Distribution Channel (Offline (Convenience Stores, Specialty Stores, Supermarkets & Hypermarkets, Medical Stores), Online)

8. India Immunity Boosting Packaged Foods Market Outlook
8.1. Market Size & Forecast
8.1.1. By Value
8.2. Market Share & Forecast
8.2.1. By Product Type (Instant Food, Seeds, and Others (Gummies etc.))
8.2.2. By Distribution Channel (Offline (Convenience Stores, Specialty Stores, Supermarkets & Hypermarkets, Medical Stores), Online)

9. India Immunity Boosting Others Market Outlook
9.1. Market Size & Forecast
9.1.1. By Value
9.2. Market Share & Forecast
9.2.1. By Distribution Channel (Offline (Convenience Stores, Specialty Stores, Supermarkets & Hypermarkets, Medical Stores), Online)

10. Market Dynamics
10.1. Drivers
10.2. Challenges

11. Market Trends & Developments

12. Pricing Analysis

13. Competitive Landscape
13.1. Players Profiled (Leading Companies)
13.1.1. Dabur India Limited
13.1.2. Patanjali Ayurved
13.1.3. The Himalaya Drug Company
13.1.4. Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
13.1.5. Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt. Ltd
13.1.6. Organic India Pvt. Ltd
13.1.7. Kerala Ayurveda Ltd
13.1.8. Aeronutrix Sports Products Private Limited
13.1.9. TBOF Foods Ltd.
13.1.10. Del Monte India

14. Strategic Recommendations

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/jypxev

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

CONTACT: CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager press@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
Boosting egg production table

Boosting egg production through optimized feeding

  • November 24, 2020

Brand Insights from Evonik

 

The key to successful nutrition in poultry is about more than offering nutrients to meet requirements for maximum performance. Effective nutrition embraces a range of issues including raw materials, feed additives and ideal bacterial ecology. Combined these support top digestion and absorption, along with balanced microflora, and an adequate immune response. Ensuring an optimal function of the gastrointestinal system is vital to successful egg production. 

People are aware of food safety issues due to high profile food scandals linked to animal production. Nowadays, the public, government regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with the animal food industry are working to fulfill expectations for the production of quality, safe products. The shift towards less antibiotic use worldwide brings new opportunities for improving gut health through nutrition to promote health in the egg industry. 

In order to express an animal’s genetic potential, the digestive tract must support an optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients, minimizing gastrointestinal illness, stabilizing and/or positively modulating the microbial ecology, and enabling the bird to mount an effective immune response. Opportunities to optimize gut health of the pullets and layers, preventing pathogenic insults that may directly or indirectly affect performance are often overlooked. 

In the rearing house, birds are exposed to continuous stressors (vaccination programs, beak trimming, medical treatment, etc.) this results in feed intake depression. In addition, the focus is on flock uniformity, body weight and sexual maturity at the expected age. The gut development (physiologically and immunologically) and the microbial ecosystem are often not considered. In some cases, birds are systematically treated with antibiotics in their first five days of arrival, when their digestive tract is still in an immature state, and microbiome establishment is an up-hill struggle. 

The challenges inherent in egg production, combined with physiological stress due to hormonal changes, make it difficult to accomplish optimal feed utilization and maximum production while maintaining egg quality. Moreover, the reality is that many flocks in production suffer a lack of uniformity, bacterial enteritis, necrotic enteritis (NE), dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) and focal duodenal necrotic. Later in the production cycle, further challenges are faced with a leaky gut and reduction in villi length associated with reduction of nutrient absorption, mainly minerals. As a result, increased cracked eggs, micro cracks and dirty eggs are seen, plus a reduction of total eggs.

Coccidiosis was ranked as the most important threat during rearing, regardless of the housing system (cage or non-cage), according to a survey conducted in 2014 by the Association of Veterinarians of Egg Production in USA. It also highlighted colibacilosis as the main issue in cage-housed layers. The survey’s participants indicated that gastrointestinal problems are responsible of 50% of health issues of the flock when birds are in production and 40% when they are growing. Other health problems also mentioned were viral diseases related to the respiratory system. It’s important not to overlook the fact that such challenges may drive secondary bacterial diseases, leading to performance losses. 

If the gut function is impacted by pathogens, there is not only an immunological response but also a change in passage rate, digestion, mucin secretion, and an increase in turnover rates of the intestinal epithelium. As a result of reduced feed intake, there is a higher maintenance nutritional requirement, as nutrients are diverted to bolster the immune system. Energy and nutrients expended to mount a strong enough immune response to defeat disease, as a consequence of a disturbed microbial ecosystem, reduce absorption and digestion of nutrients – increasing Feed Conversion Rate (FCR) – overstimulating the immune system. As a consequence, they trigger enteritis and noticeable performance losses.
Laying hens can maximize feed utilization efficiency for egg production, when a healthy gut is developed. A healthy gut can be defined as ‘a steady state where the microbiome and the intestinal tract exist in symbiotic equilibrium and where the welfare and performance of the animal is not constrained by intestinal dysfunction’. Not only is the gut the major organ for nutrient digestion and absorption, it also works as the first protective mechanism to exogenous pathogens which can colonize and/or enter the host cell tissues. The gut is the largest immunological organ in the body, therefore a more robust gut should make for a healthier animal which can optimize nutrients better. 

Crude fiber has been regarded as an inert nutrient in monogastric animals. However, this is not the case, as it can have roles in improving gut health, enhancing nutrient digestion and modulating behavior. A minimum constraint should be established, for instance five per cent in diets for laying hens. Besides the fiber content in the diet, there are benefits to the digestive system of birds when coarse particles are fed. Flocks fed with larger particles will develop larger and more muscular gizzards and longer intestinal tracts. Coarser feed particles require more time in the gizzard to be ground into smaller particles, before they can enter into small intestine. Increased retention time stimulates pH drop, which has a bacteriocidal effect. Larger feed particles have a longer transit time through the gut, which improves the length of microvilli and increases the absorptive surface area in the intestine, and thereby positively affects digestibility and nutrient absorption. 

Layers have a preference for larger particles, and the preference becomes stronger with age. Therefore, hen behavior also improves, not only due to birds having to spend more time eating, but also because they have less time for vices such as feather pecking / cannibalism. Feeds containing high levels of powdery raw materials should be avoided. Birds find it more difficult to consume fine grist; and, once consumed, there is a direct outflow through the gizzard without utilization. Hence a feed of larger grit size is desirable. An addition of two per cent oil also assists in achieving a homogenous feed with optimal particle distribution.

The primary role of amino acids from feed for animals is for growth and development of organs and tissues, mainly to serve as building blocks in protein synthesis. However, amino acids are also essential in many metabolic pathways to regulate physiological functions and modulate response in the body’s immune system; mucin, epithelial cells, antibodies, enzymes, hormones, etc. 

Nonetheless, a proportion of amino acids and non-amino acid nitrogen offered through the feed is not well processed in the digestive tract, generating substrates for microbes and toxins for the animal. This material can thus insult the ileum, causing overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, imbalance in the gut ecosystem, gut irritation, dysbacteriosis and in some cases subclinical necrotic enteritis. Large and insoluble protein particles which are not assimilated by the animal, go to the large intestine, leaving the digestive system through the feces. However, small/soluble protein particles pass through the ileocecal junction into the caecum, where their breakdown (putrefaction) takes place and ammonia, amines, indoles and branched chain fatty acids are produced. These compounds can be toxic and problematic.

Excess of ‘protein’ not only increases production costs, it also generates health problems in the bird. However, reduction of crude protein (total nitrogen) in feed must be accompanied by the balancing of the amino acid profile and supply according to the requirements of the birds. Precise (amino acids) nutrition implies raw material (amino acid) knowledge, digestibility, awareness of poor processing of protein sources, and the use available pure amino acids. This approach can then meet the demand of maintenance, health challenges and egg production without excess of nitrogen. The correct balance of digestible amino acids – also called: ‘Ideal Amino Acid Profile’ – is shown Table 1.

Boosting egg production table

Supporting the above, Drew, MD et al. 2004 studied the effects of dietary protein source and level on intestinal populations of Clostridium perfringens in broiler chickens. Two studies demonstrated that the level of dietary crude protein (230 and 400 g/kg) and protein source (soy protein concentrate or low-temperature-dried fishmeal) of diets affect the growth of C. perfringens populations in the lower intestinal of the broiler chicken. 

A significant interaction between protein source and level was observed where the number of C. perfringens present in the ileum and cecum increased as the level of crude protein in the diets increased in the birds fed fishmeal-based diets, (P < 0.05) but not in the birds fed soy protein concentrate based diets. This suggests that the level of crude protein, protein source, and amino acid content of diets might all be predisposing factors to outbreaks of clinical necrotic enteritis. 
 


Carlos de la Cruz, Global Expert Egg Production, Evonik Health and Nutrition GmbH

Immunity booster for all: 8 packs of juices, supplements & more for your overall health | Most Searched Products

Immunity booster for all: 8 packs of juices, supplements & more for your overall health | Most Searched Products

  • November 24, 2020
Taking care of your overall health is important. This not only includes fitness but even involves taking care of diet and nutrients that will help in building a strong immune system. While a healthy diet can help you maintain your overall health to an extent, you may need to take special immunity boosters to make your immune system strong.

There are plenty of choices when it comes to immunity boosters these days. These boosters are available in the forms of tea, healthy juices, kadha, capsules, drops and more allowing you to choose your immunity booster as per your convenience. Check out the list of some of the most popular choices here and buy something for your entire family.

When it comes to immunity boosters, a chyawanprash has been a popular choice for years. This pack of chyawanprash by Dabur can be a great option to buy online to boost the immune system of your entire family.

Taking 2 spoons of the paste every day or as advised by your physician will help you improve your health and immunity.
Get it here.

Eating amla for its health benefits can be difficult because of the sour flavour and availability issues. So, you can have this amla juice by Baidyanath to take a good amount of vitamin C, manage your weight and boost your overall immunity levels.

Just make sure that you dilute the juice as directed to enjoy its benefits completely.
Get this pack of juice here.

If you prefer having kadha to work on your immune system, here is an instant option for you to gain the health benefits of kadha in a few minutes. This pack of kadha powder is a mix of 15 natural ingredients and is suitable for both adults and children.

You just need to add this powder to a cup of hot water or tea and mix well.
Get this kadha here.

One of the easiest ways of improving your immunity is by taking tulsi drops regularly. If you want to add tulsi drops to your regular intake, here is a good pack that you can buy online. These drops are made from a combination of 5 types of tulsi and have to be diluted in water before consuming.

You can get these drops here.

For those who prefer taking health and immunity supplements, here is a good choice for you. These unflavoured tablets by HealthKart are rich in nutrients and will make your immune system stronger with regular intake.

You can buy this pack of 60 tablets here.

If you find it hard to take immunity boosters, you can modify your regular tea with a herbal one to take immunity boosters easily. This pack of tea is a blend of tea leaves with thyme leaves, amla, neem leaves, guduchi and other natural ingredients that are known for improving overall health.

You can buy this pack of tea here.

You must be aware of the health benefits and immunity-boosting qualities of vitamin C. If you want to gain this nutrient, you can take the help of these chewable tablets by Boldfit. These tablets are rich in antioxidants and are available in a tangy orange flavour.

You can buy these tablets here.

This healthy juice by Kapiva can be another good and affordable option to give a boost to your immune system easily. The juice is a blend of the extracts of 11 essential herbs like tulsi, neem, amla, giloy, turmeric, ashwagandha and more.

You need to dilute this juice before consuming. If you are taking this immunity booster for the first time, prefer consulting with your physician first.
Get it here.

DISCLAIMER: The Times of India’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article.

Three vitamins, minerals to boost your immune system and fight COVID-19 | FIU News

Three vitamins, minerals to boost your immune system and fight COVID-19 | FIU News

  • November 23, 2020

As we head into the holiday season and keep an eye on COVID-19 cases this upcoming winter, now is a great time to strengthen our immune systems to combat the virus.

According to Associate Professor of dietetics and nutrition Cristina Palacios, supplements and foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals are crucial.  

“Those of us that have a better nutritional status can fight the disease better than others,” says Palacios, a faculty member at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. “We constantly have pathogens, such as virus and bacteria, coming into our bodies. If our immune system is working really well, we don’t get infected.”

She adds, “In general, nutrition affects our entire body. All body processes require enzymes, and many vitamins and minerals help enzymes work better. There’s the saying, ‘We are what we eat.’ It’s true. If you want to be healthy, you have to consume certain nutrients.”

So, how do we keep our immune systems healthy during this time?

To shed light on the matter, Palacios recently hosted a free virtual webinar for the community. The webinar was part of an ongoing series organized by Palacios and a team of graduate students to share information with folks who are trying to keep their families healthy.

Earlier this year, Palacios collaborated with a team of international experts to develop a guide, which was published in the official journal of the Latin American Society of Nutrition (SLAN), to help frontline workers protect their health through supplements and food. During the webinar, Palacios shared some of those recommendations—which are applicable for adults in the general public, as cities continue to reopen.

Here are the top three supplements adults should consider taking.

1. Vitamin C. This vitamin has been hailed for years as a go-to source for aiding the immune system. Palacios said vitamin C is vital for the health of leukocytes, a type of white blood cells that help fight infections. It’s particularly important during a pandemic. She recommends adults take a supplement of 1000 mg twice every day.

She also recommended consuming foods rich in vitamin C. These foods include the classics of orange juice and oranges as well as other citric fruits and vegetables including grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes and cranberries.

2. Vitamin D. Most often we get our vitamin D through the sun, but throughout this time, Palacios said, taking a supplement is a good idea. She added that studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D have been associated with a greater risk of developing respiratory conditions in adults and children.

In fact, studies have begun to show that people with vitamin D deficiencies are at a higher risk of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus. The time to act is now.

Palacios recommended adults take a supplement of vitamin D3 of 1000 International Units (IU) once or twice per day, consumed during meals.

Additionally, you can boost your intake of vitamin D by eating fish and other foods fortified with the vitamin. 

For those who have a vitamin D deficiency, consult with your doctor or dietician for an accurate dosage of the supplement.

3. Zinc. Palacios said that zinc is crucial for normal development and functioning of cells mediating part of the immune system. She added that studies have shown that increased concentrations of zinc can inhibit the replication of viruses like poliovirus and SARS-coronavirus.

She recommended adults take a zinc supplement of 40 mg or less once a day.

Nutrients through food

Palacios recommended adults work several other nutrients into their diet through foods. While the following nutrients have not been proved to help in the fight against COVID-19, they do boost the immune system in general, so consuming them through foods is the way to go.

Vitamin A. Palacios recommended consuming the vitamin through foods including milk, dairy products and eggs, as well as orange and yellow fruits.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin). This vitamin helps the immune system by reducing inflammation and damage to the lungs, said Palacios. Foods high in Vitamin B3 include chicken, meats, fish, grains, beans and legumes and nuts.

Vitamin B9 (folate and folic acid) – studies have shown this vitamin can prevent respiratory infections in children, Palacios said. You can consume foods with folate in leafy greens like spinach and folic acid in fortified foods including pasta and bread.

Probiotics – Palacios added that certain strains of probiotics in specific situations can prevent upper respiratory tract infections. You can find probiotics in yogurt and fermented milk.

The next webinar by Palacios’ team will be hosted at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. It will focus on how to whip up easy plant-based meals for the family.  

Children's immune response more effective against COVID-19 -- ScienceDaily

Boosting stem cell activity can enhance immunotherapy benefits — ScienceDaily

  • November 23, 2020

Immune-system T cells have been reprogrammed into regenerative stem cell-like memory (TSCM) cells that are long-lived, highly active “super immune cells” with strong antitumor activity, according to new research from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The reprogramming involves a novel approach the researchers developed that inhibits the activity of proteins known as MEK1/2. Currently, several MEK inhibitors are used to effectively treat melanoma, but this study demonstrates that MEK inhibitors don’t just target certain types of cancer cells, but rather, more broadly, reprogram T cells to fight many types of cancer.

The finding appears November 23, 2020, in Nature Immunology.

“Although immunotherapies have improved survival for cancer patients over recent years, survival rates remain sub-optimal. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel, more effective anti-cancer immunotherapies,” says Samir N. Khleif, MD, director of The Jeannie and Tony Loop Immuno-Oncology Laboratory and head of the team that conducted this research. “Our research shows that using drugs that have already been approved for human use may significantly enhance currently available immune therapeutic approaches, thereby leading to better and more durable anti-cancer responses.”

The researchers performed experiments with human cells in the lab and then confirmed the effects of such an approach in mice. The investigators were able to not only identify a novel strategy to reprogram T cells into TSCM cells by using MEK1/2 inhibition, they were able to identify a novel molecular mechanism by which the TSCMs were induced.

The scientists found that reprograming T cells into TSCM can significantly improve T cell therapies for cancer patients. T cell therapy is a process that is widely used in specific cancers and in clinical trials, where immune-system T cells are separated out from a patient’s blood, engineered and expanded with special tumor-targeting capabilities and infused back into the patient to fight cancer. In their experiments, human T cells were reprogrammed with MEK inhibitors into TSCM; additionally, when treating mice with MEK inhibitors, the reprogramming of T cells was also found to induce effective TSCMs.

“Stem cell research has played a vital role this century in enhancing the progress against many diseases. Recent public and private support for stem cell therapy is very gratifying,” says Khleif. “Having stem cell research-specific funding from both governmental and private funders will greatly help accelerate the development of this under-utilized area of research.”

Now that MEK inhibitors have been shown to enhance an anti-tumor immune response, the researchers are starting to look into designing clinical trials to test their research approach in cancer patients. “Our approach is quite novel and we’re anxious to see it put to use in the clinical arena as soon as possible,” concludes Khleif.

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Materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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