Scientists found something simple that anyone can do to help beat a coronavirus infection – BGR

Scientists found something simple that anyone can do to help beat a coronavirus infection – BGR

  • February 28, 2021
  • Researchers have shown that exercise can strengthen the immune response by increasing the production of immune system cells called lymphocytes.
  • Lymphocytes, or white blood cells, are involved in the immune response following infections with bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
  • These findings were observed in experiments involving mice. If applicable to humans, these conclusions could lead to new strategies for boosting the immune response in infections and after vaccinations with regular exercise.

Doctors always recommend regular exercise, as any sort of physical activity is good for the body. While going to the gym and enjoying certain sports during the pandemic might be challenging, there are plenty of ways to compensate for the lack of access. Running, walking, and exercising at home are some of the simplest options during the pandemic that would allow anyone to stay active without exposing themselves to other people. And if this new study is correct, the best reason for exercising might be because it can help you overcome infections like COVID-19.

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Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that exercise boosts the production of the immune cells in bones that fight infections. Those are lymphocytes, also known as white blood cells (including B and T cells), which are summoned to fight pathogens. Lymphocytes are involved in the immune response to an infection, whether it’s the novel coronavirus, a bacteria, or some other sort of germ that doesn’t belong in the body.

The researchers proved that exercise stimulates the production of cells that will later be involved in the immune response. Their study, published in Nature, also offers another notable finding: aging depletes the reserves of lymphocyte progenitors in the bone marrow. An accompanying article in Nature explained the results.

Bone marrow contains various types of stem cells and progenitor cells, which live side-by-side in so-called niches. The researchers demonstrated that movement can increase the number of lymphocyte progenitors that leave the bone, heading to the small blood vessels that vascularize organs.

The following image explains the various components found next to arterioles inside the bone. The authors looked at the bone-cell progenitors in the bone marrow that express the proteins leptin receptor (LepR) and osteolectin (Oln).

Exercise Boosts Immune System
Illustration shows the effects of exercise on certain cells in the bone marrow, which leads to the production of lymphocytes, immune system cells that fight infections. Image source: Shen et al. via Nature

During exercise, bones are stimulated and a mechanosensitive ion channel called Pizeo1 is activated on the LepR+Oln+ cells. Two things happen next. The cells sitting next to each other start differentiating, which leads to the formation of new bone cells. Also, exercise leads to the expression and secretion of a signaling molecule called stem cell factor (SCF), which impacts the nearby common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). These CLPs will turn into lymphocytes.

The researchers created mutant mice that lacked the gene encoding SCF in their Oln+ cells. This did not impact the development of blood cells inside the bone marrow, but it did lead to a significant reduction of CLP, which led to fewer lymphocytes ready to fight infections. The authors exposed the mutant mice to a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes and found that animals which lacked the SCF gene did not clear the bacteria as efficiently as their controls. The scientists also ran a separate experiment that involved movement. They placed mice in cages with running wheels and discovered that running led to a higher number of Oln+ and CLP cells in the bone marrow. The mice with Oln+ cells expressed the mechanosensitive ion channel protein Piezo1, while mutants had abnormally low CLP numbers.

The conclusion is that exercise can stimulate the immune system. In turn, this could lead to a better immune response in infection. If the same conclusions apply to humans, new approaches and protocols for preventing and treating infectious diseases could be developed around exercising.

The authors also found that the numbers of Oln+ and CLP cells were lower in the bone marrow of 18-month-old mice than 2-month-old animals. All animals were active, which indicates that other factors had reduced the expressions of those cells, which could lead to immune system issues. The companion article authors noted that more research is required to determine whether exercise can improve bacterial clearance in mice. One other thing to research is whether exercise can boost responses to vaccinations.

The full study is available at this link and the companion article can be found here.

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Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

2 simples changes to your diet that can maximize the Covid-19 vaccine

2 simples changes to your diet that can maximize the Covid-19 vaccine

  • February 28, 2021

If we’re going to rely on Covid-19 vaccines to bring an end to the pandemic, we need to maximize their effects. But one thing that risks undermining their protectiveness is nutritional deficiency, particularly in the elderly.

Older people have weaker immune responses and are known to respond less well than younger adults to many vaccines, including the seasonal influenza vaccine. This is partly down to frailty, which cannot be easily remedied but can also be due to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals – known as micronutrients.

For the immune system to fight off infection or generate good protection against disease following vaccination, it needs a variety of micronutrients. This is likely to be just as true for Covid-19 as for other diseases. Given that malnutrition is common among elderly people, raising their vitamin and mineral levels before they get vaccinated could boost the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines.

Powering up the immune system

As the European Food Safety Authority notes, the vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C, and D and the minerals zinc, selenium, iron, and copper are all needed for the immune system to function as it should.

Each of these micronutrients – as well as vitamin E – has been shown to play multiple roles in supporting immune function and reducing the risk of infection. Research has found a link between having an impaired immune system and having low amounts of many vitamins and minerals.

When the immune system isn’t properly fueled and is impaired, this can then lead to poor vaccine responses. For example, a review of nine studies – together involving 2,367 people – found that individuals deficient in vitamin D were less well protected against two strains of flu after having been vaccinated compared to those who had adequate vitamin D levels.

By contrast, randomized controlled trials of micronutrient supplements (such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium) in older people have been shown to increase the ability of the immune system to respond to challenges. Furthermore, it appears that to work at its best, the immune system needs vitamins C, D, and E together with zinc and selenium in excess of amounts that can usually be achieved through diet alone. For example, selenium levels above those typically regarded as optimal have been associated with a better cure rate for Covid-19.

Trials in older people have also shown that responses to vaccination are better after actions are taken to improve nutrition. For example, one study found that people aged 65 to 85 who ate five or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day showed a significantly stronger response to a pneumococcal vaccine than people of the same age who ate only two servings of fruit and vegetables or fewer.

In another study, giving daily vitamin E supplements to people over 65 was found to increase the number of antibodies they produced following vaccination against hepatitis B and tetanus. And in people deficient in selenium, daily supplements were found to improve some aspects of their immune response to a live poliovirus vaccine and also reduce the emergence of mutant viral strains.

This latter result illustrates the fact that new viral variants are more likely to emerge in people whose bodies are “oxidatively stressed”. Oxidative stress can be caused by taking in inadequate levels of antioxidant nutrients – for example, selenium and vitamin E.

Time for booster supplements

This all becomes problematic when knowing how common nutritional deficiency is. In a review of nutrition spanning seven western countries, people over 60 were found to be consistently deficient in selenium, zinc, iodine, and copper.

And, while this issue disproportionately affects the elderly, it is not limited to older age groups. The 2019 UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey showed “a sustained worsening of the dietary intakes and chronic shortages of several of the nutrients involved in supporting the normal immune functions” across age groups. The micronutrients people lacked including vitamins A, B12, C, and D and the trace minerals zinc, selenium, and copper.

Such micronutrient deficiencies may limit the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines. Given this, we propose that all those at risk of nutritional insufficiency should take a supplement containing the recommended daily allowance of nutrients important to immune function for a period of weeks before and after they receive the vaccine. People who could benefit from this include the underweight elderly, those on restricted diets, and certain BAME communities who may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

It’s possible to buy a three-month supply of multivitamin and mineral supplements for no more than £3.00. Ideally, such a supplement would be provided free of charge by governments or health authorities to all those aged over 70. When set against the average cost of vaccination per person, this would provide a great potential gain for only a modest investment.

This article was originally published on The Conversation by Margaret Rayman and Philip C Calder at UCL. Read the original article here.

Single Pfizer vaccine shot provides strong protection for those who've had Covid-19, UK studies suggest

Single Pfizer vaccine shot provides strong protection for those who’ve had Covid-19, UK studies suggest

  • February 28, 2021

In the United States, the vaccine is authorized as two doses taken 21 days apart. To protect against Covid-19, the first dose primes the immune system and the second boosts it.

The researchers found that in those who had a previous natural infection, vaccination increased their antibody levels more than 140-fold. “This increase appears to be at least one order of magnitude greater than reported after a conventional prime-boost vaccine strategy in previously uninfected individuals,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

The other paper, from researchers at Imperial College London and other institutions in the United Kingdom, included data on 72 health care workers who were vaccinated in late December. Twenty-one of them had evidence of previous coronavirus infection.

The workers provided blood samples at the time of receiving their first dose and then 21 to 25 days after vaccination. The researchers found that people with previous coronavirus infection appeared to generate stronger immune responses to one dose of vaccine compared with those who had not been previously infected.

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told CNN on Friday that the findings in the two new papers are not surprising.

“What these data show is exactly what you’d expect — that people who’ve been naturally infected, who already had developed an immune response to this virus, when they’re then given that quote unquote first dose have a booster response,” Offit said. “In other words, they’re acting as if they’re getting the second dose.”

If you've had Covid-19, here's what you should know about vaccines, variants and more

But for now, Offit emphasized that people who have previously recovered from Covid-19 are recommended to still get both doses of vaccine when it is their turn.

“You could reasonably ask, ‘Well, given that there’s a shortage of vaccine, why not make this recommendation that anyone who’s been previously infected can reasonably get one dose, period?’ I think the reason that that didn’t happen was largely programmatic,” Offit said.

“If you tried to overlay on the current strategy of getting people vaccinated — that there was a screening test beforehand to see who had been previously exposed and who hadn’t — that would make it much more difficult to roll this vaccine out. So, people just thought, look, give everybody the vaccine,” Offit said. “There’s no downside. Worst case to worst, you’ll get just booster responses when you’re vaccinated if you’ve already been naturally infected.”

Offit added, “If you’ve never been infected with this virus before, that second dose of mRNA vaccine dramatically boosts your T-cell immunity, dramatically boosts your antibody response, and will no doubt give more complete and longer-lived protection.”

It’s possible a single dose of coronavirus vaccine might be enough to protect people who have recovered from a bout of Covid-19, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health, said on Thursday.

“It does look as if in those individuals, a single dose, basically it’s a booster for them because they already had the infection. They already have some antibodies that may be sufficient and they may not need the second dose,” Collins told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Collins said that the NIH is “trying to collect as much data as possible about that right now.”

But, he said that a single dose strategy for everyone could result in unforeseen consequences.

“Are those people who are in between first and second actually sitting ducks for getting infected?” Collins asked. “Is that actually a way that we might encourage more mutations to happen because they’re only partly protected? The virus has a chance to live a little longer in their system and pick up some changes.”

Collins said that until the data show otherwise, the authorized two doses three to four weeks apart is the regimen that should be followed.

CNN’s Nadia Kounang contributed to this report.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system

  • February 27, 2021
Vitamin E

To ensure you’re hitting your daily dose of Vitamin E consider taking a supplement. Moyo Studio/Getty Images

  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radicals from damaging cells in your body.

  • It’s important for your immune system and the health of your brain, blood vessels, eyes, and skin.

  • Experts recommend 15 mg of vitamin E a day from sources like red bell peppers and avocadoes.

  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble mineral and antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables. It has a range of benefits from boosting the immune system to lowering your risk of developing select kinds of heart disease.

Here are seven science-backed benefits of vitamin E and tips to ensure you’re hitting your daily dose.

1. Vitamin E may slow the aging process of cells

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, meaning it prevents free radicals from damaging cells. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules produced by chemical reactions in the body. They can also come from outside sources like cigarette smoke and air pollution. When free radicals damage cells, conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may develop.

Free radicals reduce a cell’s lifespan through a process called oxidative stress. The process of oxidative stress as it relates to aging is not clear. However, scientists do know that free radicals bind to cells in a way that causes damage to the protein and DNA inside. As an antioxidant, vitamin E neutralizes this threat.

A 2018 paper in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A found that among 1,002 patients with clinically confirmed cardiovascular disease, low vitamin E consumption was linked to increased cellular aging.

2. Vitamin E can help those with macular dysfunction

Macular dysfunction is a genetic eye disease, and in severe cases, it can result in vision loss. The condition occurs when the macula region – an oval-shaped area at the center of your eye – is damaged by free radicals.

Two clinical trials in 2006 with about 4800 participants found that vitamin E in combination with other nutrients could reduce the risk of vision loss by 19%. They also found that the vitamin E combo slowed the progression of macular dysfunction.

The study compared different supplements and how they affected the progression of macular dysfunction. The researchers found that a supplement containing 400 IU of vitamin E – along with other vitamins like zinc oxide, copper, vitamin C, and beta-carotene – reduced the possibility of a mild case of macular dysfunction developing into a severe case. Supplementation with only copper and zinc or antioxidants were not as effective.

It’s important to note that vitamin E is best suited to prevent progression of the disease in those who already have it. It is not as effective at preventing age-related macular dysfunction in people who do not show symptoms of the disorder.

3. Vitamin E boosts immune system response

Vitamin E appears to boost levels of a type of immune cell called T lymphocytes or T cells, says Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, a registered dietitian and medical advisory board member for Persona.

T cells are white blood cells that play a role in the immune system. There are two types of T cells: regulatory and cytotoxic. Regulatory T cells manage immune reactions to foreign particles and prevent autoimmune conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes. Meanwhile, cytotoxic cells attach to cells infected by bacteria and viruses and kill the cells.

“Vitamin E helps maintain the strength and vitality of T cell membranes, helps these cells multiply correctly, and communicate to other immune processes. T cells decrease with age, so maintaining optimal intake of this vitamin is important in maintaining a well-functioning immune system,” Somer says.

A 2018 paper published in IUBMB Life found that vitamin E deficiency hindered immune response by altering the functions of T cells and antibody production. But, it also found that with vitamin E supplementation, these effects can be reversed.

Most research conducted on vitamin E’s role in immune response has focused primarily on T cells. However, scientists believe vitamin E may regulate other types of immune cells too.

For more information, learn about how to boost your immune system.

4. Vitamin E may slow memory loss in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease

Because the brain uses a lot of oxygen, it is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, says Debbie Petitpain, MS, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Since vitamin E can prevent cellular damage caused by oxygen, it may help prevent cognitive decline

A 2014 study published in JAMA with just over 560 Alzheimer’s patients found that having 2000 IU per day of alpha-tocopherol – a form of vitamin E – reduced functional decline. The study tested cognitive function with daily activity assessment. It’s important to note that all participants had only mild cases of Alzheimer’s.

5. Vitamin E may improve blood vessel health

Vitamin E plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells by protecting them from oxidative damage. Alongside vitamin K, it also helps expand blood vessels, which reduces the possibility of blood clots.

A 2007 paper published in Circulation found that in 213 patients who took 600 IU vitamin E daily, their risk of developing venous thromboembolism, a condition where a blood clot in the extremities travels to the lung, lowered by 21%.

While blood clotting is important because it slows bleeding after a cut or injury, it can be problematic when clots form in your blood vessels and then spread to the lungs or heart. This can lead to severe chest pain, coughing, and difficulty breathing.

A 2013 paper in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry assessed 15 healthy men and found that vitamin E protects against the development of impaired lining of blood vessels caused by hyperglycemia after eating. Vitamin E was effective in offsetting any spikes in blood pressure after eating, thus improving blood vessel health.

Another study conducted in 2013 assessed 30 smokers after they stopped smoking and began taking 500 mg of vitamin E daily. It found that vitamin E supplementation along with quitting nicotine, resulted in about a 19% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. Those who took vitamin E supplementation saw reduced levels of inflammation and better vascular function compared to those who received a placebo.

6. Vitamin E may reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS)

Vitamin E may even help reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS) like anxiety, depression, cramping, and even cravings. A 2016 study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery involving 86 women found that vitamin E supplementation reduced premenstrual symptoms like anxiety and depression more than the placebo group or those taking vitamin D.

Meanwhile, a 2019 study with 210 female participants published in Obstetrics and Gynecology Science indicated that consuming vitamin E two days before menstruation through three days following may help alleviate menstrual cramps.

Vitamin E can even help with premenstrual cravings. A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that 75 women who consume between 150 to 300 IU of vitamin E a day experienced fewer cravings than normal during their period.

7. Vitamin E may prevent sunburn and UV damage

While Vitamin E cannot prevent sunburn on its own, it can be used alongside sunscreen for extra UV protection.

“For protection against photoaging of the skin and sunburns due to sun exposure, it is recommended to use sunscreen daily,” says Olabola Awosika, MD, MS, a dermatologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. “Vitamin E can be used in conjunction with sunscreen to provide further benefit against oxidative damage from UV rays.

While multiple studies conducted in animals from the early 2000s found that topical use of vitamin E provided an increased protection against skin cancer and reduced skin problems like hyperpigmentation and inflammation, evidence remains unclear in humans.

However, a 2009 paper published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology suggests that combining vitamin C and E with sunscreen may prevent ultraviolet-related damage in comparison to using sunscreen alone.

How to get enough vitamin E

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, your daily recommendation of vitamin E varies according to age.

Vitamin E charts 03

Yuqing Liu/Insider

To ensure you’re hitting daily recommendations, look for foods high in vitamin E. Some examples include:

Vitamin Echarts 04

Yuqing Liu/Insider

Vitamin E supplements

While research shows vitamin E deficiency is uncommon, those struggling to meet daily recommendations should consider taking a supplement. A deficiency in vitamin E usually signals a more severe health problem, like cystic fibrosis or liver disease, so talk to your doctor before starting a supplement.

To avoid vitamin E toxicity, you should not consume more than 1,000 milligrams per day. Although rare, vitamin E toxicity can cause symptoms like nausea and fatigue. In more severe cases, it can lead to death.

“Vitamin E is very safe in a wide range of supplemental doses. The only somewhat common side effect of excess supplemental intakes is bleeding, but that happens at doses above 1,000 mg a day,” says Somer.

When taken as a supplement, vitamin E increases the risk of bleeding because it reduces blood’s ability to clot. Due to this bleeding risk, Somer suggests that those taking high doses of vitamin E discontinue use two weeks before surgery or extensive dental work.

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Read the original article on Insider

7 science-backed benefits of vitamin B6 and how much you need each day

7 science-backed benefits of vitamin B6 and how much you need each day

  • February 27, 2021
  • Vitamin B6 is a key nutrient that benefits your immune system, brain, and heart health.
  • It’s also essential for your body’s metabolism, helping convert food into energy.
  • Experts recommend adults get around 1.3 mg of vitamin B6 daily from sources like oats and spinach.

Vitamin B6 is one of eight B vitamins and is essential for your metabolism, cardiovascular health, and much more. But because vitamin B6 is water-soluble, and not fat-soluble, it’s regularly flushed out of the body, and therefore needs to be consumed daily.

Here are eight health benefits of vitamin B6 and how to get enough of it in your diet.

1. Vitamin B6 helps turn food into energy

Along with other B vitamins, B6 assists the body in converting food into energy. It helps metabolize carbohydrates and works with enzymes to break down proteins into amino acids – compounds that help our body grow and function properly.

2. Vitamin B6 supports heart health

“Vitamin B6 works with two other B vitamins – B12 and folic acid – to reduce levels of homocysteine,” says Megan Wong, a registered dietitian at AlgaeCal, a calcium supplement company.

Hyperhomocysteinemia occurs when there are high levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. High amounts of homocysteine can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis, a disease that causes plaque to build up in the arteries.

According to a 2015 report published in the Nutrition Journal, hyperhomocysteinemia can occur when someone is deficient in vitamin B6. But, with the right levels of B6 in combination with B12 and folic acid (B9), homocysteine levels can lower by up to a third. It’s important to note that despite lowered homocysteine levels, patients do not see an effect on vascular outcomes. Therefore, B-vitamins may play a more preventative role in heart health.


3. Vitamin B6 promotes healthy brain function

An increase in homocysteine levels can also speed up cognitive decline, says Wong. This uptick can lead to an increased risk of neurological conditions such as dementia.

In addition to regulating homocysteine levels, B6 plays a role in the synthesis of important neurotransmitters – chemical messengers used by the brain and nervous system. Some of the neurotransmitters B6 helps synthesize include:

  • Dopamine: responsible for reward-seeking, motivation, and movement
  • Serotonin: stabilizes mood, causes feelings of well-being and happiness.
  • Melatonin: plays a role in regulating our circadian rhythm and ability to fall asleep
  • Noradrenaline: produces the ‘fight or flight’ response in our body when we perceive danger

4. Vitamin B6 may help morning sickness

During pregnancy, anyone experiencing morning sickness is often prescribed a combination tablet of doxylamine – an antihistamine – and vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 has been shown to help with nausea while the doxylamine may reduce vomiting. A typical dose of the combination tablet is 10 mg to 25 mg, three times a day.

5. Vitamin B6 may treat seizures in newborns

Children diagnosed with pyridoxine‐dependent epilepsy (PDE) require between 15 to 500 mg of vitamin B6 a day for life. PDE is a rare, genetic condition that occurs within a few days of being born and is characterized by difficult-to-control seizures. But vitamin B6 can help control the condition.

Pyridoxine‐dependent epilepsy is rare with only 200 cases reported, and occurs within a few days of being born. It is caused by a mutation in the gene ALDH7A1.

When treated intravenously with 50-100 mg of vitamin B6 – also known as pyridoxine – the seizures dissipated within minutes. Children diagnosed with PDE receive 15 to 30mg of vitamin B6 a day for life, but may sometimes require up to 500 mg.

A person with these seizures is vitamin B6 dependent, requiring the nutrient in order to keep the condition at bay as traditional anticonvulsants do not work.

6. Vitamin B6 fosters a healthy immune system

The body requires vitamin B6 to maintain a healthy immune system.
“B6 improves communication from ‘messenger’ cells called chemokines, which direct white blood cells to areas of infection or damage,” says Wong. “Not having enough vitamin B6 can reduce the growth and production of key immune players: lymphocytes and antibodies.”

There are two forms of lymphocytes, both of which are altered by a B6 deficiency:

  • T cells which fights off foreign invaders in the body
  • B cells which create antibodies that then attach to foreign invaders, like bacteria or viruses, and destroy them

A 2006 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin B6 improved the immune response in critically ill patients. The study divided 51 participants into three groups: one received an injection of 50 mg of B6 a day, another 100 mg, and a control group. After 14 days of supplementation, those who received 50 to 100 mg of B6 saw an improvement in important markers of immune response like total T-cell count.

7. Vitamin B6 helps prevent anemia

“Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of hemoglobin – a protein that supplies the cells with oxygen,” says Lina Velikova, MD, PhD, a clinical immunologist and a medical advisor at Supplements101.

Lower than normal hemoglobin levels is one of the causes of anemia, a condition characterized by low levels of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, so without adequate red blood cells, one can feel weak and fatigued.
Maintaining an adequate intake of vitamin B6 can help prevent anemia.

How much vitamin B6 do I need?

The amount of B6 you should be consuming on a daily basis depends on age and gender. For each demographic, the daily recommended dose of vitamin B6 is:

7 science-backed benefits of vitamin B6 and how much you need each day
Shayanne Gal/Insider

Where can I get vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 is readily available in food and supplements. “The best way to ensure we have enough of this vitamin is through a vitamin B6-rich diet,” says Velikova.

Foods high in B6 include:

7 science-backed benefits of vitamin B6 and how much you need each day
Yuqing Liu/Insider

If someone is unable to consume enough vitamin B6 through their diet, they can consider taking B6 supplements. Velikova says dosage should not exceed 1.4 mg a day for women over 18 and 1.7 mg a day for men over 18.

Wong recommends supplements for older adults, especially if they have a reduced appetite that may mean they are not eating enough B6 rich foods.

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they can help you determine the right dosage.

Insider’s takeaway

Vitamin B6 is critical in maintaining proper body functions. Its benefits include improving heart health and fostering a healthy immune system. To ensure you’re hitting your daily recommendation of B6 try incorporating chicken, soybeans, and potatoes into your diet.
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Scientists get serious about mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines

  • February 27, 2021

A lot of us have engaged in some bold mixing-and-matching during the pandemic — office attire on top, pajama pants on bottom, for instance — and been none the worse for it.

Imagine doing the same with COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps pairing a first dose of the AstraZeneca product with a second dose supplied by Novavax. Will the consequences of such mixing be any graver?

It’s hardly an idle question. Either by accident or design, some mismatched dosing is inevitable, experts say.

Two vaccines are currently being rolled out across the United States, with a third expected to join them next week and two more likely to come over the next several months. All but one were designed to be delivered as two-dose regimens.

Another 69 vaccines are in clinical development across the globe, and nearly two-thirds of those were designed to generate immunity with two or more doses.

But making sure people get the right vaccine at the right time has turned out to be a greater logistical challenge than initially expected. What’s more, the unexpectedly swift emergence of menacing coronavirus variants has made it imperative to get shots into arms as quickly as possible.

Health officials in Great Britain proposed a radical solution to both problems: Delay second doses for up to 12 weeks so that more people could get at least some protection. Later, the government acknowledged that in exceptional circumstances, mismatched doses may be given to people who arrive for their second dose and discover that the vaccine they originally had is not available.

It seemed preposterous, especially considering that neither of these protocols was evaluated in clinical trials. If they don’t work, the precious vaccine will have been wasted at a time when there’s none to spare.

“I wouldn’t make any changes unless you’ve got good data,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I don’t think you mix and match without results showing it’s very effective and safe.”

Now British researchers are trying to do just that.

This month, a team of vaccinologists from Oxford University began recruiting 800 or so people age 50 or older for a complex study to see whether vaccine switching could actually work.

Using an eight-armed clinical trial, they’ll test vaccine regimens using various combinations and intervals of the two vaccines currently being dispensed in Britain: one made by Pfizer and BioNTech, and another developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca.

In announcing the mix-and-match vaccine trial, Dr. Matthew Snape cited experiments in mice in which combinations of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines boosted immunity better than two doses of either one alone. Perhaps it would work in humans as well.

Both vaccines prime the immune system to target the coronavirus’s spike protein, which plays an instrumental role in the infection process. But they home in on different parts of the spike, and they deliver their payloads by two very different means.

The AstraZeneca one uses a modified cold virus to present the spike protein to the immune system, while the Pfizer one hands over genetic instructions for making the spike protein and relies on human cells to produce it.

Additional COVID-19 vaccines made by Novavax and Johnson & Johnson also focus on the spike proteins on the virus’s surface, and researchers expect to add them to the trial as it proceeds. (J&J’s vaccine candidate is designed to be administered as a single dose, but the company is testing whether a second dose, delivered 57 days after the first, would provide a higher level of immunity).

The British trial is expected to release its findings in June.

That mouse study cited by Snape has encouraged scientists’ belief that combining vaccines will kick the body’s immune system into a higher gear. By nudging it through different means and training it to recognize new and different pieces of the virus, these mismatched regimens could not only generate neutralizing antibodies but boost production of a specialized class of immune cells called CD8+ T-cells.

The neutralizing antibodies that are produced in response to most vaccines specialize in hunting down and killing free-floating viral particles as they circulate in the bloodstream. Fielding an army of CD8+ T-cells as well would empower the immune system to find and kill cells that have already been infected and turned into virus-copying factories. That would end an infection faster and more completely.

These T-cells also have long and specific memories of what the SARS-CoV-2 virus looks like. That means immunity might last longer when this army of immune cells is strongly recruited.

Though mixing and matching vaccines awakened these T-cells in mice, the same response has not yet been demonstrated conclusively in humans. Nor have studies borne out scientists’ hope that mismatched vaccines can be safely administered to millions of healthy people.

One potential benefit of mismatched vaccines is that if the two jabs target different sets of proteins on the virus’s surface, the immune system would be prepared to face a wider array of threats. That might preserve or improve vaccine-induced immunity as new variants of the virus arise.

The emergence of a new strain in South Africa has underscored the importance of having such a backup. After evidence surfaced that the variant was less susceptible to Astra-Zeneca’s vaccine, Moderna began work on a modified shot specifically tailored to protect against it. Doses of the booster vaccine were sent to the National Institutes of Health for testing this week, and a new clinical trial will explore whether it expands the immunity of people who’ve already been vaccinated against COVID-19.

But there is recent precedent for combining vaccines that use different vehicles to deliver their immunological payloads.

The two doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID vaccine, for instance, use two kinds of viruses to transport the genetic instructions that tell the immune system which coronavirus surface proteins to look for. The first is a harmless cold virus. For the second shot that comes 21 days later, scientists engineered another innocuous cold virus to carry the cargo.

This way, there’s no chance the immune system will inadvertently attack the harmless cold virus when it’s time for the second dose. With a new ride, the vaccine’s genetic payload can slip by unchallenged.

Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, which designed Sputnik V, took a similar approach to formulating the first and second doses of its Ebola vaccine. Several experimental HIV vaccines are also testing this approach.

The COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna use the same mRNA “platform” that prompts cells to construct harmless spike proteins that the immune system will learn to recognize. However, they encapsulate their instructions in very different packages (which may explain why the risk of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis is more than four times higher for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine than the Moderna one, though both are extremely low).

In late January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention told medical professionals they could offer a mismatched second dose of mRNA vaccine “in exceptional situations in which the first-dose vaccine product cannot be determined or is no longer available.”

But there’s a reason every multi-dose vaccine on the U.S. market — from the hepatitis B shots that start just after birth to the shingles vaccine series for adults in their 50s — comes with a recommendation to get all doses from the same manufacturer: Their safety and efficacy have been tested as an established pairing. Mix-and-match combos have not.

The problem with testing the safety and efficacy of mix-and-match combinations is compounded by the complexity of the immune system.

“What we know to measure is only half the story,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The British mix-and-match trial will measure the amount of antibodies in the bloodstream, but actual immunity is more complicated than that. Immunity brought about by neutralizing antibodies and immunity brought about, say, by CD8+ cells complement each other in mysterious ways.

“If you alter one component of that, you no longer know if you have the same efficacy and safety,” said Poland.

But this level of caution may be a luxury we can’t afford in a public health emergency.

In the midst of a pandemic, a natural experiment in mixing and matching may be unavoidable. Snarls in vaccine production and distribution are bound to happen, imperiling guaranteed on-time access to a second dose that matches one’s first.

People in search of their second shot may not even remember what they got the first time around. And many may be willing to take whatever they can get.

“There’s the ideal and there’s the necessary borne of the practical,” Poland said. “Absent clinical trials, you do studies on the fly. But you’d like to have studies.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Study reveals fructose-rich diet may cause damage to immune system

Study reveals fructose-rich diet may cause damage to immune system

  • February 27, 2021

Feb 27, 2021 21:38 IST

Bristol [England], February 27 (ANI): A high sugar fructose diet might prevent the proper functioning of peoples’ immune systems in ways that have, until now, largely been unknown.
The study led by Swansea scientists in collaboration with scientists at the University of Bristol and the Francis Crick Institute in London has been published in the journal ‘Nature Communications’.
Fructose is commonly found in sugary drinks, sweets, and processed foods and is used widely in food production. It is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its intake has increased substantially throughout the developed world in recent years.

However, understanding the impact of fructose on the immune system of people who consume it at high levels, has been limited until now.
The new study shows that fructose causes the immune system to become inflamed and that process produces more reactive molecules which are associated with inflammation. Inflammation of this kind can go on to damage cells and tissues and contribute to organs and body systems not working as they should and could lead to disease.
The research also brings a deeper understanding of how fructose could be linked to diabetes and obesity — as low-level inflammation is often associated with obesity. It also builds on the growing body of evidence available to public health policymakers about the damaging effects of consuming high levels of fructose.
Dr. Nick Jones, of Swansea University’s Medical School, said, “Research into different components of our diet can help us understand what might contribute to inflammation and disease and what could be best harnessed to improve health and wellbeing.”
Dr. Emma Vincent in the Bristol Medical School: Populational Health Sciences (PHS), said, “Our study is exciting because it takes us a step further towards understanding why some diets can lead to ill health.” (ANI)

Antibiotics May No Longer Work, But These 3 Natural Solution completely Treats Staph Aureus, STD, Toilet Infections and Boost Immune system

Antibiotics May No Longer Work, But These 3 Natural Solution completely Treats Staph Aureus, STD, Toilet Infections and Boost Immune system

  • February 27, 2021

Doctors and other medical institutions, have warned that mere toilet infections, if not properly treated can cause staphylococcus, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is one of the major culprit responsible for infertility.

To make it even worse, staphylococcus, STDs and other urinary tract infections comes with painful symptoms such as;

  • wormlike movement in the body
  • itching of private part
  • discharge at the tip of the penis
  • vaginal discharge
  • burning sensation in the body
  • frequent urination

If you are experiencing any of these serious infections, then you are not alone. My husband and I suffered from similar problems for about 3 years. We tested positive to staphylococcus aureus.

So we visited several hospitals, tried expensive antibiotics and used lots of products bought from networking companies just so we could get rid of this staph…

But sadly, the stubborn infection remained in our
body system for 3 years!

At that time, the infection affected my fertility, destroyed our immune system and made us suffer painful symptoms.
After several trial and errors, I continued searching for a permanent cure until I came in contact with an old time friend, who was a health expert that has now relocated to Canada.

She recommended a NAFDAC Approved herbal treatment that completely cures Staphylococcus, urinary tract infections, and other STDs like Gonorrhea, Syphillis etc.

My advice for you is simple, here are the 3 main things I did to finally get rid of this stubborn staph infection:

1. Stop using antibiotics: Most of the antibiotics drugs sold in pharmacy stores are now ineffective to treat staph due to self-medication practices. Another reason is that staphylococcus infection is now resistant to most of these antibiotics. So, if my advice is stop wasting money on antibiotics.

Instead of antibiotics, lots of Nigerian men and women testify that this herbal remedy works very effectively to treat staphylococcus infections in few weeks of using it.

2. Eat these foods like garlic, lemon, ginger, and honey that are widely known to fight infections, they are natural anti-microbial medicines, and works exceptionally well for boosting immune system.

3. Take herbal medicines that help flush off infections from your body system.

Believe it or not, taking Antibiotics and injection can only suppress symptoms of staph infection, the solution is you have to take herbal medicines that will flush those bacteria from your blood stream.

But the problem is, right now, there are lots of fake and ineffective herbal drugs out there posed only to scam victim of their money.

And I hope you don’t lose your health and money like I did back then trying lots of them.

That is why, one of the herbal treatments that I recommend which helped my family and I cure staphylococcus and other drug-resistant infections is NAFDAC Approved and certified.

As at now, lots of nigerian men and women have testified that the herbal remedy is highly effective, completely cures staph infection and eliminates painful symptoms within few weeks.

Lots of Nigerian couples are already raving about this herbal remedy, and they have sent in testimonials about how it completely cures staph infections, eliminates painful symptoms, boost immune system and detox your body off harmful toxins within few weeks of using it.

At this point, let me introduce you to the Herbal Treatment Solution that worked for me, and helped me completely cure infections without any side effects at all…


Effective Natural Herbal Treatment to Completely Flush off Drug-resistant Staphylococcus Infection, Syphilis, Gonorrhea,
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Urinary Tract Infections,
Toilet Infections From Your Body System, Also Helps Boost IMMUNE,
And DETOX to Flush off Toxins from the Body System!

“100% Natural HERBAL REMEDY for Staph Infection, STD and UTI, Toilet Infections, General Body Cleanser, Detox and For Immune Booster”
(Each pack of Immunosin contains 30 capsules)

With the virus, pandemic and quarantine, things have changed so much in terms of what is working for clearing off chronic infections like staph aureus, syphilis, chlamdyia, gonorrhea, HPV, etc.

Certainly, most herbs… drugs… injections… and stuffs sold by network marketing companies aren’t working as effective anymore.

That is why you need something…

New And Different

And this is CRITICAL if you’re struggling against stubborn infections that comes with painful symptoms like itching, discharge, internal heat, wormlike movement or sensation…

Or trying to overcome infections that have been inside you for 2 – 10 years, and keeps coming back again!

Today, you need something different. Something “bigger” and “better”…

Immunosin Herbal Capsules have been proven to help boost immune system, detox your body from harmful toxin, general body cleanser, treats feverish conditions and flush off drug-resistant infections such as staphylococcus, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, STDs and other toilet infections etc.

It’s purely herbal, NAFDAC Approved and certified, and it has no side effects on you.

Both men and women can use it for herbal treatment of infections and stubborn drug resistant diseases. To be taken 2 capsules morning before breakfast, and 2 capsules in the evening before dinner.

IMMUNOSIN Herbal Capsules contains a powerful ingredient and extremely effective for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections, staphylococcus aureus, syphilis, help to boost your immune system, general body cleanser and detox to fight these antibiotic-resistant infections and venereal diseases.

You no longer have to bear the pains of the symptoms of these stubborn infections like discharge or drip from the vaginal or penis, burning sensation when urinating, frequent urinating, and itching on the private part.

IMMUNOSIN Herbal Capsules have a strong impact in your body immune system to help flush off these infections… without any comeback!

One of the main ingredients that the Immunosin Herbal Capsule contains is a powerful herb known as “Adansonia digitata” that can be found only in dry, hot savannahs of Sub-Saharan Africa.

One of the most well known effects of this powerful herb has to do with fighting infections/diseases and preventing it spread, and also boosting immune system, detoxifying the body and general body cleanser.

Once you start using this Immunosin Herbal capsules, you will able to clear off stubborn, resistant infections and put an end to the symptoms.

You would see for yourself how far you have gone in helping yourself get rid of staph infection, STDs, urinary tract infections, toilet infections and boosting your immune system.

But don’t take my word for it, Below are actual testimonials we have 
received from people who used this IMMUNOSIN Herbal Capsules 
Anti-Infection Solution and what they are saying about it…

I had a concern that I have gonorrhea
my husband also gets a white milky discharge from the tip of his penis in the morning and some come out after urination.

we used 500mg of an antibiotic for some time, but unfortunately did not work

I stumbled upon your write-up online and with faith, I ordered for the Immunosin capsules complete pack and we started using it

within 3 weeks of using the herbal treatment, the symptoms are gone. we also went for medical check up, and we were cleared. thanks so much easing our pains and saving us from this embarrassment

Anna (Warri, Delta state)

God is good! I had the same STD for almost 4 years and it caused me much turmoil and mental anguish. I tried several antibiotics but most of them were the same. After a week or 2, the symptoms are back.

The most embarrassing thing is the constant itching of my private part, even inside my sitting room.

I came across the Immunosin herbal remedy for STD and decided to give it a try as something different. I went to the hospital and the result came out negative.

Now, I can say I am healed of the STD. I’ve ordered some for my wife to use as well, I’m so grateful and want other of my friends to know about the product

Mr. Sunnie – CBD, Abuja

My previous years of menses, usually come out reddish and dark with heavy flow till the last day, until I started using the immunosin capsules, the flow is now normal, without any foul smell at all…

I’m super excited because this immunosin capsules have helped my body a lot now, was so surprised to see the results.

Chinenye – Umuahia

We ordered for the immunosin capsules all the way from Denmark, after many recommendations from a friend who have used it.

My wife and I have been on it, and her discharge are no more heavy or have this foul smell, it has also changed from pale yellow and its very clear right now

I don’t experience painful urination anymore as well.

After years of struggling with this infection, I can say this is the one that really worked well without wasting my money

Mr. Alfred – Denmark

I’ve had a long time infection that I was very uncomfortable about and lucky for me I came across this Immunosin capsules

the results after using is surprising, the medication works well for my body system and my wife as well

The pain and discharge have also stopped as well, and I am happy about the changes

Mr. N. Koki- Rumudara, port harcourt

for several years, my fiance’ and I have been battling with heavy growth of staph infection.
it made us delay our marriage, affected my fertility and we were spending some good amount of money to treat it, not until I came across ur 
site, and decided to try d immunosin capsules

within d first 2 weeks, d discharge has stopped,
and no more itching or wormlike movement

after completing the required dosage, I decided
to do a test and the staph infection is now scanty
for both of us, and d entire symptoms have stopped.

within few weeks we repeated d test n it came 
out negative

thanks for helping people with this wonderful product

seun – Gwarimpa estate, abuja fct

my wife and I order for your imunosin herbal capsules, all the way from katsina-ala lga in benue stae, the complete pack supply, and we are happy about the results we got.

After our last test, we were cleared, so I decided to let you know that this product did well for us. I have recommended it to our doctor so he can tell his other patients that are experiencing similar conditions. 

am so glad to come accross your product, after spending heavily on this infection without any result. Thanks so much sir

Mr.& Mrs Nicholas (Benue state)

I picked up the immunosin capsules from your store and I’m grateful to say it really worked for my husband to detox and clear his body off infections.

we’ve used other antibiotics for a long time now
to treat it but the symptoms kept coming back.

until a friend recommended d immunosin capsules for us,this gets my highest recommendation n I will send more of my friends down to your office

Mrs. Edith – Maitama, Abuja

As you’ve just read, these people have experienced cure and permanent relief from staphylococcus, urinary tract infections and it symptoms after using the Immunosin herbal capsules.

Here’s a breakdown of the price (depending on the option you’re ordering for)…

(2 Bottles) 60 capsules

(2 weeks supply)


(4 Bottles) 120 capsules

(1 month supply)

Think about it: With the Immunosin Herbal capsules you are getting today, you’ll be rest assured that you will never have to suffer from infections like staph aureus, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamdyia etc.

And you’ll be able to get rid of symptoms like heavy discharge, itching, internal heat, wormlike movement, hot flushes, abnormal menstrual bleeding, painful intercourse, genital warts, foul-smell from the private parts… and ensure they never come back again.

Besides, you are sure of boosting your immune system, detoxifying your body from toxins and other harmful radicals that make it difficult to treat stubborn infections that might have become part of you for 2 – 10 years of struggling with them.

The Immunosin mini pack (2bottles) will last for 2weeks and its meant for people with mild or scanty infections, while the complete pack (4 bottles) is recommended for people with serious, chronic infections (and this supply last for 1 month).

Follow the instructions below to place order, and get 
 the products delivered to your doorstep 
 (payment on delivery)
This means you will pay for the products only when it has been brought 
down to you face to face by our courier service agent 
 Pay on Delivery Option Available to All States in Nigeria

Right now,here’s how you can get immediate access to the Immunosin Herbal Capsules…

Depending on the option that you are ordering for…

*If you are ordering for “MINI PACK”… indicate the code “IMMUNOSIN MINI PACK” in your text message…

*If you are ordering for “COMPLETE PACK”… indicate it “IMMUNOSIN COMPLETE PACK” in your text message…

IMMUNOSIN MINI PACK (2bottles) – N15,000


Here’s what to send to us…

Text the (the option you are ordering for) with the following information below…

that is, Maxi flusha complete package or mini package

1. Your Full Name
2. Your Phone Number
3. Delivery Address (home or office address)

Send This Information as a text message to 08174860522

Please Note: Your delivery address must include (your street name, town, local govt and state). Detailed Enough to make it traceable by our courier delivery man that will come around to deliver to you.

You will get a SMS and Call from us within 6 hours to confirm your Order Before we Parcel It Across to You.


Once we received your order, and your details are correct, you will receive an sms or call confirmation from us.

Your products will then be sent to our courier delivery and the items should get to you within 2-4 Days for nationwide delivery to other state, and 1-2 days for orders within Lagos, Abuja and Warri.

Note: The product will be packaged discreetly and no one else will know 
what’s inside, and every other information will be kept 
private and 100% confidential.

Option 2

If you live in Abuja or Lagos, or nearby, you can also walk into our
marketing department office to pick up the products.

You will meet our team ready to give you these products at same price…

That is you Pay at our office, and get it instantly

Vantagesoft Marketing Enterprises

Block B, Suite 9, Primal Tek Plaza, Beside ECO centre, 
by Mokola Bus stop, opposite Gowon Estate Market,
Egbeda-Idimu road, Egbeda, Lagos.


Suite 3B, First Floor, Shopping plaza beside NNPC Filling station,
opposite LHS school, Ilo awela road, by Toll Gate Bus stop, Ota
off Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway


Abuja office Hub: EFAB MALL Extension, suite A-75, 
3rd Floor, off Gimbiya street, Garki, Area 11, Abuja, Fct 

(Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm)

Customer support line: 08174860522

That is all you have to do, to get access to the Immunosin Herbal Capsules right now.


Mrs. Rita – customer support line 08174860522

Researchers develop new technique to more efficiently isolate and identify rare T cells

Immunologists map unknown biological machinery to produce memory T cells

  • February 27, 2021

Immunologists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have mapped the previously unknown biological machinery by which the immune system generates T cells that kill bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells.

The findings have multiple implications for how the adaptive immune system responds to infections to generate such memory T cells. The experiments revealed mechanisms that inhibit the development of the long-lived memory T cells that continually renew to protect the body over time.

Blocking these inhibitory mechanisms with pharmacological or genetic approaches could boost protective immunity against infection and cancers.

The researchers also discovered a subtype of memory T cells that they named terminal effector prime cells. Mapping the pathway that controls these cells raises the possibility of manipulating this pathway to enhance the ability of the immune system to kill microbes and cancer cells.

Mapping the control pathway also provided the insight that diet may have a greater influence on immune function than previously thought.

Led by Hongbo Chi, Ph.D., of the Department of Immunology, the research appears today in the journal Cell. The first authors are Hongling Huang, Ph.D., and Peipei Zhou, Ph.D., of Immunology.

CRISPR-assisted mapping of the metabolic machinery

When the body encounters an infection, the immune system begins to generate effector T cells to attack the invading bacteria or viruses. There are two types of these T cells. One type is the memory precursor cells, which can develop into memory T cells that persist long-term to protect the body.

These are the T cells that vaccinations generate. The second type are short-lived terminal effector T cells, which have immediate cytotoxic activity.

In this study, researchers sought to map the metabolic machinery that controls how the immune system decides to produce memory T cells. Chi and his colleagues focused on the little-known mechanisms that inhibit the generation of this type of T cell.

The scientists used a gene-manipulating technology called CRISPR to sift through more than 3,000 metabolism-controlling genes in mouse cells. The goal was to discover genes that regulated the “fate” of effector T cells and memory T cells.

Nutrients play an unexpected role in T cell fate

The research revealed a previously unknown role that nutrients, such as amino acids and certain sugars, play in regulating T cell fate. To the investigators’ surprise, the analysis identified nutrient-related pathways that suppressed memory T cell production.

“The preconceived notion about nutrients’ role in immune cell function was that the cells rely on nutrients as an energy source and for building blocks,” Huang said. “But our study provides another view–that nutrients are involved in inhibitory pathways, and that deprivation of certain nutrients or metabolites might be good for adaptive immunity.

“It seems to suggest that what you eat and drink may have a greater influence on immune function than previously appreciated,” Huang said. “This will be an important pathway for future research.”

New T cell subtype identified

The studies also revealed a new subtype of effector T cell, which they named terminal effector prime cells. Blocking the development of these cells may be key to enhancing T cell-mediated immunity. The researchers’ work identified a pathway that controls the transition of developing T cells from an intermediate stage to mature terminal effector prime cells.

The researchers found they could manipulate this pathway to keep terminal effector prime cells at this intermediate stage that would induce them to proliferate to produce more memory T cells. “These findings highlight the possibility of targeting this pathway to boost protective immunity against both infections and tumors,” Chi said.

We are extremely excited by these findings. By identifying this nutrient signaling axis, our studies provide new biological insights and therapeutic targets for enhancing memory T cell responses and protective immunity against pathogens and tumors.”

Hongbo Chi, PhD, Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


Journal reference:

Huang, H., et al. (2021) In vivo CRISPR screening reveals nutrient signaling processes underpinning CD8+ T cell fate decisions. Cell.

New Coronavirus Vaccine Study Seeks to “Boost” Immune Response

New Coronavirus Vaccine Study Seeks to “Boost” Immune Response

  • February 26, 2021

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and Rochester Regional Health (RRH) have begun a new clinical trial that will evaluate the safety and efficacy of a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.  The vaccine is currently approved for a two dose regimen. This study represents an important step in the development of long-term vaccination strategies to protect against circulating and emerging variants of the virus.

“While widespread vaccination is the key to moving past the current health crisis, COVID-19 has the potential to become a seasonal and mutating virus,” said Ed Walsh, M.D., and infectious disease specialist at URMC.  “This study will help us understand important questions about the safety and immunogenicity of multiple doses of an mRNA vaccine, information that could ultimately enable us to extend the protection of vaccines and develop tailor-made, variant-specific boosters.”

URMC and RRH have been involved in the development of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine since the launch of phase 1 clinical trials in May 2020 when volunteers in Rochester were among the first in the nation to receive the then experimental vaccine.  Rochester was also a site for the phase 2/3 clinical trials that ultimately led to the vaccine’s emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last December.  Since then, tens of millions of people across the globe have received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. 

The new study will involve individuals who participated in the phase 1 trials last spring, all of whom were fully vaccinated more than 6 months ago.  Over the next several weeks, researchers will dose 144 volunteers, including 35 in Rochester, with a booster dose of the EUA-approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.  Rochester is one of four sites in the U.S. involved in the study.

The local studies are led by Walsh and Ann Falsey, M.D.; both hold faculty appointments in the URMC Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases and are members of the Infectious Disease Unit at RRH.  Pfizer contracted with URMC to conduct the clinical trial in Rochester and the recruitment of study volunteers and testing of the vaccine will occur at Rochester General Hospital. 

While the duration of protection provided by the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is unknown, it is expected that immunity wanes over time, a phenomenon common in vaccines for other infectious diseases.  The trial will measure the boost to the immune system and evaluate in the lab whether antibodies and other immune cells generated after the third dose provide protection against coronavirus variants.  The study will also seek to answer how well a third dose of the vaccine is tolerated in healthy volunteers, and researchers will closely monitor participants for side effects. 

The findings of the study will also be important as vaccine developers have turned their focus to the development of vaccines that can be tailored to meet the threat of emerging strains of the virus.  Pfizer and BioNTech announced today that the companies have begun discussions with regulatory agencies regarding studies to evaluate a modified version of their approved vaccine. 

“While we have not seen any evidence that the circulating variants result in a loss of protection provided by our vaccine, we are taking multiple steps to act decisively and be ready in case a strain becomes resistant to the protection afforded by the vaccine. This booster study is critical to understanding the safety of a third dose and immunity against circulating strains,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “At the same time, we are making the right investments and engaging in the appropriate conversations with regulators to help position us to potentially develop and seek authorization for an updated mRNA vaccine or booster if needed.”