CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) One vitamin and supplement shop in Cedar Rapids says more people are coming in to try and boost their immune system to avoid getting sick.
“This of the year we always have a lot of people worried about their immune, wanting to build up,” Alicia Beck, manager of Health Hut, said.
Beck said that COVID-19 concerns have brought on even more health-related worry for some people.
“Specifically, they’ve been coming in wanting to help their immune with everything going on with COVID-19,” Beck said. “It’s been pretty busy, with what we’ve been going through with just being able to get products for people and then being able to keep it in stock.”
Beck said items like vitamin C, zinc, and detox supplements are what people have looking for and loading up on.
“And, if for some reason we do catch it or come by it hopefully we’d be able to fight it off easier than if our immune system was already bogged down by something being sick,” Beck said.
Dr. David Arnold, the chief medical officer at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids said while that is the thought, there is still no evidence that proves these supplements actually work.
“Certainly zinc is the common one that patients ask about as there is some lay literature out there that supports that, but there is no evidence-based investigation that supports the routine use of zinc,” Arnold said. “It’s OK to supplement, but you can’t rely on that as a singular. There’s actually no supplement that boosts your immune system.”
Arnold said there’s been plenty of misinformation surrounding taking supplements not only for this virus but other infections as well.
“Certainly if you are deficient on particular vitamin or mineral, but taking extra is not going to give you any degree of benefit that you wouldn’t already receive by taking a multivitamin each day,” Arnold said.
Arnold added the downside is people may be taking supplements thinking that it’s protecting them, leading them to delay getting the care they need.
“Part of the problem with COVID is that it causes the immune to get over reeved up and causes a pseudo-storm and that’s why these patients develop the pulmonary lung problems they have, so in actuality, you can possibly make things worse by boosting your immune system, if you could,” Arnold said.
Arnold advised people to stick to sites like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Back at the Health Hut, Beck agrees.
“I wouldn’t necessarily just jump on the bandwagon if it’s something completely different. Understand what you are looking at and how it goes through and works with the body or come in and we can have some of that conversation too,” Beck said.
Vita Bug, a subsidiary of Bug Juice, recently announced the introduction and shipping of a New Functional Beverage Line extension.
Vita Bug is the first beverage clinically formulated to help boost Immune Systems. Buffered for children’s sensitive digestive systems, Vita Bug™ includes 13 Vitamins, 7 Minerals and 5 essential Electrolytes.
We contacted Doctors and nationally renowned Nutritionists to determine what would be the best way to help and support children’s immune systems. We recognized the need for a buffered system supplying vitamins, minerals, amino acids and electrolytes.
Vita Bug is the first Functional children’s beverage formulated to support children’s immune systems.
A bottle a day helps keep the doctor away
Vita Bug was developed as a direct result of extensive interviews and testing with Doctors and nationally renowned Nutritionists. Bug Juice converted these findings into our proven kid friendly package, and great tasting beverage that our distributors, retail customers, as well as, concerned Moms will buy. Vita Bug™ meets the concerns of Moms for their children’s health during the current health pandemic and beyond. Both flavors are packed with 100% of Children’s Daily Vitamins and Nutrients such as electrolytes and antioxidants.
Why take a pill, Drink a Vita Bug
Vita Bug™ is approved for the following FDA labeling claims:
Heart healthy Cholesterol free Low sugar Anti-inflammatory properties Low sodium Bone and joint health benefits Teeth and bones healthy Buffered for children’s digestive system Electrolytic hydration Minerals Antioxidants Vitamins Good source of vitamins and minerals Energy boosting
“Vita Bug™ will meet the needs of Mom’s concerns for their Children’s health and still provide great tasting and fun flavors for kids,” said Joe Norton, President Bug Juice International, Inc.
Bug Juice is America’s Original and Best-Selling children’s drink and is considered the innovator and leader in the Children’s Drink Category. Bug Juice’s strategy is to add incremental dollars to the category with great tasting and fun flavors for kids.
You’re not eating for this pandemic—you’re eating for the next one
This story is part of How to Eat in the New Normal, a weeklong series about how the Covid-19 pandemic is changing the way we eat, with expert advice for making food choices that help you stay healthy and happy
Let’s get something out of the way: It’s impossible to immediately boost your immune system. Vitamin C supplements, turmeric juices, green smoothies — none of them will give you virus-fighting superpowers.
That doesn’t mean vitamins and minerals aren’t critically important for immune health, but the benefits take time to build up. The salad you eat today is a long-term investment, not a quick fix or an insurance policy against an immediate threat.
“There are a lot of factors that go into enhancing the immune system. It does not happen overnight, and it’s not all about diet,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, lead dietitian and manager of Wellness Nutrition Services at the Cleveland Clinic. “Starting today is a good first step, but the key is keeping up these better habits.”
Vitamins and minerals are essential for cellular health in every organ system in the body. For immune cells, vitamins C, D, and E, and zinc appear to be particularly important. These nutrients “are needed for the immune system to maintain its normal function and have the ability to produce the arsenal they need to combat pathogens when they face them,” says Simin Nikbin Meydani, PhD, professor of nutritional immunology at Tufts University. “When you have deficiency of these nutrients, the cells of the immune system cannot function normally and their ability to fight pathogens will be impaired.”
Below is a quick rundown of how each of these nutrients benefits the immune system and how to work them into your diet. But first, an important caveat: None of these vitamins and minerals have been tested on the body’s ability to fight off the novel coronavirus. There is no evidence that vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, or any other nutrient is an effective prevention method or treatment for Covid-19. Still, it’s a good time to prioritize taking care of your body and staying as healthy as you can.
Vitamin C is the micronutrient most famously associated with a robust immune system. It is an antioxidant that protects cells from toxic byproducts that immune cells produce when destroying pathogens. Vitamin C also helps with the production and function of immune cells that attack viruses and bacteria. According to the Oregon State University Micronutrient Information Center, “Immune cells accumulate and concentrate vitamin C and then quickly use it up during an active immune response.”
Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and kiwi are all excellent sources of vitamin C. The National Academy of Medicine recommends 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day for men and 75 milligrams for women. Those amounts can easily be achieved with a cup of strawberries, half a cup of red pepper, or one large orange.
Vitamin D stimulates the body’s first line of defense by increasing the number and activity of cells that gobble up invading pathogens.
The nutrient is unique in that it is primarily synthesized in the skin from sunlight. Vitamin D is harder to obtain through diet, although it can be found in fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Milk, orange juice, and many cereals are also fortified with vitamin D to aid with calcium absorption. Adults should consume 15 micrograms of vitamin D, also measured as 600 international units (IU).
Vitamin E is another type of antioxidant that shields immune cells from damage and hormones that suppress the cells’ activity. Through its protective effects, vitamin E enhances immune cell function.
A fat-soluble nutrient, vitamin E is found in vegetable oil, seeds and nuts, and avocados. Adults need an average of 15 milligrams of vitamin E a day, which can be achieved through three tablespoons of vegetable oil or two ounces of almonds.
Zinc is essential for immune cell maintenance and development. Deficiency of this micronutrient can cause cells to break down and malfunction. Too little zinc is known to suppress the immune system, particularly in adults over the age of 60.
Shellfish, red meat, and beans are all good sources of zinc. Women should consume eight milligrams of zinc a day, and men should aim for 11 milligrams, which can be accomplished with six ounces of steak or just two oysters. Meeting the requirement with beans is a little trickier — it would take almost eight cups of black beans to get 11 milligrams of zinc.
“There are a lot of factors that go into enhancing the immune system. It does not happen overnight, and it’s not all about diet.”
The BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) tuberculosis vaccine boosts the production of immune cells, which may explain why it can protect newborn babies from dying of sepsis.
Previous studies have shown that BCG vaccination can protect newborns against a broad range of infections beyond tuberculosis, reducing overall deaths from sepsis. But exactly how this works was unclear.
“Knowing the mechanism behind this effect will support the use of the BCG vaccine to prevent newborn sepsis,” says Nelly Amenyogbe at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Australia. Amenyogbe and her colleagues analysed blood samples from 85 newborn babies in Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Papua New Guinea, half of whom had been vaccinated.
They found that, three days later, the newborns who had been vaccinated had about twice as many immune cells, called neutrophils, in their blood.
In another experiment, the researchers vaccinated newborn mice with BCG and then infected them with bacteria to induce sepsis. They also infected non-vaccinated mice. Just like the human babies, the mice that had been vaccinated produced about double the number of neutrophils, which then protected them from dying by gobbling up the bacteria that cause sepsis.
“There is increasingly strong evidence that BCG, a vaccine designed to work against tuberculosis, has advantageous non-specific effects against a range of pathogens in humans,” says Danika Hill at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK.
With this in mind, the BCG vaccine is currently being trialled in people as potential protection against covid-19. But “whether BCG, and any potential effect on neutrophils, could be beneficial against [the coronavirus] is unclear and warrants careful consideration”, says Hill.
Amenyogbe says BCG also has effects on other parts of the immune system, beyond neutrophils, and it is possible that these other effects may provide some benefit against covid-19.
“If vaccines such as BCG are able to provide non-specific protection against newly emerging pathogens, this could be a game changer for managing covid-19 and any future pandemics,” says Hill.
In the first installment of CURE®’s inaugural webinar series, “Hear from the Experts: COVID-19 & Cancer Care for Patients,” Drs. Ian Flinn and Farrukh Awan addressed what patients with blood cancers could do to help boost their immune systems to help prevent infections such as COVID-19, and the risk for patients who are several years removed from receiving a stem cell transplant.
Members of a family of targeted drugs used to treat blood cancer, known as BTK inhibitors, may be helpful in treating COVID-19, and some of these medications are being tested in clinical trials, experts explained in CURE®’s first-ever live webinar.
Sponsored by Janssen and Pharmacyclics, the webinar, titled “Hear from the Experts: COVID-19 & Cancer Care for Patients,” was designed to provide those affected by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and multiple myeloma with information and updates on cancer care during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics included whether patients taking BTK inhibitors to treat their cancer should remain on such drugs if they develop COVID-19.
CURE® invited patients, survivors, caregivers, advocates and health care professionals to attend the panel discussion. Dr. Saad Usmani, chief of the plasma disorders program and director of clinical research in hematologic malignancies at the Levine Cancer Institute in North Carolina, served as the webinar’s moderator. Panelists included:
Dr. Zainab Shahid, medical director of bone marrow transplant infectious diseases at the Levine Cancer Institute
Dr. Farrukh Awan, director of the lymphoid malignancies program at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT-Southwest in Dallas, Texas
Dr. Ian Flinn, director of the lymphoma research program at Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tennessee
Lee Greenberger, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Philadelphia
In the talk, Drs. Flinn and Awan discussed what patients with blood cancers could do to help boost their immune systems to help prevent infections, such as COVID-19, and the risk for patients who are several years removed from receiving a stem cell transplant.
Flinn: The experts in this field would want to make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, you’re eating right and you’re taking care of yourself, not just specifically for COVID-19. Exercising and other general health measures are probably the best a patient could do. There’s no simple pill you can take. There is no simple medicine you can take that’s going to improve your immune system and help you fight off COVID-19. But general health measures will.
Now, there are some exceptions to this rule in the case of patients who have low white counts (who) occasionally use growth factors to bring up their neutrophils to help them fight off infectious complications. By and large, giving patients IV immunoglobulins (IVIG) probably won’t help in the setting of COVID-19. We know from the CLL literature that we can prevent some of these recurrent infections by giving patients who have low antibody levels and low immunoglobulins IVIG on a monthly basis.
But, if we look at that data carefully that’s bacterial infections that are being prevented, like in cases such as a viral infection like COVID-19, I wouldn’t expect it to be prevented by giving people IVIG.
Usmani: A patient who has acute myeloid leukemia and is a ten-year post allogeneic stem cell transplant survivor, asks if they are at the same risk for COVID-19 as an immunocompromised blood cancer patient or is their risk any different and comparable to the general public?
Awan: That’s a difficult question to answer. If you’re ten years out of a stem cell transplantation, there are two assumptions I would have to make. One is that you are probably off immune suppression and your immune system is fairly healthy. Ten years out, you would be probably considered cured and I would expect your immune system to be robust and hopefully, unless you were having recurrent infections or regular infections, I would imagine that your risk would be fairly similar to a similar patient population.
I would be cautious a little more than our normal patients and I would also echo another point that Dr. Flinn just made. I think the IVIG role is being discussed a lot in our patients, specifically can they provide passive immunity, and can we use them more to protect our patients?
As Dr. Flinn said, I think the role is limited. It is to prevent secondary bacterial infections and sometimes people start off with a virus and then they get a bacterial infection on top of that. A percentage of our patients with COVID-19 do have co-infections, meaning they have bacterial and viral infections.
They might have some role, but I would also argue that getting IVIG, for a lot of patients, means getting to a health care facility, a clinic, or a hospital, and staying there for a few hours and being exposed to more personnel. So, you have to weigh the risks and benefits with IVIG. But in some patients, yes, I think they might be beneficial but for the vast majority may not be very helpful.
However, while we’ve all been looking forward to this, there’s no doubt people will be feeling wary about heading out on their commute again and into offices.
But there are some steps everyone can take to get control over their health and immunity before returning to work.
Here, with the help of some top experts, we take you through how to boost your immunity immunity before resuming ‘normal’ life…
1. Get moving
The gyms may be shut – but don’t let that discourage you from getting your exercise in.
As Clarissa Lenherrr, Nutritionist at Bioniq, says: “Exercise promotes blood circulation, and mobilises antibodies, and white blood cells which are responsible for detecting and attacking bacteria and viruses.”
According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who exercise five or more days a week spend 46 per cent fewer days laid up with a cold or respiratory virus compared to those who work out only once a week or not at all.
Not only that, but fitter people also experience less severe symptoms when they do get a cold, and they recover more quickly.
Exercise promotes blood circulation and mobilises antibodies
Clarissa LenherrrNutritionist at Bioniq
The NHS suggests that adults should be physically active in some way every day and should engage in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity.
This could include, gardening, brisk walking, swimming, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity e.g. running, dancing, spinning.
If you don’t want to leave the house, check out some online classes that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
We recommend trying Psycle’s Instagram Live fitness classes.
They offer between four and six Instagram live workouts every single day, including abs blast sessions, revival yoga, HIIT, barre and meditation.
2. Drink, Drink, Drink
Staying hydrated supports your body’s ability to eliminate toxins and waste materials, which is vital for a strong immune system.
Clarissa says: “I would recommend avoiding too many caffeinated drinks, as these may lead to increased toilet trips and potentially dehydration!
“Aim for 1.5-2 litres of water every day and if you are craving something warm, reach for herbal teas such as lemon and ginger, not only will this help to ease any discomfort you might be feeling, but is can also reduce inflammation that causes cold symptoms.”
3. Start Taking the Right Supplements
Whilst we can try to provide our body with everything it needs to keep our immune system healthy, it’s not always possible.
As Clarissa says: “Supplementing alongside a healthy diet can give your immune system a helping hand.”
Vitamin D contributes to immune system strength, and during lockdown, when we’re stuck inside for a lot of the day our vitamin D levels can be at risk of depletion.
This is because one of our main sources of vitamin D comes from sun exposure.
Health chiefs issued an update on the Public Health England website saying that during coronavirus lockdown, people should take a vitamin D supplement to compensate for the lack of sunshine.
Supplementing alongside a healthy diet can give your immune system a helping hand
Clarissa LenherrrNutritionist at Bioniq
We also recommend investing in Pure Sport’s Immunity Booster Pack.
Their unique product contains a combination of nature’s most beneficial ingredients (Turmeric, Ginger, Black Pepper, CBD), known for boosting the immune system and keeping the body fighting fit.
Each ingredient has been carefully measured to give the exact dosage needed to get the most out of these ingredients.
Their Immunity Booster Pack includes their 3000mg Tincture & 1500mg Ginger, Turmeric & CBD capsules – designed to keep body and mind at ease and immune system functioning at its absolute best.
What’s the recommended daily dose of vitamin D?
Public Health England is recommending Brits to consider taking vitamin D supplements due to the lockdown.
Although they are very safe, taking more than the recommended amount every day can be dangerous in the long run.
Below are the recommended daily doses depending on age:
Children aged 1-10 shouldn’t have more than 50 micrograms a day
Infants (under 12 months) shouldn’t have more than 25 micrograms a day
Adults shouldn’t have more than 100 micrograms a day and if they’re taking supplements the recommended amount is 10 micrograms a day
4. Avoid alcohol
You may want to swerve those ‘Zoom Happy Hours’ and put your Quarantinis to one side.
This is because heavy drinking is known to deplete our immune cells.
Jane Clarke, Dietician and Founder of Nourish, says: “While the occasional glass of alcohol shouldn’t affect your immunity too much, heavy drinking has been shown to impact on immune cells in two ways.
“It can make microphages, our first line of defence, less effective. And if bugs do pass through that barrier, we need lymphocytes – our infection-fighting white blood cells – to continue the battle.
“Unfortunately, excess alcohol seems to reduce numbers of lymphocytes in our body.”
5. Eat more fruit and veg
Eating plenty of fruit and veg every day can work wonders for your immune system.
Jane says: “One reason fruit and vegetables are so loved by nutritionists is that they’re packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body’s immune system to function effectively.
They’re packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body’s immune system
Jane ClarkeDietician and Founder of Nourish
“The best approach is to include fresh fruit and vegetables as part of your daily diet.
“If eating a lot of fibre is an issue, then try cooking them to make them easier to digest. Soups are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.”
6. Eat to sleep better
Evidence suggests that lack of sleep can make us more vulnerable to bugs, so getting those zzzzs in are crucial to boosting immunity.
Jane says: “Fluctuating blood sugar levels can disrupt sleep patterns, so try to eat regular smaller meals or sip a Nourish Drink between meals for sustained energy throughout the day.
“A starchy evening meal also seems to help the body wind down at the end of the day, so you’re more likely to fall asleep at a reasonable time.
“A glass of warmed milk or Nourish Drink is an excellent pre-bed soother, or try our recipe for Lavender Milk.”
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic is the cause of great panic in the world. The primary issue is that this is a viral infection, and we as human beings have no natural immunity to viruses. While the frontline medical community actually facing the pandemic is doing a very good job despite limited resources available to them, the research community is perplexed because any useful and viable vaccine/virus-targeted treatment will take at least 18 to 24 months from the drawing board to disbursement and application.
The only real and effective way for a population to combat a viral infection, is to develop “Herd Immunity”. Herd immunity can only be developed in two ways, firstly, by massive cross community infection or secondly, by mass vaccination. Since allowing massive cross-community infection is unwise as this may result in devastating consequences, we are left with the option of vaccination, which is not viable as there will be no relief in this respect before 18 to 24 months.
Thus, we are all caught in a difficult situation. Historically, every Epidemic/Pandemic faced by mankind has brought us down to our knees. The conventional system of medicine seeks to cure by killing the disease-producing agent; because of this the design of their arsenal against disease originates in the laboratory.
The product is first tested in-vitro (in the test tube or petri-dish, outside the living organism), then in-vivo (research or work is done with or within an entire, living organism) and only later human trials are done and if the product is found to be effective, it is approved and let out for use. Due to this laborious process, reaction or response time from infection to effective prevention and treatment is delayed, allowing the contagion to wreak havoc amongst the infected populace.
This is where homeopathy has its advantages. Homeopathy is an accredited and recognized system of medicine in India and for this reason alone, there should be no bar to its use in any disease, let alone Covid-19. This system of medicine is in very popular use and other than this, historically homeopathy has an excellent track record in the treatments of epidemics/ pandemics. Homeopathic medicines are safe to use and we can expect very little, if any, side-effects as can be experienced by using other systems of medicine.
In homeopathy an agent is used to treat the same symptoms in a diseased human being that it can produce in a healthy one. Thus the homeopathic arsenal against any disease already exists and it is only a question of matching the symptoms of the contagion to the known symptoms of a medicine which is the most similar.
Taking this into consideration the symptoms and the physical systems Covid-19 is affecting can be analyzed and a protocol for treatment can be designed. Thus the reaction time between diagnosis and treatment is reduced dramatically. As many studies have shown, our medicines have the power and capability to boost the immune system. Boosting immunity is exactly what is required in the battle against this disease to prevent, as well as help patients recover from this contagion.
Our protocol is designed keeping this in mind and medicines are also matched, in a specific manner, according to different problems faced by the patients in various stages of the infection. We have tremendous success in treating viral diseases, such as the common cold and different types of flu, dengue, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, shingles, hepatitis B and C, herpes and cold sores, polio and even the odd case of rabies.
Thus, we are confident that we will make a difference in the fight against Covid 19. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all other medical systems against the most virulent threat so far faced by the population. The Protocol has been put up on our website, www.pbhrfindia.org. Please have a look. We have been reaching out to premier institutions across the world, especially in those countries which have been dealing with the outbreak before India, to gather information and case studies as to their successes and failures against the virus.
Taking into account the above information and our experience in treat viral diseases we have formulated a specific protocol for the disease. This Protocol is available on our website, and within the first two days we already have had 13,000+ hits on the page and various enquiries from all over the world. We are one of the largest homeopathic institutions in the world and we are treating patients in more than 200 countries through our online facility.
We also run a charitable clinic which has a daily patient footfall of 1000 to 1200. Our legacy encompasses 150 years and four generations. Armed with this background, along with our work in collaborative research with many premier institutions around the world on cancer and various diseases, our data accrual system is of highest international standards.
Today we stand ready with this knowledge and experience and are equipped to share and spread this knowledge amongst all who can use it for the benefit of the population. In this scenario we have started getting enquiries from Covid positive cases and are in the process of getting into place a “Covid 19 Survey”, in collaboration with an American colleague, associated with a major American University. Through this survey, we will be able to gather data and observe the effects of our medicines on prevention and treatment of cases, but it is too early to share information on these developments.
Results of this will help to validate my suggestions for a successful measure for all to build an effective immunity against Covid 19, circumventing the 18 to 24 months required to create a useful conventional vaccine. I think what is being done right now in our country/state, that is identification of micro-hotspots, enforcing total lockdown and testing suspicious cases, are good moves by the government.
Also important, and this is being enforced, is to spread sanitary awareness to populations most prone to spread, such as those where it is impossible to maintain “Physical Distancing” and appeals for civic sense and social responsibility amongst populations who are in defiance/denial of their vulnerability to this infection thus posing a threat to all efforts by the aware and the Government to make the country “Corona Free”. Be safe, stay calm, stay at home. Close to your Loved Ones…
(The writer is an eminent homeopath and co-founder of the Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation, Kolkata)
Older age, poor health (underlying conditions), a weak immune system, male gender, smoking, and even obesity (and diabetes), have been cited as risk factors leading to higher death rate from COVID-19 (coronavirus). As global confirmed cases now exceed 3 million and over 218,000 deaths, we take a look at companies that help make people healthier and help boost our immune system. These companies’ products and services are currently in huge demand and should therefore be potential winners during the pandemic.
For example, COVID-19 deaths in those with no underlying conditions is only 0.9% The death rate in confirmed cases (probability of dying if infected by the virus) in males is 4.7% compared to women at 2.8%, so almost twice the chance of dying if you are a male.
People with risk factors may be more likely to need hospitalization or intensive care if they have COVID-19, or they may be more likely to die of the infection. This means most of the world’s population, especially in COVID-19 hot spots, will be focused to get healthier and reduce their risk factors. COVID-19 solutions will include exercise and weight loss, rest/sleep/relaxation, sunshine (Vitamin D), eating healthier foods, and taking nutritional supplements (with zinc) to boost immune system.
The global market for vitamins supplements was US$48.5 billion in 2017. It is forecast to grow to US$81 billion by 2025. This was before COVID-19 so we may see even higher global sales.
Popular vitamin brands
Zinc deficiency leads to a weakened immune system and is more common in males
I do find it very interesting that the early signs of COVID-19 can be a loss of taste and smell. This is also a sign of zinc deficiency. And guess what, zinc is perhaps the most important mineral to boost the immune system. Zinc deficiency is more common in men (also the elderly and pregnant women), and men are much more likely, statistically, to get COVID-19 than women. Finally, the COVID-19 leading drug Chloroquine works by enhancing zinc uptake into the cells to help the body kill the virus. I will leave you to make your own conclusions on zinc, the immune system, and preventing viral infections.
Some companies that focus to build better health and boost our immune systems (the health and wellness market)
WW International Inc. (NASDAQ: WW)
WW International Inc. (formerly Weight Watchers International) is a global company headquartered in the U.S. that offers various products and services to assist in healthy habits, including weight loss and maintenance, fitness, and mindset such as the Weight Watchers comprehensive diet program. Investors can consider buying WW International after the recent 2020 price fall and on a PE of 13.5.
Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL | OTC: BLMMF)
Blackmores Limited is an Australian health supplements company founded in the 1930s by naturopath Maurice Blackmore. They are really one of the only listed global near pure play vitamin companies. Their brands include Blackmores, BioCeuticals (a practitioner range), Impromy (pharmacy based weight management program), Fusion Health & Oriental Botanicals (Chinese herbal medicine), IsoWhey (weight management range), and Pure Animal Wellbeing (natural health products for pets). The Company does not come cheap and trades on a 2021 PE of 35.
Blackmores Immune Recovery & another option – Metagenics (owned by Alticor/Amway) Ethical Nutrients Mega Zinc
Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (LON: RB)
Reckitt Benckiser Group is a British multinational consumer goods company headquartered in Slough, England. It is a producer of health, hygiene and home products. In 2012 Reckitt Benckiser acquired U.S. group Schiff Nutrition for $1.4 billion. Schiff’s Airborne Original product is promoted to “help boost your immune system”. It contains Vitamin C plus 13 vitamins/minerals/herbs, including zinc. As covered in an earlier COVID-19 InvestorIntel article, Reckitt Benckiser also make the very well known cleaning and disinfectant products ‘Dettol’ and ‘Lysol’.
Schiff’s Airborne Original product to help boost your immune system
Pfizer is a New-York based large pharmaceutical company. It’s known for its products like Advil, Viagra, Xanax and Zoloft. But they also sell the highly popular brand Centrum vitamins, as well as Emergen-C and Caltrate.
Bayer AG (ETR: BAYN | OTC: BAYRY)
Bayer is a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. They sell vitamins under their ‘One A Day Vitamins’ brand.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG)
P&G is a well known American maker of diapers, home cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizers. In 2012 they bought New Chapter Inc., a vitamin and supplement company based in Brattleboro, Vermont. New Chapter sells herbs and dietary supplements.
Nestle (SWX: NESN | OTC: NSRGY)
Swiss company Nestle is famous for their dairy products and is one of the largest food and drink companies in the world (based on revenues). In the supplements space, Nestle owns Genestra brands, Garden of life, and Pure Encapsulations.
Otsuka is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan with health brands MegaFood, NatureMade, and Innate.
Several big name supplement companies such as Swanson Health Products and Nutragenics (Alticor/Amway) are privately owned; others are owned by private equity groups such as KKR, and various Hong Kong/Chinese groups. Some popular brands taken private include Swisse and Nature’s Care.
Whilst there are several risk factors in getting COVID-19 the good news is many of them can be improved by our actions. Exercise, sunlight, sleep, eating healthier, and taking immune boosting supplements are all easy to do.
Right now the world’s 7.7 billion population is more focused on health than ever before. This means those companies that can help improve people’s health and immune systems stand to do very well in 2020. It also means these stocks should be considered by investors wanting to boost their financial health.
COVID-19: The term ‘health’ is a positive and dynamic concept. People having a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with more durable immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. Intake of nutrient rich food every day to gain the required vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants is essential in addition to drinking enough water.
How does a plant-based diet help in protecting against Covid-19
Medical studies show that the coronavirus has a devastating impact on people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. A plant-based diet can help reduce the effects of the virus on ‘at-risk’ people.
There’s an abundance of macronutrients, micronutrients and antioxidants in Plant-based foods, which help in keeping your cells strong and healthy to fight off any potential viral infections.
Plants contain fibre that lowers cholesterol, stabilizes sugar level and improves bowel movement.
A plant-based diet is helpful for the gut. It allows humans to assimilate the nutrients from the food that boosts your immune system and reduce inflammation.
A necessary aspect of positive health is exercise and weight control. Excess weight causes hormonal imbalance and obesity-related heart conditions. Following a healthy plant-based diet discard many of the food products that lead to weight gain.
WHO has recommended you to eat 2 cups of fruit, 2.5 cups of plants and 180 g of grain on an average, every day.
The importance of exercising every day is paramount and will also help to build a robust immune system.
A plant-based diet provides enriching antioxidants that help in dealing with stress. Covid 19 has created massive amounts of anxiety in all of us, which can have dire consequences in terms of mental health issues. Antioxidants can have a calming and soothing effect to help relieve these conditions.
List of Healthiest Plant-based foods
Superfood Greens – It’s no secret that most people don’t eat enough vegetables. Greens such as Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach etc are typically high in vitamins A and C, which help support immune function. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of plant compounds in greens powder may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
Plant Protein – Plant Protein plays a major role in the body’s immune response. They activate cells that help fight off infections in the body. Good plant sources of dietary protein are: legumes, beans, peas, and nuts
Zinc and Magnesium: Zinc present in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds is a potent nutrient that supports immunity, and it is called ‘a gatekeeper of immune function’. Magnesium affects the ability to boost one’s mood naturally by increasing serotonin production.
Vitamin C and D: Vitamin C is found in oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, melons and strawberries. Vitamin D allows for conditions of equilibrium in terms of physical and mental health.
Omega 3’s Omega 3 has three types: DHA, EPA and ALA. It plays a beneficial role in reducing inflammation inside the body.
COVID-19 has been impacting every sector of the world, starting from education to healthcare and industries. Well-being is essential during these testing times. By adhering to the suggestions given above, you can become a healthy human being who is less susceptible to this dangerous virus.
The columnist is Co-founder of OZiva. Views expressed are the author’s own.