Montana nursing home sued for negligence in COVID-19 deaths

Montana nursing home sued for negligence in COVID-19 deaths

  • October 22, 2020

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A long-term care facility in Montana has been sued after health officials said its staff was negligent and allowed the coronavirus to spread through the facility in Whitefish earlier this year.

The Missoulian reported that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the estates of three residents at Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation who died from complications caused by COVID-19.

The lawsuit argued that at least 13 people died at the facility.

The county had 23 coronavirus-related deaths.

The lawsuit named the 100-bed long-term care facility and its administrator Reid Crickmore.

Crickmore did not respond to email or phone messages on Wednesday seeking comment.

 

CCMB-incubated Hyderabad startup supplement claims to boost immunity against Covid-19

CCMB-incubated Hyderabad startup supplement claims to boost immunity against Covid-19

  • October 22, 2020

A startup incubated at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad has developed ‘CoronAid’ a novel nutraceutical claimed to boost immunity against Covid-19.

The food supplement is made from a mushroom type, Cordyceps militaris, which grows in the Himalayan region and is known for immune boosting and anti-oxidant components.

Read | Risk of catching Covid-19 on flights low, not zero: WHO

Clone Deals, a start-up incubated at the Atal Incubation Centre-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (AIC-CCMB), has collaborated with another Hyderabad-based company, Ambrosia Food Company, to develop a combination of the mushroom powder with curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, to make CoronAid Anti-Viral Immunity Booster Oral Suspension, a statement from CCMB said on Thursday.

Cordycepin in the mushroom powder is known to prevent the formation of new DNA and RNA strands.

Also Read | What we know so far about how Covid-19 affects the nervous system

Clone Deals has collaborated with scientists from CCMB to establish the potency of cordycepin in stopping the growth of the Covid-19-causing coronavirus in a cell-culture system. The studies show that cordycepin inhibits the multiplication of coronavirus.

Clone Deals has expertise in large-scale production of the mushroom in a controlled environment for its medicinal use. Currently, the team has obtained the FSSAI approval for marketing and submitted proposals to the government of India for conducting clinical trials at three All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Nagpur, Navi Mumbai and Bhopal, to establish the safety of their formulation, the CCMB said.

With satisfactory results of the clinical trials, the product is expected to be available from December 2020 in most cities and towns, adding considerable protection against the virus.

“We are delighted to  support a start-up focused on developing indigenous natural products and adding value by establishing its scientific basis,”   Dr Rakesh Mishra, director CCMB said.

GSK sees 'robust immune response' from RSV vaccine hopefuls

GSK sees ‘robust immune response’ from RSV vaccine hopefuls

  • October 21, 2020

Cold viruses often don’t get much of a look when it comes to R&D; they are annoyances, but ones that usually make us feel miserable for a few days then clear up.

But some cold viruses can hit vulnerable people much harder, leading to pneumonia and hospitalizations. These are colds caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which, in the elderly and in children under 5, can cause serious complications and sometimes can prove fatal.

In younger children, it can cause bronchiolitis (inflammation and congestion of the small airways or bronchioles of the lung) and pneumonia in both infants and the elderly, and it’s thought to cause about 3 million hospitalizations of children under 5 globally, with around 177,000 hospitalizations of older people in the U.S.

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There have been a number of Big Pharma attempts at a vaccine, but the road has been fraught with setbacks and flops. There is a monthly preventive shot from Swedish Orphan Biovitrum’s Synagis used against RSV in high-risk infants, but a fully protective vaccine remains elusive.

RELATED: Novavax plummets after another phase 3 RSV study miss, this time in infants

GlaxoSmithKline took a step closer to finding that vaccination, announcing data from several candidates at IDWeek 2020 from several midstage trials, as it now plots a late-stage make-or-break series of tests.

The RSV candidate vaccines were for two distinct groups: one for maternal immunization (GSK3888550A) and one for older adults (GSK3844766A). Top-line, GSK says both “were well-tolerated and highly immunogenic in phase 1/2 clinical studies.”

The former was tested with three different doses compared with placebo in 502 healthy non-pregnant women over monthly visits and showed the vaccine was able to “rapidly boost the preexisting immunity at all dose levels, leading to high levels of protective neutralising antibodies.”

And, just over a week after the shot, GSK said it saw a 14-fold increase in RSV-A and RSV-B neutralizing antibody titers. The idea is for the vaccine, which uses the Big Pharma’s AS01 adjuvant system, to give pregnant women the ability to confer immunity to their unborn children.

This has not been proven in this latest study, but GSK said it will be presenting data from pregnant women in the first half of next year to see whether its theory is borne out.

The latter candidate, in older adults, was first tested in 48 healthy adults (18-40 years old) and then in 1,005 healthy older adults (60-80 years old) with different dosages of antigen and adjuvant compared with a placebo.

The interim data, out one month after the shot, showed a “robust humoral and cellular immunity compared with baseline” and “a close to 10 times increase of protective antibodies” in the vaccinated group.

A phase 3 program for both patient populations is expected to begin in the “coming months.” Several other early-to-midstage trials are also ongoing in younger children either with exposure to RSV or without, with data for RSV-seropositive infants to be published at the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases next week.

All three candidate vaccines have been given an FDA fast-track label.

“RSV is an infectious disease that can have a very serious impact on families and societies,” said Emmanuel Hanon, GSK senior vice president and head of vaccines R&D. “We are delighted to see these positive results confirming our approach to develop dedicated vaccines building on the strategic use of our platform technologies for the populations most at risk from RSV infections: young infants and older adults.

“Our portfolio strategy takes into account the unique needs of the immune system of these vulnerable populations and we look forward to progressing these assets to Phase III trials to evaluate their potential efficacy.”

GSK is in a race with Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, which are also hard at work on vaccinations for COVID-19, for an RSV shot.

Tips for Healthy Eating During Pandemic – NBC Los Angeles

Tips for Healthy Eating During Pandemic – NBC Los Angeles

  • October 20, 2020

Since a vaccine is still in the works to combat COVID-19, we’re left trying just about anything to stay as healthy a possible during a pandemic. One thing that everyone can all do, however, is to boost their immune system with healthy foods.

Health professionals tell NBC 7 if someone gets COVID-19 or the flu, or even both, it’ll most likely be much easier to recover if they’ve been eating foods rich in nutrients

These are immune-boosting foods that can help prepare your body to fight off a virus, cold or flu. Those who have a nutrient-packed diet will also find they sleep better and have more energy since they’re consuming the right minerals.

Nutritionists suggest you load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins for dietary success.

It’s also best to plan for groceries so that it could result in purchases of fewer processed, high-salt or high-sugar snacks.

“Processed foods in general, it’s basically synthetic. It’s made from a machine,” said Dr. Amy Lee, who is an expert in weight control, obesity and nutrition. “It’s nothing natural that we actually garden and plant and harvest. So our human bodies basically have to get used to and adapt to all these new synthetic ingredients that we weren’t used to before.”

Lee also suggests families create a schedule or a daily meal plan. A schedule is more predictable for everyone in a household and it can get all involved so they feel connected to the effort in some way, creating motivation.

You can also manage your environment to improve your diet.

If candy and chips aren’t in the kitchen cabinet, then you can’t eat them.

It’s also very important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Health experts recommend that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, but if you’re outside a lot or exercising, it should be more. Stay healthy!

Tips for Heating During Pandemic – NBC 7 San Diego

Tips for Heating During Pandemic – NBC 7 San Diego

  • October 20, 2020

Since a vaccine is still in the works to combat COVID-19, we’re left trying just about anything to stay as healthy a possible during a pandemic. One thing that everyone can all do, however, is to boost their immune system with healthy foods.

Health professionals tell NBC 7 if someone gets COVID-19 or the flu, or even both, it’ll most likely be much easier to recover if they’ve been eating foods rich in nutrients

These are immune-boosting foods that can help prepare your body to fight off a virus, cold or flu. Those who have a nutrient-packed diet will also find they sleep better and have more energy since they’re consuming the right minerals.

Nutritionists suggest you load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins for dietary success.

It’s also best to plan for groceries so that it could result in purchases of fewer processed, high-salt or high-sugar snacks.

“Processed foods in general, it’s basically synthetic. It’s made from a machine,” said Dr. Amy Lee, who is an expert in weight control, obesity and nutrition. “It’s nothing natural that we actually garden and plant and harvest. So our human bodies basically have to get used to and adapt to all these new synthetic ingredients that we weren’t used to before.”

Lee also suggests families create a schedule or a daily meal plan. A schedule is more predictable for everyone in a household and it can get all involved so they feel connected to the effort in some way, creating motivation.

You can also manage your environment to improve your diet.

If candy and chips aren’t in the kitchen cabinet, then you can’t eat them.

It’s also very important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Health experts recommend that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, but if you’re outside a lot or exercising, it should be more. Stay healthy!

GoodMills Innovation launches immunity-boosting blend for ‘indulgent baked goods with benefits’

GoodMills Innovation launches immunity-boosting blend for ‘indulgent baked goods with benefits’

  • October 20, 2020

According to Jutta Schock, head of Marketing at GoodMills Innovation, until recently, a strong immune system was a topic mainly relegated to the winter cold and flu season.

Today, however, there is more focus on its importance across all seasons and across all generations.

A vigorous disease-fight system is also vital in this age of coronavirus.

Healthy immune system

To respond to demand, GoodMills Innovation has developed GOOD Fibres 10+1.

The mix consists of dietary fibres from 10 different sources, including cereals, vegetables and fruits, which provide valuable food for the body’s intestinal flora and thereby play a key role in supporting a healthy immune system.

The high-fibre mix also enhances its better-for-you proposition with the addition of wheat germ, an original superfood that provides nutrients like folic acid and vitamin E and spermidine, a substance produced naturally in the body to stimulate autophagy, a type of ‘cell recycling’.

Besides dietary fibre, the mix’s components contain other valuable nutrients. For example, tartary buckwheat is rich in zinc and the secondary phytochemical rutin, giving it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

According to the German ingredients supplier, under EU regulations, baked products containing GOOD Fibres 10+1 are entitled to feature immune system and intestinal health claims, when used in sufficient doses.

The ingredient also scores high when it comes to dough yield, dough and processing properties, and baking volume. The water-binding properties of its dietary fibres translate into prolonged freshness, and from sensory viewpoint, the wheatgerm and 10 dietary fibre sources add to the flavour profile.

Can Supplements Help Fight COVID-19? Here’s What We Know

Can Supplements Help Fight COVID-19? Here’s What We Know

  • October 19, 2020

By Laura Beil

Consumers have long turned to vitamins and herbs to try to protect themselves from disease. This pandemic is no different — especially with headlines that scream “This supplement could save you from coronavirus.


It also helps to have celebrity enthusiasts. When President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, his pill arsenal included Vitamin D and zinc. And in an Instagram chat with actress Jennifer Garner in September, infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci touted vitamins C and D as ways that might generally boost the immune system. “If you’re deficient in vitamin D,” he noted, “that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself, taking vitamin D supplements.”

But whether over-the-counter supplements can actually prevent, or even treat, COVID-19, is not clear. Since the disease is so new, researchers haven’t had much time for the kind of large experiments that provide the best answers. Instead, scientists have mostly relied on fresh takes on old data. Some studies have looked at outcomes of patients who routinely take certain supplements — and found some promising hints. But so far there’s little data from the kinds of scientifically rigorous experiments that give doctors confidence when recommending supplements.

Here’s what we know today about three supplements getting plenty of attention around COVID-19.

Vitamin D

What it is: Called “the sunshine vitamin” because the body makes it naturally in the presence of ultraviolet light, Vitamin D is one of the most heavily studied supplements (SN: 1/27/19). Certain foods, including fish and fortified milk products, are also high in the vitamin.

Why it might help: Vitamin D is a hormone building block that helps strengthen the immune system.

How it works for other infections: In 2017, the British Medical Journal published a meta-analysis that suggested a daily vitamin D supplement might help prevent respiratory infections, particularly in people who are deficient in the vitamin.

But one key word here is deficient. That risk is highest during dark winters at high latitudes and among people with more color in their skin (melanin, a pigment that’s higher in darker skin, inhibits the production of vitamin D).

“If you have enough vitamin D in your body, the evidence doesn’t stack up to say that giving you more will make a real difference,” says Susan Lanham-New, head of the Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Surrey in England.

And taking too much can create new health problems, stressing certain internal organs and leading to a dangerously high calcium buildup in the blood. The recommended daily allowance for adults is 600 to 800 International Units per day, and the upper limit is considered to be 4,000 IUs per day.

What we know about Vitamin D and COVID-19: Few studies have looked directly at whether vitamin D makes a difference in COVID.

In May, in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, Lanham-New and her colleagues published a summary of existing evidence and concluded that there’s only enough to recommend vitamin D to help with COVID-19 prevention for people who are deficient. That paper made inferences from how vitamin D works against other respiratory tract infections and immune health.

More than a dozen studies are now testing vitamin D directly for prevention and treatment, including a large one led by JoAnn Manson, a leading expert on vitamin D. An epidemiologist and preventive medicine physician at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. That study will analyze if vitamin D can affect the course of a COVID-19 infection. The trial aims to recruit 2,700 people across the United States with newly diagnosed infections, along with their close household contacts.

The goal is to determine whether newly diagnosed people given high doses of vitamin D — 3,200 IU per day — are less likely than people who get a placebo to experience severe symptoms and need hospitalization. “The biological plausibility for a benefit in COVID is compelling,” she says, given the nutrient’s theoretical ability to impede the severe inflammatory reaction that can follow coronavirus infection. “However the evidence is not conclusive at this time.”

Zinc

What it is: Zinc, a mineral found in cells all over the body, is found naturally in certain meats, beans and oysters.

Why it might help: It plays several supportive roles in the immune system, which is why zinc lozenges are always hot sellers in cold and flu season. Zinc also helps with cell division and growth.

How it works for other infections: Studies of using zinc for colds — which are frequently caused by coronaviruses — suggest that using a supplement right after symptoms start might make them go away quicker. That said, a clinical trial from researchers in Finland and the United Kingdom, published in January in BMJ Open did not find any value for zinc lozenges for the treatment of colds. Some researchers have theorized that inconsistencies in data for colds may be explained by varying amounts of zinc released in different lozenges.

What we know about zinc and COVID-19: The mineral is promising enough that it was added to some early studies of hydroxychloroquine, a drug tested early in the pandemic. (Studies have since shown that hydroxychloroquine can’t prevent or treat COVID-19 (SN: 8/2/20).)

In July, researchers from Aachen University in Germany wrote in Frontiers of Immunology that current evidence “strongly suggests great benefits of zinc supplementation” based on looking at similar infections including SARS, another disease caused by a coronavirus. For example, studies suggest that giving zinc reduces the risk for death from a pneumonia infection. The researchers cite evidence that zinc might help prevent the virus from entering the body, and help slow the virus’s replication when it does.

Another review — also based on indirect evidence — published August 1 in Advances in Integrative Medicine also concluded that zinc might be helpful in people who are deficient.

In September, researchers from Hospital Del Marin Barcelona reported that among 249 patients studied, those who survived COVID had higher zinc levels in their plasma (an average of 63.1 mcg/dl) than those who died (43mcg/dl).

Overall, though, the jury is still out, says Suma Thomas, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, who in June led a team that reviewed the evidence for popular supplements in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. Given what’s already known, zinc could possibly decrease the duration of infection but not the severity of symptoms, she said, particularly among people who are deficient. About a dozen studies are now looking at zinc for COVID treatment, often with other drugs or supplements.

Thomas and her colleagues are comparing symptom severity and future hospitalization in COVID-19 patients who take zinc with and without high doses of vitamin C with those who receive ordinary care without the supplement. Results are expected soon, she says.

Vitamin C

What it is: Also called L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C has a long list of roles in the body. It’s found naturally in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, peppers and tomatoes.

Why it might help: It’s a potent antioxidant that’s important for a healthy immune system and preventing inflammation.

How it works for other infections: Thomas cautions that the data on vitamin C are often contradictory. One review from Chinese researchers, published in February in the Journal of Medical Virology, looked at what is already known about vitamin C and other supplements that might have a role in COVID-19 treatment. Among other encouraging signs, human studies find a lower incidence of pneumonia among people taking vitamin C, “suggesting that vitamin C might prevent the susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections under certain conditions.”

But for preventing colds, a 2013 Cochrane review of 29 studies didn’t support the idea that vitamin C supplements could help in the general population. However, the authors wrote, given that vitamin C is cheap and safe, “it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial.”

What we know about Vitamin C and COVID-19: About a dozen studies are under way or planned to examine whether vitamin C added to coronavirus treatment helps with symptoms or survival, including Thomas’ study at the Cleveland Clinic.

In a review published online in July in Nutrition, researchers from KU Leuven in Belgium concluded that the vitamin may help prevent infection and tamp down the dangerous inflammatory reaction that can cause severe symptoms, based on what is known about how the nutrient works in the body.

Melissa Badowski, a pharmacist who specializes in viral infections at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and colleague Sarah Michienzi published an extensive look at all supplements that might be useful in the coronavirus epidemic. There’s still not enough evidence to know whether they are helpful, the pair concluded in July in Drugs in Context. “It’s not really clear if it’s going to benefit patients,” Badowski says.

And while supplements are generally safe, she adds that nothing is risk free. The best way to avoid infection, she says, is still to follow the advice of epidemiologists and public health experts: “Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart.”

This story was originally published by Science News, a nonprofit independent news organization.

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Coronavirus | Ayurveda supplements see sales boost despite thin research evidence on efficacy

Coronavirus | Ayurveda supplements see sales boost despite thin research evidence on efficacy

  • October 18, 2020

Companies marketing these products have capitalised on the association between COVID-19 and immunity

For a chemist shop that’s usually lined with pharmaceutical drugs, Noida-based proprietor Mahesh Agrawal prominently displays his containers of Dabur Chyawanprash. “There’s a lot of demand for them along with honey and sales have increased ever since the unlockdown began.”

Multiple grocers and stores that sell organic-labelled products say they have been seeing a sharp demand for products that are even tangentially linked to “boosting immunity”.

Amul markets turmeric-flavoured milk called Amul “Haldi Doodh,” that purports to having the “goodness of milk with the centuries old immunity boosting and healing properties of haldi”.

Rising sentiment

A July report by market research company Nielsen says chyawanprash sales have increased by 283% in June, while the sales of branded honey increased by 39%. “There is a rising sentiment towards ‘local’ with increasing support for Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Ayurveda,” the report said.

“From April-June, we saw a nearly 7-fold growth in demand [compared to last year] for Dabur Chyawanprash. Other Ayurvedic products like Ashwagandha, Dabur Giloy Ghanvati, Dabur Health Juices like Amla juice, Giloy-Neem-Tulsi Juice etc, have also reported strong growth,” Mohit Malhotra, CEO, Dabur India, told The Hindu. “People are now more inclined to prophylactic health remedies, especially immunity boosting products. This trend would sustain, going forward.”

Shoppers told The Hindu that while they didn’t believe immunity products would protect them from COVID-19, they saw it as a way to bolster their immune defences. “I regularly take chyawanprash but will never go to an Ayurveda doctor,” said Swapan Banerjee, a teacher. “These products do no harm and play a role in general good health, from my experience but aren’t substitutes for masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds and getting tested.”

Companies that have been marketing these products have capitalised on the association between COVID-19 and immunity and the government’s encouragement of Ayurveda and yoga for mild and moderate infections as well for aiding recovery post COVID-19.

An 11-member committee led by former ICMR chief recommended that in the “short term… “Guduchi(Tinospora cordifolia) aqueous extract, guduchi+pippali (Piper longum), aqueous extracts and AYUSH 64 (a drug with multiple herbs developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences) be recommended for inclusion in the standard care for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19”.

However, a perusal of the research studies listed show that none of them have been fully tested for their effectiveness in COVID management and all the evidence relies on the herbs’ effects in controlling fever in malaria and in recovery from “influenza like illnesses”.

High binding efficacy

Ashwagandha has been recommended by the committee because laboratory studies show that it “inhibited the entry” of the SARS-CoV-2 viruses into healthy cells and guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) showed “high binding efficacy” against SARS-CoV-2 targets involved in attachment and replication of the virus, compared to Favipiravir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir.”

However unlike the latter, these haven’t been tested in controlled, comparative trials. In fact, the most recent human trials show that all of the drugs that in lab studies showed promising anti-viral activity but weren’t significantly effective in improving disease outcomes.

The viral cells, as it is now understood, infiltrate the lung cells and multiply. The SARS-CoV-2, scientists say, is particularly sneaky and the body’s immune system is frequently unable to detect these viral particles early on to neutralise them and keep them proliferating. As has been seen in instances of those suffering a severe infection, the immune system goes into an overdrive. The body is deluged by chemical messengers called cytokines that, while alerting the body’s defence cells to destroy the virus, also trigger inflammation in multiple organs. It’s to stem such over-reaction, that many a time ends up being fatal, that steroids such as dexamethason are administered.

Thus the holy grail of COVID treatment is to ensure that immune system fights the virus without going berserk.

Complex mix of herbs

In the Ayurveda system, chyawanprash is a “complex mix of herbs” and several common herbs — like turmeric, black pepper and ginger infusions contribute in varying measures to keeping the immune system in a state of preparedness against fighting pathogens, said an expert.

“Turmeric, Ashwagandha, giloy all confer varying degree of immunity and may confer varying degrees of benefit to different people, depending on their individual constitution,” said Bhavna Prasher, an Ayurveda doctor and scientist at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology.

In the modern-science view, there are two kinds of immunity: one is ‘innate’ immunity which is the first line of defence against an infection. A class of cells called “natural killer cells” and produced in the bone marrow directly attack infectious microbes. The other, a so-called adaptive immunity, where specialised cells produced in the thymus gland actively monitor — and produce antibodies that are specific to viruses and bacteria. Both systems work in tandem.

Ayurvedic literature, said Prasher, suggests that several of the herbs have been tested in immune disorders and there is evidence to show that many of them have ‘immunomodulatory’ properties, meaning they are able to either amplify or suppress immune system responses.

“They are good at keeping the body or moving it towards a state of homeostasis — a state of internal stability that allows the body to keep itself in a state of health. However, Ayurveda is not only about these formulations and depending on the degree of sickness, there are other interventions. These are popular because they aren’t harmful and generally protective.”

What can vitamin D and zinc do to fight COVID-19?

What can vitamin D and zinc do to fight COVID-19?

  • October 16, 2020

Several recent studies have looked at the impact of vitamin D and zinc on COVID-19.

One study of 489 people found that those who had a vitamin D deficiency were more likely to test positive for the virus.

Another study found that of 50 people with COVID-19 in the hospital, only one needed ICU treatment after being given high doses of vitamin D.

By this point, we’ve all seen patients in the hospital receive these supplements.

The most notable, President Trump, received a mixture of vitamin D and zinc along with a number of other experimental drugs.

Does it work?

According to the National Institutes of Health, because of the suspected benefits, availability and cheap cost, they’d like to find something this simple can cure or prevent coronavirus, but the truth is, it’s not proven yet.

Registered dietitian Erin Gussler explains the possible benefits, “They can help the immune system identify pathogens in the body, so helping the immune system recognize the virus in the body and they also are part of the immune system and the mechanism that blocks the viruses from being able to get into the cells.”

How much vitamin D do I need?

Unfortunately, between working inside and wearing sunscreen, Americans generally don’t soak up enough sun to produce vitamin D.

“You can find it naturally in liver, egg yolks, butter, oily fish,” Gussler said.

Ask your doctor for a blood test to determine how much vitamin D you may need with an over-the-counter pill. Gussler said needs can vary from 1,00 IUs to 50,000 IUs.

Should I take zinc?

“Research is really supporting that zinc supplementation does reduce the severity, the frequency and the duration of the common cold,” Gussler said. “Obviously the research isn’t quite out there on COVID but we can extrapolate that it does have a lot of immune benefits.”

If you’re sick, you may notice a boost of zinc can help you feel better. Both zinc and vitamin D are the main ingredients in many over-the-counter cold medicines.

If you’re not sick, Gussler recommends only taking zinc through a multi-vitamin, typically not large amounts by itself.

“Zinc and copper compete for the same receptor site in the body,” Gussler said. “So, if you do a lot of zinc and not supplementing copper and making sure you’re getting enough copper, you can actually create a copper deficiency which can cause anemia for some people.”

There are some zinc tablets that also contain copper, which you can ask your doctor if that’s a good option for you.

The foods which contain Zinc also contain copper, which naturally helps to balance each other: Meat, shellfish, chickpeas, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds.

Isn’t vitamin D deficiency common in the US?

It sure is!

Vitamin D deficiency is particularly common among Hispanic and black people, two groups who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Vitamin D deficiency is also more common in people who are older, and those who are obese or have high blood pressure. Again, these factors also increase the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

Coronavirus: Can vitamin D really ensure protection against the deadly virus?

Coronavirus: Can vitamin D really ensure protection against the deadly virus?

  • October 16, 2020
According to a recent report by BBC news, scientists have been looking for volunteers to take part in a new trial test that will determine the role of vitamin D in fighting against Covid-19. The trial is led by a group of researchers from Queen Mary University of London and is funded by Barts Charity.

As against the process of developing a vaccine to stop the infection, this new trial will delve deeper into strengthening people’s immune system and improving their health. People who will be participating in the trial will be given a higher dose of Vitamin D than regular supplements, so as to see if there is any visible difference, as per reports.

While vitamin D has remained an important source of nutrient for our body as well as the immune system, it is only proper to first understand how it affects our immune system and whether or not it boosts our health conditions.

The relationship between Vitamin D and the immune system


Our immune system the line of defense that secures our body from possible infection and diseases. However, in order to be able to protect the body and activate its defenses, it must first seek the support of healthy nutrients, especially Vitamin D. With the help of its anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties, Vitamin D ensures the enhancement of immune cells that fight deadly pathogens.

That being said, low level of Vitamin D and vitamin deficiency can be associated with greater risk of acquiring diseases, infections and respiratory problems, which is why Vitamin D becomes extremely crucial for our health.

Can Vitamin D really fight the battle against Covid-19?


Well, there is no standard cure for the deadly virus yet and while each and every one of us has been taking precautions and maintaining social distancing, there have been few studies that have investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements or vitamin D deficiency on the risk of contracting the new coronavirus.

Reportedly, Vitamin D deficiency is more common in elderly people, among those who are overweight, black and Asian – groups that are at a higher risk of contracting the Covid-19 infection.

Therefore, while nothing has been determined at this stage, the new trial test seems to be a ray of hope for many. According to the Principal investigator David Jolliffe, the trial “has the potential to give a definitive answer” to whether vitamin D offers protection against Covid-19. “Vitamin D supplements are low in cost, low in risk and widely accessible; if proven effective, they could significantly aid in our global fight against the virus,” he adds.

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