Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A person with a weakened immune system is an open target for germs, bacteria, viruses, toxins, and free radicals caused by pollution.
Now that we are faced with a frightening pandemic, the need for a superfood has never been more urgent. Organique Açaí contains the highest levels of antioxidants that help boost a person’s immunity and thus, help prevent potential onset of different life-threatening illnesses.
The brand is also sharing this wellness product to the country’s health workers for being the most vulnerable in this fight against COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, aides, lab and medical technologists have been unavoidably exposed to the virus while treating patients suffering from the viral disease.
Organique Inc. President and CEO Catherine Salimbangon is an internationally licensed nurse and former overseas Filipino worker who understands the sheer pressure of often working beyond eight to 12 hours during a health worker’s hospital shift, especially during this pandemic.
The regular intake of Organique Acai Premium Blend, also available in Freeze-Dried Capsules, will greatly help fortify our frontliners’ immunity and provide them the extra energy and mental clarity to perform numerous tasks in the hospital everyday.
Here is the list of hospitals where Organique Inc. has distributed the Organique Acai Premium Blend and Freeze-Dried Capsules to healthcare workers:
1. Makati Medical Center
2. St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City
3. St. Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City
4. Medical City Ortigas
5. Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)
6. San Lazaro Hospital
7. Lung Center of the Philippines
8. Philippine General Hospital
9. Manila Doctors Hospital
11. Philippine Heart Center
12. Cardinal Santos Medical Center
13. Sta. Ana Hospital
14. Quirino Memorial Medical Hospital
15. UST Hospital
16. Dr. Jose Natalio Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center
17. East Avenue Medical Center
18. Veterans Memorial Medical Center
19. Quezon City General Hospital
20. San Juan Medical Center
21. Asian Hospital and Medical Center
22. Perpetual Help Medical Center – Las Piñas Hospital
Valley residents are continuing to work through the slight declining trend of COVID-19, many are still concerned about the safety of themselves and their families. With Maricopa County schools beginning the year with online learning, parents, teachers and students are experiencing overwhelming concerns for how and when in-person learning begins. As these health worries weigh heavily on everyone’s minds, our team at the Keystone Natural Family Medicine Clinic is hoping to provide clarity on how our bodies fight viruses and ways to improve our immune systems to stay healthy.
The human body has a highly sophisticated, well-orchestrated system with many mechanisms to deal with bacteria, viruses, fungi and other pathogens. Schools were made for social interaction, not social distancing. Our immune systems are very able to defend the body against viruses.
To assure people that our bodies are designed to fight off many viruses, there are two main parts of our immune system: the innate and adaptive responses. These will work in tandem to ward off infections.
When a virus enters the body, the innate immune system is triggered. Your body will send white blood cells to meet the virus in an almost immediate response. These first responder cells will attack the pathogen and provide barriers to keep it from spreading through the whole body. This type of defense is happening all the time as we come in contact with countless viruses, oftentimes without us ever knowing it.
When the white blood cells aren’t enough, the immune system will signal its adaptive response to form antibodies, so that the next time your body encounters that virus, it can recognize and respond more efficiently.
Regardless when schools open, and the expectation of a harsh cold and flu season, my Keystone team and I continue to stress that one of the most important things you can do to protect against various pathogens is to boost your immune system to keep it running effectively. There are a few ways you and your families can easily do this:
Eat healthy: The best way to boost your immune system is by eating nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
Sleep: Getting a healthy amount of sleep is one of the best ways you can support a healthy immune system.
Exercise regularly: To keep all your bodily systems functioning normally, getting a healthy amount of regular exercise is extremely important.
Disinfect your hands: Our hands are full of bacteria that we then introduce to our bodies. By washing or disinfecting our hands frequently we can ensure that we are keeping our immune system from fighting off too many viruses at once.
As you can see, our immune systems are designed to fight off viruses. I want to remind everyone to wash your hands regularly, wear a mask or practice social distancing, and stay home if you or a member of your family is sick. However, I want to assure you that our immune systems are ready and able to defend against any viruses they might encounter this fall.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Kristen Bishop is Keystone Natural Family Medicine’s Lead Doctor and Medical Advisor, overseeing all care, its residency program and sees patients as well. As the legislative committee chair for the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association and an Arizona delegate for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Bishop is focused on quality care for all patients at Keystone Natural Family Medicine and strives to bring innovation to Naturopathic Medicine.
Anti-viral foods help boost immunity to fight COVID-19
While the accurate medical treatment is yet to be discovered to deal with this deadly virus, experts feel eating right can help a lot. It is important to include a few food items that are high in anti-viral properties and can create a shield around the body in protecting it against all odds. Necessary food items can boost immunity and keep any kind of viral disease at bay. Below-mentioned are a few basic food ingredients that can help fight COVID-19.
Known for its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, Tulsi must be consumed daily to boost immunity. It is important to have it on an empty stomach. Have five tulsi leaves along with 3-4 peppercorns and one tea spoon honey to boost immunity.
It is a powerful anti-viral ingredient that can be consumed raw, mashed or can be added to soups and salads. To make a simple home remedy, mix chopped raw garlic and cloves with a spoon of raw honey and consume in alternate days. It’s a fantastic way to boost your immune system.
Foods rich in resveratrol such as peanuts, pistachios, grapes, red, white wine, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and even cocoa and dark chocolate are helpful to fight fungal infection, ultraviolet radiation, stress, and injury. They also protect the body against viral attacks.
Avoid other variations of oil and use pure cold-pressed coconut oil or even have it raw. Lauric acid and caprylic acid present in it are essential for boosting the immune system against virals.
Another ingredient that can help in keeping you safe is ginger. It has anti-viral properties, which when mixed with star anise and honey can help control the side effects. This concoction can be consumed 3-4 times a day.
Vitamin-C rich foods
Amla, red peppers, yellow peppers, oranges, guava and papaya are rich in vitamin C and have anti-oxidant and immunity boosting properties. You must have them daily for best results.
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Vijayawada People Performing Yoga | on Sand Dunes | to Boost Immune System to Fight Against COVID-19 (Video)
Vijayawada People Performing Yoga | on Sand Dunes | to Boost Immune System to Fight Against COVID-19
COVID-19 will probably be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. A vaccine has yet to materialize. As the pandemic continues to take a crushing toll, doctors are resorting to a century-old treatment that has been helpful in managing previous pandemics: taking antibodies from those who have recovered and giving it to the sick. It’s known as convalescent plasma therapy, or “survivors’ blood.”
Plasma — the liquid component of blood — contains antibodies. Extracting plasma from someone that has “convalesced,” or recovered, from an illness might provide a much-needed boost to the immune system of someone grappling with coronavirus.
In the past, plasma therapy has been a weapon against the 1918 flu, polio, measles, rabies, hepatitis B and Ebola — with varying levels of success. More recently, it showed some promise in treating other coronaviruses likeSARS and MERS, particularly when given to a patient early in their illness.
There’s reason to be hopeful that plasma therapy can also help battle SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Preliminary studies have found that many patients who received plasma therapy improved. For instance, a trial of 31 severely ill patients from the University of Wisconsin-Madison improved enough to avoid the ICU or a ventilator after receiving plasma. Four patients still died, however.
As scientists and doctors continue to learn about plasma therapy, so will the public. A number of clinical trials are underway and can be viewed onclinicaltrials.gov.
In the meantime, the FDA has green-lighted plasma as an “emergency investigational new drug.” Soon, the agency may authorize it for wider use.
What Is Plasma?
Blood is made of four main components. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body, white blood cells support immune function, and cell fragments called platelets form clots to stop bleeding. The liquid portion is plasma and comprises a little more than 50 percent of blood volume.
Plasma helps circulate proteins, nutrients and hormones throughout the body. But scientists are interested in plasma as a COVID-19 treatment because the substance contains antibodies after an infection. These protective proteins can bind to the surface of an antigen, or a foreign invader, and help the immune system dismantle it.
How Does Plasma Therapy Help?
A plasma transfusion involves removing someantibodies from one person and infusing them intosomeone who is sick, providing an immediate jolt to their immune system. A dose of antibodies doesn’t directly stimulate a person’s immune system to start creating their own antibodies, but it does offer some protection until their own immune system ramps up.
Ultimately, plasma therapy might shorten the length of illness and reduce the severity of the disease. Taken together, it may prevent some of the organ damage and acute respiratory distress complications that develop in a small number of patients.
It’s also important to keep in mind that plasma therapy is not a vaccine. Vaccines use the immune system’s memory response to train it to detect and respond to specific pathogens.
What Are Antibodies and What Do They Do?
Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins produced by B-cells of the immune system to help fight bacteria and viruses. A diverse troupe of10 million B-cells circulates in our bodies. Each type carries receptors for specific threats and secretes antibodies that can bind to antigens, found on the surface of pathogens. When a B-cell encounters its matching antigen, it pumps out distinct antibodies that can neutralize harmful invaders, or mark them for destruction by other immune system cells — namely T-cells.
Some B-cells transform into memory B-cells that remain on the lookout for the pathogen, ready to pump out antibodies again. Much less is known about the role of T-cells in lasting immunity.But scientists have a hunch that memory T-cells — which can remember past infection agents and kill them if they reappear — also provide protection against COVID-19.
Since the coronavirus is new, most uninfected people probably don’t have strong immune defenses built up already.But a recent study showed that some people who haven’t been exposed to the new coronavirus already had T-cells against the virus in their system. This suggests exposure to some other coronaviruses out there (like the common cold) may provide some people’s immune systems with a head start on fighting the new virus.
Right now, there simply isn’t enough convalescent plasma to go around. An uptick in cases in many parts of the United States this summer has caused an emergency shortage of convalescent plasma.The American Red Cross is urging people who recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma to help treat the sick.
(Credit: Anna Fedorova_it/Shutterstock)
While many patients receiving plasma do seem to improve, it’s not always clear why. Over the course of their illness, patients might have receivedother therapies, like the antiviralRemdesivir or the steroidDexamethasone. That makes it difficult to definitively say which treatments, or which combinations, deserve the kudos. Additionally, given the circumstances of the pandemic, many studies aren’tfollowing gold-standard research protocols. A lot of what is known about plasma and COVID-19 has come from small studies that are not randomized, don’t include control groups as comparisons, and might not incorporate measures to account for things like the placebo effect.
At the same time, scientists are looking for ways to harness immune system cells to produce better plasma therapies. Not all antibodies have equal virus-fighting power. Neutralizing antibodies, which can directly dismantle a pathogen, are the most beneficial, yet hard to come by. A recent study of 150 people found that 1 percent of coronavirus survivors hadhigh levels of neutralizing antibodies in their plasma, which was collected an average of 39 days after the onset of symptoms. Scientists think they might be able tocapture and clone the elite B-cells that produce these antibodies and use them as the basis for more effective treatments.
Srinagar: Health experts in Kashmir have warned against excessive intake of vitamins for boosting the immune system.
The immune system is the human body’s primary defense against the infection. In the wake of Covid-19, the market has been flooded with an array of products that claim to boost one’s immunity. It includes AYUSH concoctions, vitamin pills, and zinc tablets.
However, doctors have stressed that in the absence of any scientific study or conclusive evidence, the idea of boosting the immune system is “flawed and unscientific”.
Professor of Surgery at GMC Srinagar Dr. Iqbal Saleem said most people in Kashmir take over the counter preparations like B complex and multivitamins.
“Presently, it is being said that Vitamin C has an immunity booster role. At the same time, it is very difficult to assess what these medicines contain. As of now, I don’t see any evidence of randomized control trials which prove that they are helpful for boosting immunity,” he said.
President Doctors Association Kashmir, Dr. Suhail Naik said immunity is a very complex system consisting of different types of cells and antibodies.
“Some people are taking daily vitamins in order to boost immunity. I wonder if many of them may land into ‘hypervitaminosis’ a dangerous outcome of excessive intake of vitamins particularly A and D,” he said.
Dr. Naik urged people to understand that overreaction of the immune system can give rise to various autoimmune disorders.
“Only vaccines have the potential to boost the immune system with precision against various communicable diseases. Therefore, instead of running and searching for immunity boosters, people should eat a healthy balanced diet, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and get enough sleep,” he added.
Registrar at SMHS Hospital, Dr. Khawar Khan Achakzai said people with low immunity or other immunocompromised state are more prone to COVID‐19.
“There are minerals like Zinc and Iron etc that play a role in the augmentation of the immune response. Even though there isn’t direct evidence linking protection against COVID-19 to these micronutrients, our knowledge of the immune system and its working help us understand how they could actually help against the virus,” he said.
Bengaluru/New Delhi: With no scientifically established treatment for Covid-19 yet and a vaccine still in the trial stage, the buzzword during the past eight months has been ‘immune system’.
Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, over 6.5 lakh people have died across the world, while lakhs of others have been infected. Recovery in most cases has largely been reliant on the human body’s natural defence, the immune system.
Ayurvedic concoctions, fruit juices, vitamin pills, zinc tablets, hand sanitisers, face masks — despite the lockdown, the market has been flooded with an array of products that claim to boost one’s immunity.
Advertisers’ messages seem to indicate that the body’s natural defences can be strengthened or enhanced by the consumption of certain foods or the use of specific products. But can these products really protect you from Covid-19? Or, can functional food or nutraceuticals (dietary supplements) boost your immunity?
“Immunity is a much abused word that people do not fully understand. The immune system is very complex. These claims about boosting immunity are irrational and unscientific,” said Ram Vishwakarma, a noted immunologist and former director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine.
The immune system is activated by things in the body that the body doesn’t recognise as its own, such as bacteria, viruses or even particles that cause allergy, like pollen. Most pathogens have a surface protein on them that the immune system recognises as foreign. These are called antigens.
There are two kinds of immune responses in the human body. The innate immune response is the first to kick in and is common among all animals. It is non-specific and immune cells mount an immediate attack on antigens. The response is subsequently replaced by the adaptive immune response, which tailors defences based on the kind of pathogen that is being encountered.
The innate immune response consists of white blood cells like neutrophils, macrophages, and monocytes, while the adaptive response involves T cells and B cells, as well as antibodies.
The production of these cells and their mechanisms are controlled by cytokines, which are proteins that mediate signalling between immune cells. Their functioning and creation is not controlled or modulated or even improved by foods or products.
“Immunity is not one thing. There is a range of molecules and cells in the body that don’t do anything until they are triggered by some outside stimulus,” Satyajit Rath, immunologist at IISER Pune, told ThePrint.
If by saying that a person has low immunity, one is implying that there is not enough of these (cells and molecules) being produced by the body, by and large it is not true of any healthy adult, Rath said. “A deficiency in any of these leads to major childhood diseases. But in ordinarily healthy people, this is not a problem — so what exactly are we trying to boost?”
One of the consequences of stimulating or activating any of these components in the absence of an infection is inflammation, he added. Inflammation occurs when a site of infection or illness or cellular damage gets swollen, red, warm, sore, and painful.
Stimulated immune systems release pro-inflammatory cytokines in large numbers, which can cause soreness and pain. “So if someone says that they are boosting my immunity, I would be very worried,” said Rath.
Meta analysis of studies and articles on the internet have found that the myth of “boosting immunity” is extremely pervasive. One such study found that of the 37 approaches that claimed to boost immunity, the top ones recorded were diet (77 per cent of webpages), fruit (69 per cent), vitamins (67 per cent), antioxidants (52 per cent), probiotics (51 per cent), minerals (50 per cent), and vitamin C (49 per cent). Interestingly, vaccines ranked 27th, with only 12 per cent of web pages mentioning them.
The root of one of the biggest misconceptions, which is that consuming more vitamins than required helps the immune system, was the speculative and incorrect theories put forth by pioneering chemist Linus Pauling.
While the double Nobel Laureate (Chemistry 1954, Peace 1962) excelled in his field of specialisation, he was criticised for his unproven theories on the immune system even during his time. Most notoriously, Pauling was directly responsible for the myth that Vitamin C can help prevent or cure colds.
Another misconception doing the rounds is that zinc tablets can play a role in mitigating Covid-19. However, this isn’t backed by evidence either.
“Zinc is not an immunity booster. It is an essential mineral for the body which is a ‘cofactor’ for a large number of proteins and enzymes,” Vishwakarma said.
Like zinc, vitamin C is also a cofactor, and is important for the body to function.
In biochemistry, cofactors are non-proteins and can be thought of as helper molecules. They are usually a compound or a metallic ion that is required for an enzyme to act. Cofactors are catalysts — a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction — to many of the body’s essential functions.
“If you have a deficiency of these essential micronutrients, you will face a problem,” Vishwakarma said. But, if a person does not have any such deficiency, an excess amount of the vitamin molecules in the body does not improve one’s chances of fighting off a virus.
“Earlier, when famines were rampant, zinc and vitamin C deficiencies used to be common. Now (they are) rare as both are found in many food sources,” said Sunil K Noothi, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Pathology at University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Unless someone is starving or following an extreme diet depleted of nutrients, zinc and vitamin C deficiencies are rare, he added.
But an extremely “boosted” immune system, in the context of no scientific definition for ‘boosting’, can also be problematic.
In severe Covid-19 cases, the body launches an aggressive immune response resulting in the release of a large amount of pro-inflammatory proteins. This is known as a cytokine storm and is one of the common causes of death in Covid-19 patients.
A cytokine storm occurs when the body’s immune system goes into an overdrive, killing healthy cells and causing organ failures. Several research studies suggest that the cytokine storm causes lung injury and multi-organ failure.
“Why would anyone want to boost the immune system when the culprit behind Covid-19 fatalities is the overactive immune system?” Noothi pointed out.
If immunity cannot be improved, and there are immunocompromised individuals or those who are susceptible to infections, how do they stay safe in a pandemic caused by a highly infectious virus that spreads invisibly?
The most effective way is by keeping our communities safe, said Rath.
“In the community approach, we invest as a community in public hygiene. We have known this for years that public hygiene — separating sewage from drinking water, providing clean air, providing adequate nutrition — are all ways of dealing with infectious disease in the community,” said the immunologist at IISER Pune.
However, most working class houses in India do not have this luxury of basic community hygiene. In the context of Covid-19, most households do not even have the space to maintain physical distancing during a pandemic.
Brands have become experts at exploiting this loophole, putting forth all kinds of miraculous substitutions. And here is where individual consumer capitalism kicks in, said Rath.
“The alternative is for each one of us to be able to buy individual protection. The verb ‘buy’ matters here, because this is about market forces. People are told that they don’t have to worry about community hygiene, instead the businesses sell you a product that they claim will specifically protect you from all sorts of diseases going around,” he said.
What this propagates is the idea that one can stop worrying about what happens in the community if one can afford some remedy that improves their individual and personal protection — that is what this business is all about, explained Rath.
Immunity boosting is a quintessential example of individual consumerism that a capitalistic society depends on, he added.
“The idea of boosting immunity has been around in the country for 30-35 years. It connects to the fact that as India opened up to the consumer market economy, and with that came the idea that ‘affordable’ medicines can boost personal immunity,” Rath said.
The idea is especially pervasive among unproven ‘natural’ remedies.
Agreeing, immunologist Vishwakarma said, “There may be a lot of drug-drug interactions. If people are consuming modern medicines, and then also start consuming potentially medicinal herbs, we do not know (how) the components of the herb will interact with the drug. These unapproved medications have adverse effects on your kidney and liver.”
In light of the pandemic, it is not just foods but also products that have sprouted in the market that claim to boost immunity. This isn’t new either. Back in 1918, when the Spanish Flu was raging, companies jumped in on the opportunity to hail themselves as immunity boosting.
However, no products were ever proven to be effective in improving immune responses. There is also no conclusive, unequivocal clinical proof of efficacy for most nutraceuticals or “immunity boosting” foods, said Vishwakarma.
There are indeed processes that do affect our immune cells and improve their responses. The best one of them, perhaps, is exercise.
Exercise or intense physical activity results in cellular damage and induces an immune response, which floods sites of damage with immune cells. Many studies have shown that moderate exercise of less than 60 minutes can improve the circulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines, neutrophils, natural killer cells, T cells and B cells.
This can work effectively — not for combating diseases at a specific point in time, but to combat stress hormones in general, which can suppress immune cell function.
However, while the nature of these immune responses is transient, the selective response over a period of time can train a subset of immune cells to jump into action more effectively when needed. This would also increase immunosurveillance (monitoring for foreign bodies) in our system, especially among those who might be obese or suffer from lifestyle diseases like Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Proinflammatory cytokines do not reach high levels during moderate, short-duration exercise, but they can do so during high intensity exercise. Extremely high intensity exercise leads to a short duration of compromised immunity, increasing risk for disease in this time period. This is one of the reasons marathon runners or professional sports persons tend to catch a fever or cold in the days following a sporting event.
The immune system can also be compromised by many lifestyle habits such as smoking, which is known to affect T and B cells, among a host of other parameters.
Lifestyle diseases like Type 2 diabetes by themselves result in compromised immune systems. High blood glucose levels due to insufficient insulin results in an inflammatory response, which damages pancreatic cells and leads to hyperglycemia, which in turn causes dysfunction in immune response. This is why diabetic patients are particularly susceptible to other kinds of infections.
However, there currently exists no evidence of any consumable foods or topical use of products being able to induce an improvement in immune function. The only scientifically proven way to boost immunity, the immune system, and an immune response is through vaccinations.
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PETA Sends Derry Township Chair a Box of Vegan Chocolates, Asks for Help Encouraging Residents to Choose Healthy, Humane, Meat-Free Meals
For Immediate Release: July 29, 2020
Contact: Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Hershey, Pa. – As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Pennsylvania, PETA sent a letter this afternoon to the chair of Derry Township—the home of Hershey, the chocolate capitol of the U.S.—to encourage all residents to help prevent future pandemics, safeguard their own health, and save animals’ lives by going vegan.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—is also sending the chair a box of delicious vegan chocolates shaped like chickens, frogs, and bats, noting that these “animals” can be eaten without risking another pandemic. COVID-19 apparently originated in a Chinese “wet market,” in which animals are sold for human consumption. PETA is encouraging the township’s residents to extend compassion to all animals, including chickens and cows.
“The next SARS, swine flu, bird flu, or COVID-19 will be just around the corner as long as people keep eating animals,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA stands ready with free vegan starter kits and mentors to help everyone boost their immune system and help prevent future pandemics through delicious, humane, vegan meals.”
PETA’s letter to Derry Township Chair Chris Abruzzo follows.
July 29, 2020
The Honorable Chris Abruzzo Chair of Derry Township
Dear Mr. Abruzzo,
Greetings from PETA. As cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in Derry Township and throughout Dauphin County, putting public health at risk, I’m writing with a lifesaving suggestion: Encourage all residents to eat vegan. PETA stands ready to help them make the switch by offering resources such as our free vegan starter kits and our free vegan mentor services. We’ll also be sending you a box of dairy-free chocolates in the shapes of chickens, frogs, and bats—the only kind of “animals” that can be eaten compassionately and safely.
COVID-19, swine flu, avian flu, mad cow disease, SARS, Ebola, and AIDS are all linked to the production or consumption of meat, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals. As long as animals are bred, confined in their own filth, and slaughtered, it’s not a matter of if another pandemic will occur but when.
A researcher says that vitamin D is like a steroid and is urging the public to spend some time outside soaking in the sunshine vitamin, while another urges caution saying that other factors may be at play.
Based on findings published in The FEBS Journal, Israeli researchers have concluded that good levels of vitamin D may help people to fight the coronavirus more effectively and quickly, as well as reducing the chances of hospitalization. While this comes as good news, and supports other research suggesting the same, still other researchers are cautioning broad conclusions saying that other factors may be involved.
This was a joint effort with Leumit Health Services to investigate whether there is a basis to suggestions of vitamin D being helpful in the current pandemic, and after publishing what she says may be the world’s largest population based study of its kind, Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern who is the head of Bar Ilan University’s Lab for the BioComputing of Complex Diseases, said that vitamin D is “like a steroid.” This study compared those with negative results, to those who tested positive and those who were hospitalized and reported significant differences in their vitamin D levels.
7,807 samples from Israelis who tested for coronavirus were studied, findings showed that the average vitamin D level for those who screened as being negative were within the internationally accepted adequate range levels, while those who were positive fell into the category of inadequate levels.
Levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood are considered to be inadequate levels of vitamin D. According to the researchers those in the sampling who tested negative were on average within the adequate range with a mean vitamin D count of 21 nanograms per milliliter, while those who tested positive were on average within the inadequate range with a mean vitamin D count of 19 nanograms per milliliter; and those who went on to be hospitalized had a mean vitamin D count of 17 nanograms per milliliter.
In this study those who were aged 50+ were twice as likely to find themselves admitted to hospital with COVID-19 if they had low levels of vitamin D compared to those of a similar age who had adequate levels of vitamin D; and those aged 25-49 with low levels of vitamin D were 1.45 times more likely to be hospitalized than those with adequate levels, according to Frenkel-Morgenstern.
Frenkel-Morgenstern does not think that vitamin D will prevent people from catching coronavirus, rather she believes that it boosts the body’s ability to fight it off once infected. She suggests that these results reflect that vitamin D is helping some people to experience relatively light effects from the virus and to stay out of the hospital, while others are ridding themselves of the virus before getting tested. Based on her findings she is suggesting that it is urgent, even during mid-pandemic, that people get outside and boost their vitamin D levels, as the prevalence of low levels of vitamin D is widespread internationally.
Frenkel-Morgenstern also says that her findings should help to guide public policy as ironically the lockdowns and people avoiding outings are actually contributing to the low levels of vitamin D, and it is putting people at an increased risk, especially if they already had low levels.
“The problem now is people stay indoors or in cars all day, not going to beaches, do not have the sun exposure,” she said, adding that she believed the best action people can take is ensuring they are spending time outside.
Frenkel-Morgenstern argues that health officials and authorities need to factor in vitamin D requirements for the human body into future restrictions, and they should avoid closing public outdoor spaces such as nature reserves and beaches. “This is why it’s so important to not close the beaches in any future lockdown,” she said. “People should go to the sun, to the sea.”
Internationally there are increasing suggestions that good vitamin D levels, which have long been thought to have a range of health benefits, have helped people to deal with illness including coronavirus. Recently a German study concluded that “much more attention should be paid to the importance of vitamin D status for the development and course of the disease.”
This study involved 7,025 negative and 782 COVID-19 positive patients who were members of Leumit Health Services. The Israeli HMO was involved in the research process and said that these findings stand up to scrutiny “even after adjustment for age, gender, socio-economic status and chronic, mental and physical disorders.”
Still others such as Ella Sklan, who is head of a molecular virology lab at Tel Aviv University and is not connected to this study, thinks that people should keep the results of vitamin D research in perspective. She suggests that vitamin D is good for the immune system, but thinks that studies indicating benefits for coronavirus may be reflecting other variables such as levels of physical activity that may be impacting health.
“People want to find something magic that will change everyone’s life now, but I wouldn’t rely on this thinking,” Sklan said.
Still, Frenkel-Morgenstern is not suggesting this is a cure or will magically prevent anyone from becoming ill, she is suggesting that these findings indicate vitamin D may help to boost the immune system and improve the body’s ability to fight infection compared to those with inadequate levels.
Tracy Kiss calls herself a “natural vegan bodybuilder.” Which is confusing, because semen is definitely derived from animals. But, Kiss insists, it’s also an essential multivitamin that helps keep her in shape — and, perhaps most crucially, boosts her immune system to prevent infection by the novel coronavirus. From The Sun:
The personal trainer has also been putting the product on her skin, which she dubs “nature’s multivitamin”, as part of healthcare routine for more than three years.
She reckons it’s packed with vitamin C, calcium and magnesium – so is urging people to use semen to keep healthy during the pandemic.
Mum-of-two Tracey, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, said: “It isn’t for everyone but it is packed full of vitamins and I haven’t had a cold or flu ever since drinking it in 2017 – I also put it on my face to clear up my skin.
“The purity of it is just wonderful.”
To be clear, there is no scientific evidence to support Kiss’s theory. I’m fairly certain there’s no evidence to support the idea that semen is vegan friendly, either, but what do I know.
If you can’t or won’t or just don’t drink cow milk, Starbucks has a new option for you.
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