Pandemic-Era Shoppers Splurge on Vitamins, Boosting Nestlé Sales

Pandemic-Era Shoppers Splurge on Vitamins, Boosting Nestlé Sales

  • October 21, 2020

Nestlé SA


NSRGY 0.35%

said the pandemic has increased consumers’ health consciousness, boosting its small but fast-growing health-sciences unit and contributing to better-than-expected overall sales at the world’s largest packaged-food maker.

The owner of Nescafe coffee, DiGiorno frozen pizza and Purina pet food has previously benefited from a pandemic-era shift by consumers to comfort food—particularly big, trusted brands—as they stocked up and stayed home during lockdowns.

As the pandemic wears on, companies are now getting a boost as consumers gravitate toward products that boost health, particularly the immune system.

Nestlé’s health-science business has been one of its lesser-known divisions for years, but Chief Executive Mark Schneider, a former health-care executive who took the reins in 2017, has turned it into a focus area amid a wide-ranging portfolio shake-up. The unit represents only about 3% of Nestlé’s overall sales, but Mr. Schneider said Wednesday he wanted it to become “a health and nutrition powerhouse” through acquisitions and organic growth.

Nestlé said the unit delivered double-digit sales growth in the first nine months of the year, but didn’t detail its performance any further in a sales update released Wednesday.

Demand for vitamins, minerals and supplements was strong, the company said. Supplement brands Garden of Life and Pure Encapsulations sold particularly well online. So called healthy-aging products grew at a double-digit rate in the nine-month period, Nestlé said, with help from Boost, a nutritional drink brand, in North America and Nutren, a line of nutritional supplements, in Brazil.

Health-science sales lifted overall revenue, which was powered by strong pet food and coffee sales. Nestlé said organic sales, which strip out currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, grew 3.5% in the first nine months of the year, beating analysts’ estimates of 2.8%. Results were driven almost entirely by volume growth. The company upgraded its guidance for the year, saying it now expects organic sales growth of around 3%, from a prior forecast of between 2% and 3%.

Nestlé shares were largely unchanged in late morning trading in Europe.

Net sales fell 9.4%, to 61.91 billion Swiss francs, equivalent to $68.24 billion, dragged down by currency changes and divestitures. Mr. Schneider has sold a string of assets, including Nestlé’s skin-health arm and U.S. ice-cream business, as he pivots toward categories he sees as higher growth.

Other companies have reported sales boosts amid a shift in health consciousness by consumers.

Conagra Brands Inc.

says its Healthy Choice frozen meals are on the rise.

Reckitt Benckiser Group

PLC this week said its Airborne brand, a supplement advertised as boosting the immune system, more than doubled revenue in the third quarter.

Others have moved to take advantage of the increased concern about health during the pandemic.

Unilever

PLC has doubled the amount of zinc that goes in its Horlicks brand, a malted milk bestseller in India, and is marketing what it says are the brand’s immunity-boosting benefits.

Nestlé has a head start, having set up the health-science business in 2011 under former CEO Paul Bulcke, now the company’s chairman. His vision was to use specialist food-based products to help prevent and treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and heart disease. Nestle has also been investing in treatments and medicine.

It has made a long string of acquisitions to bolster the unit, earlier this month closing a deal to buy a California-based biopharmaceutical company that has won approval for the first treatment for peanut allergies. The acquisition valued Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. at $2.6 billion, including debt, and analysts expect Nestle to keep doing big deals.

This year, Nestlé bought a gastrointestinal medication brand and took a majority stake in a company that makes collagen supplements.

Still, for all the focus on it, the health-science arm remains far smaller than older units such as coffee and petcare, which remained the main drivers of Nestlé’s strong sales for the period. Pet food, where sales rose 4.1% in the nine months, has performed well for years.

The company said its dairy and cooking-aids arms also did well. Confectionery and bottled water dragged down the results, with both categories heavily dependent on tourism and shoppers being out and about.

After lifting lockdowns, many countries—particularly in Europe—are now implementing strict bans on movement again to stem the spread of the virus. Nestle said the out-of-home sales channel overall “remained significantly negative,” but sales declines moderated in the third quarter.

Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at saabira.chaudhuri@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Health: Boost Your Immunity: The natural way (10/21/20)

Health: Boost Your Immunity: The natural way (10/21/20)

  • October 21, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

As we approach flu season this winter in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important now more than ever to ensure you are doing all you can to keep your body healthy.

Becky Brown, co-owner of Natural Health Organic Foods in Cape Girardeau, lives out a holistic approach to health.

“It’s an all-around approach that includes getting rest, reducing stress, getting plenty of exercise, eating a diet rich in whole foods, watching sugar intake and having a supplement system that supports the immune system,” Brown says.

Although Brown is clear this is not a prescription to treat any specific diagnosis, here are three tips she recommends for those who want to boost their immune health:

1. Eat good-quality, whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats to help the body maintain health. Citrus fruits such as oranges, kiwis and strawberries provide Vitamin C that boosts the immune system. Mushrooms, eggs and salmon provide good sources of Vitamin D; nuts, beans and whole grains are rich in zinc. When working toward immune system health, these are three good vitamins and minerals with which to fuel your body.

2. Limit intake of processed foods and sugar. Some studies have shown consuming processed sugar negatively affects the way the white blood cells attack bacteria. According to board-certified internist and gastroenterologist Niket Sonpal in the Huffpost article “Eating Sugar Can Weaken Your Immune System. Here’s What to Know.,” eating 75 to 100 grams of sugar — the equivalent of two cans of soda — can suppress the immune system for up to five hours after it is consumed.

3. Take supplements as necessary. The typical American diet doesn’t offer the vitamin and mineral profile it once did. Fill in any nutrient gaps in your diet by implementing a supplement system to ensure your body is receiving everything it needs to help you stay healthy.


Natural Health Organic Foods

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Man in the shower

The Health and Fitness Benefits of a Cold Shower

  • October 21, 2020

It’s Time You Start Turning That Shower Dial to Cold

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As temperatures start to plummet, you pack away your summer wardrobe and unwrap your winter layers, the last thing you would expect to do is take a cold shower. However, research has shown that cold showers can be immensely beneficial for the body and mind, often resulting in a strengthened immune system, mood boost, pain relief, and body regulation.

RELATED: Top Health and Fitness Trends for 2020

If you thought cold showers were limited to hard-core athletes, ice bucket challengers, or to reduce unwanted urges – think again, as the likes of Tony Robbins, Robin Sharma, Miranda Kerr, Madonna, and Lady Gaga are all big advocates. Not to mention, Ian Fleming’s iconic 007 has been widely referenced for taking “Scottish Showers” (a piping hot shower immediately followed by one-minute of ice-cold water).


When Did the Cold Shower Trend Start?


Contrary to popular belief, the practice of diving into a cold shower is not new. Hippocrates and Plato have both been recorded as early adopters, in addition to people from ancient Asia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Though in the last decade a trend seems to have formed, with the concept most recently being highlighted in a Goop Lab episode, featuring Dutch athlete Wim Hof.

Hof, nicknamed the “The Iceman” is notably the most referenced on Google and amongst cold water enthusiasts for his brave ideals. He recently released a book, detailing his method, but in a nutshell, the foundation of it is built on breathing techniques, cold therapy (submerging the body in icy cold water or snow), and commitment. Sure, this might all sound a bit extreme but research shows that it can have a positive impact on your health and fitness the more it’s practiced.

If you want to start small with your cold dips, no judgment here. Triathlete Joel Runyon, who delivered a Ted Talk on his challenge to complete 30 days of cold showers, swears that taking cold showers for just five-minutes a day made him both mentally and physically stronger because it allowed him to embrace feeling uncomfortable. This challenge became a habit and lead him to complete an Ironman and Ultramarathon, start his own business, and get into the best shape of his life.


What Happens When You Take a Cold Shower?


Let’s break the ice. There’s a reason why the majority of people are not rushing to take cold showers. However, the minority who do give it a go more than once, tend to stick with it. The act of engulfing your body into cold water triggers a fight or flight response, releasing a surge of ‘stress hormones,’ including cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline (the adrenal hormone that raises your spirits). This then makes your heart rate shoot up and causes you to breathe harder.

If you decide to keep at it, this process will become like second nature to you and you will be better able to control stressful situations by calming your chemical and hormonal changes – ‘hormetic stressors’ – that also occur when you exercise.


RELATED: How to Boost Your Immune System


Health and Fitness Benefits of Taking a Cold Shower


1. Boosts Your Mood

Seeking your next pick-me-up? The British Medical Journal found that wild swimming (swimming outdoors, commonly in cold water) has neuroprotective and therapeutic effects that can instantly provide an energy lift to those who have symptoms of depression. While you might not have access to a pool or large body of water suitable for swimming, a similar experience can be recreated in your morning shower. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to feel more revitalized and alert in the early a.m?

In some cases, cold hydrotherapy (water therapy) has been used as an alternative treatment to antidepressant medication, as it has been linked to having similar effects on the body. When you shiver, you breathe harder, so the body can take in more oxygen, and that gets distributed faster to keep the body warm which can feel like a mental boost.

In the TV series Easy Ways to Live Well, Celebrity chef and self-proclaimed worrier Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tried taking three- to five-minute cold showers every day (under the guidance of Dr. Zoe William) for a process called cross-adaption; to help calm his anxiety. The results showed, after completing a series of psychological tests, his scores for tension and anxiety had decreased by 50 percent, his stress response had lowered, and three months post-experiment he still practices cold water therapy every day.

2. Relieves Pain

An ice pack or a cold compress are commonly used for pain relief, and cold water in the shower works no differently. It’s been said that Hippocrates recommended bathing in spring water to ‘allay lassitude’ and often now, people are prescribed the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to alleviate pain and swelling.

Ever felt muscle tightness or throbbing after a strenuous workout? This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). With a cold shower, you can help reduce any swelling and inflammation in your body that is occurring from DOMS. Not to mention, the cold will reduce your perception of pain, since it slows the nervous system’s transmission of pain signals to the brain. Research has actually found that taking cold water baths after working out was more beneficial in helping sore muscles than simply resting.

3. Supports the Immune System

We all strive to be pillars of health. While some may reach for a multivitamin, burn soothing oils, and/or eat all the organic produce they can get their hands on, adding a burst of frost to your day should be added to that list of immune-boosting practices, too.

Within the last five years, there has been new evidence that shows a quick 30- to 90-second hot-to-cold shower helped decrease participants’ number of sick days at work and improved their overall productivity.

Gillian Ehrlich, DNP, ARNP, and Gut Council Member for Jetson Probiotics says “the gut holds almost 70 percent of the immune system and cold water immersion stimulates immune activity, as it can increase a whole variety of immune cells.”

4. Improves Circulation

While exercise and movement are, of course, critical components in maintaining strong circulation, cold water can help give it a boost, as well. Since cold water stimulates blood flow around your vital organs, when done regularly, it can help muscles and other tissues repair, meaning you will be at a reduced chance of headaches, muscle cramping, high blood pressure, and blood clots.

5. Aids Weight Loss

Your body burns calories when it’s trying to keep you warm – it’s a fact. If you start to shiver your body will burn more calories and can, in turn, produce more brown adipose tissue aka brown fat. This is a tissue we are all born with, it breaks down blood sugar and fat molecules to create heat and maintain body temperature.

A study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that taking a cold shower every day could help you lose up to nine pounds a year.

6. Benefits Hair and Skin

Consistent use of hot water strips away some of the natural protective oils from your skin and scalp. If you suffer from skin irritation or dandruff, it’s recommended that you turn the tap to cold, or at least warm in your next shower. This will make a big difference long-term for both your hair and skin to help soothe, brighten, refresh, and shrink pores.

Celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab says “for the skin, a cold shower will help reduce inflammation, swelling, and puffiness. Whether it’s a sauna, an ice bath, or a cold shower, less is more and it shouldn’t be for more than 60 to 90 seconds. You don’t have to worry about going to a cryo facility and can easily create the same effect at home.”

7. Could Save Your Life

Dr. Chris van Tulleken, on the Trust Me, I’m a Doctor video series, explained that if you fall into cold water, the temperature often triggers a shock reaction that makes you gasp and inhale water, which can be a fatal response. Conditioning yourself with cold showers will give your body the tools it needs to respond in a calmer fashion, should you ever run into this kind of emergency scenario.


How to Start Taking Cold Showers


Here’s the fun part. Depending on your comfort threshold, you may want to jump straight into that five-minute cold shower or gradually build up your tolerance by easing yourself into it, going from hot-to-warm-to-cold. There is no right or wrong way to start, but keep in mind, the colder the water the more benefits you’ll reap. Ridge Davis, a Puma sponsored athlete and trainer at The Wall Fitness recommends you take a cold one “Five to six times a week. Starting with one-minute each day and increasing the time week after week until your entire shower is at a cold temperature.”

Also, don’t forget to have a warm towel nearby when you’re done.

Note: If you have any medical conditions please contact your doctor before attempting to take a cold shower.


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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!

Best Supplement To Boost Your Immune System

Best Supplement To Boost Your Immune System

  • October 20, 2020

I’m a huge fan of using natural health alternatives to prevent me from getting sick — but at the same time, I’m really skeptical of them. Why? The natural health industry is largely unregulated, and as a result, those who manufacture vitamins and supplements aren’t really held to strict quality standards.

Every once in a while, though, I’ll come across a supplement that has the research to back it up and the results to keep me coming back for more. Beekeeper’s Naturals bee propolis throat spray is one of them. I’m currently on my fourth bottle, and it’s one of my all-time favorite immune-boosting supplements because it’s convenient, tasty, and (most importantly) effective.

First, the research: Science considers bee propolis to be one of the “most promising immunomodulation agents,” meaning it’s extremely effective when it comes to stimulating the immune system. Since bee propolis comes from honey bees (it’s a waxy resin that’s used to seal and repair their hives), it’s all-natural.

I’ve written about bee-based flu remedies before (I still use this manuka honey nasal swab on the reg), but since I’ve added this throat spray to my health regimen as well, I haven’t gotten sick once. Not even during flu season.

Basically, it contains 95% high-grade bee propolis, which does various things simultaneously: For one, it coats the throat to ease soreness and irritation. For another, it’s antibacterial and antiviral to help your body fight invaders. Finally, it introduces over 300 beneficial compounds into your body, which help to stimulate your immune system so you’re protected down the line.

The company goes above and beyond to meet strict quality standards. They’re obsessed with sustainability, painstakingly thorough with their testing, and extremely transparent with their ingredients. This spray in particular skips all of the refined sugars, artificial colors and preservatives, and GMOs. It’s also free from common allergens like soy, wheat, gluten, yeast, corn, dairy, and eggs.

Since it comes in a portable 1-ounce spray bottle, you can bring it anywhere with you for on-the-go use — and even though it’s extremely good for you, it tastes almost like candy.

Beekeeper’s Naturals Spray – 95% Bee Propolis Extract

Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations. Don’t forget to check out our coupon site to find deals from Sephora, CVS, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

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.

Startup that aims to boost dairy cows' health nabs $20 million investment

Startup that aims to boost dairy cows’ health nabs $20 million investment

  • October 19, 2020

NovaQuest Capital Management LLC, an investor in life sciences and healthcare, said Monday it has invested $20 million in Israeli biopharmaceutical firm Mileutis Ltd. to develop a product that aims to cut the use of antibiotics in animals.

NovaQuest’s investment will further the development of Mileutis’s biologically sourced and residue-free therapies for animal health, and help bring them to market, the companies said in a statement.

NovaQuest’s investment is its first ever in the animal health care field and in an Israeli company, the statement said.

Mileutis’s product, which is in “advanced stages of development,” addresses a major concern in the dairy industry: bovine mastitis. The disease is the most frequent in dairy herds worldwide, affecting the mammary gland and udder tissue in dairy cows.

Imilac, is an intramammary syringe that contains peptides and specific protein fragments that stimulate the immune system of cows; it is being developed by Israeli startup Mileutis (Courtesy)

The disease can impair milk-secreting tissues in cattle, causing lower milk production, lower quality of milk, and death. According to the University of Glasgow, the global losses to the dairy industry caused by bovine mastitis are around $19.7 billion to $30 billion annually.

Currently, antibiotics are the main therapy used in treating mastitis and are routinely administered once a year. However, antimicrobial resistance and the overuse of antibiotics have led researchers, regulators, policy makers and communities around the world to look for new and safer treatments.

Mileutis is developing residue-free natural proteins based on early research conducted at Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization (Volcani Center), and at Mileutis. The company believes that the line of patented biopharmaceuticals it is developing will “revolutionize” the way veterinarians manage mastitis and treat a wide range of diseases. The firm hopes to eventually use the natural peptides it is developing for human health as well.

The first patented product, called Imilac, is an intramammary syringe that contains peptides and specific protein fragments that stimulate the immune system, improving the health of herds and helping prevent bovine mastitis. Intramammary syringes have a soft needle with which a pharmaceutical product can be injected into the udder.

Mileutis founders, right-to-left, David Javier Iscovich, CEO, and Jose Iscovich, president (Eyal-Toueg)

“By replacing antibiotics in animals such as dairy cows with safer biopharmaceuticals, we will protect animals and save people from the health damages associated with the development of antibiotic resistance,” David Javier Iscovich, CEO and co-founder of Mileutis, said in the statement. “Our platform, which acts by stimulating the immune system, will pave the way towards the development of additional therapies for both animal health and human health.”

Mileutis said its product is supported by “statistically significant results” obtained in a number of case-controlled, randomized, multi-center clinical trials.

NovaQuest Capital Management, with $2 billion under management, is an investor in life sciences and healthcare. The firm was set up 20 years ago to provide strategic capital to life sciences and healthcare companies.

“We believe Mileutis’ product line and technology platform represent a paradigm shift that is much needed in the industry that will not only improve animal and human health by enabling more sustainable milk production, but will also enhance the wellbeing of dairy cows,” said Brian Axe, NovaQuest principal.

Set up in 2004, the Ness Ziona, Israel-based firm was founded by David Iscovich and his father, Jose.

How Are Vaccines Developed, and How Do They Work? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

How Are Vaccines Developed, and How Do They Work? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

  • October 19, 2020

Vaccines are a pillar of good public health. And as the world continues to fight COVID-19, there’s much anticipation for a safe and effective vaccine that can help get the pandemic under control.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Vaccines save millions of lives each year from deadly diseases caused by viruses or bacteria. “Diseases such as smallpox and polio that were killers a century or two ago are now barely blips in our conscience,” notes pulmonologist Daniel Culver, DO.

They’re crucial to fighting infectious diseases — yet there’s still a lot of misinformation floating around about vaccines. Here’s what you should know about how they’re developed, how they work and how scientists are making progress on vaccines for COVID-19.

How do vaccines work?

You encounter thousands of germs every day. While your immune system can fight most of them on its own, vaccines help it fight the disease-causing ones (pathogens) it can’t handle.

Vaccines familiarize your immune system — which makes antibodies to defend your body against harmful invaders — with a certain pathogen so that it will know what to do if you become infected with that pathogen in the future.

There are several different ways that vaccines can achieve this triggering of the immune system, Dr. Culver says. They contain either:

  • A weakened (attenuated) form of a pathogen.
  • An inactivated form of a pathogen.
  • Certain parts of the pathogen, such as its proteins.
  • A weakened toxin made by the pathogen.

Vaccines may also contain other ingredients such as adjuvants, which help boost your body’s immune response to the vaccine, and stabilizers, which keep the active ingredients working after the vaccine is made.

It’s important to note that vaccines don’t make you sick with the pathogen they’re designed to protect you from. Rather, they give your immune system a practice run at taking out a weaker, inactivated or partial version of the pathogen.

Very rarely, vaccines can cause severe physical reactions, but usually they’re mild — like some soreness where the vaccine was injected, a low-grade fever or achiness. “This really means the immune system is sitting up and taking notice of the vaccine,” Dr. Culver says.

In some cases, like with the MMR vaccine, you need more than one dose of a vaccine to build strong immunity. With others, like the tetanus vaccine, your immunity wears off over time and you need occasional “booster” vaccines. In the case of the flu vaccine, the main targets of the immune response shift slightly from year to year, depending on which flu virus strains are circulating most that year, so you need a vaccine every year.

How vaccines protect you (and others)

Most vaccines won’t prevent you from becoming infected with a certain pathogen. Rather, they allow your body to stop the infection before you get sick, or they prevent you from becoming seriously sick when you get infected.

For example, the flu shot reduces your risk of getting the flu by 40% to 60%, according to the CDC. That might not seem like a lot, but studies also estimate that getting the flu vaccine makes you 82% less likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit with flu-related illness than someone who isn’t vaccinated.

This helps you, and it also helps those around you, including people in your community who can’t be vaccinated because of serious allergies or a medical condition that weakens their immune system. Pathogens can spread quickly from person to person. When a large number of people in a community are vaccinated, the pathogen can’t spread as easily.

“If that number gets high enough, we’ll have what’s called herd immunity, where there aren’t enough people in a community who can spread it in a significant way,” Dr. Culver says.

What vaccines do we need?

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children be vaccinated against:

  • Hepatitis B.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Haemophilus influenza type b.
  • Polio.
  • Pneumococcal bacteria.
  • Rotavirus.
  • Influenza.
  • Chickenpox.
  • Hepatitis A.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella.
  • Meningococcal disease.
  • Human pappilomavirus.

There are also some vaccines you should get later in life, including tetanus boosters. The CDC’s recommended immunization schedules for children and adults are available on its website.

How are vaccines developed?

Like medicines, vaccines go through a long process of research, development and approval before they’re made available to the public. “The usual timeline for developing a vaccine is certainly more than 10 years and probably closer to 15 or 20 years,” Dr. Culver says.

Exploratory and pre-clinical research

It starts in a lab, where scientists work to understand a pathogen and figure out how they could trigger the immune system to produce antibodies against it. When they identify a substance they think could work (an antigen), they start by testing it in cell cultures and then animals.

In the U.S., the sponsor of a new vaccine must submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration before they can begin testing it in humans.

Clinical trials

Vaccine developers must complete a three-phase clinical trial process to show that their product is safe and effective before it can be approved. This includes:

  • Phase 1: A small number of people (usually healthy people) receive the vaccine. The purpose of a phase 1 trial is to see whether, or how, the vaccine generates an immune response in humans and if it causes any potentially dangerous side effects.
  • Phase 2: The vaccine is given to more people (at least several hundred) of various ages and levels of health. Phase 2 studies allow researchers to better evaluate how safe and effective the vaccine is and learn what the ideal dosage is.
  • Phase 3: Hundreds or thousands of people receive the vaccine, and its safety and effectiveness are monitored for a longer period of time.

Regulatory review

In the U.S., the FDA must approve a new vaccine before it can be made available to the public. “Regulators look at all the safety and effectiveness data collected from lab studies and clinical trials and then make a determination on whether or not this will be a product that actually will be helpful for the population,” Dr. Culver explains.

Once it’s approved, the vaccine then must be manufactured and distributed, which is a complex and time-consuming process. But not a lot of vaccines actually make it this far.

“Vaccines are very hard to develop,” Dr. Culver says. “Sometimes they may look very good in early-phase trials but then may not turn out to effective in phase 3 trials.”

If a vaccine is approved, regulators and drug companies continue to monitor its safety and effectiveness as more people take it.

What’s going on with development of a COVID-19 vaccine?

Because of the global crisis at hand, work on a vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is happening at lightning speed. “Biopharmaceutical companies and the academic industry — with a lot of support from organizations and governments around the world — are all working in partnership to try to move this very fast,” Dr. Culver says.

That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re skipping important steps along the way, though. “The process of developing this vaccine is being done very rigorously,” he says. “Many of these steps have been collapsed so that they’re overlapping. For example, manufacturing is already happening so that we can go ahead and start distributing those almost immediately if they are given emergency use authorization by the FDA.”

With nearly 200 vaccines currently in development or testing, there’s a lot of opportunity to find at least one that’s safe and effective. A few vaccines have already progressed to phase 3 clinical trials, and Dr. Culver says data from some of those studies could be available by the end of the year.

Different groups are taking different approaches to triggering an immune response. Some are using an inactivated, weakened or partial version of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to trigger an immune response. But Dr. Culver points out that many are using newer, gene-based approaches that deliver genetic code to our cells instructing them to make a specific protein contained in the coronavirus. This, in turn, triggers the immune system to make antibodies against that protein.

There are three main ways vaccine developers are hoping to get that genetic code into our cells:

  • Viral vector vaccines, which use a common cold-causing virus to deliver the genetic code to our cells.
  • DNA vaccines, which contain small, circular pieces of DNA called plasmid.
  • RNA vaccines, which contain RNA carried in fatty molecules that can pass easily into cells.

“We’re going to see which one of these is most effective – and I certainly hope that more than one is effective,” Dr. Culver says.

Will a vaccine end the pandemic?

While an effective vaccine is a key part of the strategy for squashing COVID-19, it’s important to remember that it won’t be an “off” switch for the pandemic.

“I think a vaccine will be part of the solution for getting control over this, but I think it’s highly unlikely that a vaccine will be 100% effective and will be used by enough of the population regularly enough to completely eliminate this virus from our world,” Dr. Culver says.

“I think we’ll need to have a strategy that includes several things, including vaccination, continued social distancing measures, rigorous testing and contact tracing — and if we can combine all of those elements, we can get back to something that’s very close to a normal life.”

In the meantime, the best way to protect yourself and those around you is by doing the things you’re probably tired of hearing about: good social distancing, wearing a mask in the appropriate setting, hand-washing and staying out of crowds.

“It’s important to remember that the extent to which we can open the economy and go back to school and do the sorts of things we all enjoy as part of life really depends on personal responsibility from each of us,” Dr. Culver says.

4 best quality dog foods to give wholesome nourishment to your canine companion

4 best quality dog foods to give wholesome nourishment to your canine companion – sex and relationships

  • October 17, 2020

Those who love their dogs go to great lengths to give them the best life possible and providing them with quality dog food plays an essential role in ensuring their well-being. A number of well-known brands have introduced a large variety of products that offer necessary nutrients to your canine companions.

It is vital to choose the right product that caters to the specific health requirements for your dog. While shopping for dog food, it is important to check if a product has what it takes to keep your pooch pet happy and healthy.

Here is a list you should keep in mind while shopping for dog food:

1.Complete and balanced nutrition

Containing many quality ingredients, this product from Pedigree provides your dog with a balanced nutritious meal. Formulated for adult dogs, it contains 20% crude protein, 5% crude fibre and 10% crude fat.

It provides your furry friend with stronger muscles, bones and teeth, and visibly healthier and shinier coat. Packed with calcium, iron and vitamin B12, it promotes your dog’s digestive health and boosts its immune system.

Developed by experts, this product is ideal for a number of breeds, including pugs, beagles, labradors, German shepherds and golden retrievers. Containing essential nutrients necessary for the healthy growth of your canine companion, this dog food is enriched with the goodness of cereals, chicken, meat and other beneficial ingredients that provide your dog with a healthy amount of proteins, fats and fibres.

2.Enhances physical performance

Meat Up offers this complete and balanced dog food containing essential ingredients such as chicken, eggs and vegetables. It also offers the required vitamins and minerals to your pet.

The product is highly palatable and suitable for all breeds. Formulated to enhance your pet’s physical performance and improve its health, the product delivers an energy-packed diet that caters to all the nutritional needs of your dog.

It contains probiotics to boost your pet’s digestive system, enhancing its overall health. The product is enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthier coat.

Antioxidants in the dog food improve your dog’s immune system while the glucosamine provides stronger bones and joints.

3. Packed with nutrients

Suitable for 15-month-old puppies, this product offered by Royal Canin is specially formulated to boost your pet’s immunity system during its growth period. Made to satisfy all its nutritional needs, the dog food contains a blend of antioxidants and vitamin E to support your puppy’s natural defenses.

Containing the highly digestible prebiotics and proteins, the product supports good digestive activity and helps in maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal flora. Also containing moderate energy content, the product keeps your canine companion as energetic as ever.

4. All breed formula

This dog food by Drools provides all the required nutritional value to your dog. Formulated with a balanced ratio of fats and proteins, the product is highly palatable and boosts your pet’s digestive health.

Containing real chicken, this dog food is suitable for all breeds. Consisting of a great blend of vitamins and minerals, the product makes your dog’s bones and joints stronger.

The required amount of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids helps in maintaining healthy skin and a beautiful coat. Also, the essential nutrients in this dog food help in preventing tartar build-up.

(At Hindustan Times, we help you stay up-to-date with latest trends and products. Hindustan Times has affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase.)

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