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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New Formula that Boosts Immunity Endorsed by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Prime Minister

New Formula that Boosts Immunity Endorsed by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Prime Minister

  • October 16, 2020

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) wants all Indian states to promote the commercial manufacture of a formula to boost immunity. The move comes amid the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. The formula, which is based on a recipe of a herbal doctor, has already been passed onto the states and union territories as the first line of defense against viruses. The Ministry has also said that the special recipe has been endorsed by the Prime Minister.  

“Considering the importance of immunity-boosting measures in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, Ministry of AYUSH intends to promote the use of following ready-made Ayush formulation in the interest of health promotion of the masses, which has been endorsed by the Prime Minister during his address to the nation on the Constitution Day.”

“States/UT governments are hereby requested to direct the AYUSH licensing authorities to consider granting license/approval for manufacturing of above-mentioned formulation to the interested licensed Ayurveda/Siddha/Unani drug manufacturers in accordance with the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945,” the AYUSH letter to the states, union territories and ASU drug manufacturers continued. 

The concoction, which will have the generic name of Ayush Kwath, Ayush Kudineer or Ayush Joshanda, is composed of four main ingredients. These include dalchini (cinnamon bark), herbs tulsi (basil leaves), Krishna Marich (black pepper), and sushi (dry ginger powder).

“Various reports have shown that coronavirus has been found to be fatal for people with weak immune systems. There are many herbs in the Indian traditional system that can boost immunity and keep many diseases away,” KK Sharma, Managing Director of the firm, AIMIL Pharma, said.

At least one version of Ayush Kwath is already on the market. Manufactured by AIMIL Pharma, a company that manufactures herbal products, the immunity booster comes in a variety of forms including tablets and powder that can be dissolved in water. According to its label, Ayush Kwath is said to “protect from all types of virus, viral and flu.” 

“Health experts across the globe agree that COVID-19 negatively affects the immune response of patients. The virus also targets people with weaker immune systems, including individuals with pre-existing conditions and the elderly,” said Curtis Rosen from SupplementNation.co.uk, reiterating that a good diet and supplements can also be great immunity boosters.

Those unable to purchase the formula will be pleased to know that it can be easily prepared at home with four parts tulsi leaves, two parts dalchini stem bark, two parts sunthi, and one part Krishna marich. Simply blend the ingredients into a powder and add to 150 milliliters of boiling water. You can also add some lemon juice to the concoction for taste and as a vitamin C boost. For best results, AYUSH recommends that the formula be drunk once or twice per day.

Dating back over 5,000 years, Ayurveda has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. For years, ancient medicine has been used to naturally boost the immune system. In particular, it is the immunomodulators contained in herbs, superfoods and other natural Ayurvedic ingredients that contribute to strengthening immunity and increasing natural resistance to diseases. Aside from Ayush Kwath, here are just a few plant-based superfoods that can give your immune system a helping hand. 

Gooseberries, or amla, feature prominently in Ayurvedic medicines to boost immunity. This is mainly because the grape-sized fruit contains huge amounts of vitamin C—20 times more than in lemon juice. Gooseberries are one of the main ingredients in chyawanprash, which is a staple in many Indian homes and is eaten not just to boost immunity, but also to strengthen the respiratory system and improve digestion. The fruit is also jam-packed with magnesium and iron—all nutrients that help to prevent viral and bacterial infections. 

Many Ayurvedic recipes contain the bark, leaves, and flowers of neem, with the plant being well-known for its beneficial effects on the body. Incorporating it into your diet is said to boost immunity, cool down the body, and purify the blood. Neem also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can keep your skin healthy and radiant. Some other benefits of the plant include alleviating nosebleeds, Flem, gum disease, and even diabetes, as the plant can help to control blood sugar levels. 

Broccoli sprouts are very different from Brussels sprouts and broccoli heads. Big with nutritionists and health bloggers, they look very much like alfalfa sprouts and are in fact three to four-day-old broccoli plants. According to research, broccoli sprouts have even more nutrients than mature broccoli. They not only boost the immune system, but increase longevity, lower LDL cholesterol, and are even said to reduce the risk of cancer. 

Indigenous to parts of India, giloy is used in Ayurvedic medicine to help manage digestion problems and cure recurrent fevers. Also called Tinospora cordifolia, it is said to be an effective treatment for skin conditions and asthma. In addition, it is full of antioxidants, which can strengthen the immune system, purify the blood, and remove toxins. Giloy has also been credited with fighting disease-causing bacteria and alleviating urinary tract infections and liver disease. With so many benefits, it is little wonder that the herb is called amrita, or “the root of immortality,” in Sanskrit.

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Consumers seek immunity-boosting flavors and mood-enhancing ingredients

Consumers seek immunity-boosting flavors and mood-enhancing ingredients

  • October 13, 2020


13 Oct 2020 — Lifestyles and behaviors continue to evolve due to COVID-19, and these changes are influencing food and flavor choices. FoodIngredientsFirst speaks with players in the flavors and functional ingredients space, as they share insights on overall wellness during the pandemic.

Notably, the crisis has highlighted the importance of mental well-being for many consumers as they grapple with pressures and uncertainty in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Citrus flavors for immunity
Looking to 2021, Marie Wright, chief global flavorist at ADM, anticipates an increase in demand for citrus flavors as people look further into wellness and immunity. 

“Fifty-seven percent of global consumers report being more concerned about their immune system as a result of COVID-19. People typically consider citrus fruits an immunity-booster given their high levels of naturally-occurring vitamin C,” she explains. 

“Refreshing citrus flavors also trigger wellness attributes like gut health and increased energy,” Wright adds. 

Click to EnlargeAs consumers give more thought to their eating habits, individuals are looking for nutrient-rich ingredients to elevate mood, sustain energy and reduce stress. Lisa Wulf, marketing manager sweet flavor division EAME at Symrise, agrees with this notion. 

“Citrus fruits carry with them the concept of ‘good for the overall health,’ and they have become more interesting as a result,” she urges. 

Yuzu, for example, has also become popular lately. “On the one hand, it comes with a typical citrus taste very close to what we know from childhood. On the other hand, it adds a little twist taste-wise and a very fancy and exotic name, which makes it more interesting for consumers in EAME.”

Moreover, yuzu goes into many different products on the shelves representing different categories. “It, therefore, attracts more attention from consumers making it even more popular,” Wulf asserts. 

Wright also adds that “signaling ingredients, such as botanical extracts and flavors like citrus, help contribute to a positive eating experience, while also triggering feelings of wellness.”

ADM is diving further into how flavor can evoke feelings of health and wellness and help give better-for-you products a “sensory boost.”

“Products which they consider good for their physical and mental well-being are becoming more popular,” continues Wright. “Natural citrus flavors might present a candidate here since they contain mostly citrus oils, which are said to be good for health,” she says. 

Sandra Hemminger, beverage segment lead of juice and water+ at Symrise, also points out that citrus can support positive feelings. 

With health and well-being are moving strongly into focus, consumers are looking for tastes they know and trust. 

Mental well-being and stress amid a pandemic
As consumers give more thought to their food and beverage options, individuals are looking for nutrient-rich ingredients to elevate mood, sustain energy and reduce stress, explains Wright. 

ADM OutsideVoiceSM research revealed that 35 percent of consumers are concerned about mental health. 

For example, the desire to relieve stress may push people to indulge in comforting flavors and foods, especially nostalgic flavors like sweet vanilla and chocolate. 

“Additionally, spa flavors and aromas, like lavender, are trending as consumers seek feelings of relaxation, comfort or security,” adds Wright.

According to ADM, 31 percent of consumers are already purchasing more items tailored for health and nutrition, and 48 percent are planning to purchase more health-related items in the next six months and beyond. 

“People are afraid of getting ill. Hence, they are actively searching for health-boosting drinks, so-called functional drinks (boosting the immune system or detoxifying),” notes Hemminger of Symrise. 

Besides this, some consumers are experiencing pressures due to uncertainty around lockdown, employment and future, for example, which can ultimately lead to lower mood, she flags. Click to EnlargeConsumers are experiencing pressures due to uncertainty around lockdown, employment and their future, which can ultimately lead to lower mood. 

Rise of adaptogens and nootropics
As consumers struggle with stress and anxiety, Louise Wisdom, marketing manager UK flavors & EMEA snacks at Mane, points to adaptogen and nootropic ingredients. 

“Ashwagandha, reishi, turmeric and lion’s mane claim to aid in relaxation and to boost cognitive function.”

She says that these ingredients have started to emerge in the bakery and snacking sector.  

Meanwhile, the gut-brain axis is further developing. 

“Looking after the gut and the balance of micro-organisms that live in the digestive tract is vital for our physical and mental health, as well as supporting our immune system,” Wisdom comments. 

“With this increased understanding in gut health, more snacks are including probiotic and prebiotic ingredients, while some are using traditional, natural fermentation methods which aid the functioning of the gut,’ she explains. 

“Recent bakery and snack launches with an immunity claim are showing strong growth, with fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and honey, being just some of the ingredients that are being used in products to support the immune system,” Wisdom further highlights.

As health and wellness trends continue, and a surge of new alternative protein and better-for-you foods hit the shelves, the flavor is more important than ever, says Wright of ADM. 

“We’re actively working to ensure health-focused F&B options have the functionality and taste to meet elevated consumer expectations,” she concludes. 

By Elizabeth Green


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Main Squeeze Juice Co. Has Donated 10,000 Wellness Shots, Juices and Smoothies to Frontline Workers During Pandemic

Main Squeeze Juice Co. Has Donated 10,000 Wellness Shots, Juices and Smoothies to Frontline Workers During Pandemic

  • October 12, 2020

Main Squeeze Juice Co. Has Donated 10,000 Wellness Shots, Juices and Smoothies to Frontline Workers During Pandemic

Main Squeeze Juice Co. Has Donated 10,000 Wellness Shots, Juices and Smoothies to Frontline Workers During PandemicNew Orleans, LA  (Restaurant News Release)  In an effort to boost healthcare workers’ physical and cognitive health during COVID-19, Main Squeeze Juice Co., the New Orleans-based juice and smoothie franchise whose ownership group includes New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead and former Saints receiver Marques Colston, has delivered 10,000 wellness shots, smoothies and juices to those on the frontlines.

The initiative kicked off during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, and has since made deliveries to various medical and health facilities throughout various parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. A delivery was also made to a local hospital in Houston, Texas.

“In hospitals and clinics around the country, frontline health workers are spending countless hours combatting the disease in our communities and assisting those in need. They are taking on significant personal risk, and maintaining their health is of paramount importance, as is maintaining high energy levels and a clear mind,” said Main Squeeze founder and CEO Thomas Nieto. “This is the very least we can do to show our appreciation and thank them for the hard work they do every day. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Most of the products that were delivered over the past six months included Main Squeeze’s Cure shots, which are known to awaken one’s immune system due to the high content of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as give individuals a boost of energy from a cayenne pepper kick. According to Nieto, the shot is “intense” but the benefits are worth it.

Other Main Squeeze menu items – including Espresso shots, and some of the franchise’s chef-designed, dietitian-inspired cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies – have also been delivered as part of the initiative.

“We are just trying to provide some good nutrition for the doctors, nurses, healthcare staff at the hospitals and it’s just our way of adding in a little support,” said Morstead, who personally delivered the first shipment to a New Orleans medical center back in March. “Obviously you’re seeing stories of this all over. People are chipping in all sorts of different ways around the country and around the world. We’re just trying to do our little part.”

Colston added, “Our shots do have a positive impact on your immune system. So with Main Squeeze being a community partner, we reached out to these facilities and really just wanted to do our part to help support the frontline workers that are literally putting their lives on the line every day. We felt the need to give them something that would help them boost their immune system from a preventative standpoint and, if nothing else, a morale boost to let them know we appreciate what they’re doing.”

About Main Squeeze Juice Co.

Founded in 2016 and franchising since August of 2017, Main Squeeze Juice Co. is a New Orleans, Louisiana-based juice and smoothie bar franchise whose nutritionist-designed, superfood-inspired menu seeks to change the lives of those looking for a healthier and more convenient way of fulfilling their nutritional goals. Today, there are 13 locations open and operating throughout Louisiana and Texas, with more than 60 additional franchisee- and corporate-owned stores in various stages of development across the Southeast. For more information, visit www.mainsqueezejuiceco.com.

Contact:
Michael Misetic
Franchise Elevator PR
847-239-8171
mmistic@franchiseelevator.com

breathe meditation dallas

Dallas Wellness Destinations Offer a Safe Escape

  • October 9, 2020

As the pandemic has made its way through Dallas — and the world — businesses and people all over have been forced to pivot, adjust, and stay home. We’re left wondering if life will ever look the same as it did pre-pandemic, and in many ways it might not. However, for the leaders and owners of many Dallas wellness spaces, providing a space that’s just as welcoming and needed is more important than ever.

When it comes to Dallas’ wellness spots, which have long included everything from spin studios all the way to cryotherapy centers, the pandemic has left a black mark. Longtime favorites like The Ride House and The Refuge have been forced to close, and other wellness spaces have found it difficult to return to pre-pandemic numbers.

For the people behind Breathe Meditation & Wellness, The Ozone Bar, and Eleven Wellness + IV, keeping their doors open in the midst of COVID-19 concerns has become less about the challenge and more about their mission to serve their customers. With uncertainty looming everywhere and a virus that doesn’t seem like it’s on its way out, these Dallas spots have made it their goal to create safe, clean spaces that nourish their customers from the inside out.

Take a Deep Breath

When the pandemic hit, Breathe Meditation & Wellness — which had just opened on February 2nd — immediately shut down. But instead of closing the doors completely, owners Chelsey Charbeneau and Jenn Moulaison decided to move everything online. Production began immediately, and their online platform was soon live and full of content.

Once restrictions began to lift, they knew that it was important to maintain the relaxation and holistic healing that could be found in their space pre-pandemic.

“We really want to educate people on how to calm their nervous system, breathe properly, and make that happen. It has a profound effect on your overall wellbeing and how you approach life,” Charbeneau said.

Breathe immediately purchased air purifiers—“the only ones that can kill the virus,” Charbeaneau said—for each room at the studio to encourage breathing safe air, and they have implemented additional safety and cleaning practices within the studio such as running everything over with a UV and UVC wand, maintaining social distancing, and surveying clients and employees.

Breathe, which offers everything from guided meditations and reiki to Thai massage and craniosacral therapy, sees itself as a place for Dallasites to find comfort and healing from a period that left many people feeling alone. Their online platform is still live as well, and now has an ongoing library with over 100 videos.

“It’s all about improving connection,” Moulaison told us. “A lot of people felt isolated and alone, and [meditation] really does help you not to feel as alone and isolated.”

IMG_2188
The Ozone Bar

A Full-Body Boost 

For Laura Harbison and the rest of the team at The Ozone Bar, the pandemic came as a shock to the new business. The Ozone Bar had just opened on February 6, right before the world began to shut down. Considered an essential business for pain relief, the business itself closed for just five days in March but has had to adjust to being open during a global pandemic.

“It’s been a challenging road but we’ve made it, thank God,” Harbison said. “Every day that another business around me was closing was so scary, but I think we’ve weathered the storm. It’s been fast and furious. It’s been a sad time for a lot of businesses.”

At The Ozone Bar, visitors find everything related to health, wellness, and detox. With four major machines geared towards boosting oxygen level and immunity, increasing blood flow, and stimulating the circulatory and lymphatic system, ozone saunas, a DermaShape, an infrared sauna, and a HOCATT call the spot home.

“Our machines are completely sterile, because ozone is sterile. They utilize ozone to sanitize the Tyson chicken plant, they use ozone to clean airplanes, and ozone really is an amazing molecule,” Harbison said. “I kid with people that you could eat off the floor of our machines even though people are sitting in them all day and sweating, but that really is a true statement.”

IMG_2369
An infrared sauna in The Ozone Bar

While the machines themselves may be sterile, there are stringent cleaning and disinfecting procedures at The Ozone Bar to keep the space safe and welcoming to everyone. From hand sanitizer and social distancing to bleaching and sanitization of the store itself, each client also has a 10×10 room to themselves during their sessions.

All of the machines in The Ozone Bar are meant to help detox and assist with pain, and people can burn up to 600 calories during their sweat sessions. The HOCATT, what Harbison refers to as “the Lamborghini of the machines,” uses micro currents, color therapy, transdermal ozone, CO2, far-infrared therapy, and pure oxygen. The ozone saunas, which run for 30-minute sessions, use pure ozone to boost oxygen levels and increase energy.

“Any time you’re boosting your oxygen level, you’re boosting your immune system,” Harbison said. “I think more people right now are really wanting to invest in their health than anything else. It’s a different shift.”

Eleven Wellness + IV

A Different Kind of Cocktail 

At Eleven Wellness + IV, which offers everything from traditional facials and acupuncture to lasers and IV therapy, the pandemic has brought challenges, but also a renewed focus to serving its customers and staff.

“It is certainly a huge undertaking to try to operate in this landscape, but our customers have been incredible,” said owner Suzi Nadeau. “We’re doing everything we can to make it work, but our main priority is to keep people safe. We’re a family at Eleven, and we want to make sure everybody stays healthy.”

At Eleven, loyal customers were really the ones that kept the doors open. By creating a delivery method for their products, the studio was able to stay afloat while deciphering how to open safely. Eleven’s IV-only location on Hillcrest was also categorized as an essential business, so it was able to remain open the entire pandemic.

In all Eleven studios — locations are found on Hillcrest, Lomo Alto, and in Preston Center — appointment times have been padded to allow for more stringent health and safety measures. The office is “pretty much bombed,” with deep cleaning measures enacted on every level as well as staff in PPE and constant disinfecting.

When it comes to IV therapy itself, Nadeau explains, “We’re not saying we’re the great fix. However, it has been proven that there are some specific vitamins and minerals that will absolutely help boost your immune system. We have lots of minerals and vitamins we put into our formulas to boost people’s immune systems, help with weight loss goals, boost energy, workout recovery, all the good things.”

Over the last few months, Eleven’s Immune Booster IV cocktail has proven to become “wildly popular.” The therapy includes a high dose of vitamin C along with zinc, B vitamins, selenium, and glutathione.

“When you deliver [those vitamins and minerals] via IV, the absorption rate is significantly higher. Not only that, but just staying hydrated is such an important piece of overall health. The majority of people don’t realize just how much water they need to drink every day in order to have a fully functioning system,” Nadeau said.

Here's why mushrooms are the next health and wellness trend

Here’s why mushrooms are the next health and wellness trend

  • October 2, 2020

Mushrooms have long been used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, but these days the potential health benefits of mushrooms are being touted here in the United States as well. And for good reason: Mushrooms provide some key vitamins and minerals — and they also have unique nutritional properties. Here’s why mushrooms are a health and wellness trend to pay attention to.

Mushrooms supply vital nutrients

Mushrooms are rich in a range of nutrients that aren’t typical of many veggies. For example, mushrooms are the only plant-based, unfortified food that provides a substantial amount of vitamin D, a nutrient involved in immune regulation and bone health.

A cup of mushrooms is also a good source of selenium, a mineral that’s involved in immune functioning and that also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds that help prevent the type of cellular damage that’s linked to diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Mushrooms are rich in potassium. Potassium is a mineral that helps expel sodium from your system. Since sodium is in the majority of packaged foods, most people exceed the amount needed in a day, yet at the same time, they’re falling short of their potassium needs. This imbalance can set the stage for high blood pressure, which then increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Adults need between 2,600 to 3,400 milligrams of potassium each day, and a cup of mushrooms has about 223 milligrams — that’s 8% of the daily requirement. Mushrooms also contain B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin and copper, which contribute to their healthfulness.

Mushrooms may protect your brain

In addition to vitamins and minerals, mushrooms contain high amounts of two antioxidants: ergothioneine and glutathione. Over time, cells experience oxidative damage from free radicals, which are destructive compounds produced when you’re exposed to environmental toxins, whether cigarette smoke or sunlight. Cells also become damaged as a byproduct of metabolism.

To counter this damage and prevent free radicals from accumulating, you need to consume antioxidant-rich foods, like mushrooms. These particular antioxidants appear to protect your brain from illnesses, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and you won’t find many other foods with higher amounts than mushrooms, according to Penn State researchers.

Mushrooms can help you reach a healthier weight

Have you ever noticed that the texture of mushrooms mimics meat? One four-day study swapped mushrooms for beef in four meals (lasagna, napoleon, sloppy Joes and chili) with participants eating each meal made with either ingredient (mushrooms or beef) during the first week, and then switching to meals made with the alternate ingredient the next week. Naturally, the meat-based meals were higher in calories, averaging about 420 more calories than the mushroom meals. But what’s striking is that participants were just as sated after eating the lighter mushroom-based meals — and they didn’t eat more later on to compensate for the leaner lunch.

In general, lowering your calorie levels while also eating whole foods, like mushrooms, that are filling is a strategy that can lead to healthy weight loss. In a small, year-long study that involved mostly women, those who swapped meat for mushrooms lost about seven pounds and achieved healthier body measurements and improvements in blood pressure and inflammatory markers.

While lowering calories is important for achieving weight loss, it’s also possible that mushrooms may help you manage your weight due to their influence on your gut microbiome. Mushrooms supply prebiotic fiber that may bring your gut into a healthier balance. This process is thought to play a role in weight management.

Medicinal mushrooms

It’s estimated that there are more than one hundred thousand varieties of mushrooms, though only a fraction have been discovered. Among them, some are edible, some are used for wellness or medicinal purposes in supplements, teas and powders, and others are poisonous.

Here are four mushroom varieties that proponents claim have healing properties, but studies are lacking:

  • Reishi: These popular mushrooms are often sold as adaptogens, an umbrella term for substances purported to help your body handle stress. When stressed, your body pumps out the hormone, cortisol. One way adaptogens are thought to work is by helping to maintain healthier cortisol levels. Reishi mushrooms may also lead to improvements in sleep, according to a study in rats that were fed reishi extracts. Reishi are also being studied for their antioxidant and immune-enhancing properties.
  • Lion’s mane: This type of mushroom is used as a nootropic, or a type of supplement purported to give you a boost in mental performance. However, studies have been small and mixed, with some showing no benefit. Still, lion’s mane often shows up in powders and mushroom “coffees” marketed to help you focus.
  • Turkey tail: Studies suggest that the immune-stimulating benefits and derivatives of this mushroom help fight certain cancers. It’s available in supplement form as pills or tea.
  • Chaga: A bitter mushroom that, while edible, is commonly featured in teas and “coffees” and other supplemental forms. It tends to be used to help fight inflammation and boost immune response, but human studies are lacking.

What to know before trying medicinal or edible mushrooms

If you want to experiment with medicinal mushrooms, understand that for the most part, research isn’t definitive. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any prescription drugs, since it’s possible that supplements derived from mushrooms can interfere with certain medications. While medicinal mushrooms hold promise and can be part of your wellness toolkit, don’t lose sight of more proven lifestyle strategies, such as meditation and exercise for stress reduction — and a plant-focused diet, which mushrooms can be part of and which supplies the range of vitamins and minerals known to support your immune system.

When you’re thinking about adding mushrooms to meals, buy from a trusted market (whether a supermarket or farmer’s market) in order to avoid potentially poisonous ones. Edible mushrooms are very versatile and can be swapped for some — or all — of your beef in recipes. Additionally, use them in stir-fries, roast or sauté them to serve as a side dish or slice and sprinkle them over salads.

Main Squeeze Juice Co.

Main Squeeze Juice Co., New Orleans Saints Stars Donate Wellness Shots, Smoothies to Frontline Workers

  • October 2, 2020

In an effort to boost healthcare workers’ physical and cognitive health during COVID-19, Main Squeeze Juice Company, the New Orleans-based juice and smoothie franchise whose ownership group includes New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead and former Saints receiver Marques Colston, has delivered 10,000 wellness shots, smoothies and juices to those on the frontlines.

The initiative kicked off during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, and has since made deliveries to various medical and health facilities throughout various parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. A delivery was also made to a local hospital in Houston, Texas.

“In hospitals and clinics around the country, frontline health workers are spending countless hours combatting the disease in our communities and assisting those in need. They are taking on significant personal risk, and maintaining their health is of paramount importance, as is maintaining high energy levels and a clear mind,” said Main Squeeze founder and CEO Thomas Nieto. “This is the very least we can do to show our appreciation and thank them for the hard work they do every day. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Most of the products that were delivered over the past six months included Main Squeeze’s Cure shots, which are known to awaken one’s immune system due to the high content of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as give individuals a boost of energy from a cayenne pepper kick. According to Nieto, the shot is “intense” but the benefits are worth it.

Other Main Squeeze menu items—including Espresso shots, and some of the franchise’s chef-designed, dietitian-inspired cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies—have also been delivered as part of the initiative.

“We are just trying to provide some good nutrition for the doctors, nurses, healthcare staff at the hospitals and it’s just our way of adding in a little support,” said Morstead, who personally delivered the first shipment to a New Orleans medical center back in March. “Obviously you’re seeing stories of this all over. People are chipping in all sorts of different ways around the country and around the world. We’re just trying to do our little part.”

Colston added, “Our shots do have a positive impact on your immune system. So with Main Squeeze being a community partner, we reached out to these facilities and really just wanted to do our part to help support the frontline workers that are literally putting their lives on the line every day. We felt the need to give them something that would help them boost their immune system from a preventative standpoint and, if nothing else, a morale boost to let them know we appreciate what they’re doing.”

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

How important is social wellness? - News

How important is social wellness? – News

  • September 12, 2020


Family Bowling

Staying connected with friends and family, while following proper health guidelines, can greatly improve social wellness.

Human beings are not made to be solitary; we are all wired for connection. So, yes, social well-being is vital, especially during these uncertain times. Healthy, nurturing, and supportive relationships help us understand who we are and where we fit in the world. Treasure these relationships so they grow stronger over time, and be intentional about fostering a genuine connection with those around you. Having a solid social support system is associated with positive health benefits, such as a strengthened immune system and cardiovascular functioning.

If you are looking for ways to boost social wellness, here are some suggestions:

Make connections with others
Participate in discussions that challenge you and practice active listening while learning about differences. Know your interests and use those to create bonds with people who have things in common with you. Check out your local community college where you can take interest-based classes, reach out to others in academic courses or affinity groups, lean on your faith community, or join a volunteer organization.

Virtual check-ins or family meetings
Make plans with your friends and/or family to see one another online. Use this time to check in on their well-being and talk about your lives. There are several platforms that support online meetings; some of the most popular ones include Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and FaceTime.

Stay social with online gaming
Online video games can be played across long distances. In fact, many gamers have developed social connections with people from around the world while social distancing. Some popular video games worth trying are Animal Crossing, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Jackbox Games.

Online exercise programs
If you miss working out with others, sign up for online exercise classes. Multiple exercise companies are offering free or low-cost online fitness programs. This is a great opportunity for you to meet new people as well as maintain well-developed relationships with your workout buddies!

Watch free online concerts, take virtual tours
Use Google Search or your favorite artist’s social media accounts such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to find upcoming events. Great destinations such as zoos, museums, and aquariums also offer free virtual tours.

These are just a few ways to enhance social wellness. Even though we must physically distance, there are still many opportunities to build connections. How do you nurture social wellness? Share your ideas with us at wellness@IllinoisState.edu—we’d love to hear from you.

Interested in further developing personal wellness? Consider joining LIVE WELL with Eight at State, a free incentive-based program designed to support healthy living in Illinois State University students, staff, and faculty.

Sources:
Greater Good Science Center
UC Davis
Scripps

Fitness, nutrition habits under distress

Fitness, nutrition habits under distress

  • September 10, 2020

Mass closure of gyms state-wide saw many struggling to maintain their healthy habits. Others fell into old habits and let go of their regimented dieting and exercise, and many never had a routine at all. There is a lot of effort that goes into maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mentally, physically and nutritionally. 

Students have felt the strain of the inability to take care of themselves the way they would like. Scott Drum, sports science professor, offers his advice to students who wish to be more healthy.

“It’s finding that inspiration, finding that interest, that can be hard to do. I think from a personal standpoint I would counsel someone to sit down and make a list of modes of exercise they enjoy and then really hone in on the one they can start without any inhibitions or lack of motivation,” Drum said.

Exercise is also excellent for building the immune system, which can strengthen resistance to pathogens. 

“The biggest thing to recognize is students should stay active if they’ve been active, and get active if they haven’t been because exercise does stoke the immune system and outdoor exercise is one of the best ways to stay fit,” Drum said. “Moderate exercise helps boost the immune response to any type of pathogen and virus. That is from your innate immunity [and consists of] natural killer cells, k cells and other immune cells which can be mobilized as a natural response and is enhanced or augmented with moderate exercise,” Drum said. “More extreme hard and high intense exercise especially in unfit individuals can lower that response so low to moderate exercise, enjoy yourself, be able to talk with others comfortably.” 

Drum recommends students to gather a group of less than ten people and do light exercise such as walking, running, mountain biking or other outdoor activity at least three times a week. If you plan on going to the gym, Drum suggests only staying for thirty minutes and to go at non-peak hours.

Students in the sports science program are often passionate about exercise. Senior sports science major Nolan Drumm developed a love for exercise after realizing his physical condition in his teens.

“I had a terrible diet, I was not healthy at all and I sporadically passed out and my heart rate got up because I was so unhealthy. I loved reading fantasy books and every single time the hero was portrayed as this great hero that could run 80 miles and save somebody and beat somebody up and I was definitely not that and I wanted to get healthy so I started bike riding,” Drumm said.

He later got into weight-lifting through his step-father. Drumm now works out daily, often for multiple hours at a time, multiple times a day. He does not suggest this for beginners however.

“People say they want to work out six days a week for three hours each day and they last two weeks and call it quits because they’re so beat up. Three times a week for 45 minutes is all you need to start off with,” Drumm said. 

For those starting out and setting a goal for themselves, Drumm urges them to set realistic expectations.

“I think the first mistake a lot of people make is setting the goal I want to be healthier. You have to set the goal. I want to run a 5k, I want to run one mile. I want to lift my body weight. It’s such a vague question that it does more harm than good. Where does that goal really end? You could be healthier until your mr.olympia. It’s a never ending goal. Find a specific goal and start small. Aim really, really small,” Drumm said.

Exercise is the key to longevity, according to Drumm. For him, maintaining his physical health is paramount in keeping up with his mental health. Another major factor in being healthy is paying attention to what you eat. While many stress about specific diets, it is better to simply consume in moderation, according to Drum.

Associate professor of nutrition Lanae Joubert P.h.D., shares what she believes students can do to be healthier.

“I like to encourage making small changes that seem unnoticeable. For example, make one simple decision daily to strive for higher quality over lower quality options,” Joubert said in an email. “Another strategy is to examine the color variety on your plate or in your bowl during meal time.  Try to incorporate all colors (red, orange, yellow, green, purple/blue, white) from mostly foods you would find in the produce section of a grocery store and strive for half of your plate/bowl at each meal to be filled with vegetables and/or fruit.”

Joubert suggests students start analyzing one meal a day and slowly work up to all three. 

Many students are still young, and may question why watching their diet is significant now. Joubert understands that underclassmen may not have the flexibility due to dining services, but making better choices still matters.

“Lifetime choices = lifetime quality.  Of course we need to enjoy our food and who doesn’t love a few pumpkin-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups?  It’s the accumulation of dietary choices we make over the long-run that can lead to a high quality life or what I refer to as ‘the optimal functioning of our cells’,” Joubert said in an email.

For more information on nutrition, Joubert suggests https://www.cspinet.org/eating-healthy, and https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic. Drum also suggests Outsideonline.com to get motivated.

Mitch Gould and Nutritional Products International Serve as the 'Gateway to America' for International Health and Wellness Brands

Mitch Gould and Nutritional Products International Serve as the ‘Gateway to America’ for International Health and Wellness Brands

  • September 10, 2020

Mitch Gould, the founder of NPI, is a third-generation retail distribution and manufacturing professional. Gould developed the “Evolution of Distribution” platform, which provides domestic and international product manufacturers with the sales, marketing, and product distribution expertise required to succeed in the world’s largest market — the United States. Gould, known as a global marketing guru, also has represented icons from the sports and entertainment worlds such as Steven Seagal, Hulk Hogan, Ronnie Coleman, Roberto Clemente Jr., Chuck Liddell, and Wayne Gretzky.

BOCA RATON, FL, Sept. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — America’s health and wellness market is the largest in the world.

This is why international health and wellness companies are always trying to conquer the U.S. market. Guiding many of these overseas companies to succeed is Mitch Gould and Nutritional Products International (NPI).

“We are the ‘Gateway to America’ for many of these health and wellness companies,” said Gould, founder and CEO of NPI. “We have seen strong growth during the past decade, and the next ten years look even stronger for wellness brands in the United States.

“The demand for innovative wellness products, such as dietary supplements, is exploding,” Gould said. “The global wellness market exceeds $4 trillion with North America and the United States leading the way.”

Driving annual growth in the U.S. wellness industry are health factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and chronic diseases.

“We have the Baby Boomers buying health and wellness products to stay healthy,” Gould said. “Plus, the younger generations are more concerned about their health than their parents or grandparents.”

An unexpected growth factor has been the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has just accelerated demand for wellness products, such as dietary supplements,” Gould said. “Now, everyone is looking for any health advantage to keep them safe from COVID-19, such as Vitamin D and supplements to boost their immune system.”

Gould said overseas health and wellness companies seeking new markets consider the U.S. because of its size.

Gould understood the obstacles foreign companies faced when launching a new brand in America, which is why he created the “Evolution of Distribution” platform.

“The ‘Evolution of Distribution’ creates a one-stop global brand management system that helps expand retail distribution for NPI’s clients,” Gould said.

NPI works with international companies to ship their products to America and meet all U.S. Custom and FDA guidelines. NPI provides product liability insurance, markets the brands to online and brick-and-mortar outlets, and promotes the products through strategic public relations and social media campaigns.

“We have been helping health and wellness companies for almost two decades,” Gould said. “We are looking to continue introducing new brands to the American consumer. As the ‘Gateway to America,’ we connect foreign brands to American retailers.”

For more information, visit NPI online.

MORE ON NPI AND ITS FOUNDER

NPI is a privately-held company specializing in the retail distribution of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, functional beverages, and skin-care products. NPI offers a unique, proven approach for product manufacturers worldwide seeking to launch or expand their products’ distribution in the U.S. retail market.

Mitch Gould, the founder of NPI, is a third-generation retail distribution and manufacturing professional. Gould developed the “Evolution of Distribution” platform, which provides domestic and international product manufacturers with the sales, marketing, and product distribution expertise required to succeed in the world’s largest market — the United States. Gould, known as a global marketing guru, also has represented icons from the sports and entertainment worlds such as Steven Seagal, Hulk Hogan, Ronnie Coleman, Roberto Clemente Jr., Chuck Liddell, and Wayne Gretzky.

Andrew Polin
Nutritional Products International
561-544-0719
apolin@inhealthmedia.com

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