coronavirus

Face mask with text: Your coronavirus mask protocol. When to Wear A Mask

Your Coronavirus Mask Protocol

For most Americans, the beginning of Spring now marks the one-year “anniversary” of the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus/COVID-19 a global pandemic and the huge shakeup on how we conducted our daily lives.

Not too long ago, wearing a mask that covered our faces and noses during a quick trip to the grocery store was unimaginable, but became very necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

With new coronavirus cases and deaths on the decline in the nation, a number of states have eased some indoor restrictions for restaurants, shops and schools and, in some cases, lifted them entirely.

Depending on where you live, states are likely to leave the enforcement of coronavirus mandates to cities, counties and businesses to make the best decisions for their citizens, employees, and consumers.

And, in those localities, the decision to wear a mask or not remains largely up to you.

What should you do?

Despite the lifting of mandates at the state and local level, many businesses, offices and schools still require workers, students, patients, teachers and shoppers to wear masks.

That’s a good thing because it’s important NOT to let your guard down when we’re trying to get past the coronavirus and restore some normality in our lives.

Wearing a mask can be very important if you’re older, or have conditions like COPD, cancer and the cluster of symptoms that make up metabolic syndrome that worsen coronavirus symptoms.

In fact, wearing masks during this post-coronavirus era is a good addition to the steps we’ve recommended previously to protect you and your family’s health during the flu season.

  • Protect the center of your immune system — your gut — by taking a probiotic composed of multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.
  • Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Set aside a few minutes each day for a little exercise.
  • Create a workable sleep schedule and stick to it.
  • Make sure you’re eating a more diverse diet full of whole foods that are low in sugar and higher in dietary fiber.

Even as a trio of coronavirus vaccines circulate across America, keeping your immune system strong should be the center of your personal strategy to stay healthy.

For now, wearing a mask, in addition to following this simple immune system checklist, will do so much good to help us move past the coronavirus and get back to living the social parts of our lives with our loved ones nearby and far away.

 

References

 

 

Food donation delivery box

Our Campaign Against Hunger Continues

We are proud to announce a new 2021 campaign to support Feeding America. EndoMune will donate $1 for each bottle of product sold on the EndoMune.com website to Feeding America’s disaster response efforts for those impacted by the 2021 North America winter storms.

We are committed to helping people facing economic hardship and hunger, particularly in the aftermath of devastating winter storms that left so many Americans challenged to access food.

Through its network of 200 food banks across the U.S., Feeding America secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals per year as the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization to children and families in need.

Each dollar we donate to Feeding America can help provide at least ten meals to those in need.

To place orders that benefit Feeding America’s disaster response efforts, visit https://endomune.com/shop-probiotics/.

 

 

Woman wearing mask with text on photo "Got maskne? Here's the Gut-Skin-Brain axis solution"

The Gut-Skin-Brain Axis Solution For Maskne

More than ever before, people are experiencing skin problems related to acne, especially around their faces, due to wearing masks, sometimes for extended periods throughout the day. This issue has become so common and chronic, people refer to it as maskne — mask + acne — and dermatologists take this problem just as seriously as their patients.

Living in the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been easy, but you’ve been making the best of it by following the healthy steps to stay out of harm’s way and protecting your immune system.

Wearing a mask outdoors when running simple errands — going to the grocery store, taking a walk around your neighborhood or navigating situations where social distancing is not feasible — has become our new normal, and it’s likely to stay that way for a little while longer.

It’s nothing new

Maskne isn’t new. Way before the coronavirus pandemic, this issue arose more than you think, mostly with sweaty athletes who wear helmets with straps.

However, maskne has become such a thing that medical experts from Yale Medicine and John Hopkins Medicine to the American Academy of Dermatology have weighed in on treating it.

Most of the steps these institutions recommend are based on common sense.

  1. Keep your face clean with mild soaps (definitely no antibacterial soaps).
  2. Easy on the makeup and skincare products if you use them.
  3. On masks, be sure you’re using ones made from materials that don’t irritate your skin and wash fabric masks you’re regularly wearing.
  4. Men with facial hair or fair skin and extra hair follicles, pay attention to excess irritation and ingrown hairs.

Some professionals even believe probiotic cosmetic creams can be a good way to treat acne. Certainly, some creams may help but do they get to the heart of the problem?

Your gut’s role

When it comes to acne, the health of your gut really matters in several ways, demonstrating that the gut-skin-brain axis connection is a real thing.

For one, doctors prescribe lots of medications to treat acne. In moderate to severe cases, antibiotics are the go-to drugs that create all kinds of problems we’ve discussed a lot in this space.

Unmanaged stress is another concern that triggers acne. There’s certainly plenty of that to go around with having to deal with the coronavirus every day, not to mention poor Western diets full of sugar and a lack of exercise.

These challenges disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, triggering inflammation that shows up on your body as acne or, in this case, maskne.

So what can you do about it?

An extensive report detailed in Frontiers in Microbiology points to a simple solution: Successful treatments of acne with varieties of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families in the form of probiotics.

What’s more, we’ve seen over and over how probiotics formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteriathat promote a diverse, healthy gut microbiome make a big difference in the health of your gut which happens to be connected to your brain and skin too.

EndoMune Advanced Probiotic features a proprietary blend of 10 beneficial strains of bacteria, along with a very important prebiotic (FOS), to protect your gut-brain-skin axis and help ease the effects of maskne.

 

References

 

take a probiotic during coronavirus pandemic

Could Your Unbalanced Gut Worsen the Coronavirus?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve reminded you about some simple steps you should be taking to protect the health of your gut during these coronavirus times. Many things affect your gut microbiome’s balance, from the meals you eat every day to the sleep you get every night. All of these things determine how well your immune system functions.

That critical balance — or the lack of it — and the volume of bacteria in your gut may play a critical role not only in how severe your battle with the novel coronavirus may be, but also in how your immune system responds to it.

The lack of gut bacteria balance

A team of Chinese researchers studied how the gut influences the novel coronavirus’s severity by comparing stool and blood samples from 100 hospitalized patients with a coronavirus diagnosis to 78 healthy patients who took part in a microbiome study before the pandemic began.

Among those coronavirus patients, 41 provided multiple stool samples while hospital-bound, and 27 shared stool samples up to 30 days after they recovered. The gut microbiome differences between healthy patients and those who fought COVID-19 were pretty dramatic.

Accounting for the lack of balance, researchers determined the guts of novel coronavirus patients contained fewer beneficial strains of bacteria that triggered an immune system response.

Also, lower numbers of some gut bacteria, including Bifidobacterium bifidum, were linked to more severe coronavirus infections after taking into account patients’ age and their use of antibiotics.

(Bifidobacterium bifidum is one of 10 strains that make up the potent mix of beneficial  bacteria in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.)

What’s more, this depletion of bacteria was measured in samples up to 30 days after patients recovered.

The imbalances show up in the blood too!

When COVID-19 infects the human body, the immune system can sometimes go into overdrive, producing inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. If those cytokines become excessive, a destructive “storm” may result, causing the failure of multiple organs, tissue damage, and septic shock.

An examination of blood samples found more instances of these inflammatory cytokines and chemical markers linked to tissue damage in coronavirus patients also experiencing gut bacteria imbalances.

All of these facts led researchers to conclude that the gut microbiome may have more influence on your body’s immune response to the coronavirus, along with its severity and how you’ll recover from it.

What this means for you

Although scientists were unwilling to cite any concrete causes, it’s clear to them there are connections between the microbiome and inflammatory diseases and that boosting the beneficial bacteria in the gut depleted by the novel coronavirus could become a way to lessen its severity.

As you know, many factors play a role in your gut’s health and diversity, from sleep schedules and exercise to your eating habits.

Taking a probiotic is one of the most straightforward steps you can take to protect the health of your gut too. But not any generic probiotic will do…

That’s why it’s important to look for a probiotic with multiple strains of proven beneficial bacteria like those from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families.

EndoMune Advanced Probiotic is uniquely fortified with ten strains of beneficial bacteria from both families along with a very important prebiotic (FOS) to protect your gut 24/7.

 

References

 

 

Healthy Gut Protocol Instructions

Your Gut Healthy Protocol During the Coronavirus Holiday Season

It’s THAT time of year when our thoughts turn to the holidays and celebrating the end of the old year and the start of a brand new one.

But this holiday season is unlike any other in recent memory, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the Thanksgiving break, the CDC asked Americans to stay put and not travel. So far, there are no indications that future advisories from federal health officials will change very much at least in the short term.

With families staying at home as much as possible and limiting their contact to very small groups of people — appropriately distanced, of course — the last thing you should be worried about is your gut health, right?

Wrong. Here are 3 reasons why you should be:

How are you sleeping?

The health of your gut (and your body) is affected by shifts in your body’s circadian eat-sleep-wake cycles.

Disturbing that schedule — anything from long work hours to getting to know your new PS5 — messes up those natural processes the gut performs on its own while you’re sleeping.

Getting the sleep you need and sticking with a schedule matters, along with eating enough prebiotics, a natural part of whole foods ranging from onions to almonds and jicama.

How are your emotions?

Because many of you are staying home and glued to your work desk (or that shiny new PS5 next to your TV), your emotions may be up, down or all around depending on your mood and the time of day.

It’s certainly understandable, given that we live for our human connections to the outside world.

Maintaining the vital connection that links your brain, intestines, and emotions — your gut-brain axis — helps you regulate those stressors naturally and effectively.

How’s your diet?

If you’re staying home a lot more, your once healthy and balanced diet may have fallen by the wayside, in favor of more highly processed foods full of sugar — real or artificial — and chemicals that disrupt the critical balance of good bacteria in your gut.

5 ways to protect your immune system

This trio of variables all leads up to one very serious problem: A disrupted immune system that can leave you very vulnerable to an array of health problems.

What’s more, a growing number of experts all over the world are coming around to the belief that gut health is the key, not only to stay healthy in the good times, but to reduce your risk of respiratory infections too.

With all of this in mind, here’s your updated gut-health protocol to help you and your family stay safe during this coronavirus holiday season:

  1. Keep the surfaces in your bathrooms and kitchens as clean as possible.
  2. Get on a sleep schedule and stick to it. (Put the PS5 in the closet when you’re not using it.)
  3. About schedules: Take breaks for healthy, balanced meals away from the TV or computer screens and get a little exercise. Even a short walk with your dog helps!
  4. Keep those hands clean with plain soap and water. No antibacterial soap necessary!
  5. Give your gut health a much-needed boost by taking a probiotic, ideally containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

Although your gut is a diverse environment that requires an array of species to do countless things behind the scenes, lots of probiotics still rely on one strain of beneficial bacteria to do the heavy lifting. Simply, these single-strain probiotics just aren’t up to the job.

Our multi-strain probiotic, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, is fortified with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, plus a prebiotic (FOS) that feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Protecting your gut by following our updated protocol will help you stay healthy through the holidays and to a better 2021.

References

Microorganisms

Frontiers in Psychiatry

PNAS

Gut Microbiota For Health

UNC Health/WRAL.com

Current Pharmaceutical Design

 

 

graphic of two cells combating each other

Coronavirus and the 2020 Flu Season: Are You Ready?

About this time of any other year, the medical community would be preparing for the annual flu season. Except for this one…

No one has written a playbook for a scenario quite like a flu season combined with a coronavirus pandemic, and with so many other things in a state of flux too.

Since we talked to you about the coronavirus earlier this year, the news is looking a little better and a bit clearer on the vaccine front, although it still remains a pretty good bet we won’t see one emerge from Phase 3 trials for a while longer.

In the meantime, health officials all over the U.S. are wondering and worrying about how a pandemic that will have killed more than 200,000 Americans by early fall will affect the annual flu season, and maybe worsen it.

A hopeful sign

One indication there’s hope that the flu season could be a little easier to handle: Countries in the Southern Hemisphere like Australia are reporting far fewer flu cases than they expected so far.

It’s an encouraging sign that social distancing, school closures, and mask-wearing have had a real impact.

Despite the dropping numbers of flu cases below the Equator, however, health officials starting at the very top with CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield believe we shouldn’t be letting our guard down at all, especially now.

The one thing health officials agree on with urgency: When a flu shot becomes available, GET ONE.

But that’s just the first step on your to-do list…

Your revised healthy habits list

Now that we’re deep in the season of coronavirus and heading to an unknown flu season this fall, your list of healthy habits has changed some from earlier this year, but a lot of the tips still apply.

  1. Wear a mask when you’re out of the house to run necessary errands or go to work.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap (no antibacterial soaps) and warm water, especially before eating and after touching your face.
  3. Keep the surfaces in your kitchen and bathrooms as clean as possible.
  4. Be sure you’re getting the exercise and healthy meals your body needs.
  5. Protect your immune system where it resides in your gut.

We’ve shown time and again how probiotics work in sync with the flu vaccine to keep you and your family healthy.

Taking a probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic can give your immune system a gentle boost and better enables the flu shot to do its work.

Resources

Science

Frontiers in Pharmacology

Marketwatch

WebMD

CDC

Washington Post

 

 

 

Woman that looks sad while sitting on a couch

Coronavirus and the Gut-Brain Blues

There’s no doubt following social distancing guidelines when you and your family go outside is the smart and safe way to avoid the many health risks associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

But those guidelines don’t take into account the stress you’re feeling, whether you’re hunkered down for long periods of time with work-at-home responsibilities plus family responsibilities or not working at all.

We’ve talked a lot about the gut-brain axis, the connection between your brain, emotions and intestines.

If you’ve been doing a lot of stress eating lately, it could be a sign that your gut-brain axis needs some extra help to stay in balance and keep the weight off too.

Don’t fear, there’s many ways to rebalance your anxious gut-brain axis safely and gently, even in these stressful coronavirus times.

First, let’s take a look at how we got there.

Overeating processed foods

Consuming a typical Western diet full of processed, high-fat foods is a huge problem all by itself, which is often worsened by stress.

The more you eat, the more your gut produces higher levels of gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), a hormone that manages the balance of energy in your body.

Last year, Baylor College of Medicine researchers discovered this extra GIP that the gut produces travels through the bloodstream to the brain where it slows down the impact of leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells that promotes a feeling of fullness or satiety, in a series of tests on mice.

(Messing up your sleep cycle affects how your body produces leptin too.)

Baylor scientists recognized the gut-brain connection when they took steps to block the production of GIP which reduces the appetites and weights of mice fed high-fat diets.

But that’s not all…

Too much real sugar

You may also recall our warning about foods sweetened with real, refined sugar that can be just as harmful to your health as those containing artificial sweeteners. It doesn’t take much of the real thing to trigger sugar cravings either.

The average American consumes at least 66 pounds of real sugar, if not more, every year, fueling the epidemic of obesity and many more health problems.

Real sugar affects the brain in a unique way by signals traveling from the gut all the way to the brain via the vagus nerve, according to a very recent study on mice appearing in Nature.

It was really hard for Columbia University researchers to ignore the connection. When given the option of being fed water with artificial sweeteners or real sugar, mice gravitated to the real thing after only two days.

What’s more, scientists found that the gut-brain connection kicks into gear in the presence of glucose (often added to processed foods as dextrose and extracted from corn starch).

Rebalancing your anxious gut-brain axis

Depending on how the coronavirus outbreak is slowing down in your area (or not), getting back to a normal routine may take a while.

With this in mind, ask yourself these four questions each day to help make sure you’re maintaining your balance, mentally and physically.

  • Are you taking breaks to exercise at home? At the very least, plan short walks outdoors (while practicing safe distancing).
  • Are you reaching out to your family and friends for support? All of us need some extra love and attention right now.
  • Are your sleep habits a real mess? Get back on a regular schedule!
  • Are your eating habits in hibernation mode? You have a golden opportunity right now to clean up your diet and lose some extra pounds.

A very safe and healthy way to relieve those gut-brain blues and boost your immune system without a drug — taking a multi-strain probiotic, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria — is one of the best choices you can make.

And, if you need some extra help to lose a few pounds, you may want to consider EndoMune Metabolic Rescue with its proven formula of Bifidobacterium lactis and the prebiotic XOS that promotes a greater sense of fullness and healthier blood sugar levels too.

Resources

Journal of Clinical Investigation

Baylor College of Medicine

Nature

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

University of California at San Francisco/sugarscience

Healthline

Young boy holding sandwich in front of his face. Caption is "EndoMune Cares!"

EndoMune Gives Back: Feeding America

At this time, an estimated 17 million additional people in the U.S. are experiencing hunger due to the impacts of COVID-19. Schools are closed, and so are the programs that feed many children whose parents or caregivers may now be unemployed.

We at EndoMune are committed to supporting the health of our communities nationwide during this time of vulnerability and are grateful for our ability to do so when food banks are experiencing their greatest need. As a physician, I appreciate Feeding America’s efforts to supply fresh, healthy and nutritious foods necessary for maintaining a balanced diet.

For each bottle purchased on our website, we will donate $2 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Donations will continue for as long as the Fund is active.

Feeding America, through its network of 200 food banks across the U.S., secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals per year as the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization to children and families in need.

We kindly ask that you join us in our effort to help feed America during this time.

Sincerely,
Dr. Hoberman

Pregnant woman looking out a window while holding her belly.

Coronavirus and Pregnancy

Coronavirus Adds New Anxieties for Pregnant Women 

Recently, the World Health Organization labeled coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic. Many pregnant women have expressed concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on their health and the health of their unborn babies. Not much is known about pregnancy and the new Coronavirus as more research is being done.

As you might already know, the virus spreads through respiratory droplets sent into the air when a person who is infected coughs or sneezes. It might also spread when someone touches a surface infected by a person who has the virus.

Health officials are urging pregnant women, along with the elderly and others with weakened immune systems, to do their best to avoid exposure to the Coronavirus. Doctors suggest staying home as much as possible, avoiding crowds — including long lines at the supermarkets and other stores — and staying away from emergency rooms if possible.

New information is being discovered daily, but today we answered some of the most common questions surrounding pregnancy and COVID-19.

What can pregnant women do to protect themselves against the novel Coronavirus? 

While there is further research underway across the world, it is currently not known if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public or if they are more likely to have a serious illness as a result of it.

Women experience physiological changes during pregnancy that can weaken their immune systems and place them at higher risk for severe complications if exposed to viruses, especially if they have underlying health conditions. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness in the past.

With little knowledge of how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their unborn children, it is pertinent they protect themselves from illnesses and use all the precautions to reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19.

Pregnant women should do the same things as the general public to void infection. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking these actions:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes – using a tissue is best, but your elbow is a good alternative
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Thoroughly wash your fruits and vegetables from the store
  • Avoid public spaces (social distancing is important to limit the spread of the virus)
  • Avoid people who are sick – even in your own home
  • Hydrate and rest often
  • Take a high-quality probiotic to promote healthy digestion and immune health
  • Maintain a healthy diet, high in antioxidant-rich foods

Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus or newborn? 

It is not currently known if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

In a recent study published in ​The Lancet​, researchers followed nine pregnant women who had tested positive for the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China— the epicenter of the outbreak— during their third trimester. “Researchers found that none of the infants, all delivered cesarean, had the virus at birth. The virus was not found in samples of the mothers’ breast milk, cord blood, babies throats or amniotic fluid.”

“The risk of passing the infection to the fetus appears to be low, and there is no evidence of any fetal malformations or effects due to maternal infection with COVID-19,” according to the study.

Can you breastfeed if you tested positive for COVID-19? 

While there is no ​evidence​ of the virus in breastmilk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s still not clear whether the virus can be transmitted to infants during feedings.

“Given that the virus is spread through respiratory droplets, mothers should wash their hands before feeding their babies, consider wearing a face mask to minimize the infant’s exposure and properly clean their breast pumps.”

Stay Positive and Take Your Probiotics

It’s important to keep it all in perspective! Create a new daily routine at home to help maintain a sense of normalcy until the baby arrives and take your daily probiotics to help build the best defense.

Resources

US National Library of Medicine

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Lancet

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist

 

Warning sign that says "CORONAVIRUS"

Coronavirus: Protect Your Immune System

Just when you thought you were prepared for the worst of the cold and flu season, here comes COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus. As the coronavirus has spread across the globe and made its way around the world to America, most of you are concerned, as you should be.

However, there’s been lots of fear-mongering conspiracies shared about the coronavirus by media sources choosing to scare you rather than truly help you.

Still, your number one priority during this coronavirus pandemic —protecting your immune system — remains the same as it does during our annual flu fight.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus doesn’t have a vaccine on the market preventing it, and there may not be one available for quite some time. Some researchers estimate that a vaccine may not be available for 12-18 months.

So, what can you do?

Your updated healthy habits list

With no vaccine coming for a while, here’s your updated healthy habits list. This time there will be a greater emphasis on protecting your immune health.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water often. It is recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after toileting, sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
  2. Work on not touching your nose, mouth and eyes so much. (Yes, it’s very hard to do!)
  3. Cover your nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing with a facial tissue. Be sure to throw it away afterwards!
  4. Keep common surfaces you use a lot (your kitchen sink, countertop and bathroom lavatory) as clean as you can. Household sprays will do perfectly fine for this task.
  5. Eat healthy meals and get as much exercise as you can.
  6. Avoid close contact with the sick and stay home when you’re sick. The CDC recommends not spending money on a mask unless you wear it to protect others from the coronavirus.

Boosting the bugs in your gut with a probiotic supports your immune system too… but how?

Multiple strains of bacteria make a difference

Although there has been no testing of probiotics against the coronavirus, a group of researchers examined the effect of 12 strains of beneficial bacteria contained in probiotics to fight viral diseases in a review published in Current Pharmaceutical Design.

In most instances, these strains of beneficial bacteria reduced the severity of symptoms (diarrhea, coughing, fevers) from colds and flu and upper respiratory infections in young children and healthy adults.

(Scientists tested a number of strains including Lactobacillus caseiLactobacillus rhamnosusLactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium lactis contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.)

Follow my updated healthy habits list, monitor news reports from trusted sources like the CDC and World Health Organization and take a probiotic. By taking these simple steps, you’re doing all you can to protect you and yours from the coronavirus.

References

World Health Organization

CDC

Current Pharmaceutical Design

New York Times

NBC News

The Hill

 

 

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