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A new study by a team of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group said it has taken the next step towards the discovery of a safe, effective and accessible vaccine against coronavirus.

Oxford and AstraZeneca are collaborating with clinical partners around the world as part of a global clinical programme to get a vaccine.

The global programme is made up of a Phase III trial in the U.S. enrolling 30,000 patients, a paediatric study, as well as Phase III trials in low-to-middle income countries including Brazil and South Africa which are already underway.

According to a statement published on Oxford University webiste on Monday, the results of the Phase I/II trial publishedm in the scientific journal, The Lancet, indicate no early safety concerns and induces strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system.

The vaccine provoked a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus), and an antibody response within 28 days (antibodies are able to neutralise the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted).

Study

During the study, participants who received the vaccine had detectable neutralising antibodies, which have been suggested by researchers as important for protection, and these responses were strongest after a booster dose, with 100 per cent of participants’ blood having neutralising activity against the coronavirus.

The next step in studying the vaccine is to confirm that it can effectively protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

A professor, Andrew Pollard said, “We saw the strongest immune response in the 10 participants who received two doses of the vaccine, indicating that this might be a good strategy for vaccination”.

A UK Phase I/II trial began in April testing the Oxford coronavirus vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The team started working to develop a vaccine against the global threat in January 2020 and have been working with unprecedented urgency in a race against the coronavirus.

During the Phase I/II trial the vaccine has been evaluated in more than 1,000 healthy adult volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years in a randomised controlled trial.

A subset of these volunteers (10 people) received two doses of the vaccine. Between April 23, 2020 and May 21, 2020, 1077 volunteers, received the vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or a placebo MenACWY vaccine. There were no serious adverse health events related to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

The University of Oxford is working with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the further development, large-scale manufacture and potential distribution of the vaccine, with plans for clinical development and production of the Oxford vaccine progressing globally.

The project has been further spurred by £84 million of Government funding to help accelerate the vaccine’s development.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals Research and Development at AstraZeneca said, “We are encouraged by the Phase I/II interim data showing AZD1222 was capable of generating a rapid antibody and T-cell response against SARS-CoV-2. While there is more work to be done, today’s data increases our confidence that the vaccine will work and allows us to continue our plans to manufacture the vaccine at scale for broad and equitable access around the world.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s results are extremely encouraging, taking us one step closer to finding a successful vaccine to protect millions in the UK and across the world. Backed by £84 million Government investment for the vaccine’s development and manufacture, the agility and speed with which the University of Oxford have been working is outstanding. I am very proud of what they have achieved so far.”

Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce said: “The UK is fortunate to have such outstanding academic innovators working alongside the highly experienced global team at AstraZeneca. This partnership is working at exceptional speed to demonstrate the safety and clinical effectiveness of the chadox vaccine in protecting people against COVID-19 infection.”

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where someone experiences tough bowel movements which happen less frequent than normal. Everyone has experienced constipation at some point in their life, and they can attest that it is not a very pleasant experience. Though it is not chronic, everyone would give anything to get their bowels back on track. The amount of time between bowel movements varies widely from one person to another.

Most people have them three times in a day while others have them twice or even once! However going for more than three days is enough to cause alarm. This is because food takes longer in the digestive tract which means the colon absorbs more water from the stool. This makes the stool hard and dry and therefore difficult and even very painful to eliminate.

Causes of Constipation

1. Low Amounts of Fiber in the Diet

Fibers act as cleaners to the digestive tract. Diets that lack fibers result in an unclean digestive tract. This, consequently, results in accumulation of food particles and wastes that block the passage and thus cause constipation

2. Physical Inactivity

People who are physically inactive, for example, those who are bedridden for several weeks, are more susceptible to constipation. This is because physical activity helps us maintain a high metabolism, and thus body processes such as digestion happen more rapidly.

 

3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People who suffer from this condition suffer from constipation more frequently

4. Aging

As we grow older, our metabolic rate slows down. This results in a reduced rate in body functions such as digestion and thus cause constipation

5. Not Drinking Enough Water

This results in more absorption of water from the food which makes the stool hard. The result is constipation

6. Not Emptying Your Bowels when Needed

Ignoring this vital call of nature means the stool spends more time in the colon. As a result, more water is absorbed from it leaving it hard and dry.

The Remedies for Constipation

1. Add Fiber-Rich Foods to Your Diet

The main role of fiber in our body is cleaning the digestive tract. They clean up the system by scrubbing off food leftovers and waste particles and even soaking up the water, thereby treating and preventing constipation. Some of these foods include cereals, almonds, beans, barley, vegetables, and fresh fruits, among many others. You should also drink plenty of water

2. Mint or Ginger Tea

Research has proven mint and ginger to be handy home remedies to digestive problems. Methanol that is contained in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect which helps relax the digestive system’s muscles and thereby allow rapid movement of food. Ginger, on the other hand, helps the digestive tract generate more heat thereby speeding up digestion through increased metabolism as heat increases the metabolic rate.

3. Healthy Facts

Oils from avocados, nuts and olive oil help in lubrication of the digestive tract and hence ease constipation.

4. Lemon Water

Citric acid present in lemon juice helps stimulate the digestive system and also flush out harmful substances such as wastes. Taking a glass of fresh lemon juice every morning or adding lemon to your tea will not only help treat and prevent constipation but also make you drink more water every day.

5. Coffee

Coffee is a good stimulant to your body. It works by increasing metabolism through heat and thereby speeding up your trips to the toilet. Other hot drinks work just as well.

 

6. Water

Taking a cup of water after waking up is recommended. Water helps in peristalsis and therefore helps prevent constipation.

7. Massage

Massaging the abdomen also helps in relieving constipation. It achieves this by stimulating intestinal muscles that are involved during bowel movements.

8. Taking Honey

Honey is a natural laxative. Taking a cup of honey water will help loosen stools and hence prevent and even relieve constipation.

Before we start, it is essential to define body heat in order to be aware of this particular health condition. It is more commonly referred to as “heat stress”. A common cause of body heat is exposure to high temperatures that are not suitable for the body. The normal temperature of the body lies between the ranges of 36.5–37.5 degrees Celsius. Inability of the body to cool down and bounce back into the normal range refers to body heat. It is crucial to identify the symptoms that indicate this uneasy state of the body. These include sleeplessness, a sort of burning sensation in the eyes, uneasiness in the stomach, ulcers, digestion problems like acidity and gas. In some people, it can impact the heart rate, leading to rapid heartbeat among many other symptoms.

There are innumerable causes of body heat. Residing in places with extreme temperatures, exposure to heat wave is not uncommon.  When individuals do not take the required precautions to avoid suffering from dehydration, it can lead to a fatal condition known as a heat stroke. In this condition, people are unable to control their body temperature and fever rises uncontrollably. This could be life threatening if not diagnosed at an early stage.

Surprisingly, the clothes that we wear play a significant role in maintaining our body temperature. Clothes that are synthetic trap moisture and thus lead to high body temperature. A more serious problem is the thyroid gland that becomes more active and changes the temperature of the body. Prolonged fever or infections are also predominant causes of high body heat. Certain neurological disorders and medicines that are not prescribed by doctors can cause this condition as well.

Eating very hot and spicy food is a contributing factor that gives rise to heat. So people who insist on consuming oily and fried food must be careful. In the field of Ayurveda, they often distinguish between foods that are hot in nature and those that have a cooling effect. Thus nuts must be avoided. Diets that are rich in proteins, especially for people who are fitness enthusiasts, must be controlled. Protein rich foods are a storehouse of heat causing agents. Meat, eggs and cinnamon powder are all prime sources that can cause potential damage, leading to rise in body heat.

According to Dr Anju Sood, expert nutritionist, she suggests certain precautions and measures that must be undertaken to remain hydrated and within the bounds of normal body temperature. These are as follows:

1. Extraordinarily high consumption of room temperature or cold water

Water has the potential to cool down the body. One can consume or dip one’s feet in a bucket of cold water to keep body temperature under control.

drinking water

2. Tender coconut water

Having coconut water can be beneficial in two ways. Firstly it is a form of fluid and thus is a water-based drink. Secondly, it is very rich in minerals and vitamins which are crucial in cooling down the body.

coconut water

3. Peppermint and mint

As we are aware, mint or pudina leaves have a perennial cooling effect. It is a spice that can be added to any drink, such as a lemonade and produce the desired effect.

peppermint tea

4. Fruits and vegetables 

Almost all propagators of health food are insistent on consuming fruits and vegetables like bitter gourd, cucumber, tori, watermelon, etc. All these are extremely rich in water and have a nourishing effect. But watermelon must be consumed in the first half of the day as it is very rich in fiber. Consuming it in the latter half of the day might not be good for the stomach.

fruits and vegetables

5. Drinking milk along with honey

Add a tablespoon of honey in cold milk and it works wonders.

almond milk

6. Sandalwood

It is available in a number of forms such as soaps or powders. Applying this or rubbing it regularly on the body has a cooling effect. Ayurvedic beliefs use this as a constant source of cooling down the body.

sandalwood 625

7. Pomegranate Juice

It can be mixed with almond oil and had on a daily basis. It is an excellent remedy to control body temperature and can be consumed by all age groups.

pomegranate juice 620

8. Vitamin C rich foods

it is a good cure for internal and external heat. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc should be consumed daily during the hot months. According to the experts, drinking high levels of caffeinated products must be avoided, along with alcoholic drinks. All these products are harmful and are capable of rising body heat. Being aware of the consequences of the food we eat should not be taken lightly. Sometimes, unknowingly we consume foods that are detrimental to our health and well-being.

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Americans get a billion colds a year, by some estimates, and there are more than 200 viruses that can cause them. In a worst-case scenario, a cold can send you to the hospital with pneumonia, an ear infection, or an asthma attack.

Millions get the influenza virus each year, and about 200,000 people develop complications so severe they have to be hospitalized, while nearly 36,000 people die from it. Those over-the-counter cold and flu medicines are iffy at best and don’t always work.

Chicken soup
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Chicken soup

There’s a reason your mom always had a bowl of this at the first sign of sniffles. Not only does chicken soup provide the fluids you need to help fight off viruses, but it also reduces the inflammation that triggers symptoms and leads to more colds.

It’s not clear which ingredient provides the most benefit, but researchers believe it’s the combination of all the healthy vegetables and chicken that soothes symptoms. (Here’s how to make your own chicken noodle stock or your own chicken bone broth.) Commercial chicken soups seem to help, too. Just be sure to look for organic versions in Tetra pack boxes, not cans, to avoid BPA’s nasty health effects.

Bowl of citrus fruit
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Citrus fruits

Vitamin C, most commonly found in citrus fruits, is an antioxidant that can reduce cold symptoms by 23%, studies have found. A review of 21 studies found that just 1 to 8 grams (1,000 to 8,000 milligrams) of the vitamin will do the trick, which you can get from supplements or from citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, papaya, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

For some people, high amounts of vitamin C can cause digestive problems, so cut back on your dose if symptoms arise.

Garlic and onions
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Garlic, onions, and leeks

Want to add more punch to your chicken soup? Add plenty of garlic and onions. Combined, they contain dozens of broad-spectrum antiseptic and immunity-boosting compounds. One study of 142 people had volunteers split into groups receiving either a placebo or a garlic supplement.

Those receiving placebos had 65 colds, while the garlic group only had 24 colds. Another plus with garlic is it helps open clogged sinuses.

Ginger root
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Ginger

Another Dr. Mom staple, ginger ale will do more than just soothe a scratchy throat. Ginger contains chemicals called sesquiterpenes that specifically target rhinoviruses, the most common family of cold viruses, as well as substances that suppress coughing.

It’s also a natural pain and fever reducer and a mild sedative, so it can help you rest when you’re sick. Adding a couple of tablespoons of shredded gingerroot to your tea can do the trick, but you can also look for ginger chews or real ginger ale, although most of the canned stuff has very little real ginger.

Honey
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Honey

Honey is often touted as a cure-all for everything from burns (put raw honey on a burn as soon as possible to speed healing) to cuts and scrapes (honey’s natural antiseptic properties allow it to work a bit like hydrogen peroxide).

Because it coats your throat, it’s a great cold- and flu-friendly sore throat reliever, and its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties help fight infections from viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Buckwheat honey has the highest antioxidant levels; the clover honey that’s ubiquitous in supermarkets has the least.

Warning: Don’t give honey to children under 1 year of age. Their immune systems aren’t developed enough to ward off infantile botulism, which is carried in honey spores.

Yogurt
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Yogurt

Yogurt contains a bacterium called Lactobacillus reuteri that has been found to block the replication of viruses that invade your body when you get sick. Not all brands carry that particular strain of beneficial bacteria, so look for a brand that does.

Brazil nuts
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Selenium-rich foods

A single ounce of Brazil nuts contains well above the daily value for selenium, a mineral that helps boost your immunity.

In fact, the average Brazil nut contains about 70 micrograms of selenium, which is why we recommend this nut as a top choice. Having enough selenium in your body increases its production of cytokines, which help remove the flu virus.

You can get your selenium through other means, such as seafood. Lobster, oysters, clams, crabs, tuna, and cod all contain selenium. (Just avoid the worst types of seafood.)

Red wine
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Red wine

The resveratrol and polyphenols in red wine work the same way that beneficial bacteria in yogurt do: When cold and flu viruses enter your system, they start to multiply, and these compounds prevent that from happening.

 

To get the most bang for your buck, grab a bottle of California pinot noir. Tests have found it to have some of the highest levels of resveratrol. Don’t drink? Eat some grape leaves or peanuts, the red inner husks of which are also high in resveratrol.

Mushrooms
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Mushrooms

A staple crop in most herbal medicine chests, mushrooms increase the production of cytokines, cells that help fight off infections. They also contain polysaccharides, another class of compounds that support your immune system.

 

In traditional Chinese medicine, the most common cold- and flu-fighting ‘shrooms are shiitake, maitake, and reishi varieties.

Black pepper
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Black pepper

Ironically, the spice best known for making you sneeze can ward off the sniffles. Mix black pepper with ground ginger and vinegar, and the concoction can help increase the absorption of both herbal and over-the-counter medications.