Can liposomal supplements help you stay healthy in winter?

Winter is a magical time to look forward to with the snow, hot chocolate and family coming together. However, it also brings a host of health worries with it – flus, dry skin, depression etc.

This blog post is meant to provide you with ideas about how food supplements can keep you healthy. This way the only thing you need to worry about this winter is whether you really should invite your aunt Martha to your family dinner.

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

Getting the sniffles in the colder months is quite common. But have you ever wondered why you get an annual flu shot but not a cold vaccine?

While both the cold and flu are viral diseases, a flu is caused by influenza viruses only (1). The common cold on the other hand, can be caused by a number of different viruses, including rhinoviruses and parainfluenza.

The flu can lead to serious medical complications like pneumonia that may require hospitalization. A cold on the other hand is milder and generally does not lead to serious health problems (1). This is why we require a seasonal flu vaccine but not one for the common cold.

How to distinguish between a cold and the flu

What is the best way to avoid a cold during winter season?

The global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has taught us all a thing or two about viral infections. The same rules apply to all sorts of viral infections, including the flu or common cold. So remember to:

  1. Get the flu vaccination
  2. Wash your hands frequently
  3. Sneeze or cough into your elbow
  4. If you’ve already gotten a cold, spare others and stay home

In addition, it is believed that sleeping well and eating healthily will help you stay sniffle-free. Below are our top picks for food supplements that will help you with just that.

Winter-healthy food supplements

What vitamin(s) do we lack in winter?

The main vitamin deficiency that we associate with winter is a vitamin D3 deficiency. Since vitamin D3 is produced upon exposure to UV light, decreased sun exposure in the winter leads to its deficiency (2). Similarly, vitamin B9 (folic acid) is easily available in winter vegetables like beets and Brussels sprouts. However, the bioavailability of naturally occurring folates is inherently limited and variable (3).

Other vitamins may also be lacking due to the seasonal changes in fruits and vegetables available to us. For example, in a Canadian study, a winter vitamin A deficiency was observed in older women (65-74 years) (4). The healthy men and women in this trial were free-living. They were not recommended any special diet or supplementation by those who conducted the study.

In another study, vitamin C levels were found to be low in winter samples of potatoes (5). On the other hand, vitamin C was found in abundance in winter pickings of spinach and oranges.

A large part of what you eat therefore, also affects your vitamin status.

Are there any other winter-associated nutrient deficiencies?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

It was found that organically grown wheat from a winter harvest had lower levels of nutritionally important minerals such as B, Cu, Fe, Zn, Ca, S and K (6). These minerals are important for the normal functioning of the human body. Thus it is advisable to supplement them in the winter.

Supplementation can be done either by eating varied grains or fortified food in the winter. Alternatively, we can consume food supplements.

Below, we will answer questions on what nutrients need to be supplemented for specific winter ailments.

How do I care for dry skin in winter?

Our skin can become dry due to household heating and the use of warm water. The heat and dryness can strip our skin of essential, moisturizing oils. But did you know that micronutrient deficiencies can also cause certain skin conditions?

Vitamins for dry skin

Vitamin D has been proven to significantly improve skin hydration (7). This was, for example, proven in a study of 50 women. The women were treated daily with a nutritional supplement containing 600 IU of vitamin D. At the end of the 12-week study, their skin moisture content had improved.

This is because, vitamin D plays an integral role in skin barrier function and skin cell growth. An increase in vitamin D levels in the blood therefore, is correlated with an increase in skin hydration.

Another vitamin that can help maintain skin health in winter, is vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis (8). It provides collagen with the extracellular stability that subsequently supports the epidermis. This helps reduce or prevent wrinkles (9). Higher intakes of dietary vitamin C have also been correlated with a decreased risk of dry skin (9).

Skin care minerals

Of the minerals that can support skin health, zinc may be one of the most important elements. Comprising 6% of the total body zinc content, the zinc in our skin contributes to normal protein synthesis (10). It is also involved in the metabolism of vitamin A. This is essential for the maintenance of normal hair and nails (10).

Plant extracts for better skin

Oral turmeric supplementation has been proven to be beneficial to treat dry or itching skin in the cold winter months (11). It exerts its beneficial effects by preventing inflammation and cleaning out the lymphatic system (11).

You can read our blog post on beauty-related supplements for more on this topic.

How can I support my immune system in the winter weather?

In our last blog post, we explained how curcumin does more than lend its yellow color to your curry powder. It is proven to have a suppressive effect on an influenza virus infection (11). Curcumin also has anti inflammatory properties that are beneficial for asthma, arthritis and infections that can worsen in winter.

Another plant product that can be beneficial in the winter is Echinacea. It may help reduce the chances of you catching a cold, although it may not be beneficial if you already have one (12).

We have also previously mentioned that higher serum concentrations of omega-3 fatty acidsand coenzyme Q10 are associated with less inflammatory activity.

Immune-supportive vitamins

Vitamins C and D are required for the normal functioning of the immune system (10). During times of infection, vitamin C can, in addition, stimulate both the production and function of our white blood cells (WBCs) (9). At the same time, through its antioxidant functions, vitamin C is able to protect WBCs from self-inflicted oxidative damage.

Mineral supplements for a healthy immune system

Mineral supplements that can support your immune system include zinc (10), iron and selenium.

Plasma zinc concentration declines with age (13). It is worthy to note that even a marginal zinc deficiency can suppress aspects of immunity. In addition, a selenium deficiency may enhance the severity or progression of some viral infections. 

Finally, iron is required in order to mount effective immune responses against invading pathogens. Consequently, an iron deficiency can impair the immune response (13).

PlantaCorp manufactures liquid liposomal forms of all these immune-supportive supplements. Contactour Business Development team to add them to your product portfolio or view our product range

How can I beat the winter blues without medication?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression with a recurring seasonal pattern. Symptoms most often start in the late fall and early winter and go away in the spring and summer (14). Fortunately, food supplements exist to help elevate your mood.

Curcumin is said to help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal anxiety or depression in otherwise healthy individuals (15). Ashwagandha is also a plant product that it is regularly used in traditional Eastern medicine. The extract is traditionally used to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing (16). Scientific evidence is supportive of its application against stress and as an antidepressant (17) (18).

Liposomal melatonin can help you sleep better. A good night’s sleep in turn, is recommended to fight the blues. 

Read our LinkedIn article for more information on liposomal melatonin. You can also read our blog post on liposomal sleep aids.

Why liposomal winter supplements?

Almost all of the supplements mentioned in this article suffer from problems of low bioavailability. This may be because they are easily metabolized even before reaching our blood. Others that are available from our diet or traditional supplements, are in a form that our body cannot easily absorb.

For all these reasons, nutrient supplementation in the liposomal form is recommended. Encapsulation by a liposome

  1. Increases the solubility of fat-soluble ingredients
  2. Protects ingredients from destruction in the mouth and stomach
  3. Increases the time available for the intestinal cells to absorb them

Liposome-encapsulated ingredients are thus able to execute their beneficial effects maximally. It is our mission to enable the potential of thousands of vital substances that maximizes everyone’s health.

You can read more about liposomal supplements here.  You can also read more about our brand philosophy on our website.

Winter supplements market trend

Vitamins and dietary supplements make up 26% of the nutraceuticals market worldwide (19). The Western European market in this segment registered a year-on-year growth of 5.2% in 2020. This was ahead of the growth of 3.5% in 2019 (20).

Before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the global phytonutrient ingredients market was expected to reach USD 7 385.2 million in revenue by 2022  (21). Of this, the European phytonutrient ingredients market was expected to reach USD 1 907.9 million in revenue by 2022 (22).  15 431.8 thousand metric tons was expected by volume.  This projection has substantially increased since the outbreak.

Consumer focus

The megatrend in 2020 was “Healthy living” (23). Immunity was, of course, the key focus.

The demand for plant-based products and traditional remedies especially rose. Consumers are especially interested in supplements with immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. Those products that are designed to help them relax and sleep better are also especially sought after.

Ask our Business Development team how they can help you stand out in the liposomal food supplement business.


Key takeaways

  • Cold and the flu are viral diseases with different outcomes. A flu is more severe than a cold.
  • Deficiencies in vitamins D, B9 and A are common during the winter.
  • Vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and turmeric supplements can help treat dry skin in winter.
  • Curcumin, Echinacea, omega-3s, CoQ10, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, iron and selenium supplements are sure to support a healthy immune system.
  • Curcumin, ashwagandha and melatonin may be able to help fight the winter blues.
  • The liposomal form of these supplements are proven to be more bioavailable and efficient.
  • Supplements with immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-stress and anti-depression ingredients are sought after.
  • The global market value for these supplements is more than USD 7 385.2 million.

References

  1. [Online] [Cited: 11 22, 2021.] View the research here 
  2. Vitamin D fact sheet. NIH: Office of Dietary Supplements. [Online] [Cited: 11 10, 2021.] View the research here
  3. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here
  4. Seasonal variation of vitamin A (retinol) status in older men and women. Basu TK, Donald EA, Hargreaves JA, Thompson GW, Chao E, Peterson RD. 6, s.l. : J Am Coll Nutr., 1994, Vol. 13.
  5. Seasonal variability of the vitamin C content of fresh fruits and vegetables in a local retail market. Phillips KM, Tarrago-Trani MT, McGinty RC, Rasor AS, Haytowitz DB, Pehrsson PR. 11, s.l. : J Sci Food Agric. , 2018, Vol. 98.
  6. Mineral composition of organically grown wheat genotypes: contribution to daily minerals intake. Hussain A, Larsson H, Kuktaite R, Johansson E. 9, s.l. : Int J Environ Res Public Health., 2010 , Vol. 7.
  7. [Online] [Cited: 12 14, 2021.] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamins-for-dry-skin#1.-Vitamin-D.
  8. EU Register of nutrition and health claims made on foods (v.3.6). EFSA. [Online] [Cited: 11 10, 2021.]. View the research here.
  9. [Online] [Cited: 12 14, 2021.]. View the research here
  10. [Online] [Cited: 10 29, 2021.] View the research here 
  11. Bioactivity, Health Benefits, and Related Molecular Mechanisms of Curcumin: Current Progress, Challenges, and Perspectives. Xu X-Y, Meng X, Li S, Gan R-Y, Li Y, Li H-B. s.l. : Nutrients, 2018, Vol. 10.
  12. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here
  13. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here 
  14. [Online] [Cited: 12 13, 2021.] View the research here 
  15. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. s.l. : Foods, 2017, Vol. 6.
  16. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here 
  17. An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Lopresti AL, Smith SJ, Malvi H, Kodgule R. s.l. : Medicine (Baltimore), 2019.
  18. Effects of a standardized extract of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on depression and anxiety symptoms in persons with schizophrenia participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Gannon JM, Brar J, Rai A, Chengappa KNR. s.l. : Ann Clin Psychiatry, 2019.
  19. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here https://www.pwc.com/it/it/publications/assets/docs/Vitamins-Dietary-Supplements-Market-Overview.pdf.
  20. [Online] [Cited: 11 15, 2021.] View the research here t.
  21. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here 
  22. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here 
  23. [Online] [Cited: 12 15, 2021.] View the research here