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Past News Items - December 2021

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COVID-19 infection can be inhibited by elements of the human microbiome


Vit K2 Potential Combination for CKD Patients: New Study

Probiotics improve nausea and vomiting in pregnancy


Released: December 2021

COVID-19 infection can be inhibited by elements of the human microbiome

Researchers have identified metabolites, intermediate or end products of metabolism, in the human microbiome that inhibit COVID-19 infection in cell-based models of the virus. The finding, reported this week in the journal mSphere, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, is yet another example of the wealth of information that can be gained by studying the human microbiome, the collection of microbes, bacteria, fungi and viruses that live on and inside the human body. The finding may also help in the development of new therapeutics that can battle COVID-19 infections.

“We have found that bacteria that grow on and in you make specific molecules that can inhibit, at least in a laboratory setting, the cell based viral infection of SARS-CoV-2, and the molecules appear to do that by a number of different mechanisms,” said study principal investigator Sean Brady, Ph.D., professor and head of the Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules, at the Rockefeller University, New York City.

Brady said the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to identify additional antiviral small molecules to complement existing therapies. While increasing evidence suggests that metabolites produced by the human microbiome have diverse biological activities affecting the human host, there is comparatively little information on the metabolites’ antiviral properties.

In the new study, Brady and colleagues used a cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay to screen metabolites from a sample of bacteria from the human microbiome. They identified 3 bacterial metabolites capable of inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection: an adenosine analogue, tryptamine and a disubstituted pyrazine.

The identified molecules display structural similarities to synthetic drugs that have been explored for the treatment of COVID-19. “It was intriguing that of all the chemistries available, the metabolites we uncovered from the microbiome all bore similarities to clinically-relevant antivirals,” said Frank Piscotta, Ph.D., lead author on the study and a post-doc in the Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules.

The researchers say these molecules could serve as starting points for the development of new antivirals. In addition, researchers could deliver the antiviral-producing bacteria as a therapeutic intervention. The researchers say they want to study the mechanisms by which the metabolites function and whether the bacteria producing these molecules have any effect on viral infection upon colonization of an animal. As more data becomes available, they also plan to examine whether the presence or absence of these antiviral-producing bacteria in humans can be linked to severity of viral infection.

“Our discovery of structurally diverse metabolites with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity from screening a small fraction of the bacteria reported to be associated with the human microbiome suggests that continued exploration of phylogenetically diverse human-associated bacteria is likely to uncover additional small molecules that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viral infections,” said Brady.

Brady says this is one of the first studies to show that molecules produced by the human microbiome can inhibit viral infections, particularly of coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2.


The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

Released: December 2021


Pure Encapsulations® and its affiliated brands have partnered with international recycling leader TerraCycle to launch an innovative national program to increase the recycling of its nutritional supplement packaging.

“Pure Encapsulations is committed to a greener future, including leading the way in recyclable packaging design and reducing packaging waste.  However, not all packaging components are curbside recyclable and not all consumers have access to community recycling services,” explains Dr. Barry Ritz, VP of Science, Regulatory & Innovation.  “Through this partnership with TerraCycle, more of our customers will now have the opportunity to send in these packaging materials to be recycled.”

Consumers who wish to recycle their nutritional supplement packaging are invited to sign up for the Pure Encapsulations and Beyond Recycling Program on the program page at https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/pure-encapsulations. Once enrolled in the program, consumers can begin collecting packaging components such as lids, desiccants, neck shrinks, seals, sachets, or any other packaging materials from Pure Encapsulations®, Douglas Laboratories®, Klean Athlete®, Genestra Brands®, Pharmax®, UNDA, and Wobenzym®. It is recommended to use the box your supplements arrived in as your collection box. When full, download a pre-paid shipping label and send it to TerraCycle for recycling.

What happens to the waste once received at TerraCycle?

Once collected, all packaging is cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products, such as park benches and picnic tables. As an added incentive, for every shipment of packaging sent to TerraCycle through the recycling program, consumers earn points that can be used for charity gifts or converted to cash to be donated to the non-profit, school or charitable organization of their choice.

“For many, nutritional health products are an important part of one’s daily routine, but few people consider what happens to the packaging once all the product is gone,” said TerraCycle CEO and Founder, Tom Szaky. “With the Pure Encapsulations and Beyond Recycling Program, Pure Encapsulations has considered the end-of-life options for their packaging and partnered with TerraCycle to help ensure that it never sees the landfill.”

The Pure Encapsulations® and Beyond Recycling Program is open to any interested individual, school, office, or community organization. For more information on TerraCycle’s recycling programs, visit www.terracycle.com.

About Pure Encapsulations
At Pure Encapsulations®, we’ve spent the last 30 years researching, innovating, and developing our comprehensive line of premium supplements. Every one of our products is formulated using high?quality, pure ingredients backed by verifiable science and FREE FROM unnecessary additives and many common allergens.

Also built with the purest of hearts and a plan to improve the wellness and wellbeing of others, this heartfelt commitment now extends to the planet as we move forward in sustainability initiatives and continue to support incredible organizations dedicated to leading the charge for a greener future

About TerraCycle
TerraCycle is an innovative waste management company with a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. Operating nationally across 21 countries, TerraCycle partners with leading consumer product companies, retailers and cities to recycle products and packages, from dirty diapers to cigarette butts, that would otherwise end up being landfilled or incinerated. In addition, TerraCycle works with leading consumer product companies to integrate hard to recycle waste streams, such as ocean plastic, into their products and packaging. Its new division, Loop, is the first shopping system that gives consumers a way to shop for their favorite brands in durable, reusable packaging. TerraCycle has won over 200 awards for sustainability and has donated over $44 million to schools and charities since its founding more than 15 years ago and was named #10 in Fortune magazine’s list of 52 companies Changing the World. To learn more about TerraCycle or get involved in its recycling programs, please visit www.terracycle.com

Released: December 2021

Vit K2 Potential Combination for CKD Patients: New Study

Nephrology Dialysis Transplant has published findings from an experimental kidney failure animal model showing Vitamin K2, when combined with phosphate binders (PBs), could potentially be a useful therapy for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. NattoPharma, now part of Gnosis by Lesaffre, supported the study by providing MenaQ7® K2 as MK-7 as the source material and funding through a Norwegian Research Council grant.


The paper, "Combining phosphate binder therapy with vitamin K2 inhibits vascular calcification in an experimental animal model of kidney failure", presents important evidence furthering the understanding of the role of vitamin K deficiency, specifically highlighting its potential as a cardiovascular therapy for an at-risk population, according to Prof. Leon Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice-Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, and corresponding author to this paper.


"CKD patients often express intense vascular calcification as a symptom of their condition. People with chronic kidney failure are often prescribed phosphate binders to reduce the absorption of dietary phosphate, to lower their serum phosphate which is a major risk factor for vascular calcification. However, PBs also bind vitamin K, thereby potentially aggravating vitamin K deficiency,” Schurgers explains. “This vitamin K binding by PBs may offset beneficial effects of phosphate level reduction on reducing vascular calcification. With this study, we wanted to assess whether combining PBs with K2 supplementation inhibited vascular calcification.”


In this experimental animal model of kidney failure, researchers induced K deficiency in rats, and then fed them a high phosphate diet in the presence of low or high vitamin K2. The animals were randomized to either control or one of four different phosphate binders for eight weeks. Vitamin K status was measured by plasma MK7 levels and immunohistochemically analyzed in vasculature using ucMGP specific antibodies.


Results showed that the combination of high vitamin K2 diet and PB treatment significantly reduced vascular calcification (VC) as measured by µ-CT compared to MK7 or PB treatment alone. Inactive MGP was significantly more present in the low vitamin K2 treated groups as compared to high K2 treated groups. Moreover, high vitamin K diet and PBs led to reduced vascular oxidative stress.


The authors conclude: "In an animal model of kidney failure with vitamin K-deficiency, neither phosphate binder therapy nor vitamin K2 supplementation alone prevented VC. However, the combination of high vitamin K2 with PB treatment significantly attenuated VC. Our findings might provide a combination therapy to combat VC in CKD. These findings should be translated to human research.”


“While this is early research, it is still significant in furthering our understanding of the K2 mechanism and its potential for improving cardiovascular health for the global population, but specifically at-risk populations like those suffering from CKD,” explains Dr. Hogne Vik, Chief Medical Officer with NattoPharma – Gnosis by Lesaffre, which supported this study through funding and supplying the K2 used in the study. “K2 is the only known compound to date shown to impact vascular calcification. We

are proud to continue driving our understanding of Vitamin K2, building on the already substantial body of evidence showing it is a safe and effective cardiovascular protector.”




Neradova A, Wasilewski G, et al. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2021 Oct 30;gfab314. Doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfab314. Online ahead of print.


About NattoPharma – Gnosis by Lesaffre

NattoPharma is now part of the Gnosis by Lesaffre family. This new union of Vitamin K2 pioneers provides the industry the most comprehensive K2 portfolio, backed by science and produced to the highest quality standards. NattoPharma is the world leader of Vitamin K2 research and development, sponsoring all clinical research illuminating the important bone and cardiovascular health benefits of Vitamin K2 as MK-7 for all ages. Gnosis by Lesaffre has pioneered the development of Vitamin K2 as MK-7 from fermentation, with its first production launched almost 20 years ago. Now there is a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for all things Vitamin K2. Whether you are considering MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7 in all its available varieties and dilutions, or the vitaMK7® brand as natural vitamin K2 or the new highly concentrated form, rest assured your answer for creating the highest quality products designed to deliver improved health is with us.


Released: December 2021

Probiotics improve nausea and vomiting in pregnancy

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine found that probiotics significantly improve the symptoms of pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting and constipation. The findings were published in the journal Nutrients.

Nausea and vomiting affect about 85% of pregnancies and can significantly impact quality of life, particularly during early pregnancy.

"The cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is unknown to this date. Various theories have been proposed, but none of them is conclusive," said Albert T. Liu, lead author for the study and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

"Nausea, vomiting and constipation during pregnancy can significantly diminish the quality of patients' lives. Once nausea and vomiting during pregnancy progress, they can become difficult to control, and sometimes the patient even needs to be hospitalized," Liu said.

Beneficial microbes

Probiotics are referred to as "beneficial bacteria." They can be found in foods like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and tempeh. Probiotics are also available as food supplements. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, other than vitamins, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement for adults.

Probiotics are thought to support the community of different microbes, often referred to as the "gut microbiome," found in the gastrointestinal tract.

During pregnancy, hormones like estrogen and progesterone increase, bringing about many physical changes. These increases can also change the gut microbiome, which likely affects the digestive system functions and causes unwanted symptoms like nausea, vomiting and constipation.

The researchers set out to determine whether supplementing with a probiotic could be beneficial for gastrointestinal function during pregnancy.

The study lasted for 16 days. A total of 32 participants took a probiotic capsule twice a day for six days and then took two days off. They then repeated the cycle.

The probiotics were available over-the-counter and mainly containedLactobacillus., a type of good bacteria. Each capsule contained approximately 10 billion live cultures at the time of manufacture.

Participants kept 17 daily observations of their symptoms during the duration of the study, for a total of 535 observations for the researchers to statistically assess.

What the researchers found was that taking the probiotic significantly reduced nausea and vomiting. Nausea hours (the number of hours participants felt nauseous) were reduced by 16%, and the number of times they vomited was reduced by 33%. Probiotic intake also significantly improved symptoms related to quality of life, such as fatigue, poor appetite and difficulty maintaining normal social activities, as scored by questionnaires.

Probiotics were also found to reduce constipation significantly.

"Over the years, I've observed that probiotics can reduce nausea and vomiting and ease constipation. It's very encouraging that the study proved this to be true," said Liu. "Probiotics have also benefited many of my other patients who weren't in the study," said Liu.

New clues from gut microbes and byproducts

Participants also contributed fecal specimens before and during the study. The samples were analyzed to identify the type and number of microbes and the different byproducts of digestion.

This allowed the researchers to examine whether biomarkers in the fecal specimens corresponded with more severe nausea and assess how the probiotics affected participants who began the study with different baseline biomarkers.

One finding was that a low amount of bacteria that carry an enzyme named bile salt hydrolase, which generates bile acid to absorb nutrients, was associated with more pregnancy-related vomiting. Probiotics increase bile salt hydrolase-producing bacteria, which may explain why the supplements decreased levels of nausea and vomiting.

Another finding was that high levels of the gut microbes Akkermansia and A. muciniphila at the beginning of the study were associated with more vomiting. The probiotic significantly reduced the amount of those particular microbes and also reduced vomiting. This suggests Akkermansia and A. muciniphila may be reliable biomarkers that can predict vomiting in pregnancy.

Another finding was that vitamin E levels increased after taking probiotics. Higher levels of vitamin E were associated with low vomiting scores.

"This research provides key insights about the impact of gut microbes on gastrointestinal function during pregnancy. Our gut microbiota explains why we are what we eat, and why bacteria-generated metabolites and products have a huge impact on our health," said Wan. "They affect the gastrointestinal tract as well as skin health and neurological function."

Although the findings are intriguing, the researchers caution that due to the small sample size, further studies will be needed to confirm the effects of the probiotics.

"Our previous work showed the benefits of probiotics in preventing liver inflammation. The current study might be one of the first to show the benefits of probiotics in pregnancy," said Wan. "It would be interesting and important to further test whether probiotics can reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients."

Additional authors on this study include Shuai Chen from the Department of Public Health Sciences, and Prasant Kumar Jena, Lili Sheng and Ying Hu from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

Story Source:  Materials provided by University of California - Davis Health.

Released: December 2021


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"The body’s response to menopause can be different for every woman,” said Dr. Christopher Shade, Founder & CEO, Quicksilver Scientific. “But what doesn’t vary is that declines in hormone production are at the root of those responses. They can greatly benefit from natural supplements to help address the hormonal depletions that occur during the perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause stages of life.”


As the natural production of female hormones begins to decline in the late twenties and early thirties, modern-day lifestyle factors – stress, adrenal fatigue, excess body fat, xenoestrogen exposure and more – can add to hormone depletion, which is the root of many issues that begin during perimenopause. Quicksilver Scientific female hormone products are formulated to help restore balance and bring beauty to these years.


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Quicksilver Scientific DHEA+ and Progesterone+ formulations ($15-$170 MSRP) are available nationwide, through our practitioner network, direct-to-consumer at quicksilverscientific.com and select premium retailers, including Erewhon.


These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



Quicksilver Scientific, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of nutritional supplements featuring proprietary enhanced delivery systems.  The company's advanced liposomal supplements are highly bioavailable, increasing absorption of essential vitamins, enabling the removal of ubiquitous toxins, and helping consumers to achieve their genetic potential. 

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