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In a ground-breaking ruling, one of the highest legal authorities in Europe, the European Court of Justice, has decreed that CBD cannot be considered a narcotic drug as it contains no psychoactive properties. Legal experts and cannabis industry advocates hope the judgment will set the groundwork for a legally regulated CBD market in Europe.
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HPA Chairperson, Maria Ascencao, at the HPA Annual General Meeting on 9 July 2020 – conducted via Zoom in order to adhere to Covid-19 regulations – presented a comprehensive and enlightening annual overview of the HPA’s achievements, projects and regulatory concerns. “July 2019 to July 2020 was another period of high-level and high-speed activity, advocacy, achievements, disappointments, challenges and advancement for the HPA – on many fronts,” she said. “There have been a significant number of changes within the industry, primarily related to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), over-regulation, strikes, political chaos, the economy…and COVID-19, which has forever changed the world. What has not changed, however, is the unique ability of this organization to continue to adapt to an environment that remains volatile and challenging, and to respond in a manner that reflects our qualities, expertise and commitment to our members.”

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Vitamins C, D, other nutrients vital to counter Covid — research

Vitamins C, D omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, iron and selenium may be essential for immunity — a vital weapon in the fight against Covid-19 — and deficiency of these may make it difficult for the immune system to defend the body, a new study has found.

The US research has found that supplementing with vitamins C, D, omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, iron and selenium are important for immunity and to help protect against viral illness such as respiratory tract infections — a common feature of Covid-19.

SA pharmacist and health expert, Giulia Criscuolo, says nutrient deficiencies open the door to viruses and endanger high-risk individuals.

Focussing on vitamins C and D, US researcher, Prof Adrian Gombart, said studies are “revealing and characterizing new pathways regulated by vitamin D and its receptor that may be essential for optimal immune function. Vitamin C is also involved in the production of antibodies, without which the body cannot keep Covid-19 in check.”

Fellow researcher, Isabelle Schiffer said high doses of vitamin C are being used to treat Covid-19 patients, adding: “…naturopathy cannot replace conventional medicine, but can complement it.”

Chairperson of the Health Products Association of Southern Africa (HPA), Maria Ascencao, said scores of studies backed the benefits of vitamin C and D on immunity, notably:

▪️ A Chinese study of 50 “mid-serious” Covid-19 patients found that no patients who were treated with high doses of vitamin C were reported to have died.
▪️ A study published in the scientific journal JAMA shows that administering vitamin C to intensive-care Covid-19 patients with lung damage reduced the risk of death by about 20%.
▪️ A US study shows that vitamin D may help prevent the immune system from becoming dangerously overactive and protect Covid-19 patients against complications and death.
▪️ A Japanese study shows that vitamin D supplementation may cut flu risk by up to 42% while UK research shows that it may cut by half the risk of respiratory infection.
▪️ Studies also show that vitamin D may be as important as vitamin C for strengthening the immune system to fight flu and pneumonia.
▪️ US research has shown vitamin D’s positive impact on immunity, including a study which found it to be a powerful immunoregulator.
Ascencao says that in addition to recommendations by the World Health Organisation to wash hands regularly and to practice social distancing, eating healthily, taking high-quality supplements, getting enough sleep, regular exercise and managing stress are important for good health.

Ascencao says that in addition to recommendations by the World Health Organisation to wash hands regularly and to practice social distancing, eating healthily, taking high quality supplements, getting enough sleep, regular exercise and managing stress are important for good health.

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