The COVID-19 Prevention Players – Companies that Build Health and Boost the Immune System!

Older age, poor health (underlying conditions), a weak immune system, male gender, smoking, and even obesity (and diabetes), have been cited as risk factors leading to higher death rate from COVID-19 (coronavirus). As global confirmed cases now exceed 3 million and over 218,000 deaths, we take a look at companies that help make people healthier and help boost our immune system. These companies’ products and services are currently in huge demand and should therefore be potential winners during the pandemic.

For example, COVID-19 deaths in those with no underlying conditions is only 0.9% The death rate in confirmed cases (probability of dying if infected by the virus) in males is 4.7% compared to women at 2.8%, so almost twice the chance of dying if you are a male.

People with risk factors may be more likely to need hospitalization or intensive care if they have COVID-19, or they may be more likely to die of the infection. This means most of the world’s population, especially in COVID-19 hot spots, will be focused to get healthier and reduce their risk factors. COVID-19 solutions will include exercise and weight loss, rest/sleep/relaxation, sunshine (Vitamin D), eating healthier foods, and taking nutritional supplements (with zinc) to boost immune system.

The global market for vitamins supplements was US$48.5 billion in 2017. It is forecast to grow to US$81 billion by 2025. This was before COVID-19 so we may see even higher global sales.

Popular vitamin brands

Zinc deficiency leads to a weakened immune system and is more common in males

I do find it very interesting that the early signs of COVID-19 can be a loss of taste and smell. This is also a sign of zinc deficiency. And guess what, zinc is perhaps the most important mineral to boost the immune system. Zinc deficiency is more common in men (also the elderly and pregnant women), and men are much more likely, statistically, to get COVID-19 than women. Finally, the COVID-19 leading drug Chloroquine works by enhancing zinc uptake into the cells to help the body kill the virus. I will leave you to make your own conclusions on zinc, the immune system, and preventing viral infections.

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Some companies that focus to build better health and boost our immune systems (the health and wellness market)

WW International Inc. (NASDAQ: WW)

WW International Inc. (formerly Weight Watchers International) is a global company headquartered in the U.S. that offers various products and services to assist in healthy habits, including weight loss and maintenance, fitness, and mindset such as the Weight Watchers comprehensive diet program. Investors can consider buying WW International after the recent 2020 price fall and on a PE of 13.5.

Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL | OTC: BLMMF)

Blackmores Limited is an Australian health supplements company founded in the 1930s by naturopath Maurice Blackmore. They are really one of the only listed global near pure play vitamin companies. Their brands include Blackmores, BioCeuticals (a practitioner range), Impromy (pharmacy based weight management program), Fusion Health & Oriental Botanicals (Chinese herbal medicine), IsoWhey (weight management range), and Pure Animal Wellbeing  (natural health products for pets). The Company does not come cheap and trades on a 2021 PE of 35.

Blackmores Immune Recovery & another option – Metagenics (owned by Alticor/Amway) Ethical Nutrients Mega Zinc

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (LON: RB)

Reckitt Benckiser Group is a British multinational consumer goods company headquartered in Slough, England. It is a producer of health, hygiene and home products. In 2012 Reckitt Benckiser acquired U.S. group Schiff Nutrition for $1.4 billion. Schiff’s Airborne Original product is promoted to “help boost your immune system”. It contains Vitamin C plus 13 vitamins/minerals/herbs, including zinc. As covered in an earlier COVID-19 InvestorIntel article, Reckitt Benckiser also make the very well known cleaning and disinfectant products ‘Dettol’ and ‘Lysol’.

Schiff’s Airborne Original product to help boost your immune system

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Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)

Pfizer is a New-York based large pharmaceutical company. It’s known for its products like Advil, Viagra, Xanax and Zoloft. But they also sell the highly popular brand Centrum vitamins, as well as Emergen-C and Caltrate.

Bayer AG (ETR: BAYN | OTC: BAYRY)

Bayer is a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. They sell vitamins under their ‘One A Day Vitamins’ brand.

The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG)

P&G is a well known American maker of diapers, home cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizers. In 2012 they bought New Chapter Inc., a vitamin and supplement company based in Brattleboro, Vermont. New Chapter sells herbs and dietary supplements.

Nestle (SWX: NESN | OTC: NSRGY)

Swiss company Nestle is famous for their dairy products and is one of the largest food and drink companies in the world (based on revenues). In the supplements space, Nestle owns Genestra brands, Garden of life, and Pure Encapsulations.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd (TYO: 4578 | OTC: OTSKF)

Otsuka is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan with health brands MegaFood, NatureMade, and Innate.

Private companies

Several big name supplement companies such as Swanson Health Products and Nutragenics (Alticor/Amway) are privately owned; others are owned by private equity groups such as KKR, and various Hong Kong/Chinese groups. Some popular brands taken private include Swisse and Nature’s Care.

14 mega corporations own your supplements

Source: Created by VillageVitality.com

Closing remarks

Whilst there are several risk factors in getting COVID-19 the good news is many of them can be improved by our actions. Exercise, sunlight, sleep, eating healthier, and taking immune boosting supplements are all easy to do.

Right now the world’s 7.7 billion population is more focused on health than ever before. This means those companies that can help improve people’s health and immune systems stand to do very well in 2020. It also means these stocks should be considered by investors wanting to boost their financial health.