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Immune system wellness

Immune system wellness

MImune Do not use if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or breastfeeding. For information on andrographis Wellnses COVID, please see Immuune ODS health professional fact sheet, Dietary Supplements in the Strength and power nutrition of COVID Vitamin E also limits inflammation by inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokines [ ]. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. Vitamin A plays a critical role in vision and growth. But no fever or chills or as bad as that night that motivated me to buy this stuff Immune system wellness

Immune system wellness -

Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids , a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate EGCG , another powerful antioxidant. Research has suggested that EGCG may have antiviral properties that support the immune system.

The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.

Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium , magnesium, and folate , all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

Like papayas, kiwis are a rich source of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K , and vitamin C. The soup may help lower inflammation, which could improve symptoms of a cold. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains nearly one-third of your daily recommended amount of B6.

Vitamin B6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin , chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function. You may want to focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh foods and whole grains, engage in at least minutes of physical activity per week, get enough sleep, manage stress with deep breathing or talk therapy, avoid or quit smoking, and limit alcohol consumption.

Preliminary research suggests vitamin C may be involved in the development and function of white blood cells. It seems vitamin C may improve the reproduction of B- and T-cells , which are important white blood cells for the immune system.

The amount of vitamin C needed for increasing white blood cells may depend on the condition and overall health needs. More research in humans is needed to better understand the link between vitamin C and white blood cells. To raise your white blood cell count , you may want to avoid alcohol and tobacco use, take Omega-3s and zinc, and eat a balanced diet.

For example, a study found that the Mediterranean diet had an effect on the white blood cell counts of adults at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Depending on the cause of low white blood cells, you may also need to take medications like myeloid growth factors. Antiviral foods may include fermented vegetables kimchi , fermented milk yogurt and kefir , herbs oregano, fennel, peppermint, and aloe vera , garlic, ginger, turmeric, black cumin, cinnamon, licorice root, mushrooms, and citrus fruits.

Some foods may boost your immune system while others will help with their antimicrobial properties. This means they may help fight bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that cause infections. Examples include herbs and spices oregano , cinnamon , clove , and rosemary , cruciferous vegetables kale and rutabaga , citrus fruits, parsley , and a wide range of other plant-based foods.

Eating a variety of vegetables may help you boost your immune system. Red peppers, spinach, and broccoli are good choices, as well as ginger, turmeric, and garlic.

Eating all types of fresh fruits regularly may help your immune system function well. Bananas, in particular, contain a substance called lectin. One study in rodents found that banana lectin may enhance the immune system. Fresh foods can provide our bodies with the nutrients our immune system needs to work correctly.

You need a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, herbs, and spices in your diet to enable your body to stay as healthy as possible. Good choices of foods to boost the immune system include citrus fruits, spinach, almonds, papaya, and green tea.

Although eating a balanced diet is key to boosting your immunity, foods alone cannot and should not replace medical treatment, unless your healthcare professional recommends it.

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. VIEW ALL HISTORY.

Consider these tips for choosing the right vitamins and supplements for your needs. Life can get busy and sometimes overwhelming, and low energy can make it even harder to cope with day-to-day stressors.

Here are some tips to help you…. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults ages 18 to 60 sleep at least seven hours each night. Insufficient sleep makes it more likely one will catch the common cold or the flu. A study showed that people who sleep less than six or seven hours per night have a higher risk of infection in the short term.

Research shows creating a good sleep routine is essential for a good night's sleep and helping your immune system. Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume before bed. Alcohol can make you sleepy but can affect your sleep cycle. Caffeine can cause you to feel wired, making it hard to fall asleep.

Darling recommends avoiding electronic screens for at least 60 minutes before sleep. Create a sleep schedule. Having consistent cues before bed can play a large role in your nighttime routine. Brushing your teeth, reading a book and other activities can give your body signs it's time for you to wind down for the day.

Moderate exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure and helps control body weight. It also promotes the circulation of the cells and substances of the immune system, which allows them to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Unfortunately, only about 1 in 5 adults and teens get enough exercise to maintain good health, according to the American Heart Association.

Here is how a lack of activity can affect the body and lower your immune response:. Moderate physical activity is recommended to combat obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Health experts recommend a moderate-intensity exercise routine, two to three times a week, for up to 45 minutes for good immune health. Try to aim for at least minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 30 minutes, five days a week. Maintaining an exercise routine might be particularly essential for the elderly.

However, avoid pushing yourself too hard for too long. Prolonged more than 1. The RDA for zinc is 2—13 mg for infants and children, depending on age, and 8—12 mg for adults, including those who are pregnant or lactating [ 29 ]. Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism.

It is necessary for the catalytic activity of approximately enzymes and it plays a role in many body processes, including both the innate and adaptive immune systems [ 2 , 5 , 29 , 58 , ].

Zinc also has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps maintain the integrity of tissue barriers, such as the respiratory epithelia [ 5 , 58 , 83 , ].

Zinc deficiency adversely affects immune function by impairing the formation, activation, and maturation of lymphocytes.

In addition, zinc deficiency decreases ratios of helper to suppressor T cells, production of interleukin-2, and activity of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells [ 2 , 4 , 5 , 27 , , , ]. Furthermore, zinc deficiency is associated with elevated levels of proinflammatory mediators [ ].

These effects on immune response probably increase susceptibility to infections [ ] and inflammatory diseases, especially those affecting the lungs [ ]. Studies have found associations between low zinc status and higher risk of viral infections [ 79 ], and people with zinc deficiency have a higher risk of diarrhea and respiratory diseases [ 2 ].

Poor zinc status is also common among people with HIV or hepatitis C and is a risk factor for pneumonia in older adults [ 27 , 58 , , , ]. Some research suggests that zinc supplementation increases the number of T cells in the blood of older adults living in nursing homes [ ].

population might obtain marginal amounts of zinc [ ]. Older adults are among the groups most likely to have low intakes. Researchers have hypothesized that zinc could reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms by directly inhibiting rhinovirus binding and replication in the nasal mucosa and suppressing inflammation [ , ].

In studies of the effects of zinc supplements on the common cold, zinc is usually administered in a lozenge or syrup that temporarily sticks to the mouth and throat, placing the zinc in contact with the rhinovirus in those areas.

The results from clinical trials that have examined the effects of supplemental zinc on the common cold have been inconsistent. Overall, however, supplemental zinc in lozenge or syrup form appears to reduce the duration, but not the severity, of signs and symptoms of the common cold when taken shortly after a person develops a cold [ ].

In one clinical trial that found beneficial effects of zinc on the common cold, 50 adults took a zinc acetate lozenge In comparison with placebo, the zinc lozenges reduced the duration of colds by 3 days and the severity of cold symptoms cough, nasal discharge, and muscle aches [ ]. Results were more mixed in another clinical trial in which adults with experimentally induced colds took lozenges containing zinc gluconate Illnesses lasted 1 day less with the zinc gluconate lozenges than with the placebo, but the lozenges had no effect on symptom severity.

Furthermore, the 5. In a second trial described in the same report, neither zinc gluconate nor zinc acetate lozenges affected the duration or severity of cold symptoms in comparison with placebo in adults with colds [ ]. A systematic review and meta-analysis found that zinc appears to reduce the duration of the common cold but has mixed effects on the severity of signs and symptoms [ ].

It included 28 clinical trials including the three described above with a total of 5, participants mostly adults younger than 65 years who had a community-acquired viral respiratory tract infection or were inoculated with a rhinovirus.

Most trials provided zinc in the form of zinc acetate or gluconate lozenges with total daily zinc doses of 45 to mg for up to 2 weeks, but some trials used nasal sprays or gels. In participants who used products containing zinc, symptoms resolved an average of 2 days earlier than in those who took a placebo.

Zinc also reduced the severity of symptoms on the third day of illness. However, average daily symptom severity did not differ between those who were and were not treated with zinc supplements.

In addition, zinc did not affect the risk of developing a cold after rhinovirus inoculation. Other recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have also found that zinc shortens the duration of the signs and symptoms of colds but does not reduce the risk of colds [ 54 , 67 , ].

Poor zinc status is associated with greater susceptibility to pneumonia, more severe disease, and higher mortality risk in children [ ]. Several clinical trials have examined the effects of zinc supplementation on the incidence of pneumonia and as an adjunctive treatment for pneumonia.

However, most research suggests that the adjunctive use of zinc supplements to treat pneumonia in children does not affect mortality or time to recovery. A systematic review and meta-analysis included 11 clinical trials in children age 2 to 60 months with mostly severe pneumonia in low- and middle-income countries [ ].

Another meta-analysis of six placebo-controlled trials that included 2, children age 2 to 60 months found that zinc supplementation reduced mortality rates from severe pneumonia but not rates of treatment failure or changes in antibiotic therapy [ ].

Diarrhea is associated with high mortality rates among children in low-income countries, where it causes about , deaths annually [ , ].

Zinc supplementation may benefit children with acute diarrhea, especially in low-income countries, where zinc deficiency is common. Clinical trials show that zinc supplementation helps shorten the duration of diarrhea in children in low-income countries.

A Cochrane Review included 33 trials that compared the effects of zinc supplementation with those of placebo in 10, children age 1 month to 5 years who had acute or persistent diarrhea [ ]. Most studies were conducted in Asian countries that had high rates of zinc deficiency.

Zinc was administered in the form of zinc acetate, zinc gluconate, or zinc sulphate. In addition, evidence that the authors deemed to have high certainty showed that zinc supplementation reduces the duration of diarrhea in children with signs of malnutrition by about a day.

In children younger than 6 months, however, zinc supplementation did not affect mean duration of diarrhea or persistence of diarrhea for 7 days. A systematic review and meta-analysis had similar findings.

It examined the use of zinc alone or in combination with other treatments for acute diarrhea and gastroenteritis in studies in 32, children, mostly from low- and middle-income countries [ ]. Analyses showed that zinc alone or in combination reduced the duration of diarrhea by about ¾ to 1½ days. The authors concluded that zinc was one of the most effective interventions of those examined, especially when it was combined with Saccharomyces boulardii a probiotic or smectite a natural clay that contains minerals , for reducing the duration of acute diarrhea and gastroenteritis in children.

The WHO and UNICEF recommend supplementation with 20 mg zinc per day, or 10 mg for infants younger than 6 months, for 10 to 14 days to treat acute childhood diarrhea [ ]. However, most trials of zinc supplementation for diarrhea have been conducted in low-income countries [ ].

In well-nourished children, zinc supplements might have only a marginal effect on diarrhea duration. HIV infection reduces the absorption and metabolism of zinc from foods [ ]. In addition, people with HIV often have diarrhea, which can result in excessive losses of zinc.

For these reasons, people with HIV often have low plasma or serum zinc levels. Several clinical trials have found some beneficial effects of zinc supplementation to manage the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection. However, findings were less positive in two Cochrane Reviews and another trial not included in either Cochrane Review that assessed the potential benefits of supplementation with micronutrients, including zinc, or placebo in various populations with HIV.

However, zinc supplementation did not affect viral load or mortality rates in this second trial. However, the supplements blunted the rise in hemoglobin concentrations between baseline and 6 weeks after delivery. These ULs, however, do not apply to people taking zinc under the care of a physician.

Higher intakes can cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headaches, and a metallic taste in the mouth [ 29 , 32 ]. In clinical trials in children, zinc supplementation to treat diarrhea increased the risk of vomiting more than placebo [ , ].

Zinc supplements might interact with several types of medications. For example, zinc can reduce the absorption of some types of antibiotics and penicillamine, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis [ , ].

Other medications, such as thiazide diuretics and certain antibiotics, can reduce zinc absorption [ , ]. More information on zinc is available in the ODS health professional fact sheet on zinc.

For information on zinc and COVID, please see the ODS health professional fact sheet, Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID Andrographis paniculata , also known as Chuān Xīn Lián, is an herb that is native to subtropical and Southeast Asia [ ]. Its leaves and other aerial above-ground parts are used in traditional Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Thai medicine for relieving symptoms of the common cold, influenza, and other respiratory tract infections [ ].

The active constituents of andrographis are believed to be andrographolide and related compounds, which are diterpene lactones that might have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating effects [ , , ]. Results from several clinical trials suggest that andrographis might reduce the duration of upper respiratory tract infections and the severity of symptoms.

One of these trials used a common andrographis preparation called Kan Jang. The trial included 50 men and women age 18 to 50 years with the common cold who took four tablets of Kan Jang each containing 85 mg of an andrographis extract three times daily for 5 days 1, mg total daily dose or placebo within 3 days of developing cold symptoms [ ].

Participants who took Kan Jang experienced milder symptoms, recovered sooner, and took fewer days of sick leave than those who took placebo. In another clinical trial, men and women age 18 to 60 years with upper respiratory tract infections took either KalmCold containing mg of an andrographis extract twice daily or placebo for 5 days [ ].

The results showed no differences in symptom severity during days 1 to 3 of treatment. However, between days 3 and 5, participants who took KalmCold experienced milder symptoms—including cough, nasal discharge, headache, fever, and sore throat but not earache —than those who took placebo.

Two systematic reviews and meta-analyses of clinical trials found that andrographis preparations had beneficial effects on symptoms and duration of the common cold. The more recent of these analyses, published in , included 33 clinical trials including the two described above that evaluated the effects of andrographis alone or in combination with other herbs on symptoms of acute upper and lower respiratory tract infections in a total of 7, participants [ ].

Treatment protocols varied widely, but typical daily doses ranged from to 1, mg andrographis extract for 3 to 7 days; studies compared andrographis with placebo, usual care, or other herbal interventions. The analyses showed that andrographis significantly reduced the severity of cough, sore throat, and overall symptoms.

However, the authors noted that the findings should be interpreted with caution because the studies were heterogenous and many were of poor quality. Similar findings were reported from a systematic review and meta-analysis [ ].

It included six clinical trials including the two described above that administered Kan Jang or KalmCold All studies in this analysis compared andrographis with placebo, not usual care or other herbal interventions as in the meta-analysis described above.

Andrographis reduced the frequency and severity of cough to a greater extent than placebo. Three earlier systematic reviews also showed that andrographis appears to alleviate symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections [ , , ]. Although these findings suggest that andrographis might be useful to manage the symptoms and reduce the duration of upper respiratory tract infections, the evidence has several weaknesses.

For example, the studies used different andrographis formulations, and many of the clinical trials were conducted by investigators affiliated with the manufacturer of Kan Jang or KalmCold [ , ]. Clinical trials have found minor adverse effects, including nausea, vomiting, vertigo, skin rashes, diarrhea, and fatigue [ , , ].

Allergic reactions might also occur [ , ]. Findings from some animal studies suggest that andrographis might adversely affect fertility, so experts recommend against its use by men and women during the preconception period and by people who are pregnant [ , , ].

According to animal and laboratory studies, andrographis might decrease blood pressure and inhibit platelet aggregation, so it could interact with antihypertensive and anticoagulant medications by enhancing their effects [ ]. Because of its potential immune-stimulating effects, andrographis might also reduce the effectiveness of immunosuppressants [ , ].

For information on andrographis and COVID, please see the ODS health professional fact sheet, Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID Echinacea, commonly known as purple coneflower, is an herb that grows in North America and Europe [ ]. Although the genus Echinacea has many species, extracts of E.

purpurea , E. angustifolia , and E. pallida are the most frequently used in dietary supplements. The echinacea supplements on the market in the United States often contain extracts from multiple species and plant parts [ ]. Echinacea contains volatile terpenes, polysaccharides, polyacetylenes, alkamides, phenolic compounds, caffeic acid esters, and glycoproteins [ ].

Echinacea might have antibacterial activities, stimulate monocytes and natural killer cells, and inhibit virus binding to host cells [ 3 , ]. It might also reduce inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines [ 3 ]. Most studies of echinacea have assessed whether it helps prevent and treat the common cold and other upper respiratory illnesses, but it has also been used in traditional medicine to promote wound healing [ , ].

Results from clinical trials examining the effects of echinacea for the common cold have been mixed. Overall, studies suggest echinacea might slightly reduce the risk of developing a cold but does not shorten the duration or severity of illness.

For example, one clinical trial examined the effects of echinacea on the risk of the common cold in men and women mean age 23 years [ ]. purpurea extract Echinaforce or placebo; if participants came down with a cold during the study, they increased their dose to 4, mg per day.

Participants taking echinacea had fewer colds and fewer days with cold symptoms than those taking a placebo. Another clinical trial examined whether echinacea helps treat the common cold in male and female participants age 12 to 80 years who developed cold symptoms within 36 hours before enrollment [ ].

Participants took E. purpurea and E. angustifolia extracts four times a day for a combined dose of 10, mg during the first 24 hours and then 5, mg for 4 days or placebo.

Echinacea did not shorten illness duration or severity. A systematic review and meta-analysis examined the effects of echinacea E. purpurea , E angustifolia , E. pallida , or more than one form to prevent upper respiratory tract infections or reduce the duration of illness [ ].

Nine clinical trials eight in adults and one in children were included in the prevention meta-analysis portion of this analysis, and seven all in adults were included in the duration meta-analysis, including the two trials described above [ , ].

A Cochrane Review of echinacea use for preventing and treating the common cold had similar results [ ]. The review included 24 clinical trials with a total of 4, participants. Limited research has also examined whether echinacea is beneficial for influenza.

One clinical trial found that echinacea had similar effects to oseltamivir Tamiflu , a medication used to treat influenza. This trial included male and female participants age 12 to 70 who had had influenza symptoms for up to 48 hours [ ].

Participants took either E. The results showed no difference between E. Purpurea and oseltamivir followed by placebo in rapidity of recovery from influenza after 1 day, 5 days, or 10 days of treatment.

In addition, participants taking echinacea experienced fewer adverse events, especially nausea and vomiting. Additional research is needed to confirm this finding. Echinacea appears to be safe. In rare cases, echinacea can cause allergic reactions [ ].

The safety of echinacea during pregnancy is not known, so experts recommend against the use of echinacea supplements by people who are pregnant [ ].

Echinacea might interact with several medications. For example, echinacea might increase cytochrome P activity, thereby reducing levels of some drugs metabolized by these enzymes [ ]. In addition, echinacea might reduce the effectiveness of immunosuppressants due to its potential immunostimulatory activity [ ].

For information on echinacea and COVID, please see the ODS health professional fact sheet, Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID Elderberry contains many compounds—including anthocyanins, flavonols, and phenolic acids—that might have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, and immune-stimulating effects [ 3 , ].

Studies of the effects of elderberry have primarily used elderberry extracts, not the berries themselves [ ]. Components of elderberry might help prevent respiratory infections by inhibiting virus binding to host cells and by stimulating the immune system [ ]. A few clinical trials have examined the effects of elderberry on the common cold and influenza.

The results from these trials have been mixed. However, overall, they suggest that elderberry might help relieve symptoms of respiratory tract infections. One clinical trial examined whether elderberry extract helps prevent and treat the common cold [ ].

Elderberry extract did not reduce the number of participants who developed a cold. However, among participants who did develop a cold, elderberry extract reduced cold duration by about 2 days and reduced the severity of symptoms. A meta-analysis included four clinical trials including the trial described above of the effects of elderberry supplementation on upper respiratory symptoms caused by the common cold or flu in a total of participants age 5 to 59 years [ ].

The analysis showed that elderberry supplementation reduced the duration of upper respiratory symptoms, and the effect was stronger for symptoms of influenza than for those caused by the common cold.

A review included the same four trials as well as one that administered an herbal preparation containing both elderberry and Echinacea purpurea [ ]. The results showed that elderberry might help relieve symptoms of the common cold and influenza when taken close to the onset of symptoms and for up to 2 weeks.

In contrast, in a clinical trial, 87 male and female participants age 5 years and older with influenza for less than 48 hours took 15 ml 5, mg elderberry extract twice daily for ages 5 to 12 years and four times daily for ages 13 and older or placebo for 5 days [ ].

Elderberry had no effect on the duration or severity of illness. A systematic review of five clinical trials of elderberry to treat viral respiratory illnesses found beneficial effects on some, but not all, outcomes [ ]. The results showed that elderberry supplementation for 2 to 16 days might reduce the severity and duration of the common cold and the duration of flu but does not appear to reduce the risk of the common cold.

However, the authors noted that the studies were small, heterogeneous, and of poor quality. Elderberry flowers and ripe fruit appear to be safe for consumption. However, the bark, leaves, seeds, and raw or unripe fruit of S. nigra contain a cyanogenic glycoside that is potentially toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration due to diuresis, and cyanide poisoning [ , , ].

The heat from cooking destroys this toxin, so cooked elderberry fruit and properly processed commercial products do not pose this safety concern [ 3 , , , , ]. Elderberry might affect insulin and glucose metabolism, so according to experts, people with diabetes should use it with caution [ ].

The safety of elderberry during pregnancy is not known, so experts recommend against the use of elderberry supplements by people who are pregnant [ , ]. Recent analyses suggest that some elderberry supplements are highly diluted or have been adulterated with a cheaper ingredient, such as black rice extract, instead of elderberry [ , ].

Due to its potential immunostimulatory activity, elderberry might reduce the effectiveness of immunosuppressant medications [ ]. For information on elderberry and COVID, please see the ODS health professional fact sheet, Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID Garlic Allium sativum is a vegetable with a long history of culinary use.

Garlic is also available as a dietary supplement in softgel, capsule, tablet, and liquid forms [ ]. Researchers have studied garlic mainly to determine whether it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but it might also have antiviral properties [ 32 , ].

These properties are often attributed to two compounds in garlic—allicin and ajoen [ ]. Garlic might also have antimicrobial and antifungal activity [ ].

Some dietary supplements contain aged garlic extract, prepared from sliced garlic that is soaked in an aqueous ethanol solution for up to 20 months. The extract is then filtered and concentrated [ , ]. Aged garlic extract contains compounds, such as lectins, fructo-oligosaccharide, and N-alpha-fructosyl arginine, that might affect immune cell function [ ].

It also contains S-allyl-L-cysteine and other compounds that might have antioxidant effects and reduce some inflammatory markers [ , ]. Only a few clinical trials have examined whether garlic supplements help prevent or treat the common cold or influenza, and results are inconclusive.

One trial included healthy men and women mean age 26 years who took 2. After 45 days, the researchers took blood samples from the participants and cultured the natural killer cells and gamma delta T cells. The natural killer cells and gamma delta T cells from participants who took the extract had a higher proliferation rate than those from participants who took placebo.

After 90 days, the number of illnesses colds and influenza did not differ between groups, nor did the average number of symptoms per illness. However, participants who took aged garlic extract reported a smaller total number of symptoms during the study.

Results were more positive in another trial, in which men and women mean age 53 years took one capsule of a garlic supplement dose not specified or placebo daily for 12 weeks between November and February [ ].

Participants who took garlic had fewer colds 24 among the full study population during the study than those who took placebo 65 colds. In addition, colds lasted an average of only 1.

Garlic is safely consumed worldwide as a culinary ingredient [ ], and garlic and its derivatives are generally recognized as safe, according to the U.

Food and Drug Administration FDA [ ]. The adverse effects of garlic dietary supplements are minor and include bad breath, body odor, and skin rash [ 32 , , ].

Garlic might interact with medications. For example, garlic might have anticoagulant effects, so it might interact with warfarin Coumadin and similar medications [ , , ]. However, the findings from reported case studies on this interaction are inconclusive [ ].

Garlic might also reduce blood pressure, so it might interact with antihypertensive medications [ ]. Ginseng is the common name of several species of the genus Panax , most commonly Panax ginseng also called Asian ginseng or Korean ginseng and Panax quinquefolius American ginseng [ , ].

Asian ginseng is endemic to China and Korea, whereas American ginseng is endemic to the United States and Canada [ ]. Triterpene glycosides, also known as ginsenosides, are some of the main purported active constituents of ginseng [ , ].

Although ginseng contains numerous ginsenosides, research has focused on the Rb1 ginsenoside and compound K, a bioactive substance formed when the intestinal microbiota metabolize ginsenosides [ , ].

Animal and laboratory studies suggest that ginseng stimulates B-lymphocyte proliferation and increases production of some interleukins and interferon-gamma [ ]; these cytokines affect immune activation and modulation [ 1 ].

Ginseng might also inhibit virus replication and have anti-inflammatory activity. However, whether ginseng has a clinically meaningful effect on immune function in humans is not clear [ , ]. Another botanical, eleuthero Eleutherococus senticosus , is sometimes confused with true ginseng.

Eleuthero used to be called Siberian ginseng, but it comes from the Eleutherococcus genus of plants, not the Panax genus, and it does not contain ginsenosides [ ].

Several clinical trials have examined whether ginseng helps prevent upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold and influenza. Although the evidence is limited, results from these trials suggest that ginseng might help reduce the risk of developing colds and other respiratory tract infections.

However, its effects on symptom severity and duration are unclear. In one clinical trial, healthy men and women age 30 to 70 years who had not received an influenza vaccine in the previous 6 months took 1 g Panax ginseng extract three times daily or placebo for 12 weeks [ ].

Participants taking ginseng were less likely to develop an acute respiratory infection during the study period. However, for study participants who did develop an infection, symptom duration and severity did not differ between groups.

A few clinical trials have examined the effects of CVT-E COLD-fX , a patented ginseng extract that contains mg Panax quinquefolius in each capsule. One of these trials included men and women age 18 to 65 years with a history of at least two colds during the previous year who had not received an influenza vaccine in the past 6 months [ ].

Participants took either two capsules per day of Cold-fX for a daily dose of mg ginseng or placebo for 4 months starting in November.

Participants who took ginseng developed fewer self-reported colds mean 0. In addition, ginseng reduced the total number of days with cold symptoms from a mean of A systematic review and meta-analysis of ginseng to prevent or treat acute upper respiratory tract infections included 10 clinical trials of Panax ginseng or Panax quinquefolius extracts including those described above in a total of 2, participants [ ].

The authors noted that the risk of bias was high to unclear for most trials and that the limitations of the evidence prevented them from drawing conclusions. Ginseng appears to be safe. Most of its adverse effects, including headache, sleep difficulty, and gastrointestinal symptoms, are minor [ , , ].

However, doses of more than 2. A few case reports of vaginal bleeding and mastalgia breast pain in the s and s from the use of ginseng preparations raised concerns about the safety of ginseng; as a result, some scientists concluded that ginseng has estrogenic effects [ ].

However, one of these case reports involved use of Rumanian ginseng [ ], and whether this was true ginseng is not clear. In addition, eleuthero was often referred to, incorrectly, as ginseng at that time because it was called Siberian ginseng. So, it is unclear whether these case reports reflected the effects of true ginseng.

Nevertheless, some experts caution that ginseng might not be safe for use during pregnancy [ , , ]. Ginseng might interact with many medications. For example, it might increase the risk of hypoglycemia if taken with antidiabetes medications, increase the risk of adverse effects if taken with stimulants, and reduce the effectiveness of immunosuppressants [ , ].

For information on ginseng and COVID, please see the ODS health professional fact sheet, Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID Tea Camellia sinensis is a popular beverage around the world that has several purported health benefits.

Tea is usually classified into one of three types—green, black, and oolong—according to the way in which the tea leaves are processed [ ]. Green tea is made from dried and steamed tea leaves, whereas black and oolong teas are made from fermented tea leaves.

Tea extracts are also available as dietary supplements. The purported health effects may vary by the type of tea as well as whether it is consumed as a beverage or dietary supplement. Tea is one of the richest sources of catechins, which are polyphenolic flavonoids, especially epigallocatechin gallate EGCG [ , ].

A typical mL cup of brewed green tea contains 50 to mg of catechins [ ], whereas the same amount of brewed black tea contains about 14 to 88 mg of catechins [ ]. Amounts vary, however, among tea samples and by brewing time. Studies are evaluating the potential health benefits of EGCG and other catechins, including their ability to modulate the immune system and their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties [ , ].

Laboratory studies suggest that catechins might also have antiviral effects against the influenza A and B viruses [ ]. Laboratory research suggests that tea and tea catechins might have antiviral activity. Researchers have therefore examined whether drinking tea or taking supplemental tea catechins affects the risk, duration, and severity of influenza or other respiratory tract infections.

However, evidence from clinical trials is limited and mixed. Studies that found beneficial effects include a clinical trial that examined the effects of catechins and theanine an amino acid in tea on the risk of influenza in male and female health care workers age 21 years or older in Japan [ ].

However, for laboratory-confirmed influenza, the incidence of influenza did not differ between groups.

Schedule Nutritional supplements for muscle growth COVID vaccine weloness booster Bacteriostatic materials Log in to myPennMedicine or call us 8am to 5pm, Immuune through Friday, at Health Proper hydration techniques for young athletes Immune system wellness. In eellness midst of the recent COVID omicron variantmany are taking additional precautions to stay healthy. Washing hands for 20 seconds and practicing social distancing are key to preventing the spread of the virus. However, it's also important to have a strong immune system that can fight back against the germs you may encounter. Your immune system plays Imkune vital welpness in keeping Im,une healthy. How can you Gut health and athletic performance your immune system strong? By Nutritional supplements for muscle growth healthy habits. When your immune Nutritional supplements for muscle growth qellness working to kill a virus or disease, it can take a toll on your overall health. Simple things you can do to help protect yourself include:. Studies have shown that malnutrition — or a poor diet — can weaken our immune systems. This means eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean proteins — while limiting saturated fat, added sugar, and salt.

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  2. Absolut ist mit Ihnen einverstanden. Mir scheint es die ausgezeichnete Idee. Ich bin mit Ihnen einverstanden.

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