Elderberry and Vitamin C- Immunity Boosters
Can Elderberry and Vitamin C supplement enhance immunity? Why is it good to have immunity booster supplements?
The importance of immunity is never realized to this extent before. The only “warrior” against COVID-19 attacked body; an enhanced immunity can save your life. It’s an “unappreciated rescuer”, who only got attention because of the ongoing pandemic. But can elderberry and Vitamin C combined, increase your immunity?
To find out, let’s have look at their impact on immunity.
1. What Is an Elderberry and what are Its uses?
Elderberry, European elder, or black elder are popular names for an herb originally located in a sunny area. The biological name of this herb is Sambucus nigra. This is a traditional plant in scrubland in northern Europe and Britain. It is part of the common cuisine in the region.
The plant is a shrub having leaves, fruits, and flowers. The extract of these dark berries and flowers has therapeutic qualities.
1.1 Elderberry- An Immune Booster
Studies have examined elderberry’s performance in improving the immune system and affirmed that an anthocyanin detected in elderberry is effective for the boosted immune system. Another study established that this fruit promotes the production of immune cytokines.
1.2 Flu and Cold Symptoms Improvement
It has shown benefits against the severity and duration of influenza. There are various formulations of elderberry available, e.g., gummy chews, capsules, and liquids.
A study conducted on 64 people showed that taking elderberry for two days resolved the symptoms of influenza early. For example, fever, body aches, and nasal congestion.
1.3 Antioxidants in Elderberry
Antioxidants are free radical killers. Free radicals are nasty particles, formed in the body and cause harmful effects like cancer or diabetes. Every part of the elderberry plant, e.g., fruits, flower, and leaves, are a rich source of antioxidants.
A study compared different plants for their antioxidant properties and found that elderberry is the most antioxidant shrub. Another study concluded that consuming 400 ml of elderberry juice enhanced antioxidant status.
1.4 Heart Health Benefits
Elderberry has shown good effects on heart health. A decrease in cholesterol and fat level was observed by the use of elderberry juice.
Another study conducted in mice concluded that elderberry caused a reduction in cholesterol in aorta and liver.
2. Vitamin C and Its Immunity Benefits
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid- improves the immune system in many ways.
2.1 White Blood Cells Function
White blood cells are an essential part of our immune system. Vitamin C plays a role in the production and function of white blood cells. These cells have 80 percent higher Vitamin C than plasma.
2.2 Vitamin C Helps the Immune Response of the Cell
Vitamin C helps in the implementation of the immune response of the body to a pathogen. It aids in both, antibody and cell-mediated response of the body.
2.3 Increases Phagocytosis-Eating the Pathogen
Phagocytosis is a process in which the body’s defense cells eat the pathogen and destroy it. Vitamin C enhances the function of phagocytosis.
2.4 Interferons Production
Interferons are the compounds produced by the body in “under-attack” circumstances, by a pathogen. These compounds alarm the body's immune system to be prepared for the “invaders”. Vitamin C establishes the production of interferons.
2.5 Antioxidant Properties
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties too. It prevents from various free radicals dependent diseases.
2.6 Formation of Prostaglandins
Vitamin C promotes the production of prostaglandins. These are the hormones, which perform various physiological functions, for example, T-cell function.
2.7 Stops the Neuraminidase- An Enzyme Essential for Some Pathogens
Neuraminidase is an enzyme that is involved in the production cycle of some viruses like influenza. Vitamin C inhibits the production of neuraminidase hence halting the production cycle.
2.8 Antibody Production
Antibodies are produced by B-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells. Vitamin C increases the production of B-lymphocytes and antibodies.
3. The Combined Effect of Elderberry and Vitamin C Supplement
Elderberry combined with Vitamin C becomes an advanced immune support supplement. The immunity effect of Vitamin C and elderberry is amplified when paired with each other.
Antioxidant properties possessed by Vitamin C and elderberry reduce the oxidative stress on the body. Vitamin C also helps in the formation of collagen in case of any tear in the skin hence establishing the first line of defense against a microbe.
The commercial preparation of elderberry extract often comes with other ingredients like zinc and Vitamin D. These improvisations further increase the health benefits of the preparation. These supplements are often available in gummy, chewable preparations.
The Bottom Line
Immunity is the first defense system of our body. It often fights silently without giving a sign. Any weakening of the defense may allow deadly pathogens to enter your body.
The ongoing pandemic has made us realize the importance of immunity to the next level. As it is the only fighter against the notorious coronavirus, your immunity must be robust to fight.
Vitamin C and elderberry both have shown some similar effects on the immune system. Both are immune boosters, influencing the host response in different positive ways. These both have antioxidant features that are essential to fight against free radicals. Other beneficial factors further increase the attraction of the elderberry and vitamin C mixture. For example, Vitamin C aids in skin repairing, which is the first stopper of the microbes. Similarly, elderberry has shown other benefits like lowering cholesterol.
The combination of Elderberry and Vitamin C make this supplement a “super immunity enhancer” product which is the need of the era.
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5. Vitamin C - Strengthens the immune system in 20 different ways- https://www.doctorsformulas.com/en/category/newsposts/vitamin-c-strengthens-the-immune-system-in-20-different-ways.htm
6. How exactly does Vitamin C help your immune system fight off colds and flu?- https://www.nutralife.com.au/exactly-vitamin-c-help-immune-system-fight-off-colds-flu/