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Immune Boosting Ingredients

January 17, 2012

A healthy lifestyle, plenty of fresh air and a good diet are all certainly going to help the immune system. At InnOrbit we have been looking at the scientific literature for ingredients that can potentially boost the immune system and give is a little hand in these cold times.  It is that time of the year in the Northern Half of the Globe when colds and flu etc are more prevalent so this information may help!  If you are in the southern half you may be doing a lot of sports right now and your immune system could be compromised so read on!

Have a cuppa!

Pennywort (Centella asiatica):

Centella asiatica extracts on cell-mediated and humoral immune responses was studied by Punturee et al.  Their results reveal that there is an immuno-modulating activity of Centella extracts with regard to both non-specific cellular and humoral immune responses.  The data available suggest that they may have chemopreventive or anticancer potential.

Similarly, the immunomodulatory activity of extracts of  C. asiatica was evaluated.  For C.asiatica, significant increases in the phagocytic index and total WBC count were observed and the F ratio of the phagocytic index was also significant.

Cinnamon:

Cinnamon Extracts have been reported to improve immune function against microorganisms, but the mechanism was unknown.  This study tested the hypothesis that CPE regulates immune function involving genes encoding TTP (Tristetraprolin), proinflammatory cytokines, and glucose transporter (GLUT) families . Cinnamon extracts increased TTP expression more rapidly than those of proinflammatory cytokines and the net increases of TTP mRNA levels were larger than those of proinflammatory cytokines.  These results suggest that Cinnamon Extracts can affect immune responses by regulating anti- and proinflammatory and GLUT gene expression.

Licorice / Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra):

The immune and antioxidant activities of Glycyrrhiza glabra (Liquorice) polysaccharides were studied in an animal model.

The results of the experiment showed a statistically significant decrease in serum antioxidant enzyme activities. Liquorice compounds significantly enhanced immune and antioxidant enzyme activities concluding that these compounds treatment can enhance immune activities, and reduce oxidative stress.

Ginger:

Ginger, an herbal product with broad anti inflammatory actions, is used as an alternative medicine in a number of inflammatory conditions like rheumatic disorders.  In this study (animal model)  macrophages were stimulated by Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in presence or absence of ginger extract and production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines were observed.

The researchers observed that ginger extract inhibited IL-12, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta (pro inflammatory cytokines) and RANTES, MCP-1 (pro inflammatory chemokines) production in LPS stimulated macrophages. Ginger extract also down regulated the expression of B7.1, B7.2 and MHC class II molecules. In addition ginger extract negatively affected the antigen presenting function of macrophages and we observed a significant reduction in T cell proliferation in response to allostimulation, when ginger extract treated macrophages were used as APCs . A significant decrease in IFN-gamma and IL-2 production by T cells in response to allostimulation was also observed.

In conclusion ginger extract inhibits macrophage activation and APC function and indirectly inhibits T cell activation.

“InnOrbit Conclusion: It looks like several of the ingredients we use for InnOrbit functional drinks have Immune Boosting Functionality!”

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