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Research & Evidence Of Immune Guard Pro Ingredients On The Immune System

ELDERBERRY EXTRACT

The dark purple berries and flowers from the Elderberry tree are packed with antioxidants and vitamins and have been used to help ease and prevent cold and flu symptoms for centuries. Elderberries contain a number of components that may provide therapeutic properties including anthocyanins, flavonoids, quercetin, rutin, Vitamin C and A. The Elderberry is often used by Naturopaths for the relief of upper respiratory mucus build up (catarrh) and sinusitis. Elderberry is commonly used against Flu and cold by helping to support healthy immune function and as an antioxidant and antiviral.

Elderberry’s Powerful Health Benefits

Elderberry is the common name for the small deep purple berries of the family of Sambucus trees, which were originally native to Europe but are now grown widely around the world. 

The Sambucus Nigra, the most common form, grows to around 9 meters high. The raw berries have a strong tart taste and are often used in cooking jams, sauces, and even wine. 

Traditionally the dried berries or juice have been used to treat a wide range of ailments including colds, influenza, infections and for mild pain relief.

Highly Nutritious

Elderberries are packed with a range of beneficial nutrients including:

  • Vitamin C - vials for a strong immune system
  • Dietary Fibre - maintains good gut health which supports optimal immunity
  • Plant Flavonoids - including quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin
  • Plant Anthocyanins - which give the berries their deep colour, they are strong antioxidants and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Phenolic Acids - help reduce oxidative stress and cell damage

Helps Fight Cold and Flu 

Commercial forms of elderberry (liquids, capsules, lozenges, powdered drinks and gummies) have been available for some time and for good reason. Multiple studies have demonstrated that elderberry can reduce the severity and symptoms caused by cold and flu viruses. Some example of this research include:

Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are natural compounds in food that protect your body from oxidation - a process that damages cell structure and can lead to premature aging, disease and or simply sub optimal health. Antioxidants include many vitamins and naturally occurring plant chemicals. A diet high in natural antioxidants has been linked with improved health and reduction in many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Elderberry is a rich source of antioxidants including anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, flavanols and Vitamin C.

Heart Health

Diets rich in flavanols and anthocyanins have also been linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Elderberry extract has been linked in animal studies to lower cholesterol levels. It has also been shown to help with insulin metabolism to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and associated cardiovascular issues.

Elderberry and Coronavius

With the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, the medical and science communities around the world have mobilised to find effective treatments to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Elderberry is emerging as a potential natural treatment option for COVID-19 due to its well established antiviral properties.

After the original SARS pandemic in 2002, research revealed that certain strains of SARS coronavirus infected human cells by binding to transporting proteins on cell walls called ACE2 receptors. The virus ‘tricks’  ACE2 into letting it enter the cell to infect it. The original SARS coronavirus is genetically very similar to the new SARS-CoV-2 virus that originated in China in late 2019. Because of this, scientists believe this new SARS-CoV-2 virus infects cells in the same way.

This research also investigated various natural compounds as treatments against SARS. Elderberry extract demonstrated a strong ability to bind to ACE2 receptors on cells which effectively blocked the SARS virus from infecting cells. Elderberry extract is an excellent  potential treatment that may help prevent infection risk and reduce severity of symptoms of COVID-19. 

A daily intake of 1000mg of extract is provided to support your immune system and help reduce infection risk.

 

ZINC & GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Zinc and green tea work synergistically to help increase zinc levels in your cells. Zinc is an essential mineral for good health and wellbeing. Many studies support zinc as a treatment for viral infection like colds and influenza. It has also been shown to have an inhibiting action on the replication of some viruses inside infected cells. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is a key nutrient in Green Tea Extract and can help the transport of Zinc into cells, increasings it’s potency.  

Zinc - The Antiviral Mineral

Zinc is an essential nutrient for good health and is involved in a myriad of functions throughout your body including:

  • Normal growth and development
  • Proper sexual function
  • Healthy immune system
  • Gut health
  • Wound healing
  • Bone health 
  • Eye health

Zinc is found in a wide variety of plant and animal foods and many supplements and medications also contain added zinc. Zinc’s ability to help maintain a healthy immune system is perhaps it’s greatest benefit, particularly in older adults.

Zinc supplementation has been shown in several studies to reduce the length and severity of the common cold by up to 30 - 40%.

Mild zinc deficiency is relatively common even in our modern society, and can have a significant impact on immunity. Low zinc levels have been linked to increased viral and bacterial infections due to decreased activity of immune cells and reduced production of immune signalling compounds. 

Zinc has also been shown to decrease oxidative stress caused by factors including pollution, chronic stress, excess free radical production, infections and generally poor lifestyle choices.

Zinc And Coronavirus

The efficacy of Zinc has been extensively studied since the spread of the original SARS outbreak in 2002. It has been found to have an inhibitory effect on the replicase enzymes (papain-like protease-2; 3CL protease, and helicase) that are needed for SARS and alsot SARS-CoV-2 to replicate in infected cells. 

Zinc is delivered to the tissues of the nasal and respiratory passages via the lymph system. While Zinc lozenges can be used to provide Zinc locally to the mouth and throat, oral supplementation is thought to be the best method of increasing zinc in the cells of the lungs which are currently regarded as the primary infection site of the virus. A daily dose of 15 mg of elemental zinc is provided.

Green Tea Extract enhances Zinc absorption

The transport of zinc into cells can be enhanced by compounds known as Ionophores. These compounds bind with other elements or molecules and allow easier and faster transport through cell membranes. A key polyphenol in green tea, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) has been shown in animal studies to function as a zinc ionophore and significantly increase zinc transport into cells to help combat SARS-CoV replication. 

Echinacea

Known as nature’s immune booster, this plant is loaded with antioxidants, such as flavonoids, cichoric acid and rosmarinic acid, which may help defend your body against oxidative stress. The echinacea plant is packed with a complex mix of active substances, some of which are thought to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties.

Echinacea Supports Immunity

Echinacea Purpurea is the botanical name of this very popular immune enhancing flowering plant. It is native to North America and was used for centuries by native Americans to treat a wide variety of ailments. Among its many benefits echinacea has been shown to reduce severity and duration of viral infections such as colds and influenza. 

Echinacea contains an impressive list of functional compounds including caftaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, cynarin, echinacoside, rosmarinic acid and cichoric acid. They provide multiple  health benefits including reduced inflammation, protection against oxidative stress and improved wound healing.

Enhanced immune function is generally regarded as echinacea’s primary benefit. Numerous studies have shown echinacea can enhance the body’s ability to combat infections and viruses and reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. While its mechanism of action is still not fully understood, studies indicate echinacea exerts it’s pharmacological action by modulating various immune responses including cytokine and macrophage activity, resulting in beneficial immune outcomes.

Echinacea is an excellent herbal ingredient to support a healthy immune system to help combat viral threats.

Lactoferrin

Lactoferrin and Colostrum

These two milk based compounds evolved in nature to protect against newborns against infections from viruses and bacteria. They are produced by lactating mammals to impart immunity to infants and to also may provide significant benefits to adults. 

Lactoferrin Helps Prevent Infection

Lactoferrin is a naturally occurring protein found in the fluids of the eye, nose, throat, lungs and intestines. One of its key roles is to protect the body against viral and bacterial threats that enter via the nose, mouth and eyes. Under viral attack the body produces extra lactoferrin. It is found in high concentrations in colostrum, the first milk produced when a baby is born and helps to impart immunity to infant mammals. In adults lactoferrin helps support the immune system by binding to iron in the body which many bacteria and viruses need to replicate.

Lactoferrin and SARS

The effect of lactoferrin on SARS has been studied to determine its potential benefits.  During the early stages of infection, it is thought that SARS-CoV binds to certain proteins on cell walls called Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans (HSPG’s). This helps to anchor the virus to the cell surface giving it the opportunity to find nearby ACE2 receptors to infect the cell. Lactoferrin is able to bind to HSPG’s, blocking these anchor points and reducing the ability of SARS-CoV to then find ACE2 receptors to infect cells. 

Lactoferrin supplementation is also an effective method of increasing NK cells (Natural Killer Cells) - which are a first line defence against viral infection and effective against coronaviruses.

Bovine Colostrum

Bovine colostrum is the first excretion of milking cows within a day or two after giving birth, before true milk appears. It contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and specific kinds of proteins called antibodies that fight disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses. Colostrum is produced by nursing human moms as well. It is the main  way that newborns are protected against infections. Antibody levels in bovine colostrum can be 100 times higher than levels in regular cow's milk. Studies have shown that the main immune component of bovine colostrum - Immunoglobulin G, is functionally active in humans and can help prevent gastrointestinal infection, upper respiratory tract infections and assist in reducing inflammation.

Maca Root

Maca Root Powder

Maca is derived from a Peruvian plant and has been used for centuries for its many health benefits. Maca Root is classed as an adaptogen, a class of nutrients the body uses to help optimise and balance health in times of stress. Maca has also been linked to improved immunity, sexual function, improved cognition and overall health and wellbeing. 

The Benefits of Maca

Maca is classed as an adaptogen, which is a class of herbal medications that counteract the effects of stress on the body. Stress, particularly chronic stress caused by modern life or underlying medical issues, can result in long term harmful changes to your metabolism.These can affect key areas of your metabolism including brain function, hormone balance, and your immune system. Adaptogens work by helping to regulate and optimise normal metabolic function of your body’s regulatory systems including the hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands. 

Maca consumption in Peru is also associated with higher levels of health, lower levels of bone fracture, lower blood pressure and lower levels of body fat.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is an amazing plant that has a very long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4000 years. In Southeast Asia, turmeric is used not only as a principal spice (it gives curries their yellow colour) but also as a component in religious ceremonies. Modern medicine has begun to recognize its importance, with over 3000 papers and scientific publications dealing with the health benefits of turmeric.

Turmeric’s Benefits

Turmeric has been widely studied and many medicinal benefits have been discovered. The active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activities and can also enhance antibody response. 

Curcumin is also an immunomodulatory agent, which is a compound that interacts with the immune system to ensure it mounts an appropriate response to foreign threats or infection such as a viruses, bacteria or poison. The immunomodulatory abilities of curcumin arise from its interaction with various immunomodulators including cellular components, such as dendritic cells, macrophages, and both B and T lymphocytes. They also help modulate molecular components involved in the inflammatory processes, such as cytokines and various transcription factors with their downstream signalling pathways.

Vitamin C

Citrus

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for human health.  Among its many benefits, it is a powerful antioxidant, helps to maintain healthy blood flow, helps maintain cardiovascular health, assists with brain function, helps maintain healthy joints and supports a strong immune system.

Vitamin C - Nature's Power Vitamin

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that has many health benefits. I can’t be made by the body or stored in any significant amounts so must be obtained regularly in the diet. Some of the best sources are fruit and vegetables including oranges, berries, kiwi fruit, peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach.

Many people turn to Vitamin C supplements to ensure they consume at least the Australian recommended daily intake of 45mg.  Vitamin C is well tolerated and can be taken in significantly higher doses. There are a number of benefits supported by research including:

Vitamin C actively supports the immune system via a number of complementary actions including:

  • supports various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system
  • supports epithelial barrier function (skin, intestines, lungs and blood vessels) against pathogens
  • enhance immune functions including chemotaxis, phagocytosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and ultimately microbial killing. 
  • shown to enhance differentiation and proliferation of B and T-cells, which are immune cells that defend the body against various pathogens and threats
  • prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections. 

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