Sunday, November 22, 2009

Studies mixed on value of 'immune boosters'

From CBC News:
The evidence is mixed on herbal products that claim to boost immunity this flu season, medical experts say.

Dozens of products are sold in stores and online, claiming to prevent flu by boosting the immune system. Some of the claims have sparked investigations by Canada's Competition Bureau.

Herbs such as ginseng and echinacea make the body produce more immune cells and enhance the way some cells work. But no one has been able to show conclusively whether that translates into stronger overall immunity to ward off infections.

"I think when someone says 'immune booster' you have this idea that you are going to get this dramatic effect," said Heather Boon, a pharmacy professor at the University of Toronto. ...more

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