The efficacy of Echinacea purpurea in supporting a healthy immune system is based on modulatory effects on immune function. There are many factors linked to short or long term weakening of the immune system, that reduce the body’s natural defenses. Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet all can compromise the immune system’s ability to respond. Since it has been largely unknown how this modulation manifests in the body, and how the effects develop in subjects with weaker immune response, the goal of this study was to monitor several immune mediators during Echinacea treatment. (Effects of Echinaforce® treatment on ex vivo-stimulated blood cells, M.R. Ritchie, J. Gertsch, P. Klein, R. Schoop, Phytomedicine 2011;18:826-831)
For the first time ex vivo study data demonstrated a prophylactic immunomodulation in the human body. In a clinical study conducted at the University of St. Andrews 30 volunteers were treated with Echinaforce® for 8 days. Various factors of the immune system were investigated during Echinaforce® treatment. Effects on individuals with strong immune response were compared with the effects in those with weak response.
The following effects were most prominent in phases of weak immune response in stressed and susceptible individuals:
· Reinforcement of antiviral defense through interferon gamma was stimulated by Echinaforce®.
· In individuals with a weak immune response the anti-inflammatory factor interleukin 10 was simulated by Echinaforce®. In contrast, initial high concentrations of the pro-inflammatory factors TNF-alpha and interleukin 1 were inhibited.
· Immune cells mobilized by chemokines. The chemokines interleukin-8 and MCP-1 were stimulated in individuals with a weak immune response. These ensure migration of the immune cells to the site of infection.
Subjects whose immune cells showed initial “weak” immune reaction experienced exceptionally pronounced effects upon treatment. In contrast, there were no increased effects in subjects with a strong immune response. The authors chose the term “adaptive immune modulation” to describe the selective effects of Echinacea on subjects with weak immune response due to life situations causing short or long term weakening of the immune system.
Pierce Sioussat, President of Bioforce USA stated “Alfred Vogel, the Swiss Naturopath who founded Bioforce, saw that Echinacea had a wide spectrum of actions, with gentle, yet profound effects on the body. Bioforce has focused its research on understanding the power of this plant to gain the greatest health benefits from it. This latest study is another important step in that direction. We found this study of great interest because it once again proves that rather than stimulating the immune system, as once believed, Echinaforce® modulates the immune response only where and when needed, truly providing support for a healthy immune system.”
About Bioforce USA
Bioforce USA has created long-term strategic alliances with European manufacturers of product lines that have years of clinical research support for safety and efficacy, plus years of repeat consumer use. Bioforce USA has brought these lines, which include A. Vogel, Sanhelios, Herbatint, Bionorica and SECURE exclusively to the United States for distribution through natural products and health food stores.
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