Echinacea May Support Immunity in Athletes

April 27, 2007

1 Min Read
Echinacea May Support Immunity in Athletes

ELMHURST, Ill.Echinacea purpurea may support respiratory health in athletes, attenuating the normal drop in mucosal immunity associated with exercise (Int J Sports Med, DOI:10.1055/s-2007-964895). Researchers from Elmhurst College and Detroits Wayne State University subjected 32 adults to an exercise protocol known to affect mucosal immunity; saliva was collected prior to and five minutes after exercise. Subjects then consumed a supplement with E. purpurea or a placebo for four weeks, before participating in the exercise test again. While both groups demonstrated significant exercise-induced reductions in salivary IgA (s-IgA) and the secretion rate of s-IgA at the start of the study, supplementation with E. purpurea prevented such reductions in the intervention group during the second test. There was no difference in the number of upper respiratory tract infections between the groups; however, duration was only 3.4 days in the Echinacea group compared to 8.6 days in control participants.

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