Science is forever evolving, it is never settled. Always consult your health care professionals first. They know more about your specific situation, but you can always take information you've read to them to ask more questions.
What do we know about Elderberry?
Elderberries are the fruit of the sambucus tree. Native Americans and European herbalists have long used elderberries for their potential health supporting benefits. Elderberry is a nutritious food. Food is eaten daily. Would you limit/stop eating strawberries? We have simplified the process, of getting all the nutritional benefits of elderberry, in an easy daily spoonful.
Antiviral activity of elderberry was best when used PRE, DURING & POST infection "1) It surpresses the entry of the virus into the cell, 2) modulates during the post infection stage, 3) preventing viral transmisssion to other cells. Elderberry also upregulates cytokines, suggesting an indirect effect on viral immune response in the body" (source)
“A complete cure was achieved within 2 – 3 days in nearly 90% of the elderberry-treated group compared with at least 6 days in the placebo group (P < 0.001). The results of our study show that elderberry syrup is also effective against influenza A virus infections. Both studies show that the duration of the illness can be reduced by 3 – 4 days with elderberry syrup compared with placebo.” Study found here
"Historically, elderberry was known as “the medicine chest of the country people” (Ettmueller) and was used to cure just about anything! (The herb society)"
“The H1N1 inhibition activities of the elderberry flavonoids compare favorably to the known anti-influenza activities of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu; 0.32 microM) and Amantadine (27 microM).” Study found here
"Sambucus also increases cytokine production. The herb appears to strengthen cell membranes to prevent virus penetration, possibly by inhibiting the viral enzyme that weakens the membrane" David Hoffman. (2003). Medical Herbalism"
The USDA published an ORAC table that measured antioxidant levels in various foods and plants. The data shows the levels of the Elderberry being the second from the top antioxidant containing food."
"Study shows Israeli elderberry extract effective against avian flu. (By Nicky Blackburn JANUARY 29, 2006)"
"Elderberry juice benefits are attributed to its nutrients, which include vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, carotenoids, amino acids, and flavonoids. Elderberry juice is also very rich in certain essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and several anti-oxidants. (The midwest-elderberry-coop)"
What are cytokines?
Cytokines are a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are secreted by specific cells of immune system. Cytokines are a category of signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation and hematopoiesis. Cytokines play a broad role to help the immune system respond to diseases, and drugs. Cytokines may be ''good'' when stimulating the immune system to fight a foreign pathogen or attack tumors.
What are cytokine storms?
What is a cytokine storm (follow link)
What else do we know?
First and foremost, elderberry is an immune modulator. (source) Immune modulators balance and strengthen immune function in the body.
Elderberry may be safe and effective for supporting a variety of viral infections. We know that elderberry has supported individuals with influenza, who are experiencing cytokine storms. (source)
Elderberry has been shown to increase BOTH PRO-inflammatory cytokines and ANTI-inflammatory cytokines, and REDUCE oxidative stress (oxidative stress = free radicals) and may help to REGULATE inflammatory disease like autoimmunity. There have not been case reports of elderberry-induced cytokine storms. Cytokine release syndrome is very rare. There are a plethora of studies that show that elderberry supports preventing/reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Cytokines are an essential immune response to help fight off ANY infection. Again, cytokine storms are extremely rare.
With the studies we do have on the benefits of elderberry and upper respiratory infection, we weigh the risk verse benefit & our family will continue to use elderberry every day to support our health and wellness. We hope that this helps make a better educated decision on if you will continue to use elderberry syrup. If you would like more information on this topic, I can refer you to doctors and herbalists who have also talked about this.
Autoimmune and Elderberries
Not all AI are created equal, not all cytokines are created equal.
Misconstrued by the Mass Market
The word “stimulating” in prior studies has grabbed a lot of attention in the AI community. It was not meant to be interpreted as “bad" rather, to “turn on” or “start” the immune system. Think putting a key into an ignition to start a car.
THE LATEST RESEARCH SHOWS
Stay berry healthy my friends,