There are many immune system support products on the market. Some of them were used historically in traditional medicine and some have been studied for their effectiveness in treating immune system disorders. It is a typically a combination of historical use with scientific and laboratory evidence that leads to the assumed effectiveness of immune system support products.
Most clinical and laboratory studies relating to natural herbal and botanical immune system support products are done in countries other than the United States. In the United States, the research and study of immune system disorders typically ignores the idea that natural products can be effective treatments. Some American colleges and universities do conduct research involving immune system support products, but most research in America is conducted by pharmaceutical companies who cannot patent naturally occurring substances and are therefore uninterested in them. So, while we have evidence that supports the use of immune system support products both for the treatment and prevention of viral and bacterial infections and for the treatment of immune system disorders, it is sometimes discredited because it was conducted outside of the United States.
Immune system support products may contain Beta-glucans. Found in the cell walls of yeast, oats, barley, edible mushrooms and other plants, Beta-glucans have been the subjects of hundreds of scientific studies and have been shown again and again to increase the activity and production of T-cells. In studies of immune system disorders, in which T-cell production and activity has been damaged or is limited, there was a noted increase in T-cell performance after supplementation with Beta-glucans. It is not clearly understood how Beta-glucans work, only that they do.
Immune system support products may contain herbs or plants used in traditional medicine to treat common colds, influenza, viral and bacterial infections. Andrographis paniculata (AP) is one such herb. There are numerous studies relating to the use of AP by those who suffer from immune system disorders. It is believed to increase white blood cell production and inhibit viral replication. Viruses cannot reproduce without invading other cells. Those who suffer from immune system disorders in which viruses play a factor (HIV-AIDS) have shown improvement after supplementation with AP. Again, it is not clearly understood how AP works, but scientific research has concluded that it is one of the more effective immune system support products.
There is concern among some doctors that the use of immune system support products could conflict with the use of prescription medications. Those who suffer from immune system disorders should advise their doctors about any immune system support products that they may be using. Natural does not always mean safe, AP for example exhibits infertility activity and is therefore not recommended for use by pregnant women or those who wish to become pregnant. Echinacea, one of the popular immune system support products is believed to have a toxic effect on the liver, when used for extended periods of time. If one’s doctor is unfamiliar with the ingredients in immune system support products, an herbalist or doctor of naturopathic medicine should be able to provide information about possible side effects relating to the use of natural products by those with immune system disorders.
Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience in health care and currently writes informational articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. Read more at [http://www.immune-system-booster-guide.com].
For more information about immune system support products [http://www.immune-system-booster-guide.com] or for information about immune system disorders and viruses, visit www.immune-system-booster-guide.com [http://www.immune-system-booster-guide.com].