This article goes into detail about the efficacy of vitamin C and ginseng as a supplement for decreasing lung inflammation and increasing immune activity to treat influenza type A and H1N1 infection. The study was done in rats with and without influenza type A/H1N1 infection. The purpose of the study was to see how supplementation affected the disease state. The parameters being measured were T-cell activation,natural killer (NK) cells, CD25, CD69, and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-infected BCBL-1 that were inserted into the mice. PBMC and KSHV were administered in separate groups.
The study was carried out over 6-24 hour periods depending on the treatment given. The study arrived at several conclusions based on the results. Red ginseng and vitamin C supplementation suppressed the replication of KSHV virus. In addition, supplementation also increased survival and decreased lung inflammation in mice with H1N1. Other findings include increased activation of t-cells and NK cells, which coincides with a better immune response. The study provides a foundation for potential antiviral uses of ginseng and vitamin C supplements.
This is related to pharmacy because it is important to keep up to date on supplement research, as supplements are usually sold in the pharmacy. Supplements may also cause drug interactions that could affect a patient’s health. H1N1 or bird flu was a big health scare that prompted a rapid search for a vaccine. If the bird flu became a bigger issue than it did, pharmacists would be on the forefront of vaccination efforts.
Do you think pharmacists should be more proactive about promoting the use of supplements?
Find the article here:
Kim H, Jang M, Kim Y, Red ginseng and vitamin C increase immune cell activity and decrease lung inflammation induced by influenza A virus/H1N1 infection. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12529