Can I help my immune system?

Can I help my immune system?

Many customers have been asking us about ways to help their immunity in the current climate.

Several of our products claim immunity benefits, as they have ingredients which have been studied and validated by international regulators in clinical trials. 

Look for the “immune system support” logo on products that contain these ingredients.

It’s important to note that while Manuka honey itself has shown anti-microbial properties in lab tests, (meaning that it has the ability to kill certain bacteria), it has not been trialled against the new Coronavirus (Covid-19) strain.

This blog explains how you can help your immune system with natural honey-based products.

This includes our new Immune Defence Syrup which has been designed specifically to support the immune system.

It incudes two types of honey plus 7 other added natural vitamins and minerals including:

1. Buckwheat Honey

This natural honey is made by bees that collect nectar from buckwheat flowers which are rich in important vitamins, making it a good natural food supplement for general health1. One study in the United States found that a single dose of buckwheat honey administered to children presenting with a cough caused by respiratory infections like colds before they went to sleep caused a significant improvement in reducing cough frequency compared to over-the-counter cough medicine2.

2. Manuka Honey (300 MGO monofloral)

As you’d expect, our Immune Defence Syrup contain our high strength (MGO 300) Manuka Honey sourced from Manuka Doctor hives in New Zealand. Our Manuka Honey contains the active ingredient methylglyoxal (MGO), derived from dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which is naturally present in the nectar of the Manuka Bush. The MGO that is present in our Manuka Honey is widely known for its anti-microbial activity3.

3. Wild Thyme

Wild Thyme is most commonly known as a flavouring for food, however it has long been used as a herbal remedy. Thyme leaves contain flavonoids, which relax the throat muscles to relieve coughing and open up the airways resulting in less coughing and increased comfort4. One study in Germany found that patients suffering from acute bronchitis with a productive cough had a much quicker reduction in coughing fits with a thyme-primrose combination compared to placebo5.

4. Propolis

Bees don’t just make honey, they also produce a substance called propolis which they use to repair their hives6. Propolis has been used for hundreds of years as a natural remedy for numerous applications7. One study in 2016 found podiatric syrup containing propolis was a successful treatment for children suffering from respiratory infection with increased mucus production and cough8.

5. Ginger Root

Ginger is a common spice and herbal medicine that has been used for thousands of years because of its antibacterial properties9. Ginger root contains a special ingredient called gingerol, which is what makes ginger so good at targeting and relieving chesty coughs and colds10. Gingerol has also been found to be effective in relaxing muscles in our airways, which could help relieve the symptoms of a mucus cough11.

6. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, normally found in animal products, in vital for maintaining a normal functioning immune system as it plays a critical role in immune cell growth12. If we are deficient in vitamin B12, our immune system cannot response to harmful pathogens efficiently increasing the risk of catching infections13. It is estimated that vitamin B12 deficiency affects 10%-15% of people over the age of 60, however one study found that elderly subjects over the age of 70 who received over 4 months of a special nutritional formula including vitamin B12 had an increase immunity to fight off harmful bacteria14.

7. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another essential vitamin that contributes to a normal functioning immune system to fight off harmful pathogens and is naturally found in citrus fruits and other vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli and turnips15. Specifically, Vitamin C strengthens the immune system by stimulating the activity of antibodies; a Y shaped protein the immune system uses to neutralise any harmful pathogens that have entered our body15. Taking 1g of vitamin C per day was found to improve the duration and severity of symptoms associated with the common cold and respiratory infections, and could also be useful in the recovery process16.

8. Folic Acid

Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, plays a vital role in the healthy balance of the immune system. Inadequate levels of folic acid dramatically alter the immune response to harmful pathogens as important immune cells cannot function correctly17. One study found that elderly individuals who took folic acid supplements had an improved overall immune function and reported less infections compared to non-supplemented individuals, suggesting folic acid could provide elderly patients with protection against infections such as the common cold18.

9. Biotin

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, can naturally be found in many foods such as carrots, salmon and nuts, and is important for the body to convert certain nutrients into energy. Biotin is also important for the growth and maintenance of fast growing cells such as those that are found in mucous membranes19. Mucous membranes can be found all over the body, and produce a mucus to keep membranes moist. Therefore maintaining a healthy mucous membrane could help in relieve the symptoms of a cough by maintaining normal mucus secretion20.

You can order our new Immune Defence Syrup today by clicking here.

1. Brusie, C. Everything You Need to Know About Buckwheat Honey. Healthline; 2017 April 5.
2. Paul IM, Beiler J, McMonagle A, Shaffer ML, Duda L, Berlin CM. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine. 2007 Dec 1;161(12):1140-6.
3. Atrott J, Henle T. Methylglyoxal in manuka honey—correlation with antibacterial properties. Czech Journal of Food Sciences. 2009 Jan 1;27(S1):S163-5.
4. Sultana S, Khan A, Safhi MM, Alhazmi HA. Cough suppressant herbal drugs: A review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention. 2016 Aug;5(5):15-28.
5. Kemmerich B. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of dry extracts of thyme herb and primrose root in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. Arzneimittelforschung. 2007 Sep;57(09):607-15.
6. Betances-Salcedo E, Revilla I, Vivar-Quintana AM, González-Martín MI. Flavonoid and antioxidant capacity of propolis prediction using near infrared spectroscopy. Sensors. 2017 Jul;17(7):1647.
7. Pasupuleti VR, Sammugam L, Ramesh N, Gan SH. Honey, propolis, and royal jelly: a comprehensive review of their biological actions and health benefits. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity. 2017;2017.
8. Sagić L, Milošević K, Ostojić O, Agić A. Тhe efficiency and safety of a dietary supplement used in the treatment of preschool and school children with acute respiratory infections. Medicinski pregled. 2018;71(5-6):180-5.
9. Gao D, Zhang Y. Comparative antibacterial activities of extracts of dried ginger and processed ginger. Pharmacognosy Journal. 2010 Oct 1;2(15):41-4.
10. Bode AM, Dong Z. The amazing and mighty ginger. Herbal medicine: Biomolecular and clinical aspects. 2011 Mar 28;2.
11. Townsend EA, Siviski ME, Zhang Y, Xu C, Hoonjan B, Emala CW. Effects of ginger and its constituents on airway smooth muscle relaxation and calcium regulation. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. 2013 Feb;48(2):157-63.
12. Calder PC, Kew S. The immune system: a target for functional foods?. British Journal of Nutrition. 2002 Nov;88(S2):S165-76.
13. Gay R, Meydani SN. The effects of vitamin E, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 on immune function. Nutrition in Clinical Care. 2001 Jul;4(4):188-98.
14. Bunout D, Barrera G, Hirsch S, Gattas V, de la Maza MP, Haschke F, Steenhout P, Klassen P, Hager C, Avendaño M, Petermann M. Effects of a nutritional supplement on the immune response and cytokine production in free‐living Chilean elderly. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2004 Sep;28(5):348-54.
15. Iqbal K, Khan A, Khattak MM. Biological significance of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in human health-a review. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 2004 Jan;3(1):5-13.
16. Douglas RM, Hemila H, Chalker E, Treacy B. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18;3:CD000980.
17. Nauss KM, Newberne PM. Effects of dietary folate, vitamin B 12 and methionine/choline deficiency on immune function. InDiet and Resistance to Disease 1981 (pp. 63-91). Springer, Boston, MA.
18. Bunout D, Barrera G, Hirsch S, Gattas V, de la Maza MP, Haschke F, Steenhout P, Klassen P, Hager C, Avendaño M, Petermann M. Effects of a nutritional supplement on the immune response and cytokine production in free‐living Chilean elderly. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2004 Sep;28(5):348-54.
19. Zempleni J. Essential Role of Biotin in Cell Proliferation. Research Nebraska. 2001 May 1.
20. Richardson PS, Peatfield AC. The control of airway mucus secretion. European journal of respiratory diseases. Supplement. 1987;153:43-51.

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