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Older mice fed wolfberries show reduced risk for flu virus with vaccine
Date:12/11/2013

d understanding the mechanism behind the wolfberry's interaction with the flu vaccine, it remains unclear which components of wolfberries may be responsible for the effects observed in this study," said co-corresponding author Dayong Wu, M.D., Ph.D., a senior scientist in the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory and an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "Wolfberries are rich in complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides, as well as vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids. Future studies in rodent models would be necessary to understand which components appear to be stimulating the dendritic cells."

Further research is also needed to determine whether wolfberries could have a similar effect in older humans who receive the flu vaccine. "People's immune systems inevitably weaken with age, making them less responsive to the vaccine and more susceptible to the flu and its potentially serious complications," said Meydani, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a member of the immunology program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, both at Tufts University. "While flu vaccination is recommended for older people, the vaccine is only 40% effective in protecting older adults against flu infection, which is much lower than that afforded to younger people. For those reasons, it is important to investigate complimentary approaches that may enhance the effectiveness of vaccination."


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Contact: Andrea Grossman
617-636-3728
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus
Source:Eurekalert

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