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Nutrients 2016, 8(4), 182; doi:10.3390/nu8040182

Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

1
School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Queensland 4222, Australia
2
Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Queensland 4222, Australia
3
School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, Queensland 4222, Australia
4
Genomics Research Centre, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland 4000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 24 March 2016
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Abstract

Intercontinental air travel can be stressful, especially for respiratory health. Elderberries have been used traditionally, and in some observational and clinical studies, as supportive agents against the common cold and influenza. This randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of 312 economy class passengers travelling from Australia to an overseas destination aimed to investigate if a standardised membrane filtered elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) extract has beneficial effects on physical, especially respiratory, and mental health. Cold episodes, cold duration and symptoms were noted in a daily diary and assessed using the Jackson score. Participants also completed three surveys containing questions regarding upper respiratory symptoms (WURSS-21) and quality of life (SF-12) at baseline, just before travel and at 4-days after travel. Most cold episodes occurred in the placebo group (17 vs. 12), however the difference was not significant (p = 0.4). Placebo group participants had a significantly longer duration of cold episode days (117 vs. 57, p = 0.02) and the average symptom score over these days was also significantly higher (583 vs. 247, p = 0.05). These data suggest a significant reduction of cold duration and severity in air travelers. More research is warranted to confirm this effect and to evaluate elderberry’s physical and mental health benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: elderberry; travel; cold symptoms; clinical trial; nutritional supplements; complementary medicines; sambucus; physical health elderberry; travel; cold symptoms; clinical trial; nutritional supplements; complementary medicines; sambucus; physical health
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tiralongo, E.; Wee, S.S.; Lea, R.A. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients 2016, 8, 182.

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