Effects of a Combination of Elderberry and Reishi Extracts on the Duration and Severity of Respiratory Tract Infections in Elderly Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Trial
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AuthorGracián Alcaide, Carlos; Maldonado Lobón, José Antonio; Ortiz Tikkakoski, Elisabeth; Gómez Vílchez, Alejandro; Fonolla Joya, Juristo; López Larramendi, José Luis; Olivares, Mónica; Blanco Rojo, Ruth
ElderberryReishiRespiratory tract infectionsCommon coldInfluenza-like illnessRespiratory infection symptomsRandomized control trial
Gracián-Alcaide, C., Maldonado-Lobón, J. A., Ortiz-Tikkakoski, E., Gómez-Vilchez, A., Fonollá, J., López-Larramendi, J. L., ... & Blanco-Rojo, R. (2020). Effects of a Combination of Elderberry and Reishi Extracts on the Duration and Severity of Respiratory Tract Infections in Elderly Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Applied Sciences, 10(22), 8259. [doi:10.3390/app10228259]
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to respiratory tract infections, so natural strategies to ameliorate the duration and severity of these infections are of great interest in this population. The objective of this study is to evaluate the e cacy of the consumption of a combination of elderberry and reishi extracts on the incidence, severity, and duration of respiratory tract infections in a group of healthy elderly volunteers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study was performed during the winter season. A group of 60 nursing home residents 65 years of age was randomly assigned to receive a combination of 1.5 g of elderberry +0.5 g of reishi or a placebo daily for 14 weeks. Data about the health conditions of the volunteers were evaluated and recorded by a medical doctor every 2 weeks. The incidence of respiratory infections was similar in both groups. However, volunteers in the extract group presented a significantly lower duration of common cold events (2.5 vs. 4.8 days, p = 0.033).and a significantly lower probability of having a high severity influenza-like illness event (p = 0.039). Moreover, the incidence of sleep disturbances was significantly lower in the extract group (p = 0.049). Therefore, the administration of a combination of elderberry and reishi extracts to the elderly population during the winter season might be used as a natural strategy to reduce the duration and severity of respiratory tract infections.