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Phytochemicals boost immunity

Nutrients from plants called phytochemicals increased white blood cells and reduced cell damage and illness in a new study.

Researchers gave 59 healthy law students capsules that contained a powdered fruit and vegetable juice concentrate or a placebo for 77 days. They found that compared to placebo blood levels of an immune-boosting white blood cell, gamma delta-T, increased 30% and that there was 40% less damage to other white blood cells (lymphocytes).

Compared to placebo, blood-fluid (plasma) levels of the antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene and vitamin C were 50% higher and symptoms of illness were significantly lower. 

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