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Early-Stage Discoveries: Elderberry

Doctors know that elderberry fights flu, but until now, didn’t know how it works.

In the lab, doctors applied elderberry to cells before, during, and after infection with the influenza virus. Anthocyanins in elderberry, doctors believe, stopped the virus from infecting the cells, and were even more effective at slowing the spread of the virus once cells had already been infected.

“Elderberry inhibited the early stages of infection by blocking key viral proteins that attach to and enter host cells,” doctors said. And elderberry stimulated cytokines, chemical messengers that help coordinate the immune response to pathogens. 

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