March 2012

Volume 17, Issue 1

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Original Research - Use of a Standardized Extract from Echinacea angustifolia (Polinacea®) for the Prevention of Respiratory Tract Infections by Francesco Di Pierro, Giuliana Rapacioli, Tarcisio Ferrara, Stefano Togni

Abstract

Echinacea preparations are extensively used for the prevention and the management of the common cold. Despite this popularity, the clinical studies on Echinacea have produced mixed results, possibly in part because of the poor characterization of the extracts investigated and the use of different species and/or plant parts for the preparations investigated in the various trials. To address this issue, Polinacea®, a highly standardized extract from a well-defined botanical source (roots of Echinacea angustifolia) with a specific phytochemical profile (presence of the complex polysaccharide IDN5405, the phenylethanoid echinacoside, and substantial lack of alkamides) was developed. We have studied whether Polinacea® could enhance the immune response subsequent to the influenza vaccination, and whether the use of this preparation could translate into a decreased morbidity from influenza. The preliminary results were encouraging, and suggest that Polinacea® could be used for improving the immune response to influenza vaccine. (Altern Med Rev 2012;17-1:36-41)

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