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

Nutrients (2016)


  •   Randomized clinical study (RCT) using commercially produced elderberry syrup
  •   N=312
  •   Study evaluated impact of taking elderberry vs. placebo prior to travel including long flight duration (flight lasting at least 7 hours, trip lasting at least 4 days total).
  •   Subjects were excluded if they took the flu shot
  •   Subjects in the elderberry group had a statistically significant improvement in cold symptom score, shorter duration of symptoms.
  •   Subjects in the elderberry group saw no change in quality of life measures, but subjects in the placebo group saw a decrease in quality of life measures.
  •   Mental health measures increased in both treatment groups after travel was over, but the improvement in the elderberry group was greater than in the placebo group.
  •   Side effects of elderberry were rare (n=4) but causality associated with use of elderberry could not be established.
  •   Strengths: Study used validated measures for symptom scoring, quality of life, and mental health.  Large sample size and longitudinal follow-up also a strength.

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