Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older mice fed wolfberries show reduced risk for flu virus with vaccine

Date:
December 11, 2013
Source:
Tufts University
Summary:
In a study of older mice, wolfberries appear to interact with the influenza vaccine to offer additional protection against the flu virus. The research suggests the wolfberry may increase the activity of dendritic cells, which play an important role in the ability of the immune system to defend against viral infections.

In a study of older mice, wolfberries appear to interact with the influenza vaccine to offer additional protection against the flu virus. The research, led by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University, suggests the wolfberry may increase the activity of dendritic cells, which play an important role in the ability of the immune system to defend against viral infections. The results were published online ahead of print today by The Journal of Nutrition.

Related Articles


Older mice, with immune systems weakened by age, were placed on diets that included a small amount of a milk preparation of wolfberry fruit, also known as goji berries. Over a period of several weeks, they received two flu vaccines before being infected with the flu virus and monitored for signs of symptoms. The researchers then tested for specific influenza antibodies as well as the clinical symptoms of the disease such as weight loss among the mice.

"We observed higher antibody response and better protection against flu as indicated by less weight loss in the older mice that consumed wolfberries," said senior author Simin Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the USDA HNRCA at Tufts University and director of the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. "While previous studies have shown that wolfberries bolster immune response in mice, our results introduce their potential to reduce the age-related risk and severity of the flu virus in the presence of the vaccine."

Meydani and colleagues isolated dendritic cells, which are known to activate infection-fighting T-cells. The cells were treated with a wolfberry concentrate and incubated for one week. During that time, the researchers observed that the maturity and inflammatory activity of the dendritic cells had increased, which suggests an improved immune response.

"Although we have taken a step toward understanding the mechanism behind the wolfberry's interaction with the flu vaccine, it remains unclear which components of wolfberries may be responsible for the effects observed in this study," said co-corresponding author Dayong Wu, M.D., Ph.D., a senior scientist in the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory and an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "Wolfberries are rich in complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides, as well as vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids. Future studies in rodent models would be necessary to understand which components appear to be stimulating the dendritic cells."

Further research is also needed to determine whether wolfberries could have a similar effect in older humans who receive the flu vaccine. "People's immune systems inevitably weaken with age, making them less responsive to the vaccine and more susceptible to the flu and its potentially serious complications," said Meydani, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a member of the immunology program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, both at Tufts University. "While flu vaccination is recommended for older people, the vaccine is only 40% effective in protecting older adults against flu infection, which is much lower than that afforded to younger people. For those reasons, it is important to investigate complimentary approaches that may enhance the effectiveness of vaccination."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Du, X; Wang, J; Niu, X; Smith, D; Wu, D; and Meydani, SN. Dietary wolfberry supplementation enhances protective effect of flu vaccine against influenza challenge in aged mice. Journal of Nutrition, December 2013

Cite This Page:

Tufts University. "Older mice fed wolfberries show reduced risk for flu virus with vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211183756.htm>.
Tufts University. (2013, December 11). Older mice fed wolfberries show reduced risk for flu virus with vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211183756.htm
Tufts University. "Older mice fed wolfberries show reduced risk for flu virus with vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211183756.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins