OK, but unfortunately the study stopped short of determining if this supplement protected older people from actually getting the flu.
Placebo or a chlorella-derived dietary supplement (200 mg/day or 400 mg/day) was given to 124 healthy adults, at least 50 years of age, for four weeks. After three weeks, everyone got the 2000/2001 flu season vaccine.
There were no differences between groups in achieving at least a four-fold increase in antibodies. However, those who were 50 to 55 years old and took the high-dose treatment had significantly higher antibody titers against two of the three influenza strains covered by the vaccine.
Chlorella are freshwater microscopic algae, widelyused as a food supplement in Japan.
Too bad they didn’t follow these patients to determine any effect on the development of an influenza infection.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.