Ginseng herbal medicine has been known to have beneficial effects on improving human health. We investigated whether red ginseng extract (RGE) has preventive effects on influenza A virus infection in vivo and in vitro. RGE was found to improve survival of human lung epithelial cells upon influenza virus infection. Also, RGE treatment reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory genes (IL-6, IL-8) probably in part through interference with the formation of reactive oxygen species by influenza A virus infection. Long-term oral administration of mice with RGE showed multiple immunomodulatory effects such as stimulating antiviral cytokine IFN-γ production after influenza A virus infection. In addition, RGE administration in mice inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the bronchial lumens. Therefore, RGE might have the potential beneficial effects on preventing influenza A virus infections via its multiple immunomodulatory functions.
Lee, J.S.; Hwang, H.S.; Ko, E.-J.; Lee, Y.-N.; Kwon, Y.-M.; Kim, M.-C.; Kang, S.-M. Immunomodulatory Activity of Red Ginseng against Influenza A Virus Infection. Nutrients 2014, 6, 517-529. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu6020517
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