A 2023 in vitro study showed that ElderCraft may have benefits for COVID-19, while a second study in 2022 showed that it can modulate the gut microbiome and possibly also therefore immune function.
Iprona AG (Lana, Italy) will discuss two new studies on its ElderCraft premium European black elderberry extract ingredient at the Vitafoods Europe trade show taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 9-12, 2023 (Booth E54). A 2023 in vitro study showed that ElderCraft may have benefits for COVID-19, while a second study in 2022 showed that it can modulate the gut microbiome and possibly also therefore immune function.
The newest study was an in vitro study published in the journal Nutraceuticals1 that looked at the antiviral activity of ElderCraft against SARS CoV-2. According to the company, “A recent in vitro study revealed, for the first time, that the European black elderberry extract ElderCraft demonstrated strong antiviral activity against not only the Wuhan tope of SARS-CoV-2 but also its variants of concern (from Alpha to Omicron). These findings, together with the wide safety margin indicated by a 2-log therapeutic window, suggest that the extract might have the potential to be a treatment option for SARS-CoV-2 infections.” But, the researchers added, more study in humans is required to verify a health benefit.
The second study2, a nine-week longitudinal intervention study funded by Iprona and published in 2022 in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, was performed in 30 human subjects. Researchers found that subjects supplementing with ElderCraft experienced “significant positive changes in their gut microbial communities by increasing both alpha and beta diversity, thus confirming its prebiotic effect.” This is significant because the human immune system is closely tied to the gut microbiota, with any imbalances or dysbiosis of microbiota balance leading to weakened immunity, inflammation, and digestive disorders, the company says.
ElderCraft is part of Iprona’s CraftIngredients portfolio of botanical extracts, which also includes tart cherries, blackcurrants, and aronia.
In its press release, the company explains that researchers continue to study black elderberry’s immune health benefits. So far, it’s believed that elderberry has three modes of action by which it supports immune health. First, its flavonoids could block viral hemagglutination, which is the mechanism by which influenza viruses attach to blood cells. Secondly, European black elderberry contains anthocyanins that may inhibit the activity of neuraminidase, an enzyme associated with pandemic type A influenza. Thirdly, black elderberry’s polysaccharides may have immunostimulant effects.
Altogether, the firm says, “As research progresses, a deeper understanding of these mechanisms may unlock the full potential of the European black elderberry and its extracts for promoting and supporting immune health.”