Can turnips help prevent flu? 0

Can turnips help prevent flu?

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Can turnips help prevent flu?There are lots of recent foods and remedies that claim to help prevent flu. Recently scientists in Japan have discovered that eating a traditional pickled turnip could prevent people catching the flu. This is potentially a major breakthrough and an addition to the number of natural remedies for supporting the immune system against the flu virus.

Studies conducted in mice have found that suguki, a pickled turnip dish popular in Japan, reduced the incidence of the animals contracting the virus. The active component in the pickled turnip is Lactobacillus brevis, which is thought to boost immunity.  The animal studies found that the Lactobacillus brevis bacteria increased the production of disease fighting anti-bodies. Researchers found that the effects was strong enough to prevent the H1N1 (swine flu) strain.

A new study is now underway to test this supplement. Researchers will give participants a probiotic drink containing the same KB290 strain of the bacterium found in suguki.

Naoko Waki, author of the study in science journal Letters of Applied Microbiology said, “When a particular strain of Lactobacillus brevis is eaten by mice, it has protective effects against influenza.”

The researcher continued, “Continual intake of (the drink) for 14 days prior to influenza virus infection alleviated symptoms such as loss of body weight and deterioration in observational physical conditions induced by the infection.”

The Japanese researchers believe that a layer of sugars called exopolysaccharides that protect the bacteria against stomach acid juices could be responsible for action of the Lactobacillus brevis.

Probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are regularly taken to support the immune system, so the initial findings of this study look very promising, although further research is required.