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Infection

Also indexed as:Hospital-Acquired Infections, Rotavirus, Viral Infections, Graves' Disease
Protect your body from infection--the invasion of microorganisms. The best defense? A strong immune system. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Andrographis
48 to 60 mg andrographolides in two to three divided doses per day3 stars[3 stars]
Andrographis supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Vitamin A
See a doctor for evaluation of possible deficiency3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin A plays an important role in immune system function and helps mucous membranes, including those in the lungs, resist invasion by microorganisms.
Vitamin C
1 to 4 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C has antiviral activity, and may help prevent viral infections or, in the case of the common cold, reduce the severity and duration of an infection.
Echinacea
3 to 5 ml of liquid herbal extracts every two hours, or 300 to 600 mg of powdered herb three times per day, or 5 to 6 cups of tea daily2 stars[2 stars]
Echinacea is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.
Multivitamin
Follow label directions2 stars[2 stars]
A multiple vitamin-mineral formula helped elderly people avoid infections in one double-blind trial.
Multivitamin

(Type 2 Diabetes)
Follow label instructions2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with a multivitamin-mineral may give your body the nutrients it needs to help prevent common infections.
Probiotics
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Lactobacillus acidophilus produces acids that kill invading bacteria. These and other probiotics inhibit the growth of potentially infectious organisms and have been shown to be effective against some infections.
Selenium
100 mcg per day with 20 mg per day of zinc2 stars[2 stars]
Selenium supplements have been reported to help reduce infections in elderly people.
Zinc
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Zinc deficiencies can impair immune function. Supplementing with zinc has been shown to increase immune function in healthy people. Zinc lozenges have been found helpful in against the common cold.
American Ginseng
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
American ginseng supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Asian Ginseng
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Asian ginseng supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Astragalus
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Astragalus supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Barberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Barberry is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.
Chaparral
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chaparral is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Elderberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Elderberry is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.
Eleuthero
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Eleuthero supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Eucalyptus
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Eucalyptus is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Garlic
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Garlic is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Goldenseal
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Goldenseal is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.
Green Tea
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Green tea is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Lemon Balm
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Lemon balm is an antiviral and antimicrobial herb.
Ligustrum
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Ligustrum supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Lomatium
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Lomatium is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Maitake
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Maitake supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Myrrh
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Myrrh is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Olive Leaf
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Olive leaf is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Onion
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Onion is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Oregano
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Oregano is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Oregon Grape
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Oregon grape is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.
Osha
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Osha is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.
Pau d'Arco
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Pau d'Arco is an herb that directly fights both microbes and fungus.
Picrorhiza
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Picrorhiza supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Reishi
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Reishi supports the immune system in the fight against microbes.
Rosemary
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Rosemary is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Sage
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sage is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Sandalwood
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sandalwood is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Schisandra
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Schisandra supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Shiitake
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Shiitake supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
St. John's Wort
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
St. John's wort is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Tea Tree
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Tea tree is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Thyme
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Thyme is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Usnea
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Usnea is an herb that directly attack microbes.
Wild Indigo
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Wild indigo is both immune supportive and antimicrobial.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.