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Immunopharmacology of the Main Herbal Supplements: A Review

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It is debated whether the use of herbal supplements in endurance sports, in order to have a better performance, is correct or not, from the perspective of both as safety and as effectiveness. In this review we try to find out if the most common herbal supplements (Echinacea, Rhodiola, Ginseng) are effective in the improvement of performance or in the modulation of the immune system. According to the results of our review, the prevalent effect is adaptogenic rather than ergogenic, with a better tolerance of the exercise induced stress, related to enhancement of the whole immune system and decrease of the oxidative damage.
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Keywords: Adaptogenic; echinacea; ginseng; herbal supplements; immune system; performance; rhodiola

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • This journal is devoted to timely reviews of experimental and clinical studies in the field of endocrine, metabolic, and immune disorders. Specific emphasis is placed on humoral and cellular targets for natural, synthetic, and genetically engineered drugs that enhance or impair endocrine, metabolic, and immune parameters and functions. Topics related to the neuroendocrine-immune axis are given special emphasis in view of the growing interest in stress-related, inflammatory, autoimmune, and degenerative disorders.
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