[이데일리 이순용 기자] As the strongest cold wave with a felt temperature of minus 20 degrees continued, the red light was turned on for winter health care. The number of corona patients has passed the peak and gone into an endemic trend, but it is still ongoing, and flu is also common, raising concerns that some cold medicines may not be in smooth supply. In particular, from the 30th, wearing a mask indoors is mitigated, so it is more important to manage your immunity in daily life.
Experts said, “Viral diseases are highly contagious, and if the elderly, children, or people suffering from other diseases are at risk of developing various diseases by lowering immunity, prevention is important.” Therefore, it is important to increase your own immunity along with thorough personal hygiene management such as daily hand washing. It is also good to eat foods that help improve immunity, such as red ginseng.
Red ginseng helps the innate and acquired immune system. Red ginseng protects our body from infection by external viruses by activating ‘macrophages’ which are responsible for innate immunity and secreting cytokines, which are immunomodulatory substances that can get rid of infiltrated viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. Acquired immune function is mediated by ‘T cells’ present in the thymus of the chest. Red ginseng increases antibody production and activates cell-mediated immunity, helping to effectively prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses.
◇ Red ginseng, effective in preventing respiratory diseases
Professor Lee Dong-kwon’s team at Sungkyunkwan University College of Pharmacy administered 100 mg/kg of red ginseng and physiological saline daily to experimental mice infected with pneumococcal bacteria and observed them for 15 days. The group of mice fed red ginseng survived 100%. In addition, compared to the control group, red ginseng significantly reduced inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO) levels, and pneumococcal counts.
◇ Synergistic effect when vaccine and red ginseng are used together
Professor Kang Sang-mu’s team at the Georgia State University School of Medicine in the United States infected experimental mice with the H1N1 influenza virus and compared the survival rate. When the vaccine and red ginseng were given together, the survival rate was was 99%, and when the vaccine was given alone, the survival rate was 60% %, normal rats showed that only 40% survived.
Sungkyunkwan University College of Pharmacy Professor Dong-Kwon Lee’s team gave experimental mice a pneumococcal vaccine (Δpep27) by ingesting red ginseng (100 mg/kg) for 15 days, and then infected them with a strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) 7 days later. As a result, only the pneumococcal vaccine was vaccinated Compared to one case, when it was vaccinated after giving red ginseng, the antibody production rate increased by about 25%. It can be said that red ginseng improves the effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccine by inhibiting the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by pneumococcal bacteria, thereby preventing cell death and reducing inflammation.
Professor Cho Jae-yeol of Sungkyunkwan University said, “So far, there have been antiviral research results of red ginseng against about 10 types of viruses, including influenza and AIDS.” It regulates the activity of acquired immune cells (T cells, B cells, etc.) to exhibit antiviral and pneumococcal effects.”