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Carrot-Derived Extract May Support Immune Response

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a carrot a day (or a carrot-derived extract) may help improve the immune response. That’s according to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Amsterdam.

The researchers enrolled 146 healthy adults for their study. The study consisted of 3 parts: dietary supplementation for 8 weeks, response to exposure to RV16 infection with continued supplementation for 2 weeks, 3 week follow up without supplementation. Participants were given 300 mg of a carrot-derived extract, 1.5 g, or a placebo.

Participants completed the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Score-21 the day before exposure to RV16 and every day afterward for 13 days. Immune response biomarkers were measured one day before exposure and 2 weeks later.

Participants in the carrot extract saw a 20-33% decrease in symptom severity and a 28-43% decrease in duration of illness. They experienced fewer cold symptoms compared to the placebo group, including runny nose, sore throat, cough, and feeling tired.

The carrot extract groups also self-reported improvements in being able to think clearly, walk, exercise, and complete work and daily activities compared to the placebo group.

In addition, participants in the carrot extract groups saw a significant increase in immune response biomarkers compared to the placebo group.

The study was published online ahead of print on October 12, 2022 in the Nutrients.

A previous study found that astaxanthin-rich microalgae may help support immune health.

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