Elderberry is the dark purple berry that grows on the black elder, also called a Sambucus tree. The black elder tree is native to North America, Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. In folk medicine, elderberries are commonly used for medicinal purposes (1).
The flowers and leaves of the black elder tree have been used to treat inflammation and pain. The berries and juice used to treat the flu, common colds, infections, heart pain and nerve pain.
Studies on the effectiveness of elderberry in shortening both the severity and duration of flu symptoms are mixed. Two studies suggest use of elderberry in sick patients reduced their symptoms by four days as compared to the placebo group (3). But in a recent study done at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in 2018, the findings pointed towards no effect of elderberry on sick patients when compared to the placebo group (4). Further research is ongoing and needed to definitively determine elderberry’s effectiveness on reducing flu symptoms and cold duration.
However, what is clear are the nutritional benefits of elderberries. They are high in vitamin C at 52mg per cup. This makes up 57% of the recommended daily value. And research on the benefit of supplemental vitamin C on a healthy immune system is definitive. Vitamin C may not help to alleviate symptoms completely or prevent the onset of a cold, but it does protect cells from damage, aids in iron absorption, and assists with collagen production, which helps with wound healing (5).
Elderberries also contain phenolic acids which are antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and free radicals in the body. In addition, elderberries are a good source of flavanols and anthocyanins; two more antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties (2).
So why did we include elderberry in Protea Nutrition’s Vegan Amino+? Because, there is a unique blend of superior vegan amino+ acids; designed to enhance lean muscle and healthy fat loss by preserving lean muscle during calorie-controlled diets and cardiovascular training. It also contains clean, naturally occurring amino acids and elderberry extract that work to increase the body’s internal collagen production for optimal skin, hair, joint and immune support.
When it comes to weight management and performance, elderberry is the perfect complement to nutrition and exercise for its ability to reduce stress on the body. Stress is the number one reason we don’t see progress in and out of the gym when it comes to body composition. Supplementing during and/or post workout with Vegan Amino+ is a great way to ensure your body has the vitamins and minerals it needs to properly recover and maintain overall health.