Now that the world has largely opened back up after the days of lockdowns and strict mask mandates, many parents are becoming more proactive than ever about protecting their kids’ health. But as another school year swiftly approaches, what can we do beyond instilling in our children good hygiene practices, when statistics indicate that elementary-aged kids will wind up catching an average of six to eight colds a year? That’s a lot of potentially missed class time, and the risks are greatest during these upcoming fall and winter seasons. For a much-needed extra buffer against viral respiratory tract infections (RTIs) like colds and flus, an immune-boosting supplement may just be the answer.
Immune Systems in Training
As our body’s first line of defense, the immune system protects us against all kinds of hostile pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Made up of an army of white blood cells produced in our bone marrow, this system works to block pathogens from infecting the body through entry points like the skin, eyes, nasal passages, and mouth. Even when pathogens are able to successfully infiltrate the body, they must still face off against a complex inner network of immune cells. Over time, a balanced immune system can become quite adept at identifying new enemies and building up immunity to old ones it has encountered in the past.
While the immune system might seem quite powerful, have you ever noticed that kids just tend to get sick with RTIs way more often than adults? While close peer-to-peer contact in classroom settings is certainly a contributing factor, young people’s immune systems are generally more susceptible to illnesses because they simply haven’t “met” many of them before! With inexperienced immune systems and more than 100 unique cold viruses going around at any given time, it’s no wonder our kids rarely get the chance to build up immunity to a virus before being struck again by a new variety of the sniffles and sneezes.
The Protective Power of Echinacea
Although recurrent RTIs in children might seem inevitable, there remains a concerning 30% chance that such infections could develop into bacterial complications that can lead to pneumonia, sinusitis, or otitis media (ear infection). These more serious illnesses often require antibiotic treatments which, while tremendously effective at killing off the most persistent infections, are also associated with an array of disruptive health issues when overused. Even when used appropriately, the body still needs time afterwards to recover its optimal balance of healthy gut flora, which antibiotics kill off. This is especially alarming when we consider that the gut alone holds upwards of 70% of our infection-fighting immune cells.
Besides missed learning opportunities at school and having unhappy kids on our hands when it comes to getting sick, the negative side effects associated with antibiotic usage is yet another reason that preventing infections from developing in the first place should be a key consideration as school approaches. This is why research findings on echinacea’s immune-boosting potential is so promising. Supplementing with this flowering plant has been shown to not only help prevent RTIs in children, but also reduce secondary bacterial complications and the subsequent need for antibiotics.
The Best of Immune-Boosters
In fact, A. Vogel’s echinacea-based Echinaforce Junior tablets outperformed even vitamin C—long considered the immune-booster supplement by many parents—in a first-of-its-kind clinical study on immunity and RTIs in 2021. In this randomized, controlled, and blinded study on 203 children aged four to twelve, researchers found that a daily 400 mg dose of Echinaforce was comparatively associated with less serious cold and flu symptoms, 63.9% less complicated infections, and an astounding 72.6% reduction in necessary antibiotic treatments.
Perhaps equally exciting is this supplement’s further potential use for the prevention of coronavirus infections. As Dr. Owen Wiseman, ND notes: “A recent human clinical trial on 120 adults demonstrated the effectiveness of Echinaforce against SARS-CoV-2, with 64% fewer infections detected in the control group. Future research will continue to explore this.” Here at EcoParent, we’re keeping a close eye on the evolution of this promising research.
Fight Infection at All Stages with Echinaforce
Echinaforce Junior tablets are made from freshly harvested and organically grown echinacea herbs. They’re vegan, kid-approved for taste, and sugar-, gluten-, and cruelty-free. Perfect to take both preventatively and at the first sign of infection, supplementing with Echinaforce Junior is a great way to ensure your kids enter this school year armed with a stronger, healthier immune system.
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