Letter Re: Sambucol and the Cytokine Storm

Reading through your flu background article [Protecting Your Family From an Influenza Pandemic], I found your mention of [the Elderberry extract] Sambucol. I’m going to get some but you might want to read the article on Elderberry posted at the fluwiki web site.

It sounds generally positive about Sambucol for seasonal flu, but does say this regarding avian flu:

“However, elderberry also increases cytokine production. One specific concern with H5N1 infections is the possibility that this strain of flu may induce cytokine storm, leading to ARDS and the high mortality associated with it. It is unknown if the increased circulating cytokines that elderberry and other alternative medicines induce could increase a victims risk of cytokine storm. Medical science does not currently know the exact mechanism that triggers cytokine storm. We cannot say if increased cytokine levels before or during infection is a risk factor for ARDS or an effect of some other mechanism that begins the inflammatory cascade that results in it. High cytokine levels are documented to be associated with ARDS, but causation is unknown…”

Regards, – Matt R.