Viralex general information
What is Viralex used for?
Viralex capsules are a dietary supplement that contain a comprehensive formula of key ingredients used to provide immune support for optimal natural immune defence against infection. Viralex capsules can be used as everyday immune support and help prevent infection when at risk, such as when travelling in unhygienic places like planes; also to help protect against a depleted immune system. Viralex capsules can also be used for enhanced immunity against viral and bacterial infections, particularly colds, flu and upper respiratory tract infections, as well as protection against Herpes virus (such as cold sores), yeast infection, such as candida (thrush) or athlete’s foot.
How does Viralex work?
Viralex capsules contain a dried extract of the root of Astragalus membranaceus, a widely used traditional Chinese herbal medicine that has been used for a variety of health issues, including as an immune stimulant, antioxidant, diuretic, antidiabetic, anticancer, and expectorant. Astragalus extract has been found to contain several pharmacologically active compounds including polysaccharides, isoflavinoids and triterpene saponins1. Although very little clinical data exists, experimental studies in vivo and in vitro suggest that Astragalus has Immunomodulatory activity including improving humoral (antibody production) and cellular immunity (activating specific immune cells such as monocytes, natural killer cells and T lymphocytes), and regulating the expression and secretion of cytokines that are involved in modulating immune cells. It has been suggested that these actions may be capable of restoring the impaired T cell functions in cancer patients2, priming the immune system against hepatitis B virus3 and protection against Herpes Simplex virus 4. Olive Leaves have long been known to protect olive trees by providing resistance to damage by bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid, which has several known health benefits, including the low incidence of heart disease associated with the Mediterranean diet, in which olive oil is a major ingredient. Olive extract from both the fruit and the leaves of the Mediterranean olive Olea europaea also contains phenolic compounds like oleuropein, a component of Viralex capsules, extracted from olive leaves. Oleuropein has a wide range of pharmacological activities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-cancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic 5, 6, 7. Oleuropein has been shown to have antiviral activity against a range of viruses, including viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus8, and HIV9. Several mechanisms of action have been proposed for the antiviral activity against HIV, including inhibiting entry of virus into the host cell and inhibition of its integration into the host DNA9. Olive leaf phenolic extract was also found to have antibacterial and antifungal activity by inhibiting microbial growth rate10. Beta-glucans are a group of natural polysaccharides (complex sugars) that can be found in various plants, fungi (including yeast), algae and bacteria. Extracts from mushrooms have been used for traditional herbal medicine for their healing and immune boosting properties for thousands of years11,12. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that beta-glucans extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast) has the ability to stimulate the immune response to pathogens as well as strengthen a weakened immune system by activating immune cells and inducing production of cytokines by immune cells, such as dentritic cells (antigen-presenting cells, involved in processing pathogens and stimulating an immune response) and macrophages12. Various clinical studies have shown that yeast beta-glucan preparation has positive effects on the immune system by increasing the body’s potential to defend against invading pathogens. Findings include reduced number of symptomatic common cold infections as well as reduced severity of symptoms compared with a placebo group12, 13, 14. Zinc is a trace mineral and micronutrient, which means it is needed in only small amounts but has many important functions, including antioxidant and immunomodulatory activity. Zinc helps maintain immune function and promotes defence against bacterial infection 15 . Zinc deficiency is associated with increased risk of infection as a result of reduced antibody and cell mediated immune response due to compromised function of several immune cells, primarily T cells15, 16. Zinc appears to be essential for the normal function of the immune system, and studies in vitro suggests that zinc increases activation of a nuclear factor (NF-κB) essential for the activation of T cells17. Addition of zinc to Viralex capsules helps promote a healthy immune system. Although Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is primarily involved in regulating calcium metabolism and bone health, recent studies have shown that it also has an important role to play in regulation of the immune system and maintenance of a healthy immune system. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) and key vitamin D metabolizing enzymes have been found in cells that are not involved in bone metabolism, including cells of the immune system. Studies have shown that vitamin D is involved in various aspects of immune regulation including activation of T-cells, the function of dendritic cells or antigen-presenting cells, the increased production of peptides on the surface of macrophages and neutrophils that recognise microbial pathogens and has a direct effect on B-cells, the antibody producing cells18, 19. The main source of vitamin D3 is through synthesis in the skin by the action of UV light from sunlight. It is then converted to its active form calcitriol in the liver and kidney. Often levels are low particularly during winter months and low levels has been associated with decreased immunity to infection; also clinical studies have indicated that low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased risk of infection18, 19.
What does Viralex contain?
Viralex contains the active ingredients, Olive Leaf extract (Olea europaea, equivalent Oleuropein 100mg), Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus 200mg). They also contain Saccharomyces cerevisiae extract (providing Beta Glucans 100mg), Zinc (from Gluconate 1mg), Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol 250 IU)
Viralex for immune support
Viralex capsules contain a comprehensive formula of active herbal ingredients, including Olea europaea (Olive) leaf extract and Astragalus root extract. Studies have shown that these ingredients have immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and antioxidant activity and help reduce incidence and severity of symptoms of infection as well as reduce risk of infection. Viralex capsules also contain also a dried yeast extract containing Beta-glucans, Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol and zinc, an important micronutrient with antioxidant and immunomodulatory activity, which work together to boost the immune system and provide immune support for optimal natural immune defence against infection. Viralex capsules are used to maintain healthy functional immune cells, which helps provide support for the immune system and promotes health and wellbeing; reducing the severity of symptoms of infections like colds and flu.
What are the side effects of Viralex?
The most commonly reported side effects when taking Viralex include loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, rash, headache, and fatigue. A “Die off” effect may set in within four days from the first usage of Olive Leaf Extract, known as the Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction. This is thought to be due to the release of toxins as pathogens die off resulting in an inflammatory response with flu-like symptoms before improvement and well-being sets in.
When should Viralex not be used?
You should not use Viralex capsules if you:
- are allergic to astragalus, oleuropein, saccharomyces cerevisiae extract, zinc gluconate, vitamin D or any ingredients in Viralex
- are pregnant or are breastfeeding, without discussion with your doctor
- have an auto-immune disease as astragalus might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms
- are taking medication to lower blood pressure or treat diabetes as oleuropein can result in even lower blood pressure and low blood sugar
- are taking medicines that interact with Viralex like immunosuppressant medication that dampens down the immune system, like corticosteroids or cyclophosphamide
- are taking lithium for mood disorders as astragalus in Viralex may prevent clearance of lithium, resulting in build-up of dangerously high levels
How should Viralex be taken?
You should take your Viralex capsules swallowed whole with a glass of water and with food. You should take 2 capsules daily but this can increase to 2 capsules twice daily for an acute attack. You should continue to take your Viralex Attack for as long as recommended by your health professional.
How long should you take Viralex?
You should continue to take your Viralex Attack for as long as recommended by your health professional.
Missed dose of Viralex
If you miss a dose of Viralex take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
How should Viralex be stored?
You should store your Viralex capsules below 25°C in a cool dry place.