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  • Yuzo Endo, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Masahito Hitosugi, M.D., Ph.D.
  • John E. Lewis, Ph.D.

Doctor’s Health Advice

Doctor’s Health Advice

In Search for Evidence-Based Nutraceuticals' Health Benefits

Vol. 6

Infectious pathogens

No. 6: Infectious pathogens

Today, we would like to introduce the up-to-date topics of infectious pathogens.
Helicobacter pylori infection can lead to gastric inflammation, ulcers, and gastric cancer progression. Bae et al. [16] confirmed β-carotene as a potential treatment to prevent H. pylori-induced inflammation. β-carotene is the red-orange pigment abundant in fungi, plants, and fruits. It was shown in vitro to inhibit the H. pylori-induced activation of MAPKs and AP-1, expression of matrix metalloproteinase-10, and cell invasion. Moreover, β-carotene promoted the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma and catalase, which reduced oxidative stress in H. pylori-infected cells.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) currently affects the world ferociously with multiple waves of infections and variants. Bae and Kim [17] reviewed the literature on the potentially beneficial roles of vitamin C, D, and selenium for COVID-19. Vitamin D improves the physical barrier against viruses and stimulates the production of antimicrobial peptides. Selenium enhances the function of cytotoxic effector cells. Whereas vitamin C is considered an antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent as it increases immunity. For these reasons, supplementing vitamin C, D, and selenium for COVID-19 patients may help to boost the immune system, prevent virus spread, and reduce the disease progression.


How natural foods and nutritional products can improve health and immunity beyond their nutritional values is a phenomenon of interest in current research. This Doctor’s Health Advice brings together scholarly articles exploring various nutraceuticals in immune function, through reviews or experiments against cancer, neurological conditions, gastroenterological disorders, inflammatory diseases, and infections. These are just an excerpt of the book we published, and we have to admit that the book itself does not fully achieve our objective: to understand how natural products interact with the immune system. However, the authors firmly believe that our book helps building a solid scientific ground to evaluate nutraceuticals with their health benefits. It would be our utmost pleasure if you share the same view with us. The authors thank Daiwa Pharm to giving us this opportunity.


Sok Cheon Pak, Ph.D.

Sok Cheon Pak, Ph.D.
Charles Sturt University, School of Biomedical Sciences, Australia

1992 PhD (Physiology), Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA
1995 Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Preterm labor), School of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA
1996-2001 Assistant Professor, School of Oriental Medicine, Dongshin University, South Korea
2002-2006 Dean, New Zealand College of Oriental Medicine, New Zealand
2007-Present Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

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In Search for Evidence- Based Nutraceuticals’ Health Benefits

・Vol. 6 Infectious pathogens

・Vol. 5 Inflammatory diseases

・Vol.4 Gastroenterological disorders

・Vol.3 Neurological conditions

・Vol.2 Cancer

・Vol.1 Nutraceuticals in immune system