Health News: Doc Tells Commuters How to Avoid Winter Illnesses

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New Survey from Sambucol Shows Almost One in Four Americans Worry About Getting Sick on Public Transportation

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Caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary beverages can actually dehydrate the body, so water is the best choice.

Public transit has its perks, but sharing a ride with people who are coughing and sneezing isn't one of them. According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Sambucol black elderberry supplements, almost one in four American adults (23 percent) worry about picking up a cold or the flu when they are on public transportation, such as a subway or bus. Those in the Northeast (27 percent) and Western (28 percent) parts of the country were most likely to indicate this.

This "germ phobia" is warranted, as traveling in close quarters, such as planes, trains or buses can indeed raise one's risk for getting sick. According to a recent study conducted in the U.K., one sneeze can affect up to 150 people on a crowded train.

According to Claire Wheeler, M.D., integrative physician and instructor at Portland University's School of Community Health, the stress of the daily work day and commuting can also weaken the body's defenses, making it more vulnerable. She recommends eating foods that are high in antioxidants, important molecules that are known to support and enhance the immune system.

"If you feel you're falling short in the nutrition department, using an antioxidant-rich supplement, such as Sambucol® black elderberry extract, can help the body maintain a strong defense," says Dr. Wheeler. "Black elderberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on earth, and the black elderberry extract in Sambucol was shown in published clinical studies to be beneficial in supporting the immune system."

Dr. Wheeler also advises good old H2O to help keep illness at bay.

"When you're not getting enough water, toxins build up and strain immunity," says Dr. Wheeler. "Caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary beverages can actually dehydrate the body, so water is the best choice."

Note to Media: For more information, to review results from the Sambucol Harris Interactive survey, or to set up an interview with Claire Wheeler, M.D., contact Rachahd Tosado at Robin Leedy & Associates, (914) 241-0086 ext. 15. Visit the Sambucol online newsroom at and for published clinical studies on Sambucol black elderberry.


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