Most Frequently Asked Questions | Sambucol

Most Frequently Asked Questions

The products from the Sambucol product range contain only a trace amount of sodium.

Sambucol Immuno Forte Sugar Free Liquid contains Sorbitol. Sambucol Immuno Forte Effervescent Tablets contain Sucralose & Sorbitol. Sambucol Immuno Forte Hot Drink contains Sucralose. Sambucol Immuno Forte Pastilles contain Maltitol in addition to the natural sweetener, Stevia.

Yes, there are such flavours used in the Sambucol Immuno Forte, Immuno Forte Sugar Free and Extra Defence Liquids, as well as Immuno Forte Pastilles, Immuno Forte Hot Drink and Teddies. 

All the Sambucol Liquid products contain potassium sorbate as the preservative.

Sambucol Immuno Forte Capsules contain bovine gelatine in the capsule shell. Sambucol Immuno Forte Pastilles contain honey. Sambucol Extra Defence Liquid contains Vitamin D3, derived from sheep’s wool lanolin.

All the products in the Sambucol product range are considered dairy free.

Yes the Sambucol range of products are gluten free.

None of the products from the Sambucol range contain any artificial colours. The product gets its colour from the elderberry extract.

Sambucol Immuno Forte Sugar Free Liquid, Sambucol Immuno Forte Pastilles, Sambucol Immuno Forte Effervescent Tablets and Sambucol Immuno Forte Capsules are all sugar-free. The remaining products either contain Glucose syrup or Sucrose.

None of the Sambucol liquid products contain nuts or any ingredients derived from nuts. The facilities where the Sambucol liquid products are manufactured do not use nuts or nut products during manufacture. The Sambucol lozenge products also do not contain nuts or any ingredients derived from nuts. The facilities where the Sambucol lozenge products are manufactured do not use nuts or nut products during manufacture.

Currently all products from the Sambucol range are deemed as suitable for a kosher diet.

It is recommended to store products from the Sambucol range in a cool and dry place.

None of the ingredients used in the products in the Sambucol range contain any ingredients derived from animal origin. It is only animal derived products that can potentially pose a risk of transmitting agents of animal spongiform encephalopathies. As the Sambucol range does not contain any of these ingredients they do not pose any risk of TSE.

Sambucol Immuno Forte Capsules contain bovine gelatine, so are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Sambucol Immuno Forte Pastilles contain honey and Sambucol Extra Defence Liquid contains vitamin D3, so these products are not suitable for vegans although they should still be suitable for vegetarians. All other products are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Details of the uses of elderberry have been recorded since ancient times, as far back as the writings of Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder. The berries have long been used for making preserves, wines, winter cordials and for adding flavour and colour to other wines. These uses are based on the elderberries antioxidant properties. Through these actions elderberry can help to support the immune system.

More recently, elderberry has been used as dietary supplements and used in natural health products containing extracts of the berries.

Studies have shown that elderberries are unusually rich in the phytochemicals known as flavonoids and among all fruits, elderberries are the most concentrated source of anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants to maintain the immune system and protect the body’s cells from harm. These anthocyanins are found in the purple pigment of black elderberries. Research has shown that the anthocyanins in black elderberry can boost the production of cytokines, the proteins that act as messengers within the immune system, and thereby serve to enhance the body’s immune response. Sambucol products contain extracts of black elderberry. Therefore, Sambucol is a rich source of anthocyanins which have been shown to help maintain the body’s immune system.

Sambucus nigra or the black elderberry is a plant native to Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Asia. The flowers and berries have a long history of use as well as the berries being used to make wines and cordials. (1) The black elderberry, due to the dark pigmentation of its fruit, contains high concentrations of the flavonoid group of antioxidants called anthocyanins. It is these natural antioxidants that give the elderberry its purple pigment. This means that the fruit of the black elderberry have powerful antioxidant capabilities. Studies looking at the antioxidant activity of many types of fruits, including the black elderberry have shown that the total antioxidative capacity of the elderberry was higher than that of the blackcurrant, gooseberry, cranberry, blueberry and redcurrant Due to the amount of stress that modern society places on our bodies, it may be beneficial to take an antioxidant supplement to help maintain the Immune System.

Dietary supplements containing extracts from the black elderberry have long been used across the world. Supplements are available in many forms including expressed juice, teas, syrup and lozenges.

Due to a lack of clinical data available on the use of Sambucol during breast feeding, it is advisable to avoid taking the product at this time. Consumers are advised to consult their GP before starting to take any new supplement or medication during breastfeeding.

There is no evidence to suggest whether Sambucol should be taken before or after food. Given that Sambucol is extracted from the berries of the black elder, some people may find it preferable to take after food.

No interactions between black elderberry and other medications were identified from the published worldwide literature. As with all medical conditions, the patient should check with a healthcare professional before using any other supplements or medications.

Due to a lack of clinical data available on the use of Sambucol during pregnancy, it is advisable to avoid taking the product at this time. Consumers are advised to consult their GP before starting to take any new supplement or medication during pregnancy.

All the Sambucol products can be used in children. Please consult the dosage instructions on the individual Sambucol product packs before use to ensure the correct dose is given for the child’s age.

No special dosage requirements are required for use by the elderly. Follow the recommended dosage on the product packaging.

After a thorough search of published literature, no evidence has been found and no clinical studies have been identified to suggest that black elderberry extracts, which are included in the Sambucol products, have either a positive or negative effect on patients suffering from asthma.

As with any pre-existing medical condition, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before starting to take any new supplement or medication.

All the Sambucol products can be used in children, however the only product recommended for use in children under the age of 3 years is the Sambucol for Children product.

Sambucol contains an extract of black elderberries which have powerful antioxidant capabilities. Antioxidants are thought to to help boost the immune system.

We do not have any information on the use of Sambucol in patients who are HIV positive. No clinical trials have been conducted in this area and we are unable to comment on the use of Sambucol in HIV positive patients.

As with any pre-existing medical condition the new use of food supplements or medications should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

A literature search was conducted using Medline and Pubmed. No records were identified that discussed the effects of blood pressure when taking Sambucol products (or black elderberry extracts).

No warnings or contra-indications regarding use in high blood pressure are included on the proposed SmPC

Some of the Sambucol range of products contains zinc and or vitamin C. In large quantities these have been reported to cause heartburn. Sambucol should not cause heartburn or exacerbate it, provided that the recommended daily dose is adhered to and that any intensive use of the product is only short term. As with any pre-existing medical condition it is advisable to check with a healthcare professional prior to use of food supplements or medications. If heartburn is experienced the use of the product should be discontinued.

Sambucol contains an extract of black elderberries which have recognised antioxidant capabilities. Several clinical studies have shown that elderberries have the ability to help boost the immune system.

PharmaCare (Europe) Ltd do not have any information on the use of Sambucol in patients with low white blood cell count and no clinical trials have been conducted in this patient group.

As with any pre-existing medical condition it is recommended that a consumer discuss the use of Sambucol with a Healthcare Professional prior to its use.

Sambucol contains an extract of black elderberries which have recognised antioxidant capabilities. Several clinical studies have shown that elderberries have the ability to help boost the immune system.

PharmaCare (Europe) Ltd do not have any information on the use of Sambucol in patients with breast cancer and no clinical trials have been conducted in this patient group.

As with any pre-existing medical condition it is recommended that a consumer discuss the use of Sambucol with a Healthcare Professional prior to its use.

Cytokines are produced by the immune system when it is under attack from viruses and pathogens. Cytokines signal immune cells to travel to the site of attack or infection. This is a normal body process that is kept under control by a feedback loop.

Sometimes this process can become uncontrolled and too many immune cells are stimulated in a single place. This is often referred to as a cytokine storm.

Cytokine storms can cause significant tissue and organ damage.

There is no evidence in the literature to indicate that elderberry extract causes cytokine storms. We recommend that Sambucol products, which contain elderberry extract be used only for the indications on the product labelling.

Information available from the Food Standards Agency and current Government guidelines on healthy eating, indicate that Sambucol products cannot count as part of the recommended ‘5 a day’ portions of fruit and vegetables. This is based on the fact that only 100% fruit juices are allowed to be classified as a ‘portion of fruit’ and in order to obtain 100% fruit juice from Sambucol, 150ml of the product would need to be consumed. This amount is not the amount currently recommended on Sambucol packaging (see individual packs). The Sambucol range are classed as food supplements and are not intended to replace fruit and vegetables in a diet.