Investigating the Health Benefits of Multivitamin Cold and Flu Remedies on Caenorhabditis elegans
Mentor:Sylvia Vetrone, Assistant Professor of Biology, Whittier College
Every year when the winter season comes around, drugstores experience an increase in purchases from the medicine isle for conditions such as the common cold and flu. Despite much advancement in biomedical science & technology, there is no “magic bullet” to cure these seasonal illnesses and boost the immune system all at once. Hence, many people have put more and more trust into holistic and natural remedies, consisting of vitamins and other nutritional prophylactic supplements. Some of the more recent trending brands are Airborne ® and Emergen-C ®, along with a wide variety of generic brands. Therefore the focus of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of Airborne ®, Emergen-C ®, and Wellness Fizz on the overall physiological health of the nematode animal model, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). A variety of physiological experiments were conducted such as longevity/health span, acute and temporary oxidative stress response, and fertility assays. Each experiment was repeated 3-5 times, with each group containing 100 worms per treatment or control. Our preliminary findings demonstrated that while there was an observable trend in increased overall physiological health, this increase was not statistically significant. These results suggest that administration of vitamin prophylactic supplements to C. elegans do not correlate with physiological health benefits.