Supplements containing an arabinogalactan extract may enhance the body’s response to a pneumonia vaccine, according to a new pilot study that supports the immune boosting properties of the ingredient.
Using Lonza’s proprietary ResistAid ingredient, scientists from California’s Medicus Research and UCLA report that the arabinogalactan extract increased the antibody response to the vaccine against Streptococcus pneumonia, compared with placebo. The study was fully funded by Lonza.
Writing in the Nutrition Journal, Dr Jay Udani, MD, CPI, and his co-workers note that vaccination studies of this type are used to study general immune function. “The results of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study demonstrate the ability of ResistAid to selectively enhance the antibody response to the pneumococcal vaccine,” said Dr Udani, CEO of Medicus Research.
”Modulating the immune system in direct response to antigenic stimulation rather than nonspecific augmentation represents a more physiologic approach to immune enhancement,” he added.
The researchers note that the study was pilot scale and “further studies with larger populations are indicated which may demonstrate additional effects of arabinogalactan on the immune system”.
Dr Udani and his co-workers recruited 45 health individuals with an average age of 35.9 were randomly assigned to consume either daily doses of the arabinogalactan extract (4.5 grams) or placebo for 72 days. After 30 days of intervention, all participants received the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine.
In response to the vaccine, the immune system showed adaptations, as measured by levels of certain types of pneumococcal IgG antibodies. In the arabinogalactan group, the researchers noted that the participants had significantly higher pneumococcal IgG levels in two antibodies subtypes (18C and 23F), compared with placebo and with levels at the start of the study.
No effect on levels of IgA in the saliva, white blood cell count, inflammatory cytokines or complement were observed for
There was no effect from the vaccine or arabinogalactan on salivary IgA, white blood cell count, or inflammatory cytokines.
“This is the first human study to demonstrate an effect by Larch arabinogalactan on immunoglobulin levels,” wrote the researchers.
“No effect on IgG antibody levels was observed in another study wherein the subjects were administered 1.5 g larch arabinogalactan per day for four weeks (Altern Med Rev 2002, Vol. 7, pp. 138-149). This study utilized a larger dose (4.5 g per day), longer administration time (10 weeks) and the vaccine as a standardized antigenic challenge all of which appear to have been useful in delineating a difference between the proprietary arabinogalactan extract and placebo,” they added.
“The suggestion that arabinogalactan might have a selective effect on the immune system is preliminary but promising,” wrote Dr Udani and his co-workers.
The study was welcomed by Bryan Rodriguez, Lonza’s technical marketing & scientific affairs manager, Lonza. “In combination with its positive effects on the immune system, ResistAid has a number of technical properties that make it easily incorporated into dietary supplements and functional foods in standalone form or combined with other products to increase functionality,” he said.
Source: Nutrition Journal
“Proprietary arabinogalactan extract increases antibody response to the pneumonia vaccine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot study in healthy volunteers”
Authors: J.K. Udani, B.B. Singh, M.L. Barrett, V.J. Singh