Botanical combination may boost immune response to flu vaccination: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Zerbor / Getty Images
© Zerbor / Getty Images

Related tags Vaccine Immune system Influenza immune support botanical extracts

A combination of extracts from Acacia catechu and Scutellaria baicalensis may significantly increase antibodies in response to a flu vaccine in healthy adults, says a new study conducted by KGK Science Inc.

Total IgA and IgG levels increased in people receiving the botanical combination, compared to placebo, while influenza B-specific IgG increased by almost 20% during the 28-day post-vaccination period, according to data published in the Journal of the American Nutrition Association.

This type of adaptive immune response is known as “humoral immunity”.

“Response of the humoral immune system through production of antibodies following vaccination is considered a useful measure that correlates with specific protection,” ​explained the study scientists. “For studies on probiotics and vaccine models, this has been defined as the “gold standard” to determine the influence on immune function.”

All products used in the study were manufactured by Acenzia (Canada), and the study was funded by Tacoma, WA-based Unigen.

Study details

The KGK scientists conducted a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study with 50 healthy adults aged between 40 and 80. The participants were divided into one of three groups: A placebo group, a group receiving the Acacia catechu​ and Scutellaria baicalensis​ combination (designated UP446), and third group receiving a mixture of aloe vera gel powder, rosemary and Poria cocos extracts (designated UP360). The current paper only reported data on UP446.

The study was structured to have an initial 28-day pre-vaccination period, with the flu vaccine administered on Day 28. This was followed by a 28-day post-vaccination period.

Results showed that the UP446 group displayed significant increases in total IgA and IgG levels in the immediate 28-day post-vaccination period. During this period, influenza B-specific IgG also increased by 19.4%. From Day 0 to Day 56, influenza B-specific IgG increased 11.6%.

This “suggests that UP446 was beneficial in mounting a robust humoral response following vaccination”,​ said the researchers.

The data also showed that serum glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) increased during the initial 28-day pre-vaccination period with UP446 supplementation.

“The enzyme GSH-Px is part of the antioxidant defense system that maintains redox homeostasis and plays a critical role in mitigating the oxidative stress generated with influenza infection,” ​explained the researchers. “Administration of live attenuated influenza vaccine has been shown to elicit an increase in biomarkers of oxidative stress in the breath of healthy participants. Therefore, increasing GSH-Px improved the antioxidant properties of UP446. As GSH-Px plays a key role in modulating overall oxidative and reductive stress, UP446 may be beneficial in mitigating the oxidative stress response following vaccination.”

“These results suggest a 56-day supplementation with UP446 was beneficial in mounting a robust humoral response following vaccination,” ​they concluded.

Source: Journal of the American Nutrition Association
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1080/27697061.2022.2145525
“Role of ​Acacia catechu and ​Scutellaria baicalensis in Enhancing Immune Function Following Influenza Vaccination of Healthy Adults: A Randomized, Triple-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial”
Authors: E.D. Lewis et al.                                                                                                                                    

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