08-05-2008, 04:44 PM
Strenghten Your Immune System Naturally
Another mushroom with immunity-boosting abilities is Maitake. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found a polysaccharide extract from Grifola frondosa (Maitake extract) was associated with measurable changes in the immunomodulatory cell counts in peripheral blood.4
In the phase I/II dose escalation trial, 30 menopausal breast cancer patients free of disease after initial treatment were enrolled sequentially into five cohorts of six patients each.
Maitake extract was taken orally at 0.1, 0.5, 1.5, 3, or 5 mg/kg twice daily for three weeks. Quadratic dose curve analysis showed a daily dosage of 2 mg/kg was associated with the greatest increases of CD3+CD25+ or CD4+CD25+ T cells in the peripheral blood (P<0.001); a daily dosage of 6 mg/kg was associated with the most significant increases in intracellular IL-2 production by NK-T cells (P=0.002); IL-10 production by T cells (P=0.002). Interferon gamma production by memory CD4+ T cells was attenuated to 27 percent of baseline at a daily dose of 7.4 mg/kg (P=0.002).
A study at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington gave mice total body irradiation (TBI) followed by treatment with CorImmune™ (from Xenos Nutraceuticals Inc.), an extract powder of the cultured mycelia of the mushroom Cordyceps sinensis, or a normal saline (control).5
CorImmune was administered beginning two hours after a lethal dose of TBI. There was a 55-percent improvement in survival in the treatment group vs. zero percent in the saline control (P<0.0001). The supplement increased normal leukocyte levels in a dose-dependent fashion. Animals treated with sub-lethal TBI and monitored for blood leukocyte recovery exhibited a return to normal baseline three weeks after TBI injury. In contrast, only 50 percent returned to normal baseline in the saline control group (P<0.01).
Yeast on the Rise
Yeast-based supplements have proven to be a strong weapon against attacks on the immune system. A 12-week experimental, double blind, placebo-controlled study randomized 116 healthy participants with up-to-date vaccination histories to receive 500 mg/d of EpiCor�, a dried Sacharomyces cerevisiae fermate, or a placebo.6 The EpiCor-treated group experienced a statistically significant reduction in the incidence (P=0.01) and duration (P=0.03) of colds or flu compared with the placebo. They also experienced a non-significant (P=0.23) reduction in adverse events compared with the placebo.
In an unpublished study, Wellmune WPG� (from Biothera), a yeast-based (beta-glucan) antioxidant supplement, decreased the amount of upper respiratory tract infections in firefighters. Supported by an unrestricted grant from Biothera, the single blind, randomized, crossover study administered Wellmune WPG or a placebo to 54 wildland firefighters for 14 days, followed by a three-day washout period and another 14-day treatment period.
Thirty-seven percent of the treatment group experienced an upper respiratory tract infection; 48 percent of the placebo group experienced an infection. Additionally, Wellmune WPG alleviated duration, severity and down time due to cold symptoms in an unpublished, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Healthy subjects (n=40), aged 18 to 65, received either 250 mg/d of Wellmune WGP or placebo for 90 days during the cold season.
In contrast with the placebo group, the treatment group reported no incidence of medically verified fever, an increase in general health markers and no need to take a “sick day” off work or school, compared with an average of 1.38 days of work/school missed for participants in the placebo group. There were no differences between groups in the number of colds; however, at the end of the 12-week test period, the Wellmune WGP-supplemented group exhibited significant improvements in physical component summary scores.
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is a biological active compound produced by most cells of the body and is an important antioxidant defense. P.L. Thomas supplies Glisodin�, a cantaloupe melon-based form of SOD with wheat gliadin, which protects SOD from stomach acid and enzymes found in the digestive system.
A study published in Current Trends in Immunology evaluated the bioadhesive properties of the wheat gliadin in Glisodin to delay the release of SOD throughout the digestive system compared to a melon SOD extract without wheat.7 Glisodin was able to stimulate the host antioxidant system by inducing a Th-1-polarization of the immune response through the expression of IFN-gamma and an antibody response of IgG isotype.
In a separate, unpublished double blind, clinical investigation, presented at the XVI International AIDS Conference in August 2006, Glisodin or a plant SOD extract without gliadin was administered to 35 patients with AIDS that did not receive any anti-retroviral therapy; the control group consisted of 30 non-HIV-1-infected patients.
Compared to the control group, circulating erythrocytes Cu/Zn-SOD (SOD1) activity and total antioxidant status were significantly (P<0.01) decreased in AIDS patients and correlated with the increased plasmatic concentration of beta2-microglobulin that reflect the activation state of macrophages.
Patients receiving Glisodin normalized their circulating SOD1 activity and total antioxidant status, and reduced their circulating levels in beta2-microglobulin indicating a correlation between the reduction of oxidative stress and the reduction of macrophage activation.
The study demonstrated Glisodin could regulate the activation state of macrophages and down-regulate the oxidative stress caused by the infectious process.