Nutr Res Pract.  2017 Feb;11(1):43-50. 10.4162/nrp.2017.11.1.43.

Agrobacterium sp.-derived β-1,3-glucan enhances natural killer cell activity in healthy adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Hanyang University, Wangsimni-ro 222, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea. yongsoon@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea.
  • 3Devision of Strategic Food Research, Korea Food Research Institute, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi 13539, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES
The present study investigated the hypothesis that a highly pure linear β-1,3-glucan produced by Agrobacterium sp. R259 enhances human natural killer (NK) cell activity and suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines.
SUBJECTS/METHODS
In an eight-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 83 healthy adults with white blood cell counts of 4,000-8,000 cells/µL were participated and randomly assigned to take two capsules per day containing either 350 mg β-1,3-glucan or placebo. Six participants withdrew their study consent or were excluded due to NK cell activity levels outside the normal range. NK cell activity and serum levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and cytokines, such as interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were measured.
RESULTS
NK cell activity and the serum levels of IL-10 were significantly higher from baseline to week 8 in the β-glucan group compared with the placebo group (P = 0.048, P = 0.029). Consumption of β-1,3-glucan also significantly increased NK cell activity compared with placebo after adjusting for smoking and stress status (P = 0.009). In particular, the effect of β-1,3-glucan on NK cell activity was greater in participants with severe stress than in those experiencing mild stress. However, the administration β-1,3-glucan did not significantly modulate the levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-α and IgG compared with the placebo.
CONCLUSION
The results showed that supplementation with bacterial β-1,3-glucan significantly increased NK cell activity without causing any adverse effects. Additionally, the beneficial effect of β-1,3-glucan on NK cell activity was greater in participants experiencing severe stress.

Keyword

Glucans; natural killer cells; interleukin-10; cytokines; clinical trial

MeSH Terms

Adult*
Agrobacterium*
Capsules
Cytokines
Glucans
Humans
Immunoglobulin G
Interferons
Interleukin-10
Interleukin-12
Interleukin-2
Interleukin-4
Interleukin-6
Interleukins
Killer Cells, Natural*
Leukocyte Count
Reference Values
Smoke
Smoking
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
Capsules
Cytokines
Glucans
Immunoglobulin G
Interferons
Interleukin-10
Interleukin-12
Interleukin-2
Interleukin-4
Interleukin-6
Interleukins
Smoke
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
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