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Open Access Research

Dietary supplementation with rice bran fermented with Lentinus edodes increases interferon-γ activity without causing adverse effects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study

Ji-young Choi1, Doo-Jin Paik2, Dae Young Kwon3 and Yongsoon Park1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Food and Nutrition, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea

2 Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea

3 Emerging Innovative Technology Research Division, Korean Food Research Institutes, Sungnam, Korea

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:35  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-35

Published: 22 April 2014

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with rice bran fermented with Lentinus edodes (rice bran exo-biopolymer, RBEP), a substance known to contain arabinoxylan, enhances natural killer (NK) cell activity and modulates cytokine production in healthy adults.

Methods

This study was designed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and parallel-group format. Eighty healthy participants with white blood cell counts of 4,000-8,000 cells/μL were randomly assigned to take six capsules per day of either 3 g RBEP or 3 g placebo for 8 weeks. Three participants in the placebo group were excluded after initiation of the protocol; no severe adverse effects from RBEP supplementation were reported. NK cell activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was measured using nonradioactive cytotoxicity assay kits and serum cytokine concentrations included interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, and IL-12 were measured by Bio-Plex cytokine assay kit. This study was registered with the Clinical Research Information Service (KCT0000536).

Results

Supplementation of RBEP significantly increased IFN-γ production compared with the placebo group (P = 0.012). However, RBEP supplementation did not affect either NK cell activity or cytokine levels, including IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, and TNF-α, compared with the placebo group.

Conclusions

The data obtained in this study indicate that RBEP supplementation increases IFN-γ secretion without causing significant adverse effects, and thus may be beneficial to healthy individuals. This new rice bran-derived product may therefore be potentially useful to include in the formulation of solid and liquid foods designed for treatment and prevention of pathological states associated with defective immune responses.

Keywords:
Cytokines; Fermented rice bran; Immune response; Natural killer cell; Randomized clinical study