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Open Access Research

Proprietary arabinogalactan extract increases antibody response to the pneumonia vaccine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot study in healthy volunteers

Jay K Udani12*, Betsy B Singh1, Marilyn L Barrett3 and Vijay J Singh1

Author affiliations

1 Medicus Research LLC, Northridge, CA 91325, USA

2 UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA

3 Pharmacognosy Consulting, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:32  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-32

Published: 26 August 2010

Abstract

Background

Arabinogalactan from Larch tree (Larix spp.) bark has previously demonstrated immunostimulatory activity. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that ingestion of a proprietary arabinogalactan extract, ResistAidâ„¢, would selectively enhance the antibody response to the pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine in healthy adults.

Methods

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study included 45 healthy adults who had not previously been vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumoniae. The volunteers began taking the study product or placebo (daily dosage 4.5 g) at the screening visit (V1-Day 0) and continued over the entire 72 day study period. After 30 days the subjects received the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine (V2). They were monitored the following day (V3-Day 31), as well as 21 days (V4-Day 51) and 42 days (V5-Day 72) after vaccination. Responses by the adaptive immune system (antigen specific) were measured via pneumococcal IgG antibodies (subtypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F, and 23F) and salivary IgA levels. Responses by the innate immune system (non-specific) were measured via white blood cell counts, inflammatory cytokines and the complement system.

Results

Vaccination significantly increased pneumococcal IgG levels as expected. The arabinogalactan group demonstrated a statistically significant greater IgG antibody response than the placebo group in two antibodies subtypes (18C and 23F) at both Day 51 (p = 0.006 and p = 0.002) and at Day 72 (p = 0.008 and p = 0.041). These same subtypes (18C and 23F) also demonstrated change scores from baseline which were significant, in favor of the arabinogalactan group, at Day 51 (p = 0.033 and 0.001) and at Day 72 (p = 0.012 and p = 0.003). Change scores from baseline and mean values were greater in the arabinogalactan group than placebo for most time points in antibody subtypes 4, 6B, 9V, and 19F, but these differences did not reach statistical significance. There was no effect from the vaccine or arabinogalactan on salivary IgA, white blood cell count, inflammatory cytokines or complement.

Conclusions

The proprietary arabinogalactan extract (ResistAidâ„¢), tested in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group pilot study, increased the antibody response of healthy volunteers to the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine compared to placebo.

Trial Registration

ISRCTN98817459