To evaluate acute effects of bovine colostrum low-molecular weight fraction (CLMWF) on selected aspects of innate immune function in healthy human subjects.
A placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized cross-over trial involving 12 healthy subjects, age 22-72, was conducted at NIS Labs during the year 2010. Placebo or 150 mg CLMWF was given orally. Blood was drawn immediately before and at 1 and 2h after consumption.
A single dose of CLMWF, when compared to placebo, resulted in rapid increase in phagocytic activity of monocytes at 1h (P<0.12) and polymorphonuclear cells at 1h (P<0.08) and 2h (P<0.03) after consumption. Observations included increased numbers of CD3(+) T cells (P<0.05), and a transient reduction in circulating CD3(-)CD56(+) natural killer (NK) cells at 1h (P<0.04), returning to normal levels at 2h after consumption (P<0.96). The relative increase of NK cells from 1 to 2h after consumption was not associated with an increase in CD69 or CD25 activation markers, suggesting that new NK cells were mobilized into circulation.
The increased phagocytic activity and rapid transient changes in NK cell numbers suggest that upon consumption, interaction of CLMWF with immune cells in the gut mucosa triggers immediate events with systemic consequences.