The aloe vera (Aloe vera) plant has a long history of traditional therapeutic topical use. Its leaf and inner leaf juices are also ingested in various forms. Aloe vera leaf juice is made from macerated aloe leaves, and when it is intended for human ingestion, it is purified of latex constituents via a charcoal filtration process known as decolorization. Several publications have shown immunomodulatory effects, as well as antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties of aloe vera inner leaf juice, but limited information is available regarding these effects for aloe vera leaf juice after the decolorization process. The aim of this preliminary study was to compare biologically-relevant antioxidant and immune-modulatory effects of aloe vera inner leaf and decolorized leaf preparations using a variety of in vitro techniques.
The impact of chronic inflammatory conditions on immune function is substantial, and the simultaneous application of anti-inflammatory and immune modulating modalities has potential for reducing inflammation-induced immune suppression. Sorghum-based foods, teas, beers, and extracts are used in traditional medicine, placing an importance on obtaining an increased understanding of the biological effects of sorghum. This study examined selected anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties in vitro of Jobelyn™, containing the polyphenol-rich leaf sheaths from a West African variant of Sorghum bicolor(SBLS). Freshly isolated primary human polymorphonuclear (PMN) and mononuclear cell subsets were used to test selected cellular functions in the absence versus presence of aqueous and ethanol extracts of SBLS. Both aqueous and nonaqueous compounds contributed to reduced reactive oxygen species formation by inflammatory PMN cells, and reduced the migration of these cells in response to the inflammatory chemoattractant leukotriene B4. Distinct effects were seen on lymphocyte and monocyte subsets in cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The aqueous extract of SBLS triggered robust upregulation of the CD69 activation marker on CD3− CD56+ natural killer (NK) cells, whereas the ethanol extract of SBLS triggered similar upregulation of CD69 on CD3+ CD56+ NKT cells, CD3+ T lymphocytes, and monocytes. This was accompanied by many-fold increases in the chemokines RANTES/CCL5, Mip-1α/CCL3, and MIP-1β/CCL4. Both aqueous and nonaqueous compounds contribute to anti-inflammatory effects, combined with multiple effects on immune cell activation status. These observations may help suggest mechanisms of action that contribute to the traditional use of sorghum-based products, beverages, and extracts for immune support.
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.
The objective of this pilot study was to investigate the acute effects on circulating lymphocyte subsets, antioxidant status, and cytokine profile after consumption of EpiCor(®) (EP) (Embria Health Sciences, Ankeny, IA, USA), a dried fermentate produced from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using a placebo-controlled randomized crossover study design with 12 healthy adult human subjects. EP contains high levels of bioavailable antioxidants and strongly activates natural killer (NK) cells in vitro. EP consumption has been shown to increase erythrocyte hematocrit levels, boost mucosal immune protection, reduce cold/flu symptoms, reduce seasonal allergy symptoms and the need for rescue medication, and increase salivary secretory immunoglobulin A levels. This warranted further study on immune effects in humans. A within-subject analysis of data collected before and at 1 and 2 hours after consumption of a single dose of 500 mg of EP versus placebo was performed. A transient reduction in circulating T and NK cell numbers was observed 2 hours post-consumption, suggesting that homing and recirculation of these cells, as part of healthy immune surveillance, were supported by EP. The increased expression of activation markers on the CD3(-) CD56(+) NK cell population was significant for CD69 at 1 hour post-consumption (CD25, P<.07; CD69, P<.05), whereas for CD25 it was significant at 2 hours after consumption (CD25, P<.03; CD69, P<.15). A rapid increase in serum interferon-γ was observed at 1 hour post-consumption (P<.07; after removal of two outlying data sets, P<.05) and may have contributed to the effects seen on NK and T cell subsets. Significant increase in serum antioxidant protection was seen 2 hours after consumption (P<.04). Thus consumption of a single 500 mg dose of EP provides a rapid and transient effect on the trafficking and activation status of specific lymphocyte subsets, as well as increased antioxidant protection.