Research capsule - November 2009

Vital stats: Natural Health Science's Pycnogenol French maritime pine bark

Study claim: Pycnogenol inhibits enzymes associated with inflammatory conditions.

Published: Canali R, et al. The anti-inflammatory pharmacology of Pycnogenol in humans involves COX-2 and 5-LOX mRNA expression in leukocytes. Int Immunopharmacol 2009 Sep;9(10):1145-9.

Abstract: Researchers investigated the effects of Pycnogenol supplementation on the arachidonic acid pathway in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) in response to an inflammatory stimulus. Pycnogenol is a standardised extract of French maritime pine bark consisting of procyanidins and polyphenolic monomers. Healthy volunteers aged 35 to 50 years were supplemented with 150mg/day Pycnogenol for five days. Before and after the final day of supplementation, blood was drawn and PMNLs were isolated. PMNLs were primed with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and stimulated with the receptor-mediated agonist formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) to activate the arachidonic acid pathway and the biosynthesis of leukotrienes, thromboxane and prostaglandins.

Pycnogenol supplementation inhibited 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) gene expression, and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity. This effect was associated with a compensatory up-regulation of COX-1 gene expression. Interestingly, Pycnogenol suspended the interdependency between 5-LOX and 5-lipoxygenase activating protein (FLAP) expression. Pycnogenol supplementation reduced leukotriene production but did not leave prostaglandins unaltered, which was attributed to a decline of COX-2 activity in favour of COX-1. This study demonstrates for the first time that Pycnogenol supplementation simultaneously inhibits COX-2 and 5-LOX gene expression, and reduces leukotriene biosynthesis in human PMNL upon pro-inflammatory stimulation ex vivo.

Potential applications: For supplements, Pycnogenol research shows efficacy for a range of health conditions and concerns.

More info: +1 877 369 9934
[email protected]

Vital stats: Biothera's Wellmune WGP 1,3-1,6 beta glucan

Study claim: Wellmune WGP reduced the incidence of fever and eliminated the need to miss work or school due to cold symptoms.

Published: Feldman S, et al. Randomzed phase II clinical trials of Wellmune WGP for immune support during cold and flu season. J Appl Res 2009;9(1-2):30-42.

Abstract: This pilot trial examined whether beta-glucan derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae can favourably decrease the risk of or symptomology associated with upper respiratory illness. Forty healthy adult subjects (18-65 years old) were enrolled in a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial conducted during the cold/flu season. The treatment arm compared 500mg/day Wellmune WGP to placebo.

There were no significant differences in the incidence of symptomatic respiratory infections among the study groups. However, none of the subjects in the WGP group missed work or school due to colds, while subjects with colds in the placebo group missed an average of 1.38 days. Quality of Life, assessed by the Physical Component Summary score, improved significantly in the WPG group vs the placebo group after 90 days as compared to baseline. The WGP group had a significantly lower average fever score than the placebo group. No adverse events were detected and no safety concerns were presented. 1,3-1,6 beta-glucan from S. cerevisiae may modulate the immune system and reduce some risks associated with upper respiratory influenza infections.

Potential applications: Derived from a proprietary strain of Baker's yeast, Wellmune WGP activates white blood cells (neutrophils) to more quickly find and kill foreign challenges. Designed for foods, beverages and dietary supplements, it is kosher, halal, nonallergenic and GMO free.

More info: +1 801 944 8868
[email protected]

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