Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25268806
PLoS ONE 2014;9(9):e108794
RATIONALE: To prevent or combat infection, increasing the effectiveness of the immune response is highly desirable, especially in case of compromised immune system function. However, immunostimulatory therapies are scarce, expensive, and often have unwanted side-effects. β-glucans have been shown to exert immunostimulatory effects in vitro and in vivo in experimental animal models. Oral β-glucan is inexpensive and well-tolerated, and therefore may represent a promising immunostimulatory compound for human use.
METHODS: We performed a randomized open-label intervention pilot-study in 15 healthy male volunteers. Subjects were randomized to either the β -glucan (n = 10) or the control group (n = 5). Subjects in the β-glucan group ingested β-glucan 1000 mg once daily for 7 days. Blood was sampled at various time-points to determine β-glucan serum levels, perform ex vivo stimulation of leukocytes, and analyze microbicidal activity.
RESULTS: β-glucan was barely detectable in serum of volunteers at all time-points. Furthermore, neither cytokine production nor microbicidal activity of leukocytes were affected by orally administered β-glucan.
CONCLUSION: The present study does not support the use of oral β-glucan to enhance innate immune responses in humans.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01727895.