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Takeda & Okumura (2007) Effects of a fermented milk drink containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on the human NK-cell activity

Takeda & Okumura (2007) Effects of a fermented milk drink containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on the human NK-cell activity

Citation

To investigate the effect of a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) on immune function in healthy subjects.

Objective

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Methods

In a case-control, crossover study 19 healthy volunteers (9 middle-aged and 10 elderly), with reduced NK cell activity, consumed either a probiotic drink containing LcS (4 x 1010 CFU) or an unfermented control drink of similar composition each daily for three weeks. Blood samples were taken at baseline, at weeks one and three of probiotic consumption, and at three weeks and two months after period of intake. A number of immune parameters were analysed including NK cell number and activity, T cell frequency and IFN-a and IFN-γ.

Results

NK cell activity was significantly increased in middle-aged subjects, when compared to baseline, at weeks one (P = 0.0598) and three (P = 0.005) of probiotic consumption, which remained significantly elevated for a further three weeks (P = 0.022). No significant increases were seen in the frequency or number of immune cells, yet the rise in NK cell activity was inversely correlated with baseline levels (P = 0.016). NK cell activity returned to levels similar to baseline measurements two months after probiotic consumption had finished. Results from the elderly subjects showed a significantly lower NK cell activity in the control group (P <0.01) compared with the probiotic group.

Conclusions

Consumption of the probiotic containing LcS increased NK cell activity in middle-aged subjects and inhibited the decline of NK cell activity in elderly subjects

 
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