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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Porphyra tenera Supplementation on the Immune System: A Randomized, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

1
Clinical Trial Center for Functional Foods, Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju 54907, Korea
2
Department of Medical Nutrition Therapy, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea
3
Healthcare Claims & Management Incorporation, Jeonju 54858, Korea
4
Marine Biotechnology Research Center, Jeonnam Bioindustry Foundation, Wando 59108, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1642; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061642
Received: 15 April 2020 / Revised: 21 May 2020 / Accepted: 29 May 2020 / Published: 2 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutritional Immunology)
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if Porphyra tenera extract (PTE) has immune-enhancing effects and is safe in healthy adults. Methods: Subjects who met the inclusion criteria (3 × 103 ≤ peripheral blood leukocyte level ≥ 8 × 103 cells/µL) were recruited for this study. Enrolled subjects (n = 120) were randomly assigned to either the PTE group (n = 60) and were given 2.5 g/day of PTE (as PTE) in capsule form or the placebo group (n = 60) and were given crystal cellulose capsules with the identical appearance, weight, and flavor as the PTE capsules for 8 weeks. Outcomes were assessed based on measuring natural killer (NK) cell activity, cytokines level, and upper respiratory infection (URI), and safety parameters were assessed at baseline and 8 weeks. Results: Compared with baseline, NK cell activity (%) increased for all effector cell-to-target cell ratios in the PTE group after 8 weeks; however, changes were not observed in the placebo group (p < 0.10). Subgroup analysis of 101 subjects without URI showed that NK cell activity in the PTE group tended to increase for all effector cell/target cell (E:T) ratios (E:T = 12.5:1 p = 0.068; E:T = 25:1 p = 0.036; E:T = 50:1 p = 0.081) compared with the placebo group. A significant difference between the two groups was observed for the E:T = 25:1 ratio, which increased from 20.3 ± 12.0% at baseline to 23.2 ± 12.4% after 8 weeks in the PTE group (p = 0.036). A significant difference was not observed in cytokine between the two groups. Conclusion: PTE supplementation appears to enhance immune function by improving NK cell activity without adverse effects in healthy adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: Porphyra tenera; immune; clinical trial; natural killer cells; cytokines Porphyra tenera; immune; clinical trial; natural killer cells; cytokines
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jung, S.-J.; Jang, H.-Y.; Jung, E.-S.; Noh, S.-O.; Shin, S.-W.; Ha, K.-C.; Baek, H.-I.; Ahn, B.-J.; Oh, T.-H.; Chae, S.-W. Effects of Porphyra tenera Supplementation on the Immune System: A Randomized, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1642.

AMA Style

Jung S-J, Jang H-Y, Jung E-S, Noh S-O, Shin S-W, Ha K-C, Baek H-I, Ahn B-J, Oh T-H, Chae S-W. Effects of Porphyra tenera Supplementation on the Immune System: A Randomized, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2020; 12(6):1642.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jung, Su-Jin; Jang, Hui-Yeon; Jung, Eun-Soo; Noh, Soon-Ok; Shin, Sang-Wook; Ha, Ki-Chan; Baek, Hyang-Im; Ahn, Byung-Jae; Oh, Tae-Hwan; Chae, Soo-Wan. 2020. "Effects of Porphyra tenera Supplementation on the Immune System: A Randomized, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial" Nutrients 12, no. 6: 1642.

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