Immuno-LP20 is the powder, which contains heat-treated lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 (HK L-137). The L-137 strain was originally isolated from “a fermented fish and rice dish” which is a traditional food in Asia. HK L-137 powerfully induces the production of interleukin 12 (IL-12), a cytokine that raises the T helper 1 (Th1) type immune response (often referred to as cellular immunity). The anti-allergic and anti-tumor effects of HK L-137 have been confirmed through animal testing. Moreover, Th1/Th2 balance and T cell proliferation, which are index of cellular immunity, were improved in human clinical trials. Human clinical trials with HK L-137 also demonstrated an improvement in quality of life (QOL).
The most recent clinical study demonstrates the ability of HK L-137 to support the production of type I Interferon (IFN). Type I IFN inhibits the multiplication of viruses. In testing with mice infected with H1N1 influenza, the influenza virus count decreased in mice through oral administration of HK L-137. Type I IFN production is also increased in humans through ingestion of HK L-137. Through these results, HK L-137 is suggested to be effective in protection against infectious diseases, such as viruses, through augmentation of cellular immunity, and induction of type I IFN production.
Additionally, the effects of ingestion of HK L-137 on upper respiratory tract infection (URTI also referred to as the common cold) and immune function were investigated in the double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized trial. In the trial 78 healthy people (33 men and 45 women with an average age 50.6 y) who felt severe psychological stress were divided into two groups at random. One group ingested 1 tablet containing 10 mg of HK L-137 and another ingested a placebo tablet daily for 12 weeks. The T cell proliferation, an index of cellular immunity, was measured before and after 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks of ingestion. URTI was investigated every day using a questionnaire. As a result, incidence of URTI was significantly lower in HK L-137 group as compared with the placebo group. The duration and severity of the common cold and the number of days during which medication was required also showed a significant negative correlation with the duration of HK L-137 ingestion. Moreover, in the HK L-137 ingestion group, T cell proliferation significantly increased as compared with the placebo group.
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