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Recent research on probiotics and immunity

Cheeky tongueGrape Seed Extract can destroy leukaemia cells - January 2009 - Scientists at the University of Kentucky found that within 24 hours of exposure to Grape Seed Extract, 76% of leukaemia cells died through apoptosis, a natural process of self-destruction.  This research could potentially provide new areas of treatment for leukaemia, a disease that affects over 24,000 people each year.  Grape Seed Extract, previously shown to reduce the size of breast tumours in rats and skin tumours in mice, contains numerous antioxidants including resveratrol – a component known for its anti-cancerous properties.  Head researcher, Professor Xianglin Shi added, “What everyone seeks is an agent that has an effect on cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone, and this shows that grapeseed extract fits into this category.”

Green Tea good for the heart – July 2008 - A small Greek study found that habitual consumption of green tea could ameliorate the function of the endothelial cells (the cells lining the walls of blood vessels), therefore boosting cardiovascular health.  The study indicated the possible role of green tea polyphenols, which have previously been linked to protection against some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.

Combination of Probiotics & prebiotics improve anti-oxidative activity - January 2008 - A blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics with the prebiotic oligofructose was linked to a reduction in the oxidation of LDL, associated with hardening of the arteries.  This EU and MicroFunction Project concluded that the overall antioxidant activity of the participants taking synbiotic supplements was higher than the antioxidant activity of placebo subjects.
Source: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2007, Volume 66, Page 101A "Effects of a synbiotic on biomarkers of oxidative stress and faecal microbiota in healthy adults: results of a cross-over double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Clinical Research on probiotics and immunity

Drisko, J. A. et al. (2003) Probiotics in Health Maintenance and Disease Prevention. Alternative Medicine Review; Vol. 8 (2) pp. 143 - 156

Hill, M. J. (1997) Intestinal flora and endogenous vitamin synthesis. European Journal of Cancer Prevention; Vol. 6 Suppl. 1 pp. S43 – 5

Famularo, G. et al (2005) Probiotic lactobacilli: an innovative tool to correct the malabsorption syndrome of vegetarians? Medical Hypotheses; Vol. 65 (6) pp.1132 – 5

Hebuterne, X. (2003) Gut changes attributed to ageing: effects on intestinal microflora. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care; Vol. 6 (1) pp. 49 – 54.

Hughes, D. A. (1999) Effects of dietary antioxidants on the immune function of middle-aged adults. Proceedings of Nutrition Society; Vol. 58 (1) pp. 79 - 84

Forchielli, M. L. & Walker, W. A. (2005) The role of gut-associated lymphoid tissues and mucosal defence. British Journal of Nutrition; Vol. 93 Suppl. 1 pp. S41 – 8

Fasano, A. & Shea-Donohue, T. (2005) Mechanisms of disease: the role of intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases. Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology; Vol. 2 (9) pp.416 – 422.