Effects of Plant Stanols on Immune Function in Asthma Patients

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01715675
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 29, 2012
Last Update Posted : January 10, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Maastricht University Medical Center

Brief Summary:

Rationale: Plant stanols are well known for their effects on lowering intestinal cholesterol absorption ultimately resulting in 10-15% reduced serum LDL cholesterol concentrations in humans. In addition we have also shown that serum triacylglycerol (TG) concentrations may be lowered in subjects with elevated baseline concentrations. Till now, there is little evidence for plant stanol effects other than improving lipid profiles. However, we have very recently found strong indications in ex vivo models using isolated human peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PBMCs) from healthy volunteers that plant stanols have the capacity to improve immune function. More into detail, plant stanols shifted the differentiation of naive T-cells into the Th1 direction by activating a specific receptor present on the Antigen presenting cells (APCs) and T-cells. This effect might ultimately be helpful in situations in which the Th1/Th2 cell balance is disturbed into a Th2 over-responsiveness. By activating the Th1 response, the disturbed balance may be restored. This is for example a possibility in the treatment or prevention of asthma, food allergies or HIV in susceptible subjects. In addition, very recently (MEC 08-3-051) in a pilot study we also showed these ex vivo Th1 stimulating effects of plant stanols specifically in PBMCs isolated from asthma patients, as said, a condition characterized by a Th2 dominant immune response.

Objective: The major research objective is to prove that the consumption of plant stanol ester enriched yogurts can improve immune function in vivo in asthma patients.

Study design: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled human intervention study in which 90 patients with clinically proven asthma will participate: 45 in the intervention group receiving plant stanol yoghurt and 45 in the control group receiving a control yoghurt without added plant stanols. At the end of the run-in period as well as at the end of the experimental period blood will be sampled to isolate PBMCs. These cells are used to evaluate effects on cytokine production, phagocytic capacity of neutrophils, and the activity of NK cells. In addition, the golden standard to show improvements in immune function is by showing an elevated Immunoglobulin response to a vaccine. Therefore, during the experimental period all subjects receive a vaccination against Hepatitis A Virus. After 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks blood will be sampled to monitor specific immunoglobulin titers to HAV.

Study population: 90 people with clinically proven asthma, who are not carrier of hepatitis A, B or C and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A in the past. Also, these participants do not have any other immune-related pathology Main study parameters/endpoints: primary: Specific anti-HAV antibody titers after vaccination; secondary: Phagocytic capacity of neutrophils; NK-cell activity; Th1 and Th2 cytokine production profiles by PHA stimulated PMBCs.

Nature and extent of the burden and risks associated with participation, benefit and group relatedness: During the study, 9 blood samples (each 20 or 50 mL) will be taken. Total time investment for the subjects will be 160 min. Occasionally, a heamatoma or bruise can occur during venipuncture. After the vaccination a heamatoma or a sore arm can occur. These side effects should disappear within 4-5 days. Other common side effects related to the vaccination are headache, loss of appetite, and fatigue, which usually will disappear within 24 hours.

The results of this study will show whether consumption of plant stanol enriched yogurts is able to restore the disturbed th1/Th2 balance in asthma patients. Ultimately, this is expected to reduce asthmatic exacerbations, as the Th2 dominant immune response seems causal to asthmatic symptoms, however these clinical improvements are not verified in this relatively short term intervention study.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Asthma Allergy Dietary Supplement: Plant stanol enriched soy-based yoghurt Dietary Supplement: Soy-based yoghurt without added plant stanols Not Applicable

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 61 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Plant Stanols on the Immune Function of Asthma Patients
Study Start Date : October 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Asthma

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: plant stanol Dietary Supplement: Plant stanol enriched soy-based yoghurt
Plant stanol enriched soy-based yoghurt

Placebo Comparator: control Dietary Supplement: Soy-based yoghurt without added plant stanols
Soy-based yoghurt without added plant stanols

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. aHAV antibody titers [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]
  2. Plasma IgE [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. inflammation markers [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]
  2. ex vivo cytokine production [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • asthma

Exclusion Criteria:

  • other inflammatory or immunological diseases dyslipideamia previous vaccination or infection with hepatitis A diabetics COPD

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01715675

Maastricht University Medical Centre
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands, 6229ER
Sponsors and Collaborators
Maastricht University Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Jogchum Plat, PhD Maastricht University Medical Center

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Maastricht University Medical Center Identifier: NCT01715675     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MEC 10-3-010
First Posted: October 29, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 10, 2014
Last Verified: January 2014

Keywords provided by Maastricht University Medical Center:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Bronchial Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitivity, Immediate
Immune System Diseases