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Effects of arginine supplementation on the humoral and innate immune response of older people.

Author(s): Moriguti JC, Ferriolli E, Donadi EA, Marchini JS

Affiliation(s): School of Nutrition and School of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. moriguti@fmrp.usp.br

Publication date & source: 2005-12, Eur J Clin Nutr., 59(12):1362-6.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether oral supplementation with arginine affects the humoral and innate immune response after vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae in a group of people aged 60 y and older, free-living in the community. DESIGN: A randomized controlled trial with one supplemented group and one control group.Setting:Older persons living in the community. SUBJECTS: A total of 29 adults aged 60 y and older. INTERVENTIONS: The older people were randomized into two groups, one with arginine supplementation (15 g/day) for 4 weeks after pneumococcal vaccine. The control group received only the vaccine. Anthropometric measurements and immune system function parameters: neutrophil chemotaxis and phagocytosis, natural killer cell activity, determination of serum pneumococcal polysaccharide antibodies and serum C3 and C4. RESULTS: Neutrophil phagocytosis and the serum concentration of complement (C3 and C4) did not differ between groups. IgG antibodies against pneumococcal polysaccharide serotypes 1, 5 and 6B increased in both groups. The following parameters increased in the arginine-supplemented group compared to the nonsupplemented group: neutrophil chemotaxis (34 vs 19 units of migration, P = 0.002), natural killer cell cytotoxicity (23.3 vs 13.4 10 M/Ul 40%, P = 0.011) and IgG against antigen 5 (12.3 vs 6.2 mug/ml, P = 0.044). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that, after the pneumococcal vaccine, the intake of arginine increased neutrophil chemotaxis, natural killer cytotoxicity and serum concentration of IgG against antigen 5 in older people. These results suggest that arginine supplementation may enhance the immune response elicited by the pneumococcal vaccine in older people. SPONSORSHIP: Supported in part by CAPES and FAEPA.

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