R&D: Balancing the Immune System -- December 2010

Immunity has emerged as a prime interest among consumers. At a recent show, one supplier presented tasty beverages, berry-flavored chews and menthol-flavored lozenges to demonstrate the utility and functionality of its immune health ingredient.

EmbriaÆ Health Sciencesí EpiCorÆ is a proprietary, all-natural and nutrient-rich ingredient comprised of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that help support the immune system. An impressive portfolio of in vitro animal and clinical studies supported by the company shows EpiCor to be a safe and effective way to help support immune health and maintain wellness. Additionally, EpiCor has been determined to be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in all food categories.

Following the observation that employees working in a fermentation facility producing a yeast-based animal feed additive exhibited unusually low sick leave rates over several years, EpiCor was developed after extensive research; the results are a highly concentrated product made under cGMP conditions. Studies were designed to assess the potential of this product as an immune health dietary supplement for humans and, after a significant investment in research that led to positive results supporting both its safety and efficacy, EpiCor was introduced. To date, seven clinical studies in humans have been performed and demonstrate that EpiCor works to enhance innate immunity by: 1) increasing levels of secretory IgA, which supports the human mucosal barrier1; and 2) activating natural killer (NK) cells. Adaptive immunity is also supported; since human B cells are activated2, the ingredient is a powerful antioxidant with an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) value of ~50,000/100g, thus providing additional health benefits as a free radical scavenger. Lastly, EpiCor possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties, in part by increasing IL-10, an anti-inflammatory agent3,4,5,6.

Unlike many other immune health supplements on the market, EpiCor does not stimulate or ìboostî the bodyís immune system, notes Embria. The ingredient works by balancing the immune system, such that it efficiently provides the proper immune response at the right time. An over-stimulated immune response can lead to allergies, digestive problems and inflammation. An immune system that is suppressed may led to infections, such as colds and flu, sleep issues and even weight gain.

Maintaining a balanced, healthy immune system is expected to reduce the likelihood of sick days lost to upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), says Embria. Two clinical trials have studied EpiCorís effect (500mg) on supporting immune health to reduce potential cold and flu symptoms. One trial was on subjects vaccinated against flu, while the other studied subjects who had not been vaccinated. Both trials showed a reduction in total days of sickness in the subjects taking the supplement. Sick days were reduced 26% for vaccinated subjects (see chart ìFewer Sick Daysî).

Extensive safety studies performed on EpiCor confirm it is non-toxic, non-mutagenic, non-mitogenic, non-cytotoxic and pesticide-free. The ingredient does not affect drug-metabolizing enzymes, which indicates that interactions are unlikely with over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

EpiCor is produced using the MetaGen4ô process, a proprietary fermentation and drying technology which uses an all-natural yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewerís yeast) as the substrate. NS
--Kelley Fitzpatrick, Content Editor, NutraSolutions.com 

1 Jensen GS, et al. 2008. Open Nutr J. 2:68.
2  Jensen GS, et al. 2007. Nutr. Res. 27:327.
3  Moyad M, et al. 2008. J Urol Nursing. 28(1):50.
4per>  Moyad M, et al. 2010. J Alt Comp Med. 16(2):213.
5  Moyad M, et al. 2009. Adv Therapy. 26(8):795.
6  Robinson LE and Reeves S. 2007. Unpublished report.

For more information:
Embria Health Sciences ï Ankeny, Iowa
Cheryl Sturm ï 515-963-9100
csturm@embriahealth.com ï www.embriahealth.com