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Adaptogens and medicinal plants with effect on immunity

It turns out that most lifestyle diseases, or diseases of longevity is somehow associated with a malfunctioning immune system . Mechanisms of aging already know a few. We oxidative theory of aging and antioxidant theory of aging DNA, telomere shortening theory ... I think that this list should add a theory deterioration of the immune system. It's not just allergies and asthma, as well as arthritis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis or seemingly unrelated. For all these diseases should pay attention immunomodulatory drugs.

Immunomodulatory effect, natural pharmaceuticals frequent

Many natural adaptogens (ai neadaptogenů) affect the immune system. For adaptogens sensu stricto interaction could be expected on the axis of glucocorticoids, whose immunomodulatory importance is well known ( Sapolsky2000hdg ). A large amount of scientific effort has been devoted to a model adaptogen ginseng and medicinal fungi Polyporales groups, which are currently immunomodulatory effects deems most important. Another well-known immunomodulatory adaptogen is a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) , milkvetch membranous (Astragalus membranaceus) . Active substances are triterpenoids ( christensen2009gcb , Paterson2006gtf ) and other secondary metabolites ( Percival2000uem , Block2003ise ), but all these plants / fungi are very important also specific proteoglycans / polysaccharides.

SUMMARY immunomodulatory effect

The immune response can be roughly divided into two types, which compete with each other:

  1. cytotoxic (against viruses, tumors): -> maturation of T H 1 -> activation of T lymphocytes C
  2. antibody (against most bacteria): -> maturation of T H 2 -> B cell activation

When it comes to disease, the immune system must accurately assess the type of risk and consider what type of pathogen is concentrated. Antigens from the affected tissue are transported to the lymph nodes where there is a production of interleukin IL-2 and start the immune response. Type of response is the result of discussions that lead by antigen T H lymphocytes and dendritic cells (DC). Your opinion cells express through communication cytokines:

  1. DB type 1 T H 1 - production of IFN-γ (gamma interferon), TNF (tumor necrosis factor alpha), IL-12
  2. DB type 2 T H 2 - production of interleukins IL-4, IL-10

The final decision is in the hands of DB - at your discretion governed adolescence T H cells to either T H type 1 (cytotoxic response), or a type of T H 2 (antibody response).


Caution: It is impossible in one article to cover all natural medicines with effect on immunity. Here is more detail devoted only a model adaptogen ginseng. Immunomodulatory effects with natural medicines are common and will be mentioned on the site (see, for example, medicinal fungi Polyporales groups which are polysaccharides and proteoglycans particularly important).

The fact that ginseng affects the immune system, is now proven beyond doubt ( christensen2009gcb , Choi2008bcp , Xiang2008cau ). Ginseng strengthens the immune system especially against viruses and tumors. Cancer include but are not look well as immune failure . For cancers is welcome ginseng supporting means, whether certain direct anticancer effects .

Content ginseng substances influence the selection of the immune response. Christensen2009gcb (ch. "Immunomodulatory effects") referencuje thesis that ginseng supports the cytotoxic response (against tumors and viruses). In contrast, Lee2004gre shows that the majority ginseng panaxosid Rg 1 has the effect of just the opposite. Thirdly, ginseng has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effect. A comprehensive scientific view of the immunomodulatory effects of ginseng is not available, but the recent data confirm that the content components have contradictory effects on immunity, which is typical for the action of adaptogens .

The stimulatory effect of ginseng on the immune system

In general adaptogens and ginseng specifically occurs in several aspects to the contradictory action of active substances . Specifically, ginseng reduces inflammation , act against autoimmunity , and is often applied where doctors usually prescribe immunosuppressive corticosteroids. It is therefore ginseng immunosuppressive?

The answer to this question is not clear. Acute fever (ie. The infection) is one of the few traditional contraindications ginseng. I therefore believe that at least some infections calming effect of ginseng on white blood cells are not welcome. Ginseng but is far from a mere immunosuppressants (which, moreover, are not even mentioned corticosteroids Sapolsky2000hdg ). For many bacterial and viral infections, most Ginseng helps - immunity improves.

For specific ginseng polysaccharides was found ability to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus septicemia in the optimum dose of 25μg / kg ( lim2002aep , lim2004iap ). Effect was associated with a multiple increase in NO production and cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6 and IFN-γ), macrophages.

It was investigated the effect of ginseng on the ability of macrophages to respond to infection during prolonged stress ( Pannacci2006pgm ). It is believed that the long term stress reduces immunity ( Viswanathan2005saa ), but short-term stress activates macrophages ( Berczi1998scn ). Ginseng polysaccharide ginsan (25mg / kg / day p.o.) in mice increased the expression of the TLR receptor of macrophages (these receptors non-specifically recognize pathogens) and thus the ability of macrophages to respond to infection ( Ahn2006igi ). Ginseng also positively affects anti-cancer immunity .

Specific immunomodulatory effects:

  • On monocytes / macrophages: Panaxosidy Rb 1 and Rb 2 suppressed production of TNF-α in mouse and human macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharides with IC 50 ~ 50 or ~ 25μM ( Cho2001vie ). According Lee2002fma , red ginseng increased production of TNF-α by macrophages. In contrast, according Cho2001vie , ginsenosides Rb 1, Rb 2, Rg 1 are potent inhibitors of TNF-α production by macrophages stimulated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Said panaxosidy additionally inhibit the production of other inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and IL-1β ( Rhule2006pna ).
  • On mouse-spleen lymphocytes revealed that pxsd. Rb 1 and Re at a concentration of about 100 mA significantly increased the proliferation of mitogen-stimulated T H (CD4 +) and B lymphocytes, Rg 1 on it did not effect, while Rb 2 it decreased the IC 50 of about 25μM. Rb 2 also suppressed the production of IL-2 the lymphocytes after stimulation with concanavalin IC50 ~ 13.3μM. UT C (CD8 +) lymphocytes results were different - Rb 2 and Rb 1 do not mask their proliferation after stimulation with IL-2, while Re and Rg 1 their propagation limiting with IC 50 57.5, respectively 64.7μM ( Cho2002gfp ). According Lee2004gre , gssd. Rg 1 promotes maturation of T H 2 cells and the production of IL-4. In contrast, Lee2006grh argue that gssd. Rg1 promotes maturation of T H 1 cells.
  • Pxsd. F 1 and Rg 1 in a culture of mouse splenocytes to selectively increase the production of type 2 cytokines (IL-4 by splenocytes, IL-12 by macrophages) and their transcription factor GATA-3, while pxsd. Rh 1 and 20 (R) -Rh 1 selectively increase pordukci cytokine type 1 (IFN-γ in splenocytes) and transcription factor T-bet. All of said pxsd. (F 1, Rg 1, Rh 1 and 20 (R) -Rh 1) increases the binding of the transcription factor NF-kB to the DNA. It is interesting that the maximum increase in cytokines emerges at concentrations of 5μM and 10 mm packing, higher concentrations of cytokines increase again less at 50μM more than twice less than 10 mm packing ( Yu2005pgd ).
  • On dendritic cells: According Takei2004dcm and Takei2008dcp , compound K and gssd. 20 (S) -PPT affect monocytic dendritic cells towards a type 1 immune responses, these studies discuss the possibility of an anti-cancer effect of ginseng and opportunity for immunotherapy of tumors affected by the dendritic cells.
  • On NK cells: Choi2008bcp discusses the ability of ginseng extract and specifically Panaxosidy Rh 2 to restore NK cell activity and immune cell damage after experimental mitomycin.
  • On granulocytes: gssd. Re activates neutrophilic granulocytes against tumor cells ( Plohmann1997iae ).
  • Against viral diseases: The ginseng extract is effective against influenza and viral diseases ( Scaglione1996ess , Scaglione1990iet ), inhibits the reproduction of HIV and AIDS soothes the course ( Choi2008bcp ).
  • On lymphocyte adhesion to endothelium and diapedesi Some panaxosidy, e.g. notoginsenosid R1 ( Chen2008enr ) or ginsenoside Rb 1 ( He2007peg ), reduce the adhesion of lymphocytes to the endothelium, which is explained by the observed effect against atherosclerosis and inflammation .

Immunomodulatory proteoglycans and polysaccharides

For immunomodulatory natural medicines play an important role proteoglycans and polysaccharides. This is the case with ginseng ( Sun2011sba , Yun1993iat ), American ginseng ( Assinewe2002epp ) and many other herbs. Again, if we take the example of P. ginseng, for example, acidic polysaccharides ginsenan PA and PB ginsenan increase serum immunoglobulin IgG and activate phagocytosis ( Tomoda1993cta , Tomoda1994csg ). General overview of ginseng polysaccharides and their biological effects serves Sun2011sba .

| 2009 - 28.12.2016