Objective: To evaluate the ability of a proprietary arabinogalactan extract from the larch tree (ResistAid, Lonza Ltd., Basel, Switzerland) to change the immune response in healthy adults to a standardized antigenic challenge (tetanus and influenza vaccines) in a dose-dependent manner compared to placebo.
Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 75 healthy adults (18-61 years old). Subjects were randomized to receive either 1.5 or 4.5 g/day of ResistAid or placebo for 60 days. At day 30, subjects were administered both tetanus and influenza vaccines. Serum antigenic response (tetanus immunoglobulin G [IgG], influenza A and B IgG and immunoglobulin M [IgM]) was measured at days 45 (15 days after vaccination) and 60 (30 days after vaccination) of the study and compared to baseline antibody levels. Frequency and intensity of adverse events were monitored throughout the study.
Results: As expected, all 3 groups demonstrated an expected rise in tetanus IgG levels 15 and 30 days following the vaccine. There was a strongly significant difference in the rise in IgG levels at day 60 in the 1.5 g/day group compared to placebo (p = 0.008). In the 4.5 g/day group, there was significant rise in tetanus IgG at days 45 and 60 compared to baseline (p < 0.01) but these values were not significant compared to placebo. Neither group demonstrated any significant elevations in IgM or IgG antibodies compared to placebo following the influenza vaccine. There were no clinically or statistically significant or serious adverse events.
Conclusions: ResistAid at a dose of 1.5 g/day significantly increased the IgG antibody response to tetanus vaccine compared to placebo. In conjunction with earlier studies, this validates the effect of ResistAid on the augmentation of the response to bacterial antigens (in the form of vaccine).