Dietary supplementation with rice bran fermented with Lentinus edodes increases interferon-γ activity without causing adverse effects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study

Nutr J. 2014 Apr 22:13:35. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-35.


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with rice bran fermented with Lentinus edodes (rice bran exo-biopolymer, RBEP), a substance known to contain arabinoxylan, enhances natural killer (NK) cell activity and modulates cytokine production in healthy adults.

Methods: This study was designed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and parallel-group format. Eighty healthy participants with white blood cell counts of 4,000-8,000 cells/μL were randomly assigned to take six capsules per day of either 3 g RBEP or 3 g placebo for 8 weeks. Three participants in the placebo group were excluded after initiation of the protocol; no severe adverse effects from RBEP supplementation were reported. NK cell activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was measured using nonradioactive cytotoxicity assay kits and serum cytokine concentrations included interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, and IL-12 were measured by Bio-Plex cytokine assay kit. This study was registered with the Clinical Research Information Service (KCT0000536).

Results: Supplementation of RBEP significantly increased IFN-γ production compared with the placebo group (P = 0.012). However, RBEP supplementation did not affect either NK cell activity or cytokine levels, including IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, and TNF-α, compared with the placebo group.

Conclusions: The data obtained in this study indicate that RBEP supplementation increases IFN-γ secretion without causing significant adverse effects, and thus may be beneficial to healthy individuals. This new rice bran-derived product may therefore be potentially useful to include in the formulation of solid and liquid foods designed for treatment and prevention of pathological states associated with defective immune responses.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopolymers / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects
  • Male
  • Oryza
  • Placebos
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Xylans / pharmacology*


  • Biopolymers
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Placebos
  • Xylans
  • Interferon-gamma
  • arabinoxylan

Associated data

  • CRiS/KCT0000536