A double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in December 2021 at Nagasaki University Hospital as the core facility.
The results of the study were presented at the 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Respiratory Society held on April 30, 2018.
A total of 100 COVID-19 patients were divided evenly between the two groups. Over a 14-day period, the LC-plasma group took 4 hard capsules containing postbiotics (400 billion units per day) and the placebo group took 4 capsules without postbiotics daily.
Changes in subjective symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, dysosmia (partial or complete loss of smell) and dysgeusia (dysgeusia), anorexia, and chest pain were measured on a 4-point scale (no effect). is 0), 1 if little impact, 2 if impacted, 3 if impacted).
Overall score analysis showed no difference between the two groups.
However, after day 9, significantly more patients in the LC-plasma group (nearly 95%) scored 0 for olfactory and gustatory dysfunction than in the placebo group (less than 85%).
They also found that the percentage of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in the blood decreased significantly in the placebo group, whereas the percentage remained consistent in the LC-plasma group.
pDCs are the ‘leaders’ of immune cells that fight harmful invaders such as viruses and bacteria.
In addition, the LC-plasma group experienced a marked reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load from the start of treatment, whereas placebo began to show a reduction from day 4.
“While no effect on subjective symptom total score was observed in this study, the results suggest that pDCs were preserved by ingestion of LC-plasma, leading to an early reduction in SARS-CoV-2 and an increase in olfactory and gustatory sensitivity. Suggested that it may have led to a quicker recovery “Dysfunctional” Kirin said.
Nagasaki University and Kirin have jointly filed a patent application for the results of this research, in hopes that LC-plasma will become a new treatment or adjunctive care for patients with mild COVID-19.
Possibilities in medicine
According to Kirin, as of March 10, 2023, COVID-19 has infected 676.57 million people worldwide and killed 6.88 million.
“Although vaccines have been widely introduced and mildly ill patients make up the majority of the affected population, the number of drugs available for these patients is limited and treatment is largely based on symptomatic care. Therefore, people are still waiting for easily accessible, safe and effective COVID-19 treatments.” said the company.
LC-plasma was discovered by Kirin in 2010 as a lactic acid bacterium that activates pDCs.
Previous studies have shown that pDCs act as a first line of defense against viral infections and suppress the development of influenza, rotavirus, and dengue fever.
These scientific evidences for the immune function of LC-Plasma attracted the interest of Nagasaki University, a research institute that has made remarkable achievements in the field of infectious diseases.
This joint research was conducted with the aim of evaluating the efficacy of LC-plasma in relieving symptoms of COVID-19 and exploring its potential as a drug.
This is consistent with Kirin’s increasing focus on expanding its health sciences business both in Japan and globally, the latest of which is its planned acquisition of Australian complementary medicine giant Blackmores.