Taxifolin/Ergothioneine and Immune Biomarkers in Healthy Volunteers (TaxEr) (TaxEr)

    Not Recruiting
  • End date
    Dec 21, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Southampton
Updated on 23 May 2022
chlorpheniramine maleate tablets
Accepts healthy volunteers


The complexities of the immune system make measuring the impact of dietary interventions upon its function challenging. The immune system is highly responsive to environmental influences, including the diet. An individual's diet provides the energy required to mount a strong and protective immune response, the building blocks required for synthesis of immune mediators such as antibodies and cytokines, and can also indirectly affect immune function via changes in the gut microbiome. Immune function varies across the lifecourse, with a well understood decline in immune function with age, resulting in impaired vaccination responses and an increased risk of infections and of severe complications and mortality arising from common communicable diseases such as influenza. This impaired immunity with ageing is known as immunosenescence and this affects both innate and acquired arms of the immune system.


Expert guidance is available to inform the design of human nutrition trials to ensure they include the most relevant immunological outcomes (Albers, 2013). In this study, ex vivo phagocytosis and oxidative burst of immune cells will be the primary outcome, supported by other ex vivo immune measures of high clinical relevance including functional assessment of cytokine production and expression of activation markers.

Human nutritional trials frequently omit to monitor the degree of immunosenescence in participants, even amongst studies conducted amongst older adults. For example, a recent review of pre- and probiotic trials which assessed immune responses in older adults identified that only two of thirty-six studies assessed any marker of immunosenescence (Childs & Calder, 2017).

Taxifolin/DHQ is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in apples, onions and other fruits and bark extracts. Ergothioneine is an amino acid found in mushrooms, oats and some bean varieties. We hypothesise that Taxifolin/DHQ and/or Ergothioneine will alter immune function via their established antioxidant effects, and that the effects observed will vary between older adults relative to their degree of immunosenescence.

Though current dietary guidelines advise consumption of 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day, recent surveys reveal that fewer than 30% of adults achieve this. Antioxidants found within fruits and vegetables are understood to be one of the important aspects by which our diet can influence health. It is important to investigate the effects of such antioxidants through well designed and conducted human trials.

Condition Antioxidative Stress, Cold, Influenza, Aging, Inflammation
Treatment Control, Taxifolin, Ergothioneine, Ergothioneine
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05190432
SponsorUniversity of Southampton
Last Modified on23 May 2022

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