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Title:  Product and method reduce stress induced immune suppression

United States Patent:  6,255,341

Inventors:  DeMichele; Stephen J. (Dublin, OH); McEwen; John W. (Gahanna, OH); Wood; Steven M. (Pickerington, OH)

Assignee:  Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, IL)

Appl. No.:  267557

Filed:  March 12, 1999

Abstract

In its broadest aspect, the present invention is directed to the discovery of immunonutritional products that are useful in reducing the immunological system suppression that results from stress. The stress may be in the form of physical exertion, mental exhaustion, disease states and the like. In one embodiment, the invention relates to a nutritional composition comprising a structured glyceride component and an antioxidant system. This nutritional composition has been shown to be highly effective in reducing immune system down regulation or dysregulation as a result of stress.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, it has been discovered that suppression of the immune system, which is typically associated with stress, can be prevented or decreased by the ingestion of antioxidants in conjunction with a structured glyceride component. Individuals undergoing stress have been found to have less responsive lymphocytes than a comparable individual who is not under stress. It has been shown that the combination of a structured glyceride component and antioxidants prevents, or significantly reduces, this reduction in the lymphocytes+ responsiveness. Additionally it has been demonstrated in clinical studies that stressed individuals who consume a structured glyceride component in conjunction with antioxidants had lower rates of infection, than a comparable control group that did not ingest this combination.

A further aspect of this invention is directed to pharmaceutical and nutritional compositions containing a structured glyceride component in combination with antioxidants. Another aspect of the invention is directed to a method for treating stress induced suppression of the immune system with one of the compositions described above. Other aspects and embodiments of the invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

The first component of the compositions or methods of this invention are the antioxidants. The specific antioxidants that produce this beneficial effect on the immune system are vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C, and .beta.-Carotene. The specific amount of each antioxidant that should be ingested by the individual in order to prevent, or reduce, stress related immune suppression can vary widely depending upon the individuals age, weight, sex, or the presence of other underlying disease states. However, listed below in Table I are guidelines for the amount of each antioxidant that may be administered per dose, to the stressed individual. The amounts listed below are merely being presented in order to further illustrate and exemplify the invention. They should not be construed as limiting the invention in any manner. Further, they are being presented in tabular form to aid the reader, and this description should be considered as encompassing a combination in which one antioxidant is present at the suggested minimum level, while another is present at the most preferred level, or any combination thereof.

                DOSAGE GUIDELINES FOR ANTIOXIDANTS
                    Suggested
    Antioxidant      Minimum      More Preferred  Most Preferred
    Vitamin C   at least 250 mg      0.5-5.0 gm          1-3 gm
    Vitamin E   at least 200 IU     200-1000 IU      200-600 IU
    .beta.-Carotene at least 7.5 mg       7.5-50 mg        15-35 mg
    Selenium    at least 50 ug       50-400 ug      100-200 ug


The second component of the compositions or methods of this invention is the structured glyceride component. The structured glyceride component utilized in this invention are typically triglycerides. A structured triglyceride component useful in this invention comprises 33 to 70 wt. % acyl moieties of medium chain length (i.e. 4 to 12 carbon atoms). More preferably the medium acyl chains comprise 45 to 70 wt. %, and most preferably 50 to 65 wt. %. At all weight percents, the length of the medium acyl chains is preferably 4 to 12 carbon atoms, more preferably 6 to 12, most preferably 8 to 10 carbon atoms. The 30 to 67 wt. % remainder of the structured triglyceride is typically a long chain (13-22 carbon atoms) acyl moiety. More preferably the long acyl chains comprise 30 to 55 wt. %, most preferably 35 to 50 wt. %. Preferably, said long chain acyl moiety at all weight percents comprises a long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid residue. The structured glyceride component is preferably characterized as comprising at least 40% (W/W) of a species with equivalent carbon number (ECN) of greater than 30 to less than 48, more preferably ECN of about 32 to about 42.

The amount of the structured glyceride component that should administered can also vary widely depending upon the individual's age, weight, sex, or the presence of other underlying disease conditions. However, as a general guideline, an individual will typically be administered per dose at least 1 gram of a structured glyceride component, more preferably from 1-100 gm and most preferably from 10-50 gm of the structured glyceride component.

In order to produce the beneficial effects on the immune system of a stressed individual, the combination of a structured glyceride component and the antioxidants should be administered at least once per day and more preferably twice per day. This combination has been shown to be highly effective in reducing or preventing immune system dysregulation as a result of stress. The term "dysregulation" means that the immune system is functioning in a manner that is less effective from that found in the typical or normal state. An animal experiencing dysregulation of its immune system is more susceptible to disease and less able to fight infections.

Claim 1 of 26 Claims

We claim:

1. A single serving solid nutritional composition comprising:

a) the following antioxidants, present in at least about the following amounts, on a per serving basis:

i) 250 mg of vitamin C;

ii) 200 iu of vitamin E;

iii) 50 mcq of selenium;

iv) 7.5 mg of .beta.-Carotene, and;

b) at least one gram of a structured glyceride component, characterized in that it contains about 50% by weight or more of triglyceride species and at least 40% by weight of the triglyceride species have:

(i) about 33 to 70 wt. % of acyl moieties having 4 to 12 carbon atoms;

(ii) about 30 to 67 wt. % of acyl moieties having more than 12 carbon atoms, and;

(iii) an equivalent carbon number of greater than 30 to less than 48 and;

c) a protein component providing from about 10 to about 50% of the total calories of the composition.

 

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If you want to learn more about this patent, please go directly to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site to access the full patent.

 

 

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