Open Access Study protocol

Influence of the Chungkookjang on histamine-induced wheal and flare skin response: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial

Dae-Young Kwon3, Hye-Jeong Yang3, Min-Jeong Kim3, Hee-Joo Kang3, Hyun-Jin Kim3, Ki-Chan Ha12, Hyang-Im Back1, Sun-Young Kim1, Eun-Ok Park1, Min-Gul Kim1, Seok-Kwon Yun1, Soo-Wan Chae12 and Back-Hwan Cho12*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Trial Center for Functional Foods of Chonbuk National University Hospital, Keumam-dong, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju City, 561-712, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Medical Nutrition Therapy, Chonbuk National University, Keumam-dong, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju City, 561-180, Republic of Korea

3 Korea Food Research Institute, Baekhyeon-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-City, Gyeonggi-do, 463-746, Republic of Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:125  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-125

Published: 5 December 2011

Abstract

Background

Allergic disease is a consequence of exposure to normally innocuous substances that elicit the activation of mast cells. Mast-cell-mediated allergic response is involved in many diseases such as anaphylaxis, urticaria, allergic rhinitis, asthma and allergic dermatitis. The development of food products for the prevention of allergic disease is an important subject in human health. The chungkookjang (CKJ) has been reported to exhibit antiallergic inflammatory activity. Therefore, the aim of the study is to examine the effects of the CKJ to reduce histamine-induced wheal and flare skin responses.

Methods/Design

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 60 healthy subjects will be carried out. Sixty volunteers (aged 20-80) who gave a written consent before entering the study will be randomized in two groups of thirty subjects each. The skin prick test with histamine solution of 10 mg/ml will be performed on the ventral forearm, 10 cm from the elbow. The subjects will be instructed to take 35 g per day of either the CKJ pills or a placebo pills for a period of 3 months. Diameters of wheal and flare will be assessing 15 minutes after performing the above-mentioned skin prick test. The primary outcome is change in wheal and flare responses. Secondary outcomes will be include change in serum histamine, immunoglobulin E, cytokines (interferon-gamma, interleukin-4, -10, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha), and eosinophil cationic protein.

Discussion

This study will show the potential anti-inflammatory properties of the CKJ in their skin activity when histamine is the challenging agent as occurs in the clinical situation. And the present protocol will confirm the efficacy and safety of the CKJ for allergy symptoms, suggesting more basic knowledge to conduct further randomized controlled trials (RCT). If this study will be successfully performed, the CKJ will be an alternative dietary supplemental remedy for allergy patients.

Trial Registration

NCT01402141