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Open Access Research article

Aqueous extracts from dietary supplements influence the production of inflammatory cytokines in immortalized and primary T lymphocytes

Paul R Hanlon*, Melissa G Robbins, Chris Scholl and David M Barnes

Author Affiliations

Standard Process, Department of Research and Development, 1200 West Royal Lee Dr, Palmyra, WI 53156, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009, 9:51  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-51

Published: 14 December 2009



Congaplex® and Immuplex® are dietary supplements that have been traditionally used to support immune system function. The purpose of these experiments was to determine whether Congaplex® and Immuplex® affect immune function using primary and immortalized T lymphocytes.


Immortalized CEM and Jurkat T lymphocytes and primary peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PBMCs) were treated with the aqueous extracts from Congaplex® and Immuplex® to determine the effects of these products on cytokine production in activated T lymphocytes.


Congaplex® enhanced phytohemagglutinin/phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PHA/PMA) stimulation of both CEM and Jurkat cells as measured by the production of cytokines, while Immuplex® suppressed PHA/PMA-induced production of cytokines, with the exception of interleukin (IL)-8 which was enhanced by Immuplex®. In vitro treatment of PBMCs from 10 healthy donors with Congaplex® or Immuplex® decreased PHA-stimulated production of interferon (IFN)-γ but increased the production of IL-13.


While the effects of Congaplex® and Immuplex® differed in these two models, these data demonstrate that the aqueous extracts from these two dietary supplements can affect the inflammatory response of T lymphocytes.