Scientific Papers

There are several relevant reports regarding Pinecone extract. In summary, all of these study results suggest that pinecone extract could be useful for maintaining health without associated side effects.

PROLIGNA™ effects on Immune Cells

PROLIGNA™ (PPC) has been shown to have immune enhancing effects in human cells and in animal models. In 2003, the Bradley lab demonstrated that PPC is capable of promoting, in a dose-dependent manner, the rapid differentiation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) into mature dendritic cells. This is important because dendritic cells are recognized as the most potent antigen presenting cells of the immune system. Their ability to uptake, process, and present antigen to T cells is central to the development of immune responses against bacterial- and viral-infected cells, cancer cells and vaccine antigens.

In an earlier study, Lai et al. (1990) partially purified the active components of pinecone extract and identified at least eight polysaccharide fractions with immune stimulating activities that induced the production of macrophages, which is a type of white blood cell that surrounds and kills microorganisms, removes dead cells, and stimulates the action of other immune system cells. Importantly, PROLIGNA™ is otherwise nontoxic to cells and effective at low doses.


PROLIGNA™ effects on bacteria and viruses

Satoh et al. (1999) reported on the diverse biological activity of lignins present in PPC. Dr. Satoh’s laboratory showed that PPC significantly inhibits HIV induced effects on cells (in cell culture). Moreover, pretreatment of mice with PPC (by injection into the peritoneal cavity) significantly protects them from a lethal infection with E. coli bacteria. The authors conclude that these results support the potential benefits of PPC.

Nagasawa et al. (1992) reported the antiviral effect of oral and intravenous delivery of PPC when administered to mice infected with a mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). MMTV is normally secreted during lactation, and PPC was able to completely suppress the secretion of virus. The major finding of this study is that oral administration of pinecone extract appears to suppress the production of new virus in an animal model system.

Eberhardt and Young (1996) further confirmed the antiviral effects of various PPC fractions. In this study, PPC was tested for antiviral activity in a T4 lymphocyte cell (immune cell) line and shown to inhibit virus activity at a concentration of approximately 10 micrograms of PPC per milliliter. Importantly, there was no T4 cell toxicity until the PPC dose was over 56 micrograms per milliliter. This demonstrates the safety of PROLIGNA™ in animals.


PROLIGNA™ effects on tumor response to chemotherapy

Dr. Jaroszeski’s laboratory investigated the potential beneficial effects of PPC when used in conjunction with a procedure called electrochemotherapy (ECT) for the treatment of tumors.

ECT involves applying electrical pulses to living cells, which cause the rapid appearance and disappearance of tiny holes in the cell membrane. This allows molecules, such as chemotherapy drugs, to enter the cells more efficiently. ECT has been exploited to deliver chemotherapeutic agents to tumor cells, both in the laboratory and in clinical trials in the US and Europe.

The current study combined ECT with PROLIGNA™ (PPC) to assess the effects of this combination treatment on the recurrence rates of tumors in a challenging animal model for melanoma, a particularly aggressive cancer type.

The tumor model was established by injecting one million cultured mouse melanoma cells into the flanks of female mice. Tumors grew to about 5 mm in diameter after 7 days. ECT was used to deliver the chemotherapeutic drug, bleomycin, into each tumor. During the next 50 days, half of the animals were given PPC in their drinking water, and half were given water alone.

Treatment “success” was defined as the complete absence of tumor at the end of 50 days. Remarkably, 50 to 64% of the animals that received oral PPC after ECT had a complete absence of tumor versus 31% for animals that received ECT alone. It was concluded that treatment of animals with PPC caused a doubling of the number of animals that were tumor free during the course of the experiment.

Additional studies will need to be done to sort out the precise basis for these interesting results.

The Safety Of PROLIGNA™

Toxicology experiments of PPC have proved that pinecone extract is non-toxic when taken by mouth (orally) when administered for 30 days at a range of dose levels (5 mg/kg up to 405 mg/kg). Studies performed in mice further support these results. Moreover, more than a million doses of pinecone extract have been distributed to people with no apparent side effects.

In summary, all of these study results suggest that pinecone extract could be useful for maintaining health without associated side effects. No apparent side effects.