Doctors Best - EpiCor 500 mg. 60 Vegetarian Capsules
Doctors Best Epicor is a natural immune-supportive compound that fits into the unique category of being a high metabolite immunogen. EpiCor is a nutritive dried yeast fermentate that supports cellular metabolism and modulates immune function. It is derived from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a non-pathogenic yeast commonly used in baking and brewing. In vitro laboratory data has shown that EpiCor beneficially influences cellular processes that impact immune health.
Features & Benefits:
- Science-based nutrition
- Dietary supplement
- Enhances immune system function
- High metabolite immunogen that modulates immune system function
- Shown to activate natural killer (NK) cells in vitro
EpiCor is an all-natural dietary supplement for ongoing immune system support. This novel supplement is a high metabolite immunogen, a complex blend of nutrients with a fascinating history of development. Since 1943, a company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa called Diamond V has been manufacturing a fermentation product from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the harmless yeast used in bread and beer making. Their product is an animal feed additive used to improve the digestion and overall health of farm animals. By 2004, there were indications it might also benefit human health.
The company noticed that employees who worked in its manufacturing plant had unusually low sick leave rates and made fewer health insurance claims than employees of similarly sized companies.1 The company commissioned a study, which confirmed that workers who had ongoing contact with the product had better immune system status than unexposed workers. Further research resulted in the development of EpiCor.
High Metabolite Immunogen: Unique Nutrient Profile
EpiCor is produced entirely from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, following the patented MetaGen4 process.1 The culture is provided with ample oxygen for optimal growth, then at the point where it is most healthy the oxygen level is reduced. This stresses the culture and it responds adaptively, producing protective anti-stress metabolites. The yeast cells and culture liquid are then harvested, dried, and standardized into EpiCor using rigorous bioanalysis and other quality assurance protocols.
Its diverse array of beneficial metabolites sets EpiCor apart from other Saccharomyces products. EpiCor contains phospholipids, unsaturated fatty acids, flavonoids and other natural polyphenols, phytosterols, beta-glucans, mannan oligosaccharides, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.3 It also has excellent antioxidant activity, typically scoring 450-650 in the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay (hydrophilic).
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Initial Immune Benefits
The initial Diamond V study involved laboratory analyses on blood drawn from 10 veteran workers with ongoing exposures to EpiCor during its manufacture, and from 10 other company workers not exposed to the material.2 A summary of this study stated that the exposed workers had significantly higher levels of the protective antibody secretory IgA (sIgA), significantly lower levels of potentially harmful circulating immune complexes, significantly higher natural killer (NK) cell activity with higher killing efficiency, significantly higher CD4 (helper) to CD8 (suppressor) lymphocyte cell ratios (linked to improved immune capacity), and higher levels of the key antioxidant glutathione in their red blood cells. Subsequent larger, randomized controlled trials (RCT) confirmed that EpiCor does benefit human immunity.
Multiple Randomized Controlled Trials Confirm EpiCor’s Benefits
After four RCT (double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials) EpiCor (500 mg taken once daily) is confirmed to produce consistent, clinically important immune benefits. The first RCT found EpiCor added to the benefits of influenza vaccination for healthy subjects. Conducted in the U.S. Midwest during the cold and flu season (December 2006 to March 2007), it enrolled 116 healthy subjects aged 18 to 76 years, all of whom had recently received the seasonal influenza vaccine. They were randomly allocated to receive either Epicor at 500 mg per day or a placebo, for 3 months. Those subjects taking EpiCor experienced significantly fewer events with cold- or flu-like symptoms than did those taking placebo, and the duration of symptoms was also significantly reduced (from an average 5 days to 4 days). EpiCor significantly reduced hoarseness, nasal congestion, and weakness.
The second RCT was also conducted in the U.S. Midwest during the flu season (January to March 2007). Another 116 subjects were recruited, also aged 18-76 years but not vaccinated against influenza. These subjects were randomly allocated to receive either EpiCor (500 mg/day) or a placebo, for 3 months. The EpiCor group experienced significantly less incidence of common cold or flu-like symptoms, compared to the placebo group. They also experienced significant reductions in blood pressure from taking EpiCor.
The third RCT investigated EpiCor for allergies.6 Healthy subjects aged 18 to 72 years were recruited around Salt Lake City. After testing positive for grass allergies, 78 subjects were randomly assigned to receive EpiCor (500 mg/day) or a placebo, and made 3 clinic visits over the next 3 months to be scored for allergy symptoms. EpiCor subjects experienced significantly less nasal congestion and runny nose (“rhinorrhea”) during the period of weeks 1-6 when atmospheric pollen counts were highest. Runny nose remained significantly lower through the full 3 months of the trial. Lab testing revealed that the EpiCor subjects maintained significantly higher sIgA, throughout the trial. This antibody is generally considered the body’s first line of defense against pollen and infectious agents.
The fourth RCT investigated EpiCor for improving various immune performance measures. A total 26 subjects were randomized to receive either EpiCor or placebo, for 5 weeks. The EpiCor group developed a significantly increased hematocrit (relative amount of red cells in the blood), suggesting improved bone marrow function. The subjects taking EpiCor also showed average increased salivary IgA over the 5 weeks of the trial, while IgA decreased in the placebo group.
A Unique Immune Balancer
The human studies on EpiCor taken together with the animal and other experimental studies strongly indicate it has beneficial immune balancing effects. The healthy immune system is normally in a delicate balance between over-activation and under-activation, either of which can do harm. Epicor’s rare capacity to both down-regulate and up-regulate specific immune pathways is consistent with its overall support for healthy immunity.
One human experimental study demonstrated that EpiCor can upregulate beneficial immune functions at the cell level.9 Blood was drawn from healthy human volunteers aged 20-60 years, and the lymphocytes cultured. Then Epicor was added and the cells were subjected to various experimental challenges. Those cells treated with EpiCor developed changes consistent with increased immune vigilance toward abnormal cell and tissue activity.
Epicor’s capacity to down-regulate potentially harmful immune overactivity was demonstrated in two classic “animal models” of intense inflammation. In one, mice paws were injected with Type II collagen to trigger arthritis. Then they received either EpiCor or a placebo by mouth. After 30 days, arthritic paw swelling and circulating pro-inflammatory prostaglandins were significantly lower in the EpiCor mice versus the placebo controls.
In the second animal model, rat paws were injected with carrageenan to trigger inflammation. The paw tissue swelled due mainly to fluid buildup (edema). Rats that received EpiCor by mouth for two weeks prior to carrageenan injection showed significantly less paw swelling and edema, and significantly lower pro-inflammatory tissue cytokines, compared to the placebo controls.
Supports Gut Immunity
Secretory IgA (sIgA) antibodies are the first line of defense against agents entering the body via the mouth, nose, or other orifices, and for intestinal health including healthy probiotic balance. In a clinical trial, subjects who received EpiCor at 500 mg/day for 8 weeks had their saliva sIgA significantly increase.
Epicor also is a likely prebiotic, able to improve probiotic balance by helping “friendly” bacteria thrive in the intestine. When EpiCor or a “placebo” (cellulose) was added to probiotic bacteria in culture, EpiCor significantly increased the numbers of friendly Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria compared to cellulose.