- Kimchi consumption resulted in increased recovery of white blood cells and also increased weight of the spleen, which is an organ responsible for immunity.
- The power of Weissella cibaria isolated from kimchi was demonstrated.
- Weissella cibaria were successfully isolated from kimchi at the World Institute of Kimchi and the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences.
SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — World Institute of Kimchi, which discovers and promotes kimchi’s scientific excellence announces that an animal test demonstrated that lactic acid bacteria (a probiotic) isolated from kimchi enhanced immunity. The immune suppressor cyclophosphamide was first injected into a group of mice. Mice with a highly weakened immune system were fed the lactic acid bacteria, resulting in an almost complete recovery of immunity.
The research findings of prof. Wan-Kyu Lee’s research team at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, which is one of the research teams in World Institute of Kimchi in Korea, entitled "Immune enhancing effects of the Weissella cibaria JW15 was investigated in immunosuppression mice", were published in the October issue of the Journal of Functional Foods.
Prof. Lee’s team fed a group of mice with a weakened immunity, a diet containing Weissella cibaria JW15 isolated from kimchi. The degree of white blood cell recovery and the spleen weight were compared between those in the lactic acid bacteria-fed mouse group and the no- lactic acid bacteria control group.
W. cibaria is a strain that was extracted from kimchi by the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences and was registered as a food material in 2016.
In this study, mice fed with W. cibaria had a higher recovery in the number of white blood cells, and their spleen weight (g) per body weight (kg) was heavier when compared to the control mouse group that was fed with a diet lacking W. cibaria. White blood cells are key cells in the immune system, and the spleen is the organ responsible for immune function and filtering blood. Immunity is weakened permanently if the spleen is removed.
The research team also discovered that cytokines including tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6 were increased in spleen cells from mice that were fed a diet containing W. cibaria isolated from kimchi. "Cytokines" is a general term referring to proteins released in fluids via immune responses.
Prof. Lee stated, "Our research demonstrated that the lactic acid bacteria in kimchi enhances immunity." Then he pointed out, "Adding the lactic acid bacteria isolated from kimchi to functional foods for humans and pets will increase immunity."
The World Institute of Kimchi also successfully extracted Weissella cibaria (WiKim28), a similar strain, from kimchi last year. This W. cibaria WiKim28 was found to be effective for improving atopic dermatitis.
Dr. Jaeho Ha, a general director of World Institute of Kimchi, stated, "Our institute earlier demonstrated for the first time in the world that lactic acid bacteria isolated from kimchi suppressed influenza virus infections." He added, "We will work hard to develop kimchi that increases the immunity of all people around the globe."
About World Institute of Kimchi
A government-funded research institute established to perform research and development related to kimchi, to lead national technological innovation, nature and develop the kimchi industry that will boost the national growth. It performs overall research and development related to kimchi, in order to lead national technological innovation and nurture and develop the kimchi industry that will boost the national growth.