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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 239856, 6 pages
Research Article

Significant Increase in Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes and Natural Killer Cells by Triphala: A Clinical Phase I Study

1Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani 12121, Thailand
2Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand
3Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand

Received 8 September 2012; Accepted 30 October 2012

Academic Editor: Byung-Cheul Shin

Copyright © 2012 Pratya Phetkate et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Searching for drugs or herbal formulations to improve the immunity of HIV/AIDS positive people is an important issue for researchers in this field. Triphala, a Thai herbal formulation, is reported to have immunomodulatory effects in mice. However, it has not yet been investigated for immunostimulatory and side effects in healthy human volunteers. Objective. To evaluate the immunostimulatory and side effects of Triphala in a clinical phase I study. Materials and Methods. All volunteers took Triphala, 3 capsules per day for 2 weeks. Complete physical examination, routine laboratory analysis, and immunological studies were performed before ingestion and after initial meeting for 4 consecutive weeks. Results. We found that Triphala demonstrated significant immunostimulatory effects on cytotoxic T cells (CD3CD8+) and natural killer cells (CD16+CD56+). Both of them increased significantly when compared with those of the control samples. However, no significant change in cytokine secretion was detected. All volunteers were healthy and showed no adverse effects throughout the duration of the study. Conclusion. Triphala has significant immunostimulatory effects on cellular immune response, especially cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells. Increases in the absolute number of these cells may provide a novel adjuvant therapy for HIV/AIDS positive people in terms of immunological improvement.