HOME > Doctor’s Health Advice > BioBran – One of the most widely studied and potent immunomodulators known to science

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  • Yuzo Endo, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Masahito Hitosugi, M.D., Ph.D.
  • John E. Lewis, Ph.D.

Doctor’s Health Advice

Doctor’s Health Advice

Food, Nutrition, and Exercise for Healthy Living


BioBran – One of the most widely studied and potent immunomodulators known to science

As many of you already know, the immune system is the body’s first line of defense against harmful pathogens or molecules, and it mediates the inflammatory response when we have an injury. Appropriate acute (or short-term) inflammation has been well-documented as a response to tissue trauma or infection that produces characteristic symptoms, such as fever, redness, swelling, and pain and usually resolves spontaneously.  More recent studies have shown that chronic inflammation is a key factor in the development of degenerative chronic diseases and accelerates the aging process.  Chronic, systemic inflammation is involved in many of the leading causes of mortality in the United States and the rest of the world, including cardiovascular disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, respiratory disease, and nephritis. Excessive calorie consumption, elevated blood sugar levels, toxins and additives in the food supply, processed foods, and being sedentary are just some of the causes of chronic inflammation by way of a faulty distress signal to the immune system.

At the cellular level, mitochondria become dysfunctional after they are exposed to external (e.g., environmental toxins, tobacco smoke) and internal (e.g., reactive oxygen species) stressors and as a result of the aging process itself. In addition, a byproduct of mitochondrial energy generation is the creation of free radicals, which cause oxidative stress that can damage cellular structures and initiate a cascade of inflammatory genetic signals that ultimately results in cell death or uncontrolled cell growth – the hallmark of cancer.  Now, it is easy to understand why eating foods and taking dietary supplements rich in antioxidants and other key phytochemicals can help our bodies counteract this damage and aid in cellular repair.

To reiterate, a dysfunctional immune system and its subsequent effects on the body are the root cause of many health problems seen at epidemic levels today. Thus, supporting and enhancing the immune system is crucial to prevent recurrent infections, cardiovascular disease, cancer, allergies, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia, among others.As we all know, proper amounts of exercise, a balanced diet, getting enough rest, and managing stress levels are of extreme importance to keeping us healthy. Unfortunately, in today’s world we are exposed to so many toxins and chemicals, from our personal products to the food we eat and the pollution in the air and water, that our immune system is overloaded and at the same time under-reactive or dysregulated.  Thus, high-quality dietary supplements are crucial to help bring our immune system, and our health, back on track and keep it there.

One such supplement, which has consistently demonstrated potent immunomodulatory activity in over 40 peer-reviewed studies for more than 20 years, is BioBran. A product of rice bran that has been hydrolyzed by shiitake mushroom enzymes, BioBran is 100% natural, completely safe, and has no known side effects, except in the very rare case of an allergy to rice or mushroom. As a whole-food, plant-based dietary supplement, BioBran has no interactive effect with pharmaceuticals, therefore it can be taken regardless of any current medication regimen. One of the studies conducted in vitro on this supplement shows that BioBran enhances intracellular killing of microbes by human phagocytic cells, which are part of our immune system’s primary line of defense. The findings of this particular study may have implications for the treatment of infections in the elderly and in immunocompromised patients. In cancer patients, a 3-year study showed that BioBran improved the effects of interventional therapies for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Other studies have shown that BioBran increases natural killer cells activity, which is crucial in detecting and destroying tumor cells, among patients with multiple myeloma and neuroblastoma cell lines, deadly forms of cancer. BioBran also aids in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. Moreover, the beneficial effects of BioBran are even greater when used in combination with other immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory supplements, such as curcumin, as a synergistic complement to the treatment of other types of malignancies, which may lead to a delay in disease progression, while simultaneously prolonging survival.

However, you do not have to be sick to derive benefits from daily consumption of BioBran. In fact, healthy adults can also take advantage of its immunomodulatory effect. As multiple research and case studies have shown, this supplement optimizes natural killer cell activity against cancerous and virus-infected cells, enhances B- and T-lymphocyte cell counts, and supports cytokine and interleukin regulation, all of which have net anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the body. We showed in our lab that BioBran demonstrated perfect, true immunomodulation in healthy adults.  Subjects in our study took BioBran for 60 days and their natural killer cell cytotoxicity was assessed at baseline, 48 hours, one week, 30 days, and 60 days.  After the peak at one week, natural killer cell function returned to roughly the baseline level, meaning that the immune system surveillance was activated, detected no discernable threat among the participants, and then deactivated itself.  This is the hallmark definition of immunomodulation, as opposed to immunostimulation, which would not be optimal in the long run.

After completion of the study in healthy adults, we turned our attention toward studies in both HIV and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). As both diseases are chronic in nature, they are known to have features of immune dysregulation that result in compromised health.  For example, although HIV is no longer considered a terminal illness, its medications are highly toxic and cause significant metabolic disturbances.  On the other hand, NAFLD has no known conventional medical treatment; only weight loss has been shown to be effective in reducing fatty deposits in the liver.  Thus, in each disease showing immunomodulation could prove to be a benefit to those affected by either condition.  In the HIV study, we showed a significant improvement in the CD4/CD8 ratio (below 1.0) in response to BioBran treatment, which is crucial for reducing the risk of various cancers in this population.  In the NAFLD study, we found that alkaline phosphatase (an important liver enzyme) improved and other markers of inflammation interferon-γ and interleukin-18 significantly changed as well.  Thus, in both studies we have noted short-term improvements in immune functioning in both disease states that may provide alternative or complementary treatment considerations for these populations.

As an important complement to an overall approach to health including proper nutrition and exercise, I take 1 gram per day of BioBran, and I strongly recommend that you do so as well. Even if you have no disease or infection, BioBran will keep your immune system functioning optimally to help keep you from ever getting ill in the first place.  The dosage should be adjusted accordingly on a case-by-case basis or when in combination with other dietary supplement or disease treatments regimes.  Regardless, enjoy BioBran to help you achieve and maintain optimal immune functioning and great health!


John E. Lewis, Ph.D.

John E. Lewis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Miami

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Director of Research for the Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Advisor, Diplomat, and Faculty member of the Medical Wellness Association

1990 B.S., Business Administration, University of Tennessee
1992 M.S., Exercise Physiology, University of Tennessee
1995 Ph.D., Education and Psychological Studies, University of Miami

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