Secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) mediates the mucosal immune system, which provides the first line of defense against inhaled and ingested pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Lactobacillus plantarum AYA increases the IgA level of Peyer’s patch (PP) cells, but the recommended amount of consumption and the mechanism of action remains unclear. Better understanding of these is essential to development of L. plantarum AYA for use in functional foods. Therefore, we investigated the dose-response effect (in vivo) and mechanism (in vitro) of IgA enhancement induced by L. plantarum AYA. In the small intestine of the mice fed a diet containing 0.03% or 0.3% of L. plantarum AYA powder for 4 weeks, the IgA levels were significantly increased. Thus, it is suggested that the recommended amount of consumption of L. plantarum AYA is about 0.72 mg per day. In addition, the bacterial cell wall fraction significantly enhanced the IgA production level of murine PP cells in the in vitro assay. The ability of whole cells and the cell wall fraction to enhance IgA levels was significantly inhibited by an anti-Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR-2) antibody, which suggests that the cell wall fraction of L. plantarum AYA increases the IgA level via TLR-2. These findings indicate that L. plantarum AYA is a potential functional food source that maintains mucosal immunity.
To investigate the relationships among fecal isoflavone metabolism, dietary habit and Body Mass Index (BMI), 15 healthy men and 15 healthy women were recruited and provided stool samples for analysis of ex vivo anaerobic incubation of fecal suspension with daidzein. A negative correlation was observed between BMI and the dihydrodaidzein (DHD) production in men, and between BMI and the equol production in women. There was a positive correlation between intake of soluble dietary fiber and the DHD production in men. The results suggest that dietary habits and BMI are related to the metabolic activity of isoflavonoids by fecal intestinal microbiota.