Effects of Thoranee Santhakat on TNF-α and IL-6 Plasma Levels in a Group of People Exposed to PM2.5: A Pilot Study

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Patchamon Jiraprapaporn
Payong Wanikiat


Health problems might caused by exposure to PM2.5, when we breathe in an area filled with small particles. Such small particles can pass through the nose and mouth into the respiratory system and blood circulation. The particles can affect various human organs such as lungs, heart, and brain as well as the immune system. The key mechanisms by which PM2.5 causes various health problems are oxidative stress, inflammation and gene toxicity. This experimental research aimed to evaluate the effects of Thoranee Santhakat, a Thai herbal drug, on serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) of participants who were exposed to PM2.5 while working for 8–10 hours/day and lived in such an area. Fifteen male participants aged 21-45 years were recruited based on the inclusion criteria. Prior to the experiment, participants were tested for serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6. The participants who had increased serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were recruited and received Thoranee Santhakat 4 capsules/day (240 mg/capsule) at bedtime for 2 weeks. TNF-α and IL-6 levels were measured using the ELISA technique. Side effects that might occur during drug administration period were recorded. The serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were measured again after experiment. Oral administration of Thoranee Santhakat for two weeks in 15 male participants who were exposed to PM2.5 showed a significant reduction in the serum levels of TNF-α (20.71 ± 8.52 pg/mL) and IL-6 (4.36 ± 1.43 pg/mL) as compared with those before taking medicine (TNF-α, 58.88 ± 16.16 pg/mL; IL-6, 5.07 ± 1.49 pg/mL) and no severe adverse effects occurred. Thoranee Santhakat showed a positive correlation or a tendency to have declining serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in participants who were exposed to PM2.5. However, the increased serum levels of these participants at the start of experiment might be due to factors other than PM2.5 exposure. Therefore, further studies are required to explore stronger clinical evidence to support the use of Thoranee Santhakat in the prevention and treatment of diseases and/or abnormal conditions that may be caused by PM2.5 exposure.


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