Objective: G. lucidum is a popular Chinese herb with an impressive array of reputed health benefits. The purpose of this study was to provide information related to the G. lucidum capsules modulating on T-lymphocyte subsets in soccer players during 28 day ¡§living high-training low ¡¨(LHTL) trial and its possible mechanism. Methods: Forty male soccer players were randomly assigned into four groups: Control (living at sea level), LHTL1, 2 and 3. The three LHTL groups had lived in normobaric hypoxic rooms for 28 days. Four groups trained together at sea level. LHTL1 , 2 and 3 groups were provided with placebo, G. lucidum at 10 capsules/day and at 20 capsules/day respectively for 6 weeks (2 weeks baseline supplementation + the main 28 day treatment period). Lymphocyte subsets were quantitated using flow cytometry method. Results: In the LHTL1 group, when the CD4+/CD8+ ratio was expressed as relative changes from the baseline, a significant decrease was seen at 28-day compared to the baseline. Furthermore, a significant decrease was observed between LHTL1 and Control groups at 21-day. In LHTL2 group the relative change of CD4+/CD8+ ratio from the baseline was significantly lower at 28-day compared with the pre-trial baseline value. Generally, in LHTL3 group there was a trend that the percent changes of CD4+/CD8+ ratio from the baseline were higher than the values in LHTL1 and LHTL2 groups, but not significant. Conclusion: LHTL could affect T-lymphocyte subsets significantly as a result of the two simultaneous stimuli of physical activity and exposure to hypoxia. The ingestion G. lucidum in LHTL3 group could help to ameliorate the variation of CD4+/CD8+ratio in LHTL training and polysaccharides from G. lucidum might be main active components for the cell-mediated immune function.
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