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Natural Killer Cell Content

Natural killer cells can have their population increased by nutritional supplements, which usually (but not always) results in an increase in activity.

Kamal
Research analysis lead by Kamal Patel
All content reviewed by Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Things To Know & Note

Also Known As

NK cell, natural killer cell

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect natural killer cell content
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The mo re evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Fish Oil - High See all 3 studies
Although one increase in NK cell content has been noted after exercise, the two studies using similar doses at rest have failed to find a significant influence on NK cell content
grade-c Eleutherococcus senticosus Minor - See study
An increase has been noted, but there is insufficient evidence to assess the magnitude of increase or the reliability
grade-c Garlic Minor Very High See 2 studies
There is an increase in NK cell levels seen in both healthy controls as well as cancer patients, and this is thought to be due in part to both immunostimulatory and anti-immunosuppressive effects.
grade-c Holy Basil Minor - See study
An increased level of NK cell count has been noted following ingestion of Tulsi leaves
grade-c Colostrum  
grade-c Hesperidin  
grade-c Polypodium leucotomos  
grade-c Vitamin E  
grade-d Spirulina  
grade-d Blueberry  
grade-d Trametes versicolor  
grade-d Vitamin C  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.