FROM THE MED-LINE
Chest 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7
Click here to see this Abstract in PubMed |||| Click here for full text
Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro.
Rennard BO, Ertl RF, Gossman GL, Robbins RA, Rennard SI
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.
[emphasis and notes added]
Chicken soup has long been regarded as a remedy for symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections. As it is likely that the clinical similarity of the diverse infectious processes that can result in "colds" is due to a shared inflammatory response, an effect of chicken soup in mitigating inflammation could account for its attested benefits. To evaluate this, a traditional chicken soup was tested for its ability to inhibit neutrophil [white blood cells that kills germs and also cause the inflammation or "cold" symptoms when they overdo it] migration using the standard Boyden blindwell chemotaxis [movement of a cell in reaction to a chemical] chamber assay [test] with zymosan-activated serum and fMet-Leu-Phe as chemoattractants [the stuff to make the cells move]. Chicken soup significantly inhibited neutrophil migration and did so in a concentration-dependent manner. [the more soup, the more it stopped the cells from migrating] The activity was present in a nonparticulate component of the chicken soup. All of the vegetables present in the soup and the chicken individually had inhibitory activity, although only the chicken lacked cytotoxic [cell-killing] activity. Interestingly, the complete soup also lacked cytotoxic activity. Commercial soups varied greatly in their inhibitory activity. The present study, therefore, suggests that chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity. A mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one mechanism by which the soup could result in the mitigation of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections.