The lichen rock tripe (Lasallia pustulata) as survival food: effects on growth, metabolism and immune function in Balb/c mice
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2000
Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 7, Issue 6, pages 321–329, November/December 1999
How to Cite
Ilbäck, N.-G. and Källman, S. (1999), The lichen rock tripe (Lasallia pustulata) as survival food: effects on growth, metabolism and immune function in Balb/c mice. Nat. Toxins, 7: 321–329. doi: 10.1002/1522-7189(199911/12)7:6<321::AID-NT90>3.0.CO;2-U
- Issue published online: 13 DEC 2000
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2000
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 JUL 2000
- Manuscript Received: 3 DEC 1999
- immune function;
- military survival
The present study was performed to investigate whether the lichen rock tripe (Lasallia pustulata) can be used as food during survival situations. The effects of 30 % lichen supplementation given to female Balb/c mice were studied on growth rate, metabolism and immune functions. After 3 weeks on this diet, it was found that the lichen supplementation did not affect the growth rate or the well-being of the animals. The growth rate tended to be higher in the lichen group when compared to control mice. Food consumption was similar in both groups, but with a trend towards slightly higher intake (12 %) in the lichen group. The heart, liver, kidney and lymphoid organ (spleen and thymus) weights were not affected by the lichen. Histological hematoxylin eosin staining showed that all these organs were normal. Plasma glucose levels were unchanged, but plasma urea levels decreased by 24 % (p < 0.05) with the lichen diet. Red and white blood cells and the number of lymphoid cells in the thymus and spleen were normal. The activity of thymocytes and spleen T-lymphocytes were not affected by the lichen diet, but spontaneous cell-mediated cytotoxicity (NK cells) tended (n.s.) to increase and spleen B-lymphocyte activity increased by 40 % (p < 0.05). This study shows that the lichen rock tripe has immune stimulating effects important for host defence reactions and can be used as food in survival situations without any adverse effects on the metabolism. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.