Ingredient Supports Athletes’ Immune Health

Eagan, MN—Strenuous exercise causes stress on the body that could weaken the immune system, so two new studies have examined how a branded immune ingredient could affect athletes.

In one, with data presented at the American College of Sports Medicine 59th Annual Meeting, researchers from Western Kentucky University and the University of Houston tested Baker’s yeast beta-glucan (BG, Wellmune WGP from Biothera, based here) in 324 marathon runners. Everyone received BG (250 mg per day) or a placebo, and completed surveys two and four weeks after the race. The surveys collected information about mood, respiratory tract health and daily exercise.

Overall, BG supplementation reduced both the number of days that subjects reported health problems and cold/flu symptoms. The researchers stated, “It is reasonable to speculate that the improvements associated with BG were likely due to alterations in monocytes, plasma cytokines, and improved mucosal immunity.”

In the second study (publish in the British Journal of Nutrition), University of Houston researchers gave BG (250 mg per day, Wellmune WGP from Biothera) to 60 active individuals for 10 days. After a seven-day washout, they were given a placebo (or vice versa). At the end of each period, the subjects cycled for about 50 minutes in a hot, humid environment; blood samples were taken before the trial and before/after exercise.

After the BG period, subjects had more monocytes and cytokines than with a placebo. Results were even higher two hours after exercise than immediately following it.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2012 (online 6/13/12)