Fourth-year medical students at Southampton University Medical School taking Wellmune WGP, a natural immune health ingredient, for 90 days reported fewer days of cold/flu symptoms than their placebo-consuming classmates, according to a paper published online in the June issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition.
Wellmune WGP is scientifically proven to activate innate immune cells that help keep the body healthy. Specifically, Wellmune primes neutrophils, the largest population of immune cells in the body and an important part of the body’s natural defenses. This award-winning functional ingredient is contained in numerous foods, beverages and supplements in more than 30 countries.
The article notes that upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is the most frequent infectious disease in humans, with an average of two to four episodes per year in adulthood and 6 to 10 episodes per year in childhood. The economic impact of the common cold is significant, costing an estimated $40 billion annually in the U.S. alone, with approximately 500 million non-influenza-related URTI episodes annually.
“Strategies to decrease the frequency and severity of URTI symptoms…would have a highly beneficial impact on health and socioeconomic performance,” said Richard Fuller, M.D. of The Dove Clinic for Integrated Medicine and principal investigator for the study. “Wellmune WGP activates innate immune cells, the body’s first line of defense, which helped students become more resilient to health challenges.”
Study design and results
The study was conducted during the peak of the 2010 cold-flu season. During the 90-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled study among 100 healthy medical students, participants taking 250 mg of Wellmune WGP daily reported 43 fewer days of URTI symptoms than their classmates who received a placebo. The results are a strong statistical trend (p=0.06). The findings were originally presented at a British Society for Immunology conference in Liverpool, UK, in 2010.
While the authors note that larger studies are needed, results of this study demonstrated that Wellmune WGP provided real immune health benefits to the students. Specifically:
- There was a reduction (18 percent) in the total number of days with self-reported URTI symptoms in Wellmune WGP group compared to placebo.
- In total, 24 episodes of URTI were medically confirmed, 12 episodes in each group.
- Wellmune WGP did not induce inflammatory cytokines. No cytokine change was seen during symptomatic URTI between study groups.
“The results are consistent with eight other clinical studies regarding the immune support effects of Wellmune WGP,” said Don Cox, Ph.D., senior vice president of research and development at Biothera.