Wellmune, a proprietary brand of baker’s yeast beta glucan, may help improve mucosal immunity post-exercise among general, non-exercising adults, according to a new clinical study from the University of North Texas.
This new study’s findings add to previous peer-reviewed studies in marathoners and fit recreational athletes that demonstrate Wellmune can help athletes stay healthy before and after intense workouts. Researchers presented the data today at the National Strength and Conditioning Association annual conference in Orlando, Florida.
Strenuous exercise has previously been shown to decrease mucosal immunity, part of the body’s first line defense against foreign challenges, for up to 24 hours. Such immunosuppression can increase the risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections and result in lost training days and performance time. In this latest study, researchers evaluated the effect of Wellmune on mucosal immunity in a less active population undergoing moderate exercise. The study found that Wellmune supplementation caused a significant increase in salivary IgA — an antibody that plays a critical role in mucosal immunity — demonstrating that the yeast beta glucan may have a positive impact on potential immunosuppression in a less-active population.
“Improving mucosal immunity reduces susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections during periods of intense training and may limit the loss of training days,” said lead researcher Brian McFarlin, Ph.D., FACSM, who is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, and director of the Applied Physiology Laboratory at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. “These new results suggest that even a small amount of exercise stress can trigger a drop in immune responses and that Wellmune can help enhance key immune functions to keep individuals healthy.”
The double-blind, crossover design study evaluated 109 young men and women, 18 to 35 years old, who consumed either 250 mg of Wellmune or a placebo for 10 days. Participants then participated in intervals of brisk treadmill walking or light jogging that totaled 90 minutes of exercise in a hot, humid environment. Saliva was collected before exercise, immediately following exercise and at two and four hours after exercise. Salivary IgA was measured to determine the impact on mucosal immunity.
“Combined with previous research in fit subjects, this new study suggests that Wellmune offers immune health benefits to the general population while engaged in exercise, ranging from individuals with low fitness level to elite athletes,” said Don Cox, Ph.D., senior vice president, Biothera Healthcare Research and Development. “These results are consistent with the numerous studies that demonstrate Wellmune’s ability to enhance key immune functions and help maintain health energy levels in people experiencing physical or psychological stress.”