EAGAN, Minn.New research results revealed a follow-up formula containing a combination of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a prebiotic blend of PDX and GOS, and yeast beta-glucan supports the immune systems of healthy children ages three and four years. (Pediatrics. 2014 Jun;133(6):e1533-40. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3598)
Children who consumed the follow-up formula (FUF) designed for this study by Mead Johnson Nutrition had fewer episodes and shorter duration of acute respiratory infections (P = .007) than children consuming an unfortified cow’s milk-based beverage. They also required fewer antibiotic treatments (P = .01) and missed fewer days of daycare due to illness, the study found. In addition, the FUF group had both higher interleukin-10 and white blood cell (WBC) counts at the end of the study, suggesting an anti-inflammatory mechanism and/or an increase of effector immune cells. (WBC counts remained in the normal range.)
In the double-blind, randomized, controlled, prospective trial, children were fed three servings per day of either a FUF containing 25 mg DHA, 1.2 g PDX/GOS, and 8.7 mg yeast beta-glucan (Wellmune WGP®) per serving, or an unfortified, cow’s milk-based beverage (control) for 28 weeks. Fecal and blood samples were collected to assess immune markers and iron/zinc status. Incidence of acute respiratory infections, diarrheal disease, and antibiotic treatment were obtained from medical records.
“As the study’s authors noted, children are vulnerable to diet inadequacies, which may affect immune function," said Donald Cox, Ph.D., senior vice president, Healthcare Research & Development at Biothera, the manufacturer of Wellmune WGP. “This research demonstrates the importance of supporting the developing immune systems of young children."
Previous research also shows athletes who took Wellmune WGP were able to exercise longer and harder with less risk of immune system suppression.