The unpublished study consisted of 100 healthy adults ages 50 to 70 years consuming 250 mgs of Wellmune or a placebo for 90 days. Wellmune demonstrated a trend toward reducing the number of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and statistically significant changes and trends in cytokine levels that are part of the body’s response to viral encounters and inflammation.
"Respiratory infections are a major source of health burden and a leading cause for antibiotic use," said Richard Fuller, M.D., who led the study within the Department of Primary Care and Population Science. “The concept of using Wellmune as a nutritional supplement to support immune deficiencies was very popular with study participants. The results of this pilot are encouraging and further studies certainly seem justified."
Wellmune is a proprietary beta 1/3, 1/6 glucan from baker’s yeast that naturally boosts innate immune cells that help keep the body healthy. Ten human clinical studies consistently demonstrate the ability of Wellmune to reduce URTI symptoms, enhance vigor and mental clarity, and reduce fatigue.
Older adults are one of the world’s largest population segments, and there is “a growing need for products that deliver natural immune support," according to Richard Mueller, Biothera chief executive officer.
The study participants were randomized into two groups, one receiving a placebo and the other receiving 250 mgs of Wellmune for 90 days during the peak cold and flu season. An URTI episode was classified as two or more symptoms for two consecutive days, confirmed by medical assessments. Blood and saliva samples were collected at days 0, 45 and 90 to measure serum and Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated whole-blood cytokines and chemokines. LPS is a component of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria that is used to mimic the presence of infection.
Data from the Wellmune subjects trended towards prevention of URTI. Statistically significant changes and trends were observed in cytokine levels, including IL-12p70 and IL-10, interferon gamma and MIG (Monokine Induced by Gamma interferon/ CXCL9). These cytokines are chemical messengers that help the body respond to challenges.
The research was conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, and presented at the Southampton Translational Clinical Research Conference. The study is entitled, “Yeast-Derived 1,3/1,6 Glucopolysaccharide to Prevent Upper Respiratory Tract Infection and Modulate Circulating Cytokines and Chemokines in Older Adults." Publication of the data is pending.
Previous research shows athletes who took Wellmune were able to exercise for longer and harder with less risk of immune suppression.