Did you know supplementation with
beta-glucan from baker’s yeast helps improve mucosal immunity and reduce URTI
Strenuous exercise or
a physically exhaustive work session is known to suppress mucosal immunity for
up to 24 hours, which can increase the risk of developing an upper respiratory
tract infection (URTI) and reduce performance capacity.
Sickness can result in
lost practice days, reductions in performance, and lost working days. The first
line of defense against respiratory viruses and bacteria is mucosal immunity,
which is characterised by salivary immunoglobulins (Igs) and antimicrobial
interventions have been used to combat post-exercise immune suppression, most
have been ineffective. However beta-glucan (BG) derived from Baker’s yeast has
been shown as a promising dietary modulator that positively affects the immune
A recent study examined the effects of baker’s yeast BG on the immune
system of healthy individuals after intense exercise using two experiments.
In the first
experiment, 182 men and women randomised to receive either BG (250 mg/day) or a
placebo for 28 days post-marathon. Individuals supplemented with BG were
associated with a 37% reduction in the number of cold and flu symptomatic days when
compared to the placebo group.
In the second
experiment, 60 men and women were randomised to receive either BG (250 mg/day) or
a placebo for 10 days. Changes in salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) were
evaluated after 50-min of strenuous cycling under hot and humid environment. Saliva
was collected prior to, immediately, and 2-hr post-exercise. Individuals supplemented with BG had a 32%
increase in salivary IgA at 2-hr after exercise compared to the placebo group.
In summary, results
from this study demonstrate that beta-glucan from Baker’s yeast may reduce URTI
symptomatic days and improve mucosal immunity post exercise.
Brian K. McFarlin et al. J Diet Suppl (2013); 10(3):171-83; DOI:
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Labels: baker's yeast, beta glucan, cold and flu, common cold, excerise, immune boost, immune system, immunity, URTI, usana, usana Australia, yeast