Eagan, MN—Serious athletes who partake in long vigorous exercise (like marathoners) often experience impaired immune function after strenuous physical activity. Researchers now believe that a branded baker’s yeast beta-glucan (BG, Wellmune WGP from Biothera, based here) may help.

Researchers studied BG in two trials. First, a group of 182 athletes was given a placebo or BG and was monitored for upper respiratory infections for a month after a marathon. The extract was associated with a 37% reduction in cold/flu symptoms.

The other study involved 60 individuals whose changes in salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) were evaluated after 50 minutes of strenuous cycling. The participants took BG or a placebo for 10 days before the cycling test. In the end, IgA—an antibody that plays an important role in immunity—increased about 32% in those taking BG.

These results are published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2013