A newly published study in the Journal of Dietary Supplements confirms that the consumption of foods and beverages with Wellmune®, a natural immune health ingredient, is a promising strategy for reducing the severity and impact of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms associated with intense exercise stress.

The study, titled “Beverage Containing Dispersible Yeast B-Glucan Decreases Cold/Flu Symptomatic Days After Intense Exercise: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” was conducted to expand the understanding of Wellmune’s positive immune health effects, specifically when formulated into a beverage application. 

The study examined the benefits Wellmune may have on marathon runners and their health post-race. Results showed that marathon runners consuming the beverage with Wellmune saw a 19% reduction in the severity of URTIs compared to the placebo group. Runners consuming Wellmune also missed fewer post-marathon workouts because of URTI and had a 10% decrease in total symptomatic days compared to the control group.

“The encouraging results of this new study provide us a greater understanding of Wellmune’s ability to help strengthen the immune system when consuming the ingredient through a beverage product,” explains Donald Cox, Ph.D., Director of R&D for Wellmune at Kerry. “The robust body of research around Wellmune expands across various life stages, lifestyles and product formats, and this study builds upon Wellmune’s proven immune health benefits.”

The study was conducted by Biofortis and was fielded with healthy adults running in the 2017 Austin Marathon. This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel study compared a ready-to-drink dairy-based beverage (250 mL/day) containing 250mg of Wellmune to a macronutrient and calorie-matched dairy beverage control (250 mL) without Wellmune. 

Participants consumed either the beverage with Wellmune or the placebo (without Wellmune) for 45 days prior to, the day of, and 45 days after the marathon, or 91 days in total. Subjects completed a daily online survey assessing compliance, training status, and URTI symptoms. URTI occurrence and severity were evaluated using the validated Jackson Index and confirmed by the study physician.

Unlike other yeast beta glucans, Wellmune is the only ingredient supported by more than a dozen published, peer-reviewed clinical studies. Research has validated Wellmune’s unique ability to help strengthen general immune health across a variety of ages and lifestyles. Specifically for athletes, previous clinical research found that marathon runners taking Wellmune experienced a 22% increase in vigor and a 48% reduction in fatigue. Another study found that marathon runners taking Wellmune for four weeks experienced a 40% reduction in upper respiratory tract infection symptoms.

“Combined with previous research on Wellmune, this new study further demonstrates the commitment to our clinical research program and underscores Kerry’s dedication to providing functional ingredients that are clinically supported, proven efficacious, and can easily be incorporated across a range of innovative food, beverage and supplement product applications,” says Cox.

About Wellmune®

Wellmune® is a natural food, beverage and supplement ingredient clinically proven to help strengthen the immune system, making it easier for people of all ages to be well and stay well. A proprietary baker’s yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan, Wellmune is patented, kosher, halal, non-allergenic, non-GMO, gluten-free and organic compliant. As a global brand available in more than 60 countries, Wellmune has regulatory approval in major markets, including GRAS status in the US. and novel food approval in Europe and China. 

A recipient of numerous industry awards, Wellmune is part of Kerry’s nutrition and wellness portfolio. For more information, visit Wellmune.com.