Respiratory problems improve in beta-glucan study

by Jeff Gelski
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DRAPER, UTAH — Beta-glucan significantly decreased the incidence of upper-respiratory tract infection (URTI) and improved mood state compared to a placebo in a study of marathon runners. SupplementWatch & GLH Nutrition, L.L.C., Draper, performed the study and used beta-glucan under the commercial name Wellmune WGP from Biothera, Eagan, Minn. Results of the study appeared on-line Dec. 1 in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.

The placebo-controlled, double-blind study involved 75 marathon runners (35 men and 40 women) ranging in age from 18 to 53 years. They took either a placebo, 250 mg of beta-glucan or 500 mg of beta-glucan during a four-week period following the 2007 Carlsbad Marathon in California.

Both the group taking the 250 mg and the group taking the 500 mg reported fewer URTI symptoms, better overall health and more positive mood state compared to the placebo group after the four-week period. Marathon runners and other athletes whose activities cause significant physical stress are more susceptible to URTI.

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