Research

Yeast beta-glucan shows benefits for stressed women

08-Feb-2013
Last updated on 08-Feb-2013 at 16:06 GMT - By Stephen DANIELLS
Yeast beta-glucan shows benefits for stressed women
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Supplements of the beta-glucan based ingredient Wellmune WGP may help stressed women stay healthy by reducing coughs and colds, says a new study.

In addition to a 58% reduction in upper respiratory tract infection symptoms after 12 weeks, the supplements were linked to improvements in mood in the women, according to results published in the current edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

“The results of the [Profile of Mood States (POMS) psychological survey] suggest that the reduction in upper respiratory symptoms for the beta-glucan group resulted in an improvement of various psychological factors that could be directly related to an individual’s state of physical well-being (vigor and global mood state, with a trend for improvements in fatigue),” wrote Shawn Talbott, PhD, and Julie Talbott, MBA, from SupplementWatch in Utah.

The supplements were provided by Biothera, and the company also funded the study.

Richard Mueller, Biothera’s CEO, welcomed the study as the first published account exploring the effects of Wellmune WGP on women, “a population that arguably faces stressors.

“This is actionable information for women who are seeking more and better ways to keep pace with their daily lives,” said Mueller.

The ingredient

Wellmune WGP, derived from the cell walls of a proprietary strain of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) via a patented manufacturing process, is a natural carbohydrate that activates key immune cells.

Designed for use with foods, beverages and premium supplements, Wellmune can be used in a large number of subcategories in each segment. For example, beverages example, may include dairy, waters, teas, juices, sports drinks and other functional beverages, as well as powdered beverages.

Study details

The Talbotts recruited 77 women with moderate levels of psychological stress and an average age of 38, and randomly assigned them to receive either daily Wellmune WGP (250 mg) supplements or placebo for 12 weeks.

Results showed that, at the end of the study, only 10% of the Wellmune group reported upper respiratory tract infection symptoms (sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and cough) compared with 29% for the control group.

“This strongly suggests that baker’s yeast beta-glucan is able to counteract the negative effects of stress on the immune system, which can increase susceptibility to upper respiratory symptoms,” wrote Talbott and Talbott.

In addition, according to scores from the POMS survey, vigor improved 41% in women taking Wellmune WGP compared with 7% in the control group. Similarly, the Global Mood State of women taking Wellmune improved 29% compared with 16% in the placebo group.

“Subjects taking beta-glucan reported lower levels of upper respiratory symptoms and ‘felt better,’ which was then reflected in the psychological assessment techniques.

“The lack of an impact on certain mood state subscales (tension, depression, anger, confusion) is not surprising since yeast beta-glucan should not have a psychoactive effect, and the increases in vigor and global mood state (analogous to ‘overall psychological well-being’) can be explained as a logical result of improvement in physical well-being.”

Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition
Volume 31, Number 4, Pages 295-300
“Baker's Yeast Beta-Glucan Supplement Reduces Upper Respiratory Symptoms and Improves Mood State in Stressed Women”
Authors: S.M. Talbott, J.A. Talbott

Related topics: Research, Fibers & carbohydrates, Cognitive function, Immune support, Respiratory health, Women's health