Marathoners taking Wellmune WGP®, a natural immune health ingredient, for four weeks experienced an average reduction of 40% in upper respiratory tract infection symptomatic days that commonly afflict long-distance runners, according to new clinical study results presented today at the American College of Sports Medicine 59th annual meeting.
It is common for runners to develop upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) in the days and weeks following completion of a marathon. Based on previous physical stress studies with Wellmune WGP that indicated links between specific biomarkers and improved health, researchers believed that marathoners would benefit from enhanced immune function.
The double-blinded study involved 182 runners who completed the 2011 LiveStrong Marathon in Austin, Texas. The participants included 96 men and 86 women with an average age of 34 and an average finish time of 4:00 hours. Participants were given either 250 mg/day of Wellmune soluble, Wellmune dispersible, or a rice flour placebo to take for four weeks following the marathon.
Subjects taking Wellmune soluble experienced a 45% reduction in the number of days that they reported both general health problems and URTI symptoms while subjects consuming Wellmune dispersible reported 34% fewer days of URTI symptoms, for an average reduction of 40%. These results were statistically significant compared to placebo (p<0.05).
"The study confirms previous clinical research showing that Wellmune WGP's support of the immune system has real health benefits for individuals under physical stress," said Rich Mueller, chief executive officer of Biothera, the manufacturer of Wellmune WGP. "This applies to both elite athletes as well as recreational athletes."
In previous physical stress studies conducted by the University Houston, health improvements in participants taking Wellmune were associated with alterations in monocytes, plasma cytokines, and improved mucosal immunity.
"Wellmune is the first ingredient we've tested that showed measurable improvements in key immune system biomarkers," said study leader Brian McFarlin, Ph.D., FACSM, Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology, Nutrition, and Immunology in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston.