Objective: Several studies have shown a baker's yeast beta-1,3/1,6-d-glucan, extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is effective in reducing the incidence of cold and flu symptoms. This study evaluated the effect of a specific beta-glucan supplement (Wellmune) on upper respiratory tract symptoms and psychological well-being in women with moderate levels of psychological stress.
Methods: Healthy women (38 ± 12 years old) prescreened for moderate levels of psychological stress, self-administered a placebo (n = 38) or 250 mg of Wellmune (n = 39) daily for 12 weeks. We used the Profile of Mood States (POMS) psychological survey to assess changes in mental/physical energy levels (vigor) and overall well-being (global mood state). A quantitative health perception log was used to track upper respiratory symptoms.
Results: Subjects in the Wellmune group reported fewer upper respiratory symptoms compared to placebo (10% vs 29%), better overall well-being (global mood state: 99 ± 19 vs 108 ± 23, p < 0.05), and superior mental/physical energy levels (vigor: 19.9 ± 4.7 vs 15.8 ± 6.3, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: These data show that daily dietary supplementation with Wellmune reduces upper respiratory symptoms and improves mood state in stressed subjects, and thus it may be a useful approach for maintaining immune protection against daily stressors.