Baker's yeast beta-glucan supplement reduces upper respiratory symptoms and improves mood state in stressed women

J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):295-300. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720441.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Influenza, Human / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / chemistry*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • beta-Glucans / administration & dosage*


  • beta-Glucans