This was a placebo-controlled, double-blind study designed to evaluate the effect of a commercially available dietary supplement on upper-respiratory tract symptoms (URTI) and mood state. Seventy-five marathon runners (35 men, 40 women) ranging in age from 18-53 years, mean age: 36 ± 9, self-administered placebo, 250 mg or 500 mg of BETA 1,3/1,6 GLUCAN (commercial name Wellmune WGP(®)) daily during the 4 week post-marathon trial period following the 2007 Carlsbad Marathon. Subjects filled out the profile of mood state (POMS) assessment and a questionnaire style health log measuring health status and URTI symptoms after 2- and 4-week treatment administrations. During the course of the 4-week study, subjects in the treatment groups (250 mg and 500 mg BETA-GLUCAN per day) reported significantly fewer URTI symptoms, better overall health and decreased confusion, fatigue, tension, and anger, and increased vigor based on the POMS survey compared to placebo. BETA-GLUCAN may prevent URTI symptoms, and improve overall health and mood following a competitive marathon. Key pointsBeta-Glucan supplementation maintains immune function in endurance athletes.Beta-Glucan supplementation reduces post-exercise URTIs in marathon runners.Maintenance of post-exercise immune function is associated with improved mood state, including reduced fatigue and increased vigor in athletes.
Keywords: Dietary supplements; beta- Glucans; exercise; respiratory tract infections.