Beta-glucan ingredient may ease ragweed allergy symptoms

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Immune system

The 36 million American sufferers of ragweed allergy my benefit from supplements of a beta-glucan based ingredient, according to new research presented at Experimental Biology 2011.

Results of a placebo-controlled, double-blinded study indicated that daily supplements of Biothera’s Wellmune WGP ingredient reduced allergy symptoms, including eye and nasal symptoms, as well as a 56 percent improvement in ‘quality of life’ scores, researchers from SupplementWatch told attendees in Washington DC. The study was funded by Biothera.

Forty-eight people with an average age of 39 and a known allergy to ragweed pollen were randomly assigned to receive either a 250 milligram dose of the beta-glucan-derived ingredient or placebo for four weeks during a period of high pollen count in southeast Ohio.

Results showed that people in the beta-glucan group displayed an average of 4.2 symptoms, compared with an average of 5.8 in the placebo group, while the severity was also scored lower in the Wellmune group, compared with placebo (6.9 versus 14.3, respectively).

Don Cox, Ph.D., senior vice president, Biothera Healthcare Research & Development said that the new research suggests that the company’s ingredient may also modulate the immune system when less of a response is needed.

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.

The company claims that Wellmune, unlike other natural products, enhances immune function without over stimulating the immune system, which may be harmful and claims that its mode of action in the body is well understood.

Related topics: Research, Allergies & intolerances

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