BeniCaros carrot prebiotic accelerates protective immune response and supports quality of life in study


The study included 146 human subjects, with those taking BeniCaros reporting reductions in the severity of common cold symptoms.

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BeniCaros, a soluble prebiotic carrot fiber called rhamnogalacturonan-I (cRG-I), from NutriLeads BV (Wageningen, the Netherlands), accelerated protective immune response and supported the quality of life of subjects in a new study. The eight-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial1 on 146 healthy adults was published in the journal Nutrients.

Subjects were given either a placebo or a 300-mg BeniCaros supplement daily. After eight weeks, they were exposed to a standardized dose of a mild rhinovirus. Researchers then used blood, fecal, and nasal fluid samples to count immune cells, track blood markers, measure immune responses, and investigate gene expression.

Subjects were also asked to complete a validated questionnaire about the severity of the common cold symptoms they experienced as well as their quality of life. They completed the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 (WURSS-21) questionnaire every morning for two weeks starting the day before the infection.

Researchers found that subjects taking 300 mg of BeniCaros reported significant reductions in symptom severity and duration compared to the placebo group. They also experienced a lower peak value in severity and lower impact of a variety of common cold symptoms, including runny nose, sore throat, cough, and feeling tired. BeniCaros subjects also reported that their colds interfered less with their quality of life and ability to think clearly, accomplish daily activities, and move around.

Meanwhile, the biological data showed that BeniCaros accelerated local and systemic immune response biomarkers, including anti-viral interferon gene expression and mobilization of immune cells to the site where the infection was introduced (the nasal cavity). Blood sample data also showed that BeniCaros helped enhance the function of natural killer cells. Most importantly, BeniCaros did not change systemic immune responses in the absence of an immune challenge, the company says.

“BeniCaros trains the immune system to be ready to respond when it is challenged,” said Ruud Albers, PhD, founder and chief science officer of NutriLeads, in a press release. “It does not lead to broad, non-specific activation of the innate immune system. It is important that immune-support products designed to be taken long term do not stimulate or boost the immune system unnecessarily.”

The company’s press release adds that “BeniCaros has a dual mode of action that trains the immune system to respond faster, preparing innate immune cells for a heightened state of readiness, and selectively increases beneficial gut microorganisms and their metabolites that support immune responses.”


  1. McKay S et al. “Effects of dietary supplementation with carrot-derived rhamnogalacturonan-I (cRG-I) on accelerated protective immune responses and quality of life in healthy volunteers challenged with rhinovirus in a randomized trial.” Nutrients, vol. 14, no. 20 (October 12, 2022): 4258
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