Medical Students Participate in Immune Trial

December 14, 2010

A 90-day study evaluating the immune-enhancing effects of Biothera’s (Eagan, MN) Wellmune WGP beta-glucan immune-health ingredient was performed on medical students. According the company, participants taking Wellmune WGP experienced 43 fewer days of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms compared to the placebo group.

A 90-day study evaluating the immune-enhancing effects of Biothera’s (Eagan, MN) Wellmune WGP beta-glucan immune-health ingredient was performed on medical students. According the company, participants taking Wellmune WGP experienced 43 fewer days of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms compared to the placebo group.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolled 100 fourth-year medical students from Southampton University Medical School. Subjects consumed 250 mg of Wellmune WGP once daily, or a placebo capsule.

During the trial, there were 24 medically confirmed URTI cases reported, equally divided between the study groups. (Participants completed a daily health diary recording the presence or absence of URTI symptoms. If they had two or more reported URTI symptoms for two consecutive days, a medical assessment and cytokine analysis was performed within 24 hours.) Ninety-seven participants completed the trial (48 on Wellmune WGP, and 49 on placebo).

The researchers said there was a significant reduction (18%) in the total number of days with self-reported URTI symptoms in the Wellmune WGP group compared to the placebo group, and that Wellmune WGP also reduced symptom severity. It also did not induce inflammatory cytokines.

“Medical students working long hours in hospitals are placing tremendous stress on their immune systems,” said Richard Fuller, MD, of The Dove Clinic for Integrated Medicine and the study’s lead researcher.

Study results were presented last week at the British Society for Immunology conference held in Liverpool, UK.