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Study: Better performances and recovery with yeast beta glucan for athletes

Natriche Immune products contain yeast beta glucan. This polysaccharide, that is extracted from the cell wall of bakers’ yeast, can help athletes achieve better results. Most athletes and coaches are using supplements to gain more muscle mass, better endurance or faster recovery after exercise. But just as important is a strong immune system. Because you gain no advantage from supplements or heavy training schedules if you get sick. Athletes cannot train if they have a flu and even with a small cold, exercises aren’t as effective. Also, colds and flus are more common among athletes because heavy, intensive exercise weakens your immune system. That is why it is important, especially for athletes, to have a strong and healthy immune system.

Where our immune system is under more pressure than ever before, it is time for a different approach to maintaining good health. There is a new way to strengthen your immune system in a smart way and that is with Yeast Beta Glucan, specifically with Bakers’ Yeast Beta Glucan. The major effect of beta-1,3 / 1,6-glucan can be described as non-specific immune enhancement. Especially the macrophages and neutrophils are stimulated, cells that belong to the first line defense of the immune system. They can defuse bacteria, viruses and other pathogens via phagocytosis. All major functions of macrophages are improved by yeast beta glucan.

University of Houston

A number of studies have been conducted about yeast beta glucan in relation to the immune system of athletes. The Health & Human Performance department of the University of Houston investigated whether Yeast Beta Glucan can help athletes to train longer and harder with less risk of weakening the immune system, what normally happens after an intensive exercise. The researchers followed 60 athletes during one month, in which half of them took a supplement containing Yeast Beta Glucan each day and the half a placebo. The athletes had to cycle for one hour long several times in a special room, with a temperature of 38° Celsius and a humidity of 45%. Each time, a blood sample was taken from each participant immediately before, immediately after and two hours after the exercise.

The results of the blood tests were very promising. The athletes who took Yeast Beta Glucan had significantly higher concentrations of monocytes in their blood compared to the placebo group. The Beta Glucan group also had higher levels of important cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-5 and IFN gamma) after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation (Figure 1). LPS is extracted from gram-negative bacteria and is used to simulate attacks of bacteria and in that way stimulate a reaction of the immune system. The researchers concluded that Yeast Beta Glucan decreases the effect on the immune system after an intensive exercise. But not only after exercise, also under ‘normal’ circumstances Beta Glucan reinforces the immune system. This proves that Yeast Beta Glucan can help athletes to maintain a more severe training schedule and eventually improve their overall athletic performance.

California Carlsbad Marathon

The health effect of yeast beta glucan have also been studied with marathoners that participated in the 2007 California Carlsbad Marathon. 35 men and 40 women between the age of 18 and 53 were examined. The participants were supplied each day for four weeks long either a supplement containing 250 mg of Yeast Beta Glucan or a placebo. Both groups registered symptoms like a stuffy nose, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, fatigue, headache, and body aches. The study measured the psychological conditions of the participants using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire. The POMS-profile method, that measures six primary mood states (tension, depression, anger, fatigue, vigor and confusion), is used in thousands of health studies.

The results of this study were once again positive. Marathoners that took Yeast Beta Glucan had statistically significant improvements in the measurements of physical health, including reported symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI) and the overall health conditions (figure 2). After two weeks 68% of the participants in the placebo group reported URTI symptoms, but only 32% in the Yeast Beta Glucan group reported similar symptoms (figure 3). URTI symptoms were reported by 8% in the Beta Glucan group after 4 weeks, compared to 24% in the placebo group. Furthermore, study participants who took the Bea Glucan scaled their health 44% higher than normal. It may not be surprising that the POMS-results corresponded with the assessment of physical health. The marathoner that took Beta Glucan experienced less symptoms of URTI, so their energy level and overall feeling of well-being were higher than the placebo-group. In contrast to the placebo group, the yeast beta glucan marathon runner reported a:

  • 22% increase in vigor (figure 4)
  • 48% reduction in fatigue (figure 5)
  • 38% reduction in tension (figure 6)
  • 38% decrease of stress-related confusion (figure 7)











Study Livestrong Marathon

Also at the LiveStrong Marathon of 2011 in Austin, Texas a study has been done about yeast beta glucan for athletes. This research was also conducted by the University of Houston and there were 182 marathon runners participating, of which 96 men and 86 women with an average age of 34. The participants again got for four weeks long either a supplement with 250 mg of yeast beta glucan or a placebo. Cold and flu symptoms were monitored daily by different research instruments (including the WURSS-21 questionnaire). Conclusions from the results were that the Yeast Beta Glucan group experienced significantly less days of cold and flu symptoms compared to the placebo group.



All these studies show that it is extremely important for athletes to keep their immune system strong. It also appears that supplements containing Yeast Beta Glucan not only support the immune system under “normal” conditions, but also help very well if the immune system is weakened in the period after an intensive exercise.


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McFarlin, B. K., Carpenter, K. C., Davidson, T. and McFarlin, M. A., 2013. Baker’s yeast beta glucan supplementation increases salivary IgA and decreases cold/flu symptomatic days after intense exercise. J Diet Suppl 10(3): 171-183.

– British Journal of Nutrition: May 10:1-9.   Talbott, S. T. and Talbott J. 2009. “Effect of BETA 1, 3/1, 6 GLUCAN on upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and mood state in marathon athletes.” Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 8: 509-515.

Carpenter KC, Breslin WL, Davidson T, Adams A, and McFarlin BK. 2012. Baker’s Yeast Beta-Glucan Supplementation in- creases Monocytes and Cytokines Post-Exercise: Implications for Infection risk? British Journal of Nutrition: May 10:1-9. 

– Samuelsen, A. B., Schrezenmeir, J. and Knutsen, S. H., 2014. Effects of orally administered yeast-derived beta-glucans: a review. Mol Nutr Food Res 58(1): 183-193. (8): Talbott & Talbott, 2009

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