Nutrients boost immunity, protect against heat stress after exertion

Yeast beta glucan boosts immunity 

Immediately after intense exercise, the immune system is less able to protect against opportunistic infection. In this study, participants took a placebo or 250 mg of yeast beta glucan per day. After 10 days, participants completed a 90-minute exercise session in a hot, humid environmental chamber.

Four hours after exercise, blood samples showed that, compared to placebo, those in the beta glucan group produced 48 percent more interferon- gamma, an immune factor that combats bacterial and viral infection; a 38 percent increase in immune killer T-cells, which combat pathogens; and a 29 percent increase in monocytes, a type of immune cell produced in bone marrow that travels through the blood and into the tissues.

Discussing the findings, doctors said that after exercise, both trained athletes and weekend warriors are more prone to illness, and that beta glucan can strengthen the immune system and its response after exercise.

Curcumin protects against heat stroke

Heat stress from exercise damages the gastrointestinal tract and increases chances for heat stroke, as blood flow is diverted to skeletal muscle and skin. In this study, participants took a placebo or 500 mg of curcumin per day for three days prior to a one-hour treadmill exercise in a high-heat, high-humidity chamber.

Compared to placebo, those taking curcumin had a smaller rise in core body temperature, lower average total body temperature, lower heart rate, and fewer signs of physiological strain. Also, curcumin helped maintain the integrity of the gut lining, protecting it from bacterial infiltration.

Reference: Frontiers in Physiology; October, 2017, 00786, Published Online
Natural Insights for Well Being March 2018
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