, Volume 52, Issue 8, pp 1913-1918,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 23 Jan 2013

Yeast (1,3)-(1,6)-beta-glucan helps to maintain the body’s defence against pathogens: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicentric study in healthy subjects

Abstract

Purpose

The effect of brewers’ yeast (1,3)-(1,6)-beta-d-glucan consumption on the number of common cold episodes in healthy subject was investigated.

Methods

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, multicentric clinical trial, 162 healthy participants with recurring infections received 900 mg of either placebo (n = 81) or an insoluble yeast (1,3)-(1,6)-beta-d-glucan preparation (n = 81) per day over a course of 16 weeks. Subjects were instructed to document each occurring common cold episode in a diary and to rate ten predefined infection symptoms during an infections period, resulting in a symptom score. The subjects were examined by the investigator during the episode visit on the 5th day of each cold episode.

Results

In the per protocol population, supplementation with insoluble yeast (1,3)-(1,6)-beta-glucan reduced the number of symptomatic common cold infections by 25 % as compared to placebo (p = 0.041). The mean symptom score was 15 % lower in the beta-glucan as opposed to the placebo group (p = 0.125). Beta-glucan significantly reduced sleep difficulties caused by cold episode as compared to placebo (p = 0.028). Efficacy of yeast beta-glucan was rated better than the placebo both by physicians (p = 0.004) participants (p = 0.012).

Conclusion

The present study demonstrated that yeast beta-glucan preparation increased the body’s potential to defend against invading pathogens.