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Beta Glucan May Reduce Frequency of Upper Respiratory Infections in Children

Upper respiratory tract infections are the most common illness diagnosed in an outpatient setting. A recent study suggests that taking a daily beta-glucan supplement may lower the frequency of upper respiratory tract infections in children by as much as 66%.


Participants in the study included 174 children between the ages of 12 and 48 months who had had at least two upper respiratory tract infections in the previous three months. They were given either 35 or 75 mg of baker’s yeast beta glucan or a placebo once per day for 12 weeks. One hundred fifty six of the children completed the study.


At the conclusion of the study, 85% of the children in the placebo group had one or more episodes of infectious illness. In comparison, only 47% of the 35 mg group and 32% in the 75 mg group had one or more episodes of infectious illness. Additionally, the placebo group had significantly more days of upper respiratory symptoms compared to the beta glucan groups.


Researchers from H&J CRO International conducted the study. It was presented at the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Clinical Nutrition Week 2016, held the week of January 16th.


Previous studies have linked beta glucan intake with lower cholesterol, managing diabetes, controlling allergies and improving the appearance of skin.


Beta glucan can be found in dietary sources including yeasts, algae, lichens, oats and barley. A high quality supplement is also a good option if you’re looking to increase your beta glucan intake.

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