Larry E. Robinson, Ph.D. and Stuart Reeves, Ph.D., ARCS, Scientific Affairs

Exercise can have contrasting effects on the immune system of healthy adults. Regular moderate exercise is beneficial to the immune system. However, extreme exercise such as marathon running can stress the body and temporarily suppress the immune system. Consumers should be careful not to "overdo" it.  Of course for athletes, sometimes “not overdoing it” is really not an option. One way to help keep your immune system healthy during times of exercise-induced stress is to regularly take a research-backed dietary supplement like EpiCor, a product clinically shown to provide immune support. This is true for those anywhere on the athletic spectrum. People who already exercise regularly are cautioned not to develop too vigorous a workout program in the hopes of increasing immune benefits, as this may well be counterproductive. Similarly, people who rarely exercise but occasionally have short periods of intense exercise (weekend warriors) are probably not getting the full benefits of exercise.

Studies have shown that the people who benefit the most from starting (and sticking to) an exercise program are those who go from a sedentary ("couch potato") lifestyle to a moderately energetic lifestyle.   These are the people most likely to obtain an immune benefit. Daily moderate exercise is very beneficial, and days missed due to sickness and allergies can be frustrating. A strong immune system can help keep you from missing training, and a product like EpiCor can help strengthen and maintain a healthy immune response to daily challenges.

One of the most studied aspects of the immune response to extreme exercise is secretory IgA (sIgA). This is one of the immune system’s first lines of active defense against invading pathogens, and sIgA levels are usually lower after extreme exercise. This has been suggested as one reason why marathon runners are more susceptible to upper respiratory track infections (URTIs) in the period immediately following a race. As one of the effects of regularly consuming EpiCor is an increase in sIgA levels, EpiCor has the potential to aid such athletes during their recovery from exercise. Human clinical trials have shown that taking EpiCor regularly reduces cold and flu symptoms (1,2) as well as certain seasonal allergy symptoms (3) in a normal, healthy population. This should prove especially beneficial in a population with suppressed immune systems due to extreme exercise.

Those who engage in more moderate levels of exercise are also expected to benefit from consumption of EpiCor. Exercise and inflammation can be a very confusing subject since long-term moderate exercise tends to reduce chronic inflammation, while short-term strenuous exercise can cause temporary inflammation in muscles resulting in aches and pains. This inflammation can be reduced by the use of anti-inflammatory supplements, which have the potential to shorten recovery time. Recent animal studies have demonstrated EpiCor’s anti-inflammatory effects, although these inflammatory benefits have yet to be studied among athletes (4).

For all those who exercise regularly, whether in moderation or extreme fashion, daily consumption of EpiCor is likely to lead to better overall health. And for those who decide to start an exercise program, regular use of EpiCor may help your immune system cope with the transition to a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Moyad MA, Robinson LE, Zawada ET, Kittelsrud JM, Chen DG, Reeves SG and Weaver SE (2008) Effects of a modified yeast supplement on cold/flu symptoms. Urologic Nursing, 28, 50-55
  2. Moyad MA, Robinson LE, Zawada ET, Kittelsrud JM, Chen DG, Reeves SG and Weaver SE (2010) Immunogenic yeast-based fermentate for cold/flu-like symptoms in non-vaccinated individuals. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16, 213-218
  3. Jensen GS, Patterson KM, Barnes J, Schauss, AE, Beaman R, Reeves SG and Robinson LE. (2008) A double-blind placebo-controlled, randomized pilot study: Consumption of a high-metabolite immunogen from yeast culture has beneficial effects on erythrocyte health and mucosal immune protection in healthy subjects. Open Nutrition Journal, 2, 68-75
  4. Evans, M, Reeves, SG and Robinson, LE (2012) A Dried Yeast Fermentate Prevents and Reduces Inflammation in Two Separate Experimental Immune Models. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 , Article ID 973041.