What Makes a Quality Immune Health Product?
We spoke with Dr. Roger Clemens, an expert in nutrition, food science and toxicology and Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute adviser about what makes a quality immune health product. Here is what he had to say.
More and more we see people taking a self-care approach to their health and wellness, which is leading to an increased consumption of functional food, beverages and dietary supplements with immune health benefits. But with more access to information, people are getting a myriad of health and wellness advice and thus turning to healthcare professionals to help them decipher what products have the proven health benefits they are seeking.
What makes a quality immune health product? Simply put, research, efficacy, and safety are essential.
- Look for clinical research. When it comes to immune health products developed with functional ingredients, scientific research is an important part of understanding the safety of an ingredient, how it works, and its benefits. Published, peer-reviewed research with consistent and clinically relevant outcomes are the gold standard.
- Look for research that demonstrates benefits for your lifestyle or needs. The human immune system undergoes significant changes as it develops, matures and declines. Its responsiveness changes with age and requires continuous nutritional support. When looking for immune health products, it can be helpful if the benefits are demonstrable for the stage of your life or your lifestyle. The challenge here is that many products with claimed functional benefits are not supported by credible clinical data that looks at different lifestyles or lifestyle needs
- Look for Wellmune®. Wellmune is an immune health-supporting ingredient used to create functional foods, beverages and dietary supplement products. Importantly, it is clinically proven to help strengthen the immune system. Wellmune is a proprietary ingredient from baker’s yeast. A beta 1,3/1,6 glucan, Wellmune has been incorporated into products all over the world. And because it is supported by over a dozen clinical studies, its benefits have been proven to be safe and effective in products directed to people of all ages. How does Wellmune work? Learn more here.
Wellmune’s profile of research.
The understanding of how this ingredient works in the body to support overall immune health is documented in numerous published, peer-reviewed clinical studies. These exceptional studies looked at different age groups and experiences including children, athletes and ‘weekend warriors,’ older adults and those with significant lifestyle stress.
- Families with children: We know that supporting a child’s maturing immune system is imperative because a child is particularly vulnerable to immune health challenges. Several studies among children who consumed Wellmune indicated it can support children’s overall health and wellness. For example, a published, clinical study with children in a daycare setting showed that Wellmune helped keep children healthier by decreasing episodes of common childhood illnesses and symptoms of illness. In this study, 62% of children taking Wellmune reported “good” health versus 15% of children who did not consume Wellmune.
- Athletes and weekend warriors: Immune function can be reduced right after intense or vigorous exercise. This can leave elite and recreational athletes more at risk for illness, leading to missed training days that hurt performance and health and wellness goals. A series of clinical studies with marathoners, cyclists and general populations facing strenuous activity demonstrated Wellmune can help people stay healthy during and after intense exercise. For example, in a clinical study with marathon runners, participants taking Wellmune experienced a 40% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections.
- Older adults: As we age, the immune system weakens, and its function slows, but our desire to stay active and be healthy remains. Wellmune has been clinically proven to help keep us healthy as we age. In a pilot study with older adults, Wellmune confirmed a strong trend towards reducing the number of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and reducing symptom days due to the common cold, with participants seeing a 16% decrease in total URTI symptom days.
- People Experiencing Stress: People are experiencing stress more than ever, which can have a major impact on our quality of life. Further, unhealthy levels of stress can suppress the immune system leaving the body susceptible to infection or disease. Wellmune has been studied with numerous high-stress populations such as medical students, firefighters and those experiencing lifestyle stress. These studies show that taking Wellmune had a positive effect on both physical and psychological health. In one study with adults, Wellmune participants declared a 42% increase in vigor and a 38% decrease in fatigue.
Build a better foundation.
As the foundation of our overall health, immunity can be a delicate balance at every life stage. Clinical research demonstrates Wellmune’s ability to help maintain our general immune health, helping people be well and stay well so that we can enjoy a quality life. As people of all ages look for more solutions to improving their overall health, Wellmune is a safe and effective ingredient that when incorporated into functional foods, beverages and dietary supplement products helps to aid in our overall health and sense of well-being any age.
For more information on how to Wellmune can help create a quality immune health product, contact one of our experts.
About Dr. Roger A. Clemens
Received an AB in Bacteriology, a MPH in Nutrition, and a DrPH in Public Health Nutrition and Biological Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Clemens is co-founder and executive vice president of PolyScience Consulting. Dr. Clemens is part-time faculty within the USC Regulatory Science program where he enjoys an adjunct appointment as Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences within the USC School of Pharmacy. Dr. Clemens, a Certified Food Scientist, is a professional member of and Fellow in IFT. Dr. Clemens received many awards for his leadership in IFT, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and in local universities. He is a fellow in the American Society for Nutrition, the American College of Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists and the International Academy of Food Science and Technology. He is an active member in the Society of Toxicology and the American College of Toxicology. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Food Science, and an editorial board member for Food Chemical Toxicology as well as Toxicology Research and Applications. Dr. Clemens has published more than 50 original manuscripts in nutrition, food science and toxicology. He has also participated in more than 300 invited domestic and international lectures, and served as an expert panel member for the food industry, scientific organizations, trade associations and regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada and Europe. Dr. Clemens is a past president of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and former member of the IFT Board of Directors. In 2015, Dr. Clemens launched a new column in Nutrition Today that addresses the regulatory status, safety, and functional properties of food ingredients. Dr. Clemens was a member of the USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and is a third-term member of the US Pharmacopeia Food Ingredient Expert Committee. Dr. Clemens serves on the Kerry Scientific Advisory Council.