1,3 1,6 beta glucan supplements could cut the risk of catching a cold or flu, nutritionists have claimed.
The chemical agent helps to boost the immune system before any viruses attack.
When the body is better prepared for any foreign invaders, you’re more likely to make it through the winter without suffering from a cold or flu.
The beta glucan supplements have been proven to have a protective effect in a number of clinical trials.
Frankie Brogan, Senior Nutritionist at Pharma Nord, said: “White blood cells play important roles in fighting infections, such as digesting foreign invaders, triggering appropriate inflammation, and preventing the spread of infection.
“The activity of these cells is usually triggered by an infection, but a nutritional supplement exists which has shown the ability to trigger the innate cells early. That is 1,3 1,6 beta glucans.
“In research, this immunity boost reduces the chance of catching a cold or a flu, including through the cold autumn or winter months which represent peak cold and flu season.”
The supplement doesn’t cause the body any harm, but simply triggers the immune system early, so it’s prepared for any cold or flu viruses before they try to infect, Brogan added.
Our first line of defence against bacterial, viral and parasitic invaders is our innate immune system.
That includes physical barriers, as well as biological ones. For example, eyelashes, nose hair and skin are all part of the innate immune system, Brogan said.
The immune system’s response, including inflammation, also helps to fight infections.
1,3 1,6 beta glucan supplements stimulate the immune system to start producing white blood cells early, which adds to the immune system’s overall defences.
Flu can be caught all year round, but is more common in winter.
Symptoms of the viral infection include tiredness, a dry cough, headache, fever and general aches and pains.
Cold-like symptoms – a blocked or runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat – could be caused by flu, too.
The NHS recommends getting the flu vaccine to reduce the risk of getting flu this winter.