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By January 1, 2023No Comments

Nutrients cut colds in athletes and non-athletes

  • Black seed and fish oils reduce colds in marathoners

Intense exercise can disrupt the microbiome, allowing harmful bacteria to overpower beneficial bacteria, creating an imbalance, and suppressing immunity. In this study, 35 marathon runners took a placebo or 500 mg of black seed oil plus 1,500 mg of omega-3 fish oil per day, beginning three weeks before an endurance run and continuing one week after.

After four weeks, those taking black seed and fish oil reported 62 percent fewer upper respiratory tract complaints, better overall health, and a 15 percent more positive mood compared to the placebo group. They also had a better microbiome balance and 37 percent lower levels of salivary cortisol, which the body releases under stress suggesting a link between the microbiome, physical and mental health.


  • Soluble fiber reduces cold symptoms

A water-soluble dietary fiber, partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG), influences the immune system and may help prevent infection. In this study, 96 healthy adults took either a placebo or 5.2 grams of PHGG per day during the winter cold season.

After 12 weeks, those taking PHGG reported from 20 to 60 percent fewer symptoms compared to placebo, including fewer total days with runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, and chills. Levels of short-chain fatty acids, which increase when beneficial bacteria in the gut successfully ferment soluble fiber, rose in those taking PHGG compared to placebo.

Discussing the findings, doctors said PHGG supports immune function by promoting a healthy gut microbiome balance, reducing inflammation, and preventing infection.

Reference: European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences; 2022, Vol. 26, No. 14, 5154-63

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