Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Immune support after high exercise stress

As we previously discussed, being physically fit can reduce the incidence and severity of colds. However it is also well known that endurance athletes become susceptible to infections/ sickness due to the reduction in the activity of their immune system from the stress of this sort of exercise program. That is when you perform long, hard efforts repeatedly, your immune system is depressed. So if you are an endurance athlete, a marathoner, duathalon/ triathalon, participant, or a long distance cyclist then you might want to consider supplementation with colostrum, Vitamin C and/or glutamine.

Colostrum: Recent research has shown that supplementation with bovine source colostrum after intense endurance exercise will improve the immune system. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition by Dr.’s Glen Davidson and Bethany Diment show that if you supplement with bovine source colostrum for a period of 4 weeks your immune system is fortified and responds better under these stressful situations.

Vitamin C: In other studies by Dr. Davidson, he and his team have shown that supplementation with Vitamin C (1500 mg) prior to endurance exercise will help reduce oxidative stress on immune cells. This may assist in maintaining the immune system activity. Further there is strong broad based evidence that the consumption of a carbohydrate beverage before, during and after a strenuous workout or event will support your immune system.

Glutamine: The Canadian Natural Products Directorate has a monograph on glutamine which supports its use as for immune system support.

So if you are into strenuous exercise and want to help your immune system be at its best, you may want to consider a multi-facet supplementation plan that includes colostrum as well as glutamine and Vitamin C. As well, remember to keep your carbohydrate levels up during your exercise session to further help your immune system.

Visit for all of your colostrum, vitamin and glutamine needs.

  • Glen Davison and Bethany C. Diment (2010). Bovine colostrum supplementation attenuates the decrease of salivary lysozyme and enhances the recovery of neutrophil function after prolonged exercise. British Journal of Nutrition, 103, pp 1425-1432.
  • Glen Davison and Michael Gleeson (2005). Infl uence of Acute Vitamin C and/or Carbohydrate Ingestion on Hormonal, Cytokine, and Immune Responses to Prolonged Exercise. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2005, 15, 465-479.
  • Glen Davison and Michael Gleeson (2006). The effect of 2 weeks vitamin C supplementation on immunoendocrine responses to 2.5 h cycling exercise in man. Eur J Appl Physiol (2006) 97: 454–461.
  • Glen Davison and Michael Gleeson (2007). The effects of acute vitamin C supplementation on cortisol, interleukin-6, and neutrophil responses to prolonged cycling exercise. European Journal of Sport Science, March 2007; 7(1): 15-25.
  • Glen Davison Michael Gleeson and Shaun Phillips (2007). Antioxidant Supplementation and Immunoendocrine Responses to Prolonged Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: 39 (4) pp 645-652.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Exercise regularly and beat cold season

Research contained in the current edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that regular exercise will reduce the occurrence and severity of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold.  The study followed 1000 subjects over a 12 week period of Fall and Winter.  Those who exercise 5 or more days a week for 20 minutes or more (ie those who described their activity level as equivalent to a brisk walk vs sedentary individuals who exercise 1 time or less per week), had a 40% reduction in days sick as well as the severity of illness was reduced by 30% in the fit group.  The authors postulate that the effectiveness of exercise is only short lived and therefore it is necessary to get regular daily exercise to reap the benefit.

So if you are thinking of getting into that exercise program, here is one more reason to help spur you on. Or, if you are on the fitness bandwagon already, this is more good news regarding the benefits to your health and well being to help get you through your next workout (and cold season).


Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults, David C Nieman, Dru A Henson, Melanie D Austin, Wei Sha ; Br J Sports Med: 1 November 2010.