Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products®
Dear Friends and Valued Customers,
My product development team and I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of Minnesota's leading biotechnology companies, Biothera, developers of award-winning Wellmune.® We spent a day inside this innovative firm's headquarters, learning about the science behind their groundbreaking ingredients and taking a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a world-class biotechnology company. Swanson Health Products® is proud to introduce our Cytokine Health Formula featuring Wellmune just in time for the winter season. Wellmune is the class-defining dietary supplement that sets the standard for nutraceutical immune support. Please read on to learn more about how Wellmune safely and effectively primes the immune system to help you maintain good health.
As always, I wish you the very best of health,
Biothera bills itself as "the immune health company" and prides itself on its singular focus. Founded in 1997, the Eagan, MN, company has invested over 300 million dollars in development of its flagship ingredients for the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. With over 50 U.S. patents and patents pending, plus filings in more than 20 countries, Biothera has become a global leader in biopharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.
The secret to Biothera's success is its research collaboration model, which pairs the firm's material science experts with leading centers for clinical and academic research around the world. Collaboration with world-renowned researchers at the Mayo Clinic, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the University of Southhampton (UK) and others has led to dozens of published papers in leading peer-reviewed journals. Biothera's pharmaceutical product is now in Phase 3 clinical trials while its nutraceutical ingredient, Wellmune, is among the most sought-after new ingredients in functional foods, beverages and supplements.
There's nothing simple about the immune system, but supporting this complex network of vital structures and functions can be as easy as taking Wellmune daily. Let's take a moment to understand what Wellmune is and how it works.
Wellmune is a natural carbohydrate derived from the cell walls of baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, containing a minimum 75% beta-glucan 1,3/1,6. But Wellmune is not your average beta-glucan supplement. During our visit, Biothera's assistant vice president of research and development John Blocher, Ph.D., explained the Wellmune difference. "When it comes to biological activity, molecular structure matters. Wellmune is produced with a very specific proprietary strain of yeast held under strict control at Biothera's labs. Patented, water-based processes are used to separate the cell wall, isolate the active carbohydrate and remove mannoproteins. The result is an active yeast component with a precise molecular structure that is recognized by the body's innate immune system."
Once ingested, Wellmune is taken up into the body via the Peyer's Patches in the intestines. Immune cells called macrophages carry it through the body to various immune organs. During transport, the macrophages break down Wellmune into smaller fragments that bind to neutrophils, the most abundant type of immune cell in the body. By adhering to a specific receptor on neutrophils, Wellmune "primes" them to be ready for action.
Macrophages and neutrophils are "phagocytes," which are cells that are capable of ingesting and neutralizing foreign particles and microorganisms that present a challenge within the body. They function as the body's "first responders" when faced with any internal challenge. While capable of directly attacking threatening substances, they also release a variety of chemical messengers, such as cytokines, which interact with other immune system cells and tissues to produce a balanced, total-body response.
This is where immune support becomes tricky. Overproduction of cytokines can illicit negative health consequences, while cytokine suppression can interfere with optimal defense. This is why many immune-stimulating products are recommended only for use of limited duration. Plus, some health concerns can actually be exacerbated by immune system stimulation, which leads many people to avoid immune-supporting supplements.
Wellmune does not "stimulate" or "activate" the immune system; rather, it simply turns on the alert, preparing these first-line defense cells to respond quickly when needed. Clinical research demonstrates that Wellmune effectively modulates immune function to keep the system well-tuned and responsive without the potential for negative consequences from over-stimulation.
Once primed by Wellmune, neutrophils are ready to perform the right actions and release the right messages to align the body's response in defense of your health and wellness. They're in a state of constant readiness, which allows for efficient signaling for a coordinated response. In the presence of Wellmune, neutrophils are better able to migrate toward the source of the challenge and have greater power upon engagement.
Because Wellmune primes the immune system for activity rather than directly stimulating action, it is safe for everyday use by people of all ages. As a research-based company, Biothera® is committed to demonstrating the effectiveness of its ingredients through rigorous scientific investigation. To date, the company has produced numerous papers demonstrating the safety and mechanism of action, while nine peer-reviewed clinical studies confirm the benefits of Wellmune. The company plans to continue strengthening this scientific foundation with up to four clinical studies annually in the coming years.
Wellmune has been studied in marathon runners and medical students, firefighters and "everyday people" facing environmental challenges. It's been shown to boost immune responses and balance the immune system; help maintain energy, vigor and mental clarity; and help maintain wellness during times of stress.
One study, presented to the American College of Nutrition in 2007 and published in the journal Agro FOOD Industry Hi Tech in 2010, measured the effects of one daily serving of Wellmune (250 mg) over four weeks in 150 healthy adult subjects reporting moderate to high lifestyle stress. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial resulted in statistically significant improvements in validated Profile of Mood States (POMS) scores among those taking Wellmune, including parameters of vigor, fatigue, confusion and tension (see chart).
To measure immune functions, researchers often use exercise to induce changes brought on by physical challenge. After exercise, many immune biomarkers show a quick drop that lasts for 2-6 hours, a phenomenon known as the "open window effect." A study published last year in the British Journal of Nutrition utilized this strategy in a double-blind, randomized crossover trial with 60 recreationally fit men and women. Blood and saliva samples were taken at day 0, day 10 (pre-exercise), immediately following exercise and 2 hours after exercise. Researchers noted significant positive impact on key immune biomarkers among those taking Wellmune. In short, these results show that Wellmune effectively closes the open window to protect the body under physical challenge.
Our new Cytokine Health Formula with Wellmune is the perfect solution to help keep you and your family well this winter. With Wellmune's proven ability to prime the immune system for rapid response, plus its demonstrated benefits for energy and vitality, it's the one supplement that won't leave you out in the cold.