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Nutr Rev. 2008 Jun;66(6):310-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00038.x.

Immunonutrition support for athletes.

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Department of Health and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608, USA.


Multiple components of the immune systems in athletes exhibit transient dysfunction after prolonged, heavy exertion. During this "open window" of impaired immunity, pathogens may gain a foothold, increasing infection risk. Nutritional supplements have been studied as countermeasures to exercise-induced immune changes and infection risk. This review focuses on findings from recent exercise-based studies with macro- and micronutrient supplements, and "advanced" immunonutrition supplements including beta-glucan, curcumin, and quercetin. Results from these studies indicate that immunonutrition supplements have the potential to lessen the magnitude of exercise-induced perturbations in immune function and to reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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