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The role of prebiotics on athletes' mucosal immunity

Travelling and training regimes expose athletes to multiple stressors, making them vulnerable to respiratory infections. Getting sick impacts athletes’ ability to train and play, reducing their performance in competitions.

Many studies show a link between increasing number of respiratory infection cases and lower levels of immunity molecules in our saliva (IgA). Current evidence shows that probiotic supplementation (live bacteria) can reduce infection incidence. However, little is known on specific type fibres named prebiotics, which can feed these beneficial gut bacteria to increase mucosal immunity.

This study aims at measuring the effects of prebiotic supplementation on athlete’s mucosal immunity markers and incidence of respiratory infections.

This work is being carried out by Dr Luciana Torquati, Dr Sarah Jackman and Professor Jo Bowtell.