A recent study published in the European Journal of Sports Science has revealed promising findings regarding the potential benefits of galactooligosaccharide (GOS) supplements on immune health in athletes.
The study involved 33 elite rugby union players who were randomly assigned to receive either GOS supplements (2.8g/day) or a placebo over a period of 168 days. To evaluate the participants’ immune health, they reported their upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms through daily and weekly questionnaires, while saliva and blood samples were collected for further analysis of specific biomarkers.
The results of the study indicated that those who took GOS supplements experienced a shorter duration of upper respiratory symptoms, as well as a decreased severity and occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms when compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the participants who received GOS supplements exhibited greater secretion of salivary immunoglobulin A, which plays a crucial role in immune defense mechanisms. These findings highlight the potential of targeting beneficial bacteria through prebiotic interventions, such as GOS, to enhance sports nutrition and support the overall health of athletes.
Overall, this study underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy immune system for athletes, as it can greatly impact their performance and overall well-being. By incorporating prebiotic interventions such as GOS supplements, it may be possible to support and enhance immune health in athletes. This will result in promoting optimal performance and reducing the risk of illness or injury. Further research in this field is warranted to explore the long-term effects and optimal dosage of GOS supplements in the context of sports nutrition.