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Can We Turn Back The Clock On Our Immunity?
New Human Study: Prebiotic Can Improve the Immune Function of
the Aged

Milton Keynes: New research published in the British Journal of Nutrition from Reading University has found that the advanced prebiotic Bimuno, revitalises the immune boosting bacteria (gut microflora), which has the potential to significantly improve health in the ageing population (1).

The study provides further evidence of the inter-relationship between the microbiota in the gut, and the immune system. Bimuno is the only prebiotic to have demonstrated an immune modulating effect on the immune system of the elderly.

The immune system is designed to defend the body against dangerous or foreign invaders, but as the body ages the immune system weakens, the frequency of illnesses increases and recovery takes longer. Millions from the ageing population turn to the flu vaccine for help, however reports this year reveal it is only effective in 3.4 per cent of cases (2), leaving many people helpless and lacking an effective means of defense. Furthermore, low immunity can often lead to chronic and long-term disease.

How does the immune system weaken?

In later life, the gut microbiota begins to change with a reduction in certain types of immune boosting bacteria including bifidobacteria, with such changes thought to contribute to a weakening of the immune system.

Reversing those changes in gut microbiota can therefore support the immune system and boost gut health. The results are also applicable to other groups that are affected by immune system deterioration, including those that have damaged their microflora through the use of antibiotics, or experienced high levels of stress.

About the Human Study

In this study, 40 elderly (aged 65 – 80 years) volunteers received both B-GOS (Bimuno-galactooligosaccharides) and placebo (maltodextrin) in a cross-over study for 10 weeks with a 4 week wash out period in between. Gut microbiota, markers of the immune function and metabolites were assessed in stools and blood. B-GOS consumption led to a significant increase in beneficial bifidobacteria, (good bacteria), and had a positive effect upon the immune response as evidenced by an improvement in NK cell activity, increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 and decreased pro-inflammatory IL-1b cytokines.

Findings Explained:

• Significant increase in beneficial bifidobacteria, the bacteria known to help boost and regulate the immune system.
• Significant increase in Bacteroides – Prevotella which help to prevent pathogens from colonizing the gut and reduce inflammation.
• Positive effect on the immune system which was seen by an increase in natural killer cell activity, which fight cells infected by viruses.
• An increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10) which enhances antibody production
• Decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1B), which is linked to disease.

“Low grade inflammation is associated with numerous health problems (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular problems, dementia etc). The longer we have underlying inflammation in the body, the more likely we are to develop some of these issues. As part of the normal ageing process, the immune and gut microbial systems deteriorate and this results in a low grade inflammation in the body, making us more susceptible to various infectious/non-infectious diseases and other age related disorders. Additionally, the normal ageing process involves cognitive decline, which also involves inflammatory factors” explains Jelena Vulevic, Clasado Research Services.

“In our research, investigating the advanced prebiotic Bimuno, we have demonstrated excellent results with the ability to enhance the immune system through altering the gut microbiota,” said Professor Glenn Gibson, Professor of Food Microbiology, Head of Food Microbial Sciences, University of Reading.

Bimuno is the only second generation prebiotic on the market. It is the result of over a decade of intensive research, in collaboration with the University of Reading and other globally recognised institutes. Bimuno significantly increases ‘good’ bacteria within just seven days and reduces and protects against bad bacteria. Bimuno’s prebiotic structure (a complex carbohydrate) means it can reach the gut intact for maximum benefit. Importantly Bimuno exhibits functional properties far beyond those of a conventional prebiotic e.g. anti-inflammatory, immune modulatory and anti-pathogenic ability mimicking the functionality of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOS).

A number of human intervention and clinical studies using Bimuno have shown it can help tackle digestive issues; such as IBS, bloating, prevent travel diarrhoea and increase immunity and overall wellness. In recent research it was shown to even reduce measures of anxiety.

• Prebiotic Powder (9.99 GBP) (30 sachets)
• Immunaid (9.99 GBP) (30 pastilles)
Stockist: Boots, and online at


Editors Notes:

(1) Paper No. BJN-2014-021296RR: Influence of galactooligosaccharide mixture (B-GOS) on gut microbiota, immune parameters and metabonomics in elderly persons

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Image Box PR
Michael Mumford / Michelle Boxall
T: 0208 943 4685

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