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Volunteers sought for research on dietary supplement’s effect on immune function

BOONE—Women between the ages of 18 and 50 are being recruited for a research study to be conducted at Appalachian State University.

The study will investigate the influence of a dietary supplement (active hexose correlated compound) in improving immune function and in decreasing the number of sick days from the common cold. AHCC is developed from the root threads of mushrooms. The supplement contains special molecules called alpha glucans that may stimulate the immune system to clear viruses from the body, lowering risk for the common cold.

The research will be directed by Dr. David C. Nieman.

Those interested in participating in the study must be a healthy, nonsmoking female between the ages of 18 and 50 years, and have a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 35. For example, a BMI of 25 to 35 for a woman with a height of 5 foot 4 inches means that the weight is 145 to 204 pounds. This varies according to your height.

Volunteers must not have a history of autoimmune disease, asthma or severe allergies; agree to make no special attempts to lose weight during the three-month study; agree to maintain normal diet and physical activity habits; and be willing to avoid the use of antibiotics, antivirals, nasal steroids, decongestants, antihistamines, combination cold formulas, Echinacea, zinc or vitamin C.

Individuals selected for the study will receive $300 for adhering to all aspects of the study design. The research procedures will be conducted at Appalachian State University’s Immunology Laboratory located in North Rankin Science Building, Room 203 in Boone. Participants will come to the lab three times during the study for 15-30 minutes at which time a blood sample will be taken. Participants also will be required to keep a daily log to track common cold symptoms.

To sign up for the study, contact Melanie Austin at