A Randomised Double Blind Placebo Controlled Trial of a Nucleotide-Containing Supplement Nucell on Symptoms of Participants with the Common Cold - A Pilot Study
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Objectives: To ascertain whether a nucleotide containing nutritional supplement Nucell attenuates self-reported symptoms of the common cold. Design: A randomised controlled trial. Setting: A University. Participants: Participants with self-reported symptoms of the common cold but otherwise healthy individuals. Intervention: Nucell capsules containing a yeast-based nucleotide preparation or placebo were provided over a 28 day period. Outcome Measures: Subjective ratings of symptoms were recorded by self-administered questionnaires using a nine-point scale. Salivary IgA concentrations were analysed from samples collected during the first 7 days and then at days 14,21 and 28 of supplementation. Total and white blood cell counts were also measured throughout the intervention. Results: Thirty-six participants completed the study. Nineteen received Nucell and 17 received the placebo. The mean age of participants was similar (29.8 + 2.5 in Nucell group v 30.7 + 2.7 in control group) and the time participants had been suffering from cold-related symptoms was not significantly different in each treatment group (2.5 + 0.40 days in Nucell v 2.9 + 0.47 days in control group). Severity of self-reported symptoms was significantly attenuated in the Nucell treated group in the first week of supplementation for questions asked with respect to taste, painful sinuses and earache (p< 0.05). Supplementation with Nucell did not adversely affect total or differential white blood counts. Conclusion: These results suggest that Nucell supplementation administered as a treatment for cold-related symptoms may reduce the severity of specific symptoms particularly in the early infective phase. In conclusion, Nucell supplementation may provide subjective relief of some cold-related symptoms and may be of significant benefit administered as a treatment in participants where sinus pain, earache and diminished taste are common symptoms.