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What is trained immunity and how does it keep us up and running?

With more and more people focusing on the importance of immune health as a key component of overall wellness, it’s important to understand  what the immune system is, how the immune system works, and whether the immune system can be “trained” to perform effectively.

What is the immune system?

The immune system is actually made up of two parts: innate and adaptive immune systems. We’re born with an innate immune system. Innate immune cells are the first responding cells to a challenge, followed by the cells of the adaptive immune system, which develops over time, and takes a bit longer to respond.

What is trained immunity?

Trained immunity is a newly emerging concept that defines the innate immune system’s ability to learn from experience to help your immune system respond to an encounter. Here’s how trained immunity works.

When your immune system encounters a challenge, the innate immune cells are the first types of cells to react to target and destroy foreign invaders.



If the innate immune cells have previously encountered certain types of threats, the innate immune cells will activate more efficiently. This ability of innate immune cells to “remember” how to react to a threat and act more efficiently in a second encounter is known as ‘ »trained immunity ».


New Video: Want to know more? Watch as our expert, Sonja Nodland, Kerry ProActive Health Principal Scientist, shares her expertise and explains why trained immunity is important to your immune health.

What are yeast beta glucans, and how do they help support immune health?

Certain substances, like yeast beta glucans found in bakers’ yeast, have been shown to help support the immune system. Current evidence has shown that when the immune system encounters yeast beta glucans, they act as trainers, allowing the cells of the innate immune system respond effectively.

How can I get the benefits of yeast beta glucans?

Because the body doesn’t produce beta glucans naturally, the only way to get them is through nutritional sources like functional foods, beverages or supplements—everything from your daily coffee or tea to sports beverages, energy drinks and enhanced waters to snacks, granolas, bars, yogurts and baked goods, as well as supplements like gummies which are great for kids and grownups alike.

When considering adding products like these to your diet, look for yeast beta glucans backed by studies that support their safety and efficacy. Advocates of healthy nutrition, like blogger A Woman of Style and Substance, say yeast beta glucans like Wellmune®, Kerry’s yeast beta glucan for immune health, are a key part of their daily routine. She says, “adding yeast beta glucans to your wellness routine is an easy, specific, and proactive step to help support the health of your immune system.”

Why is the science important?

To make the best choices for your health, it’s critical to understand how yeast beta glucans can help to support immune health. Perhaps most important to know is that not all beta glucans are the same. Wellmune is a standout ingredient shown to be effective in supporting immune health and helping to train the immune system to respond effectively.

“Wellmune is a unique, well-studied yeast beta glucan that can be used as an ingredient to fortify foods, beverages and supplements. With over a dozen published peer-reviewed clinical studies, Wellmune helps support immune health across all ages and life stages”.
~ Sonja Nodland, Kerry ProActive Health Principal Scientist

This commitment to ongoing research helps ensure the immune-supporting foods, beverages and supplements you incorporate into your life deliver the benefits you expect.

Source: Kerry Global Consumer Survey, Digestive and Immune Health, 2021

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