S2 EPISODE 44 - Athletes, Exercise Immunology & Immuno-Nutrition w/ Dr. David Pyne PhD

Season 2 Episode 44, Dr. Bubbs interviews expert physiologist Dr. David Pyne PhD to talk exercise immunology and keeping athletes cold and flu free. In this episode, Dr. Pyne reviews the fundamentals of immunology and how the immune system is regulated by exercise and nutrition. He’ll discuss how training volume, intensity and load impact immunity, and more importantly, why keeping athletes cold and flu free is paramount for athletic success. Dr. Pyne also discusses the key immunity biomarkers and how effective they may (or may not) be at flagging at-risk athletes. Finally, he dives into the topic of immune-nutrition and how the food you eat, and supplements like probiotics, can impact athlete immunity and therefore ability to train and compete. 

Summary of This Episode

2:40 – Immunology 101 – Review of the fundamentals

8:00 – How exercise impacts immune function

9:45 – How to manipulate exercise to support immunity

13:00 – Immunity biomarkers and assessment

16:00 – Importance of lifestyle factors in supporting immunity

18:30 – Impacts of probiotics on immunity

21:45 – Can probiotics reduce severity and/or duration of infection?

26:00 – Impact of carbohydrate on athlete immunity

28:00 – Impact of omega-3 on inflammation and immunity

31:30 – Role of supplements in immunity – research & practice

33:00 – Extreme temperatures and impact on immunity

36:00 – Recovery strategies and immunity

38:00 – Dr. Pyne’s reflections on 30 years of work in exercise and immunology

Links to Research Papers

Probiotics supplementation for athletes – Clinical and physiological effects

Exercise effects on mucosal immunity

Position statement part two: maintaining immune health. Exercise Immunology Review

Salivary IgA levels and infection risk in elite swimmers.

About Dr. David Pyne PhD

Dr. David Pyne PhD is a sports physiologist with 30 years practical and research experience across a range of individual and team sports such as, basketball, rugby union, rugby league, Australian Football, cricket and swimming at the Australian Institute of Sport and national levels. David has attended four Olympic Games and numerous international competitions with the Australian Swimming Team.  Between 2013 and 2017, David served as the Discipline Lead – Physiology for Swimming Australia.

Dr. Pyne's research work in the areas of exercise and the immune system, environmental physiology, the applied physiology of swimming, and fitness and conditioning for team sports is recognised internationally. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in exercise and sports science journals and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

S2 EPISODE 3 - Vitamin D, Immunity & Supplementation in Athletes w/ Brian St. Pierre

In Season 2 Episode 3, Dr. Bubbs sits down with Brian St. Pierre MS, Director of Performance Nutrition at Precision Nutrition, a world leader in nutrition education and coaching. Brian talks functions of vitamin D in the body, its key role in immunity, how much vitamin D you can get from the sun, if you should supplement with vitamin D, lab values for supporting health and athletic performance, vitamin D rich foods and much more. Fantastic insights from Brian, who also shares his experiences working with elite athletes and trainers around the world.

Lay-Ups in This Episode

  1. Vitamin D is actually more of a pro-hormone (not a vitamin).
  2. The sun is far and away the best source of vitamin D, however some foods like deep-water fatty fish, egg yolks and mushrooms contain modest amounts.
  3. If athletes are insufficient or deficient in vitamin D, they’ll likely see performance gains by achieving sufficiency.

Performance Insights From This Episode

  1. Individuals with darker skin tone may have a lower normal range for vitamin D status.
  2. Sufficient vitamin A status is crucial for optimizing vitamin D usage and avoiding toxicity.
  3. Supplementation of vitamin D in the winter months, in modest doses, is likely warranted in most people living in northern latitudes.

The “Big Rocks” – Bryan’s Tip

Master the fundamentals.

About Brian St. Pierre MS

Director of Performance Nutrition at Precision Nutrition, working with a host of professional sports teams including the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Browns, and more. Brian also works closely with Dr. John Berardi as a nutrition educator at Precision Nutrition, writing articles, presenting at seminars, and educating other fitness professionals as part of PN’s Certification courses. He’s a regular contributor to the Precision Nutrition blog and has been featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Q Magazine, STACK, Testosterone Magazine, and more.