kPNI- Masterthesis

„Eine Grenze ist da, wo die Vorstellungskraft endet.“
– Christoph Strasser (mehrmaliger Gewinner des RAAM) 2012 –

An dieser Stelle möchte ich Ihnen gerne einen kurzen Einblick in meine Masterthesis der klin. Psychoneuroimmunologie mit dem Thema „Exercise and Immunosuppression“ ermöglichen.

Effects of additional supplementation on immune parameters in a 6 h – long term ergometer stress test. Master Thesis in Clinical Psychoneuroimmunology 2012



Prolonged, exhaustive exercise is often related to immunosuppression associated with upper respiratory tract infections influencing exercise performance.
An understanding in pathophysiology and treatment strategies remains elusive. 
Additional supplementation support is commonly used among athletes and coaches are furthermore confronted with the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of additional supplementation as complementary support to keep high performance athletes in peak physical condition while maintaining their immune health.


One endurance trained cyclist born in 1982 was recruited to participate in this single case study. The subject was a competitor in “The Race Across America” (RAAM) and in peak physical condition and he has also been experienced immunosuppression related to URTI.


A single case study was used. The experimental design was constructed as a 6 hour long-term ergometer stress test on the threshold of LTP 1. The first test was carried out without any supplementation except for carbohydrates.
The intervention consisted of an additional supplementation strategy adapted to, perhaps, the individual need of the athlete.


A significant decrease of the primary outcome measure CRP-value could be reported by the end of the second treatment phase compared to the baseline phase (50%).
The results of the secondary outcome measure showed changes in the T cell lines and their subpopulations insofar that the cell subsets (T8 cell counts, CD4+TL cell counts, CD4+CD8 ratio, T cell counts and NK CD8 57+ cell counts) remained roughly stable in the bloodstream.


The present study shows a significant change in the common inflammation marker, CRP, and in domains of T cell subsets indicating that additional substrate use can be an acceptable tool in the support of athletes experiencing exercise-induced immunosuppression. Nevertheless, more research is needed to understand the intricate connection between exercise, immunosuppression and energy regulation strategies.


prolonged exercise, immunosuppression, URTI, supplementation, additional supplementation support