Posted on Nov 04, 2013, 6 a.m.
Daily supplementation with Bifidobacterium, a probiotic, may help to reduce the risk of the common cold, among active adults.
Probiotics, microorganisms that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines, have become of greater interest as certain studies suggest their utility in a number of gastrointestinal conditions. Allan W. Cripps, from Griffith University (Australia), and colleagues enrolled 465 healthy men and women, average age 36 years, to one of three groups: the first group received a dietary supplement containing 2 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of Bifidobacterium lactis subsp lactis B1-04; the second group received a combination probiotic consisting of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis B1-07; and the third group received a placebo. The participants took their designated pill for 150 days. At the study’s conclusion, the researchers observed that the subjects who received Bifidobacterium lactis subsp lactis B1-04 had a 27% reduced risk of upper respiratory tract infections, as compared to placebo. In addition, the group experienced a delay in the time to reach an illness episode, of 0.7 months (as compared to placebo). The study authors conclude that: “The [Bifidobacterium lactis] probiotic appears to be a useful nutritional supplement in reducing the risk of URTI in healthy physically-active adults. “
Nicholas P. West, Peggy L. Horn, David B. Pyne, Val J. Gebski, Sampo J. Lahtinen, Peter A. Fricker, Allan W. Cripps. “Probiotic supplementation for respiratory and gastrointestinal illness symptoms in healthy physically active individuals.” Clinical Nutrition, 10 October 2013.