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Probiotic Drink May Lower Risk of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

A recent study suggests that consuming a fermented milk product containing the probiotic Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota may lower the risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections in healthy, middle-aged office workers.


Participants in the study included 96 male office workers between the ages of 30 and 49. During the winter, they were assigned to drink either the fermented milk product containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota or a control milk once daily for 12 weeks.


At the conclusion of the study, participants in the probiotic group had an upper respiratory tract infection occurrence rate of 22%, compared with 53% in the control group. Additionally, the probiotic group had an 18% occurrence of the common cold, compared with 45% in the control group. In addition, the probiotic group had a higher percentage of participants who never developed an upper respiratory tract infection during the study period, when compared with the control group.


Researchers from Yakult Central Institute in Japan led the study. It was published in the February 2017 issue of the European Journal of Nutrition.


Previous studies suggest that the probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota may change the way the immune cells of people with hay fever react to pollen, ease anxiety, and combat antibiotic-related diarrhea.


If you’re looking to add more of this probiotic strain to your diet, it can be found in dairy products, with particularly high levels in yogurt. If you are sensitive to dairy or just don’t like it, consider a high quality supplement that is packaged with protection from air and light.

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