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Probiotic Linked with Reduced Severity of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Athletes

Professional athletes are prone to infections, as continuous training stresses the immune system. A recent study suggests that the dairy-derived probiotic Lactobacillus helveticus Lafti L10 may help reduce the number of days upper respiratory tract infections last as well reduce the severity of symptoms in athletes.

Participants in the study included 39 elite athletes who train year round. They were given either the probiotic or a placebo daily for 14 weeks during the winter. The researchers performed cardiopulmonary testing, collected blood samples, and evaluated the participant’s moods via the Profile of Mood States Questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted that the duration of upper respiratory tract infections was significantly decreased in the probiotic group when compared with the placebo group. The probiotic group also had a significant reduction in the number of symptoms and in the number of infected days. There was no difference in the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection between the two groups.

Researchers from Lallemand Health Solutions conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 17, 2016, in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

Lactobacillus helveticus Lafti L10  is a type of probiotic that is derived from dairy. While probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including a stronger immune system.

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