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Probiotic May Help Reduce Incidence of the Common Cold

The common cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). A new study has found that a probiotic supplement may help reduce the incidence of the common cold in adults prone to getting colds.

Nine hundred adults participated in the study. All had at least 4 colds during the 12 months prior to the beginning of the study. Half were given a probiotic supplement containing the strains Lactiplantibacillus plantarum HEAL9 and Lacticaseibacillus paracasei 8700 daily for 12 weeks. The other half were given a placebo. The researchers evaluated the severity of colds, incidence and duration of colds, and levels of immune markers.

Participants in the probiotic group saw a 10% reduction in incidence of the common cold compared to the placebo group. They also saw 30% reduction in recurrence of colds compared to the placebo group. In addition, the probiotic group saw an increase in immune markers. No difference was seen in severity of the common cold.

The study was conducted by researchers from Lund University.It was published online ahead of print on December 9, 2020 in The Journal of Nutrition.

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