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Probiotics Shown to Shorten Duration of the Respiratory Infection

A new study concluded that taking probiotics was associated with increased protection from respiratory tract infections (common cold) – including reducing the duration of the illness.

The researchers for this study examined data from 20 trials and eventually chose 12 of them that appeared to be at a low risk for bias. The trials examined the effects of various strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium on children and adults.

They found that taking probiotics was associated with notably fewer days of illness per person, shorter illness episodes, and fewer days absent from school or work when compared with a placebo.

Researchers from the York Health Economics Consortium in the UK and Dairy and Food Culture Technologies in California conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 29, 2014, in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health. However, they have also been shown to help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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