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Probiotic to prevent respiratory infections.

Three hundred fifteen children (aged 3-12 years) who had a household member with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection (ARI) were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, a probiotic preparation or placebo. The probiotic (Up4-Junior) was started on the first day the household member became ill and was continued for 2 weeks. It contained Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 (NCIMB 30333) and Bifidobacterium lactis UABLA-12 (NCIMB 30334) in a proportion of 1:4, at a dose of 5 billion colony-forming units per day, with 50 mg of fructooligosaccharides. The proportion of children who developed an ARI was nonsignificantly lower by 12% (57% vs. 65%; p = 0.26), the median duration of illness was significantly lower by 29% (5.0 vs. 7.0 days; p < 0.001), and the median severity of ARIs was significantly lower by 54% (p < 0.001) in the probiotic group than in the placebo group.

Comment: In this study, supplementation of children with a probiotic preparation at the first sign of illness of a household member nonsignificantly decreased the incidence and significantly decreased the duration and severity of secondary acute respiratory infections. Probiotic organisms may help eradicate or prevent the growth of pathogenic organisms by competing with them for nutrients and colonization sites, producing antimicrobial compounds, and enhancingthe immune function of the host. The results of this study are consistent with other research showing that various probiotics can prevent infections.

Gerasimov SV et al. Role of short-term use of L. acidophilus DDS-1 and B. Iactis UABLA-12 in acute respiratory infections in children: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

by Alan R. Gaby, MD

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Title Annotation:Literature Review & Commentary
Author:Gaby, Alan R.
Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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