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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Study: Probiotics Could Help Stave Off Colds

Probiotics can pre-empt the occurrence of colds and patients will not need to take antibiotics to treat the same. This medical review was provided by Cochrane, the International body for peer review of medical research. The study was carried out by Bi Rong Dong, MD, of Sichuan University in Sichuan, China, and his colleagues.

Supplementing probiotics in healthy food items such as yoghurt was linked to a 12 percent decline in risk of upper respiratory tract infections. Moreover, the research also showed that lesser amount of antibiotics was needed for treatment of colds for those who were given probiotics. The probiotics contain lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria which have a positive effect on immune system. This was confirmed in the research of Dr. Dong.

Results were pooled from 10 randomised controlled trials which included 3451 participants of all ages – from infants to 40 year old adults. They were given probiotics for more than a week and their propensity to catch cold was compared with placebo or with patients without treatment. Probiotics reduced the number of people suffering from the disease by 42 percent.

The researchers have themselves pointed out a few limitations of their study. They say that they are basing their conclusions on very limited data and that there is no data for use of probiotics in older people. Dr. Dong still claimed that the evidence is good enough to show that probiotcs can prevent common colds.

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