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Probiotics can battle stressed student colds: Study

By Shane Starling , 01-Oct-2012
Last updated on 02-Oct-2012 at 09:29 GMT

Probiotics can battle stressed student flu: Study

A blend of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12) reduced the duration of common colds among typically stressed out students, US researchers have found.

In a Chr Hansen-sponsored study that gave 1 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of each strain or placebo to about 200 of US college students at Framingham State University, the study group experienced colds that lasted four days as opposed to six in the placebo group – coupled with a 34% reduction in severity.

Chr Hansen’s director of scientific affairs in health and nutrition, Birgit Michelsen, said the student group was significant because it was a population that typically was under extreme stress and prone to colds and flus as a result.

“There have been other studies that have shown similar effects but this shows a significant result in a key population and is in the immunity area which is a core area for us,” Michelsen told us.

The students took the blend that was being trialed for the first time in a powder form. The study is set for publication in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Lead author Tracey J Smith, adjunct professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, stated: “We know that certain probiotic strains support immune health and may improve health-related quality of life during upper respiratory infections.”

“This study assessed how probiotic supplementation affects duration of symptoms, severity of symptoms, and the impact of symptoms on daily life, when infected.”

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