The common cold is estimated to affect nearly 500 million people annually in the United States, costing over an estimated $40 billion in combined medical costs. Supplementing with a high-quality probiotic supplement has been clinically proven to reduce the severity and duration of the common cold by over 27%.
Specifically, nearly 500 adults supplementing with a various amounts of probiotics (2 billion, 5 billion, or 0 colony forming units) over a period of 5 months demonstrated clear support for probiotics as a significant factor in reducing the effects of the common cold.
These findings reveal important new uses for probiotics, especially in supporting a strong, healthy immune system. The study, published in Clinical Nutrition, also demonstrates that probiotics are no longer only effective in supporting digestive and gut health.
While the body contains billions of different types of bacteria, probiotics are defined as “live bacteria that provide a health benefit when present in appropriate amounts. Currently, it is recommended that over 85% of the bacteria in the body consist of probiotics..
In addition to a 27% reduction in the risks of upper respiratory tract infections, supplementing with probiotics has also been associated with a shorter duration time spent fighting off the common cold, lessen symptoms of the common cold and significantly fewer missed school and work days due to illness.
While still trying to determine exactly how probiotics defend against the common cold, researchers theorize that probiotics may not defend directly against the common cold virus, rather lessen the inflammation (sore throat, stuffy nose) associated with the virus, allowing the immune system to focus more effort on eradicating the cold virus.
With cold and flu season quickly approaching, it is highly recommended that people supplement with a high-quality probiotics on a daily basis.