October 23, 2012
NEWARK, N.J.Daily consumption of probiotic-rich yogurt may shorten the duration and severity of cold and upper respiratory infection symptoms among college students, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
College students are notoriously sleep-deprived, live in close quarters and lead stress-filled lives, making them especially susceptible for contracting colds and upper-respiratory infections. Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Health Related Professions (UMDNJ-SHRP) conducted a double-blind study on college students to assess how probiotic supplementation affects the duration and severity of symptoms, and the impact of symptoms on the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of infected students.
For the study, 198 college students aged 18 to 25 and living on-campus in residence halls at Framingham State University in Massachusetts received either a placebo (97 students) or a powder blend containing Chr. Hansens probiotic strains BB-12® and LGG® (101 students) for 12 weeks. Students completed a daily survey to assess the effect of the probiotic supplementation.
Results found while all students caught colds at roughly the same rate, the students who took the probiotic supplementation experienced a duration of colds that was two days shorter (four days versus six days); symptoms that were 34% less severe; and a higher quality of life that resulted in fewer missed school days (15 versus 34 missed by students taking the placebo).
We know that certain probiotic strains support immune health and may improve health-related quality of life during upper-respiratory infections," the researchers said. Cold symptoms like a stuffy nose and sore throat are the bodys inflammatory response toward a virus, not a direct action of the virus itself. Probiotic microorganisms may soften your immune systems reaction by reducing your bodys inflammatory response."
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