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Probiotics and Flu Season

The temperature is dipping and you all know what that means – cold and flu season is upon us. No one wants to end up stuck in bed for a week with uncomfortable, draining flu symptoms. Happily, there are a few basic things you can do to prevent the onset of the flu:

  • Get the flu vaccine
  • Wash your hands religiously
  • Avoid crowds
  • Do not sneeze or cough into your hands
  • Drink lots of fluid
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep, per night

These recommendations are the typical prescription for prevention from most practiced care providers. However, there’s one more key step that could make the difference for you this flu season: taking a probiotic.

The Proof Is in the Research

Published health studies such as Probiotics Effects on Cold and Influenza-like Symptom Incidence and Duration in Children1 from the medical journal Pediatrics, demonstrate the validity of probiotics as a preventative health supplement.

For example, this particular study divided healthy children, ages 3-5, into three separate groups:

  • Those receiving a placebo (104 participants)
  • Those receiving a probiotic containing Lactobacillus acidophilus (110 participants)
  • Those receiving a probiotic containing Lactobacillus acidophilus & Bifidobacterium lactis (112 participants)

For the purposes of the study, each child received their supplement daily, for 6 months, under close cold and flu symptom scrutiny.

At the end of the study researches found that, when compared to the placebo groups, the other two participant groups had reduced flu-like symptoms, antibiotic use and days missed from school – a huge relief to parents and physicians alike.


What The Research Means for You

Studies in adults2, similar to the Pediatrics study, have been performed and the results indicate similar findings, particularly in cases of upper respiratory infections.

Scientific outcomes infer that this occurs because oral probiotic supplements can stimulate the immune system in the gastrointestinal tract. Once this occurs, the GI tract typically begins producing more immune cells. Those cells can then stop cold and flu inflammation before it becomes severe and attack viruses as they invade the lining of the respiratory tract3,4,5,6. Thus, the body eradicates viruses before they settle.


Take Home Message

Results like these highlight the importance of taking a daily, oral probiotic supplement during flu season – particularly one containing the potent bacteria strain combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in a serving size of 10 billion colonies or more.

Try a probiotic, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic or EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic for your little ones, that meets these standards to help counter disastrous flu symptoms this autumn and winter.

1 Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children.Leyer GJ, Li S, Mubasher ME, Reifer C, Ouwehand AC; Pediatrics. 2009 Aug;124(2):e172-9. Epub 2009 Jul 27

2 Probiotics for the prevention of respiratory tract infections: a systematic review.Vouloumanou EK, Makris GC, Karageorgopoulos DE, Falagas ME; Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009 Sep;34(3):197.e1-10. Epub 2009 Jan 28.
Probiotics in intestinal and non-intestinal infectious diseases–clinical evidence.
Hatakka K, Saxelin M; Curr Pharm Des. 2008;14(14):1351-67. Review.

3 Probiotic bacteria reduced duration and severity but not the incidence of common cold episodes in a double blind, randomized, controlled Vrese M, Winkler P, Rautenberg P, Harder T, Noah C, Laue C, Ott S, Hampe J, Schreiber S, Heller K, Schrezenmeir J; Vaccine. 2006 Nov 10;24(44-46):6670-4. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Probiotics in intestinal and non-intestinal infectious diseases–clinical evidence. Hatakka K, Saxelin M; Curr Pharm Des. 2008;14(14):1351-67. Review.

5 Molecular and cellular basis of microflora-host interactions.Winkler P, Ghadimi D, Schrezenmeir J, Kraehenbuhl JP; J Nutr. 2007 Mar;137(3 Suppl 2):756S-72S. Review.

6 Probiotic and prebiotic influence beyond the intestinal tract. Lenoir-Wijnkoop I, Sanders ME, Cabana MD, Caglar E, Corthier G, Rayes N, Sherman PM, Timmerman HM, Vaneechoutte M, Van Loo J, Wolvers DA; Nutr Rev. 2007 Nov;65(11):469-89. Review

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