Researchers have discovered that Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04 may help to reduce the incidence of the common cold in active adults.

The randomised (see Probiotics Learning Lab for more glossary terms) double-blind placebo-controlled study observed a group of 465 healthy adults who were split into three test groups, the first received daily probiotic supplementation of Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04. The second group received a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 and the third group received placebo. Supplementation occured daily, over a period of 150 days.

man fighting infection

Results showed that the first group, supplemented with Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, were 27% less likely to contract upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), compared to placebo. The probiotic combination of L. acidophilus NCFM® and B. lactis Bi-07 also showed a reduction in risk of 19%, but the researchers were most impressed with the B. lactis Bl-04 strain which had shown previous potential in other studies, as they explained; "The choice of the probiotics was made on the basis of previous data showing effects on immune-related outcomes in adults and in children."

The research led by Allan Cripps of Griffith University, Australia, adds to the growing number of scientific trials showing an association between probiotic supplementation and immune function.

Take a look at this page for more information on probiotics and immunity.

Reference:
Cripps, A.W. et al (2013) Probiotic supplementation for respiratory for and gastrointestinal illness symptoms in healthy physically active. Clinical Nutrition. Published online.

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