As we head into the cough and cold season, I thought this post might be of interest. Especially since acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs or “colds”) are the most common reason people seek medical care in the U.S. It’s said there are up to one billion colds reported in the U.S. each year. Now there’s another option for trying to prevent them.
Taking prophylactic doses of healthy bacteria in yogurt and supplements was associated with 12% fewer acute upper respiratory tract infections (rate ratio 0.88 versus placebo, 95% confidence interval 0.81 to 0.96), Bi Rong Dong, MD, of Sichuan University in Sichuan, China, and colleagues reported in the Cochrane Library.
Antibiotic use to treat these URTIs was also lower compared with individuals not taking probiotics in the pooled randomized trials (odds ratio 0.67, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.98).
“The evidence is weak, but our review shows a benefit in using probiotics to prevent acute upper respiratory tract infections,” Dong’s group wrote.
The group concluded, “Probiotics were better than placebo in reducing the number of participants experiencing episodes of acute URTIs, the rate ratio of episodes of acute URTI, and reducing antibiotic use. This indicates that probiotics may be more beneficial than placebo for preventing acute URTIs.”
However, the results have some limitations and there were no data for older people.
Here are a few of my blogs on probiotics for kids: