Initial results from the study were presented on 15 June 2011 at the International Scientific Conference on Probiotics and Prebiotics (IPC) in Kosice, Slovakia.
The study demonstrated reductions in the incidence, duration and severity of upper respiratory tract illnesses when the subjects received the probiotic B. lactis Bl-04. Chest illness severity and medication use were also reduced substantially.
Professor Allan Cripps, the lead researcher on the study and pro-vice chancellor at Griffith University, observed, “The study provides strong evidence for the clinical efficacy of probiotics in healthy adults and is one of the first studies of its kind to do so.”
Where previous studies have focused on populations whose immune systems are either in developmental stages or on the decline, such as children and the elderly, this study utilized a healthy, active target population.
Research indicates that physically active, healthy individuals have lower levels of common colds and respiratory illnesses than sedentary people or those undertaking prolonged intense exercise.
The trial enrolled 474 volunteers for a period of 150 days and reported reductions in upper respiratory tract illness and chest illness of 30-50%.
Professor David Pyne from the Australian Institute of Sport noted, “The results are impressive when you consider the likely magnitude of clinical benefits to physically active individuals.”
According to Australian Institute of Sport director Peter Fricker, “These findings, which demonstrate benefit in healthy individuals, hold promise for other groups in the population who may be more susceptible to respiratory infections such as the young and elderly.”
From the June 30, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.