Recent research published in Advances in Nutrition, the international review journal of the American Society for Nutrition, explored the effects of probiotics on respiratory tract incidence, infection, and severity among adults. For their research, they looked for randomized-controlled trials that studied the effects of orally ingested probiotics versus a placebo. The authors discovered 42 different studies that focused on probiotics, which met their criteria. The studies under review were conducted in 16 countries, and included both adults with chronic illnesses and healthy adults.
The authors discovered positive benefits in treating respiratory tract infections with probiotics. Their findings revealed, “Orally ingested probiotics, relative to placebo, modestly reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of respiratory tract infection in non-elderly adults.” Interestingly, the research showed that the health benefits didn't differ by probiotic genus, dose, number of strains of probiotics administered, or the duration of treatment.
The authors wondered if physically active adults have positive lifestyle behaviors and dietary habits that might limit respiratory tract infection risk without probiotics. But conversely, high levels of exercise without adequate recovery may compromise immune function and increase the risk of respiratory tract infection among physically active adults. So more research is needed to determine why physically active people didn't respond as positively to probiotics compared to nonactive participants.
The research revealed that consuming probiotics in fermented dairy products can lead to a reduction in the number of days of illness in respiratory tract infections. It may be due to the fermentation process -- the lactic acid bacteria used in dairy fermentations and as probiotics is believed to increase the bioavailability of immuno-modulatory nutrients.
In conclusion, the authors believe their systematic review and meta-analysis strengthens the findings of previous studies that “demonstrating that orally ingested probiotics also reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of respiratory tract infection in non-elderly adult populations.”
Probiotics and Asthma
Probiotic supplements may improve asthma control and lung function while reducing the need to use medications such as rescue inhalers, according the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.m This randomized, double-blind trial was conducted at Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok. Sixty Participants took probiotics or a placebo each day for four weeks, Research suggests these positive improvements are a benefit of probiotics, which decreases dysfunctional Treg regulatory cells, according to Sasipa Sangkanjanavanich, MD, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital.
At 4 weeks, patients in the treatment group with uncontrolled asthma had significantly lower CRTH2+ Treg cell numbers. The treatment group also had a substantially lower relative change in median CRTH2+ Treg cell number compared with the placebo group. Plus, CRTH2+ Treg cell frequency correlated with ACT scores.
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