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Nutrients Reduced Colds, Antibiotics, and Increased School Attendance

February 24, 2022

By Campbell's Nutrition

Probiotics and vitamin C

In a school-year test of 171 healthy school children, aged three to 10 years, participants took a placebo, or a probiotic combination including lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium bifidum and animalis lactis, at a concentration of 12.5 billion colony-forming units per day, plus 50 mg of vitamin C per day, for six months during the school year.

Overall, kids taking the probiotics plus vitamin C had 16 percent fewer coughing incidents compared to placebo. The probiotics group was also 69 percent less likely to experience any one of five different upper respiratory infection symptoms.

Looking at attendance, children taking the probiotics plus vitamin C were 16 percent less likely to miss school. Doctors also measured the need for antibiotics and found the probiotics group was 27 percent less likely to use antibiotics compared to placebo.

Reference: Beneficial Microbes; 2021, Vol. 12, No. 5, 431-40

Lactoferrin

Lactoferrin, a protein in human and cow’s milk, plays an important role in immune function, and is drawing attention as a preventive and treatment for respiratory tract infection.

This review of seven studies covered 1,015 participants, from preterm infants to older adults in their 60s, who took lactoferrin orally. Overall, those taking lactoferrin were 43 percent less likely to have a respiratory tract infection compared to placebo.

Doctors described their recent interest, explaining that bacteria and viruses have evolved to depend on iron stores in the host to unlock and enter host cells, and that lactoferrin prevents these pathogens from using iron, effectively blocking their entry into host cells.

“Our findings suggest using lactoferrin in infant formula, and that it has a beneficial role in managing and recovering from respiratory tract infections,” doctors said, continuing, “Lactoferrin may have potential as an adjunct therapy in Covid-19, and we look forward to a large, well-designed random-controlled trial to test its efficacy.”

Reference: Clinical Nutrition; 2021, Vol. 45, P26-32

 

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