Using Probiotics to Ward of Cold Weather Colds
There are loads of things I love about the fall: the changing leaves, the chill in the air, chili bubbling in the crockpot, the return of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks...
But there's another fall return I absolutely hate: the return of the sniffles.
So, as the days get colder and shorter, I find myself consulting all my trusted sources on new cold-prevention research. The goal: to keep myself cold-free all fall and straight through winter.
Now, that's not an easy task. But by building my cold-fighting arsenal now, I may just make it to spring without so much as a sniffle.
At the top of my list, especially after new research reported in The Cochrane Library, is a well-known immune system booster. You've heard them called "friendly bacteria," and there's good reason for that. Probiotics can keep your system healthy--and increase your chances of staying cold-free.
Study participants who took a daily dose of probiotics via yogurt or supplements had 12 percent fewer incidences of acute respiratory tract infections (a much longer way of saying "cold"). They also demonstrated lower use of antibiotics when they did come down with the sniffles.
The study of 3,451 people showed that probiotics reduced the number of people who had at least one cold by a pretty impressive 42 percent. Other trials have showed similar results.
Other studies on older adults that have focused on upper respiratory tract infections in addition to the flu have shown even more promising reasons to add probiotics to your daily regimen. They showed lower duration of winter infections, and a 3.4-fold reduction in the risk of getting a cold or coming down with the flu.
I'll be keeping my eye out for more cold-prevention tips and tricks as the leaves continue to change and fall.
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