To use Probiotics or Not?

A team of nutritionists, pediatricians, and immunologists designed a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. They enlisted 298 healthy male and female children between two and five years of age. This population is particularly susceptible to respiratory infections. Five days a week, the treatment group was given 100 million CFU (colony-forming units) of L. rhamnosus CRL1505 in a yogurt drink. The placebo group received a drink without the probiotic.

After six months, when compared to the placebo group, the children in the probiotic group had experienced:

• 49% fewer infections

• 55% fewer cases of cold or flu

• 46% fewer cases of fever

• 47% increase in levels of salivary IgA

• 33% less need for antibiotic use

The treatment group also had 61% fewer cases of tonsillitis and pharyngitis, an infection in the back of the throat.

How the Probiotic Works

 IgA antibodies are a major part of the immune system. Secreted from mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, and lungs, they bind to respiratory viruses, blocking them from invading human cells and producing symptoms of colds and flu.

Research shows that L. rhamnosus CRL1505 significantly increases levels of secretory IgA, boosting the immune system’s initial ability to fight cold and flu viruses. Along with yeast fermentate, this probiotic has demonstrated a reduction in severity, frequency, and duration of cold and flu symptoms and may offer protection against infections.

Human studies show that a yeast fermentate and the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 reduce the severity, occurrence, and duration of allergy, cold, and flu-like symptoms.

Villena J SS, Núñez M, Corzo J, Tolaba R, Faedda J, Font G, Alvarez S. Probiotics for everyone! The novel immunobiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus CRL1505 and the beginning of social probiotic programs in Argentina. 2012.

Life Extension

I’ve said many times, “Your stomach is your number one line of defense for you GI tract. 80% of your immunity is through your gut.” The question I get often is whether or not someone should stay on a probiotic on a regular basis or not. There isn’t a one size fits all answer for this. It truly depends. Most patients would see benefit, but not all. Patients with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) can actually worsen. I, myself, will do rounds of probiotics through the year but not one on a daily basis. Stool testing helps me see from a functional medicine standpoint, who really needs one or not as well as any SIBO problems also. We have some good probiotic supplementation options here at DHS. Klaire labs is one of the best when it comes to probiotics. The one we carry has L. rhamnosus strain in there that the article above speaks about. Recurrent urinary tract infections typically have good results with proper probiotic supplementation to prevent more from coming from what I’ve seen in practice too.

Dr. J

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