Probiotics, Vitamin C for Preschoolers: Can They Prevent Respiratory Tract Infections?
the MPR take:
Children attending preschool are three times more likely to suffer from respiratory tract infections (RTI) vs. those staying home, due to high transmission rates in these facilities. Can probiotics and vitamin C prevent RTI in this population? In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 69 healthy children ages 3–6 years, children received either one chewable tablet containing two strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis along with 50mg vitamin C or a placebo identical in appearance. The children were examined prior to and during the six-month study or during unscheduled visits due to RTI or other illnesses. A significant reduction in the incidence and duration of total upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) was seen in the active vs. placebo group; these children also had fewer days of absence from preschool and unscheduled visits to the pediatrician. No benefits were reported on lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) incidence or duration. The authors conclude that while this pilot study is promising, the results need to be confirmed in a larger study population.
Significant reductions in the incidence rate of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI; 33%, P=0.002), the number of days with URTI symptoms (mean difference: −21.0, 95% confidence interval (CI):−35.9, −6.0, P=0.006) and the incidence rate of absence from preschool (30%, P=0.007) were observed in the active group compared with the placebo.
READ FULL ARTICLE From Nature