A dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals reduced the incidence and severity of common cold infections.
“A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study was carried out in order to investigate whether consumption of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals over a period of at least 3 months in winter/spring affects the duration, frequency, and severity of symptoms of naturally acquired common cold infections as well as cellular immune parameters,” researchers in Germany report.
“Four hundred and seventy-seven healthy men and women (aged 36Â±13, meanÂ±SD) who had not been vaccinated against influenza were randomly assigned to a group who received daily the probiotic multivitamin and mineral supplement (verum) or a placebo, for three (n#9) or for 5.5 months (n#8),” stated Petra Winkler and colleagues at the Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Food in Kiel. “Cellular immune response was determined in 60 participants per study group by flow cytometry before and after 14 days of supplementation.”
“The incidence of respiratory tract infections regarded as being virally induced was 13.6% lower in the verum group compared to the placebo group (p=0.07),” reported the scientists. “During respiratory tract infection episodes, the subjects recorded common cold and influenza-like symptoms daily. All symptoms were reduced in the verum group. We found a relative reduction of 19% in the total symptom score (p=0.12), 25% in influenza symptoms (p=0.09), and 54% in the number of days with fever (p=0.03). The duration of these infections was not affected.”
“Leukocytes, lymphocytes, in particular T-lymphocytes including CD4+ and CD8+ cells, as well as monocytes were significantly higher increased in the verum group, during the first 14 days of supplementation compared to placebo,” stated the investigators. “These data indicate that the intake of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals during a period of at least 3 months in winter/spring may reduce the incidence and the severity of symptoms in common cold infections in otherwise healthy adults. This may be due to stimulated cellular immunity.”
Winkler and her coauthors published their study in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Effect of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals on common cold infections and cellular immune parameters. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther, 2005;43(7):318-326).
For additional information, contact Michael de Vrese, Institute for Physiology and Biochemistry of Nutrition, Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Food, Hermann-Weigmann Strasse 1, D-24103 Kiel, Germany. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The publisher’s contact information for the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics is: Dustri-Verlag Dr. Karl Feistle, Bahnhofstrasse 9 Postfach 49, D-82032 Deisenhofen-Muenchen, Germany.
Keywords: Kiel, Germany, Diet and Nutrition, Dietary Supplements, Probiotic Bacteria, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Common Cold, Immunology, Influenza, Probiotics, Respiratory Infection, Respiratory Medicine, Vitamins. This article was prepared by Biotech Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2005, Biotech Week via NewsRx.com.