The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at the University of Florida with 581 participants. Study results demonstrated a 45% reduction in the likelihood that a participant would report a cold/flu during a day while on the probiotic compared to those on the placebo. This translates into an average reduction of cold/flu symptoms of approximately a half-day over a 6-week period.
The clinical study evaluated the individual effects of three probiotic strains, which are found in combination in the ProbioKid formulation, and which have been previously shown to reduce the occurrence of common winter infections in school-aged children by 25% and the number of school day absenteeism by 40%: Bifidobacterium bifidum Rosell-71 (R0071), Bifidobacterium infantis Rosell-33 (R0033), Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52 (R0052).
Commenting on the study, Professor Bobbi Langkamp-Henken, principal investigator of the clinical study, said: “The aim of this unique study was to evaluate the effects of specific probiotic strains on the percentage of healthy days in academically stressed students, a well-known model of acute psychological stress which is associated with increased incidence of cold/flu. This acute stress model was already evaluated with a previous prebiotic study.” She added: “We wanted to keep our participants healthy. With Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071, participants had a higher proportion of healthy days around the period time when they were taking academic exams. With Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 we saw a reduction in the percentage of participants who became ill and fewer episodes of cold/flu compared with the placebo. There was also a trend toward fewer episodes of cold/flu with Bifidobacterium infantis R0033.”
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