The study titled, “Probiotic supplementation for respiratory and gastrointestinal illness symptoms in healthy physically active individuals,” was published in Clinical Nutrition, the official journal of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.
Scientists from Griffith University conducted the randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial in cooperation with the Australian Institute of Sport and other collaborating institutions. The 465 trial subjects were split into three groups, each receiving a daily dose of HOWARU Protect Adult, HOWARU Protect Sport or a placebo. All subjects were healthy adults who exercised for at least 30 minutes, three times per week.
Daily supplementation with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bl-04TM – known commercially as HOWARU Protect Adult – produced the most notable result. In the healthy men and women who consumed a daily dose over the five-month study period, the risk of upper respiratory tract illness (URTI) was reduced by 27%.
The results also indicate that Bl-04 supports respiratory health, with trial subjects remaining free of upper respiratory symptoms for several weeks longer, on average, than those in the placebo group.
“A significant delay in the onset of symptoms indicates that this probiotic strain may help active adults stay healthy longer,” said Professor Allan Cripps, pro-vice chancellor, Health at Griffith University and the principal scientist of the study.
A tendency toward reduced respiratory illness episodes and significant delay in the onset of symptoms also was observed among subjects who received the other probiotic formulation – Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bi-07 and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, available from DuPont as HOWARU Protect Sport. The most notable finding in this group, however, was a significantly higher level of physical activity, possibly due to the delayed time to symptoms.
“It is a known fact that physical activity is reduced or may even stop when people are feeling the effects of respiratory symptoms. So, these findings are important, particularly for those who engage in competitive sports and need to maintain fitness,” said Professor David Pyne, senior physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport and lead investigator of the study.
“These results reinforce our existing documentation on probiotic solutions for immune health and open new opportunities for the HOWARU Protect range,” said Didier Carcano, health platform leader, DuPont Nutrition & Health.