RCT findings back probiotic strain to shorten duration of cold and flu: Chr Hansen study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

RCT findings back probiotic strain to shorten duration of cold and flu: Chr Hansen study

Related tags Probiotic strain Common cold Influenza Chr hansen

The world’s biggest clinical study on the immune effects of probiotics has found that the L. casei 431 strain could reduce the duration of symptoms from the common cold and flu – though no differences were found in the incidence or severity of illness.

Writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​, researchers investigated the effect of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei, L. casei 431(L. casei 431) on immune responses to influenza (flu) vaccination and respiratory symptoms in healthy adults in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study. 

Findings from the Chr. Hansen backed trail showed that L. casei 431 can shorten the duration of common cold and influenza-like illness, and could lower the use of health care resources and reduce use of antibiotics.

Results from the study indicate that in cases of flu-like illness, the number of sick days was reduced to five in the group that consumed a daily dairy drink with 1 billion live bacteria, compared to eight days in the placebo group.

Not only is this a clear benefit for individuals. It also indicates that products with this probiotic strain can have a significant impact on productivity in society​,” said Mikkel Jungersen, scientific advisor for Human Health & Nutrition at Chr. Hansen.

However, the team behind that work also revealed that consumption of the probiotic strain resulted in “no observable effect on the components of the immune response to influenza vaccination,”​ and that no statistically significant differences were found for incidence or severity of upper respiratory symptoms associated with the common cold and flu.

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