Probiotics may help children as well as grownups fight off colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis of 14 randomized controlled studies carried out around the world. The review was conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, an organization of volunteers that reviews and analyzes medical studies for evidence of effectiveness. It is considered one of the most authoritative sources of information of medical practice. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. They are also found in cultured foods such as yogurt. In this analysis, people getting probiotics were less likely to come down with upper respiratory tract infections and less likely to need antibiotics to overcome their infection.

[Cochrane Library, online Sept. 7, 2011]

Join Over 55,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. mcw
    Reply

    I had irritable bowel syndrome for a couple of years, The Dr. put me on LEVSIN (hyoscyamine sulfate). It worked sometime but I could never depend on it. But I was thankful to have it because I was almost human. When ALIGN hit the market, my husband bought the pills for me. After three or four days I stopped taking the LEVSIN and to this day I have never had a Problem!!! ALIGN is a miracle for me! mcw

  2. MFK
    Reply

    Some things to consider when purchasing probiotics:
    The number of strains and the conditions you are addressing.
    The billions of organisms per dose.
    Whether the guarantee of stated potency is through “date of manufacture” or “date of expiration.”
    Also, it is important to keep refrigerated to maintain high potency.

  3. Paul3
    Reply

    I agree with ARK – does anybody out there have any real knowledge about a good brand of probiotics. I used to take the ENZYMATIC PEARLS but they are expensive.
    Another question I have is it necessary to take a probiotic every day?
    Paul43

  4. Don
    Reply

    The headline says that Probiotics may help ward off colds (which are caused by rhinoviruses). In the body of the paragraph it discusses helping prevent upper respiratory infections (could be viral or bacterial) and says that those receiving Probiotics were less likely to need antibiotics to overcome their infections. Since antibiotics (as distinguished from antivirals) only help bacterial infections, is perhaps the headline in error and the body of the story is really about helping prevent those upper respiratory infections caused by bacteria???

  5. ark
    Reply

    There are some 50 different varieties of probiotics available in the market now, each claiming their brand to be the best. Can you please provide some insight as to which one is better for the least amount of cost???

  6. Paul3
    Reply

    What is a good brand of Probiotics?

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.