Babies given prebiotics and probiotic supplements have a lower incidence of respiratory tract infections (RTIs), a study shows.
The Finnish research, published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology, found “a significantly lower incidence of RTIs” was detected in infants receiving prebiotics (rate ratio [RR], 0.24; 95% CI, 0.12-0.49; P < .001) or probiotics (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.28-0.90; P = .022) compared with those receiving placebo.
Also, the incidence of rhinovirus-induced episodes, which comprised 80% of all RTI episodes, was found to be significantly lower in the prebiotic (RR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.14-0.66; P = .003) and probiotic (RR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.24-1.00; P = .051) groups compared with the placebo group.
“Gut microbiota modification with specific prebiotics and probiotics might offer a novel and cost-effective means to reduce the risk of rhinovirus infections,” the study authors concluded.
The prebiotics was a equal mixture of galacto-oligosaccharide and polydextrose and the probiotic was Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, ATCC 53103).
Just like oils ain't oils, probiotics ain't probiotics. It is very important to get the right strain, in this case GG ATCC 53103. The probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus (Moro) Hansen and Mocquot and the strain is GG [Gorbach-Goldin]. Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Feb;133(2):405-13.