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Probiotics Drink Reduces Incidence Of Common Cold In Endurance Athletes

January 7, 2011: 10:31 AM EST

British researchers have found that daily consumption of a probiotics beverage by athletes involved in regular intensive sports training reduced the incidence of the common cold. Eighty-four endurance athletes who participated in cycling, triathlon, and middle-distance running or swimming were divided into two groups who consumed either a twice-daily serving of Yakult fermented milk drink containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota or a placebo over 16 weeks. Researchers found that only 66 percent of the group that drank the Yakult beverage every day experienced one or more weeks of upper respiratory infections (URTIs, or the common cold). However, 90 percent of the placebo group experienced a week or more of URTIs. Endurance athletes tend to be more susceptible to infections due to a depression of their immune system. 

Michael Gleeson, et al., "Daily Probiotic’s (Lactobacillus casei Shirota) Reduction of Infection Incidence in Athletes", International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism, January 07, 2011, © Human Kinetics, Inc.
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