The Right Probiotics for Your Stomach Problems and More
Lab studies show that many probiotics have invigorating effects on the immune system. In theory, this should increase a persons resistance to disease. But only a few strains, like L. casei DN-114001, L. rhamnosus GG, and L. acidophilus NCFM, seem to reduce the frequency and severity of illnesses like winter colds. In a study with 360 people over age 60, daily use of L. casei DN-114001 cut the duration of respiratory infections by a one and a half days and the severity by 20%. Similarly, in a study with 571 kids in day care, L. rhamnosus GG reduced both stay-at-home sick days and the number of infections serious enough to require antibiotics. And in a winter study of more than 200 preschoolers, the third strain (L. acidophilus NCFM) reduced the incidence of fever by 48%, cough by 42%, and antibiotic use by 68%. Researchers think similar benefits may be enjoyed by all age groups.
The “soothe irritable bowel” probiotic
Some 10 million American women know the belly pain and bloating discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Experts dont fully understand what causes IBS, nor do they have effective meds to treat it. But some of the most encouraging news comes out of studies using the probiotic strains Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 and L. plantarum DSM9843. In two trials involving more than 400 patients, a daily dose of the first significantly relieved gut pain and discomfort. And in study of 60 patients, a daily shot of the second reduced gas by more than 50%.