Use Probiotics to Ward Off The Flu This Season

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Recent studies looking at the relationship between probiotics and the flu provide further evidence that probiotics are useful for the prevention of respiratory tract infections and boosting the flu vaccine effectiveness. GI for Life urges parents to educate themselves regarding the benefits of probiotic supplementation.

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It is clear that probiotics have a powerful immune boosting effect. Parents should know about these findings, especially related to the incidence of URTIs in children, and consider probiotics for their families to help keep them healthy this flu season.

Flu season is upon us, and now is the time to take defensive measures to stay healthy this flu season. Having probiotics stocked in your medicine cabinet along with cough medicine and cold syrup could potentially help.

It is a well known fact that antibiotics are rapidly losing effectiveness, as bacterial pathogens mutate to defend themselves against them, largely as a result of the over-prescribing and misprescribing of the antibiotics for viral infections, against which they have no effect*. Probiotics hold the potential to offer a safer, less costly and more effective method of conferring resistance against both viral and bacterial pathogens.

Parents everywhere will be happy to learn about a recent study that shows that supplementation with a probiotic/vitamin C combination may be beneficial in the prevention and management of URTIs (upper respiratory tract infections). This study found over 30% reduction in the number of days suffering from URTI symptoms as well as a 35% reduction in the incidence of absences from preschool.¹

Even if you plan on taking the flu vaccine, probiotics can help make it more effective.²

A double blind placebo controlled study was conducted comparing groups taking 2 different probiotics versus a group taking a placebo for 2 weeks, then taking the flu vaccine. They looked at blood levels of IgG and samples of saliva for IgA specific to the influenza antibody used in the vaccine. After six weeks, they compared the 2 groups given the probiotics with the placebo group. Researchers found that both supplement groups experienced:

  • Larger increases in blood levels of IgG specific to the vaccine flu virus
  • Larger increases in saliva levels of IgA specific to the vaccine flu virus
  • Larger increases in total antibody concentrations in blood and saliva

GI for Life president Denise Lustberg commented, “It is clear that probiotics have a powerful immune boosting effect. Parents should know about these findings, especially related to the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in children, and consider probiotics for their families to help keep them healthy during this flu season.”

We believe healthy living starts from the inside (TM).

Here at GI for Life, we embrace lifestyle changes and a nutritional prescription for digestive health based upon the latest scientific evidence on colon and intestinal health and diet. Leading board certified gastroenterologists joined forces to develop the products specifically formulated to address the nutritional needs of their patients associated with many common digestive health issues and Vitamin D deficiency. GI for Life is committed to using the newest technology to deliver the highest quality dietary supplements.

¹European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication 10 September 2014; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.174; http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejcn2014174a.html

²Br J Nutr. 2012 Mar;107(6):876-84. doi: 10.1017/S000711451100420X. Epub 2011 Sep 7. ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21899798

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Denise Lustberg
GI For Life
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