Scientists show that kefir can help reduce duration and symptoms of the common cold!

Breakthrough science has found that probiotic supplementation can shorten the duration of a cold by two days, lessen symptoms by 34%, and increase “health related quality of life,”¬†including missing fewer days of school or work during the cold.¬†

“We know that certain probiotic strains support immune health and may improve health-related quality of life during upper-respiratory infections,” says Registered Dietitian Tracey J. Smith, an adjunct professor at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. “This double-blind study assessed how probiotic supplementation affects the duration and severity of symptoms, and the impact of symptoms on the daily life of infected students.”

The study found that while all students caught colds at roughly the same rate, the students who took the probiotic supplementation experienced:

  • A duration of colds that was two days shorter (four days vs. six days)
  • Symptoms that were 34% less severe and
  • A higher quality of life that resulted in fewer missed school days (15 vs. 34 missed by students taking the placebo).
What makes probiotics so effective in treating symptoms of upper-respiratory infections?¬†“Cold symptoms like a stuffy nose and sore throat are the body’s inflammatory response toward a virus, not a direct action of the virus itself,” explains Smith. “Probiotic microorganisms may soften your immune system’s reaction by reducing your body’s inflammatory response.”
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  1. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - "Probiotics are secret weapon for fighting symptoms of the common cold in college students, study suggests". Published by ScienceDaily on October 22, 2012.
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