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Probiotics with vitamin C for the prevention of upper respiratory tract symptoms in children aged 3-10 years: randomised controlled trial

I. Garaiova, Z. Paduchová, Z. Nagyová, D. Wang, D.R. Michael, S.F. Plummer, J.R. Marchesi, Z. Ďuračková,
Published: 13 September 2021

Abstract: In a double-blind, randomised, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study, healthy school children aged 3-10 years received a probiotic based supplement daily for 6 months to assess the impact on the incidence and duration of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms. The intervention comprised Lab4 probiotic (Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL21 and CUL60, Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL20 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CUL34) at 12.5 billion cfu/day plus 50 mg vitamin C or a matching placebo. 171 children were included in the analysis (85 in placebo and 86 in active group). Incidence of coughing was 16% (P=0.0300) significantly lower in the children receiving the active intervention compared to the placebo. No significant differences in the incidence rate of other URTI symptoms were observed. There was significantly lower risk of experiencing five different URTI related symptoms in one day favouring the active group (Risk ratio: 0.31, 95% confidence interval: 0.12, 0.81, P=0.0163). Absenteeism from school and the use of antibiotics was also significantly reduced for those in the active group (-16%, P=0.0060 and -27%, P=0.0203, respectively). Our findings indicate that six months daily supplementation with the Lab4 probiotic and vitamin C combination reduces the incidence of coughing, absenteeism and antibiotic usage in 3 to 10 year old children.
Keywords: children / Lactobacillus acidophilus / symptoms / randomised / antibiotic / aged / probiotic and vitamin / absenteeism

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