Effect of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals on common cold infections and cellular immune parameters.Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jul; 43(7):318-26.IJ
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study was carried out in order to investigate whether consumption of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals over a period of at least three months in winter/spring affects the duration, frequency, and severity of symptoms of naturally acquired common cold infections as well as cellular immune parameters.
477 healthy men and women (aged 36 +/- 13, mean +/- SD) who had not been vaccinated against influenza were randomly assigned to a group who received daily the probiotic multivitamin and mineral supplement (verum) or a placebo, for three (n = 239) or for 5.5 months (n = 238). Cellular immune response was determined in 60 participants per study group by flow cytometry before and after 14 days of supplementation.
The incidence of respiratory tract infections regarded as being virally induced was 13.6% lower in the verum group compared to the placebo group (p = 0.07). During respiratory tract infection episodes, the subjects recorded common cold and influenza-like symptoms daily. All symptoms were reduced in the verum group. We found a relative reduction of 19% in the total symptom score (p = 0.12), 25% in influenza symptoms (p = 0.09), and 54% in the number of days with fever (p = 0.03). The duration of these infections was not affected. Leukocytes, lymphocytes, in particular T-lymphocytes including CD4+ and CD8+ cells, as well as monocytes were significantly higher increased in the verum group, during the first 14 days of supplementation compared to placebo.
These data indicate that the intake of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals during a period of at least three months in winter/spring may reduce the incidence and the severity of symptoms in common cold infections in otherwise healthy adults. This may be due to stimulated cellular immunity.