Probiotic supplementation for respiratory and gastrointestinal illness symptoms in healthy physically active individuals

Nicholas West, Peggy L. Horn, David Pyne, Val Gebski, Sampo Lahtinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


Background aims: To examine the effect of supplementation with probiotics on respiratory and gastrointestinal illness in healthy active men and women. Methods: A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial was conducted. Four hundred and sixty five participants (241 males; age 35±12y (mean±SD) and 224 females; age 36±12y) were assigned to one of three groups: Group 1 - Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bl-04 (Bl-04) 2.0×109colony forming units per day, CFU per day, Group 2 - Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bi-07 (NCFM Bi-07) 5×109CFU each per day) or Group 3 - placebo mixed in a drink. Results: The risk of an upper respiratory illness episode was significantly lower in the Bl-04 group (hazard ratio 0.73; 95% confidence interval 0.55-0.95; P=0.022) compared to placebo. There was no significant difference in illness risk between the NCFM Bi-07 group (hazard ratio 0.81; 0.62-1.08; P=0.15) and the placebo group. There was a 0.7 and 0.9 month delay in the median time to an illness episode in the Bl-04 and NCFM Bi-07 groups respectively compared to placebo (placebo 2.5 months; Bl-04 3.2 months; NCFM Bi-07 3.4 months). There were insufficient GI illness episodes for analysis. The NCFM Bi-07 group but not the Bl-04 group undertook significantly more physical activity (8.5%; 6.7%-10%; P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-587
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


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