, et al

Children ages 3-5 years who took probiotic supplements daily for six months had a lower incidence of fever, rhinorrhea and cough, and used fewer antibiotics than children given a placebo, according to a prospective study of 248 children in China.

Studies have shown that probiotics are effective in treating disease symptoms such as diarrhea. Less research has focused on whether probiotics can prevent disease.

The goal of this study was to determine if taking one or two strains of probiotics would affect the incidence and duration of fever, rhinorrhea and cough, and the incidence of antibiotic prescriptions among healthy children.

Subjects were randomized to receive Lactobacillus acidophilus, L acidophilus with Bifidobacterium animalis or placebo twice daily for six months. Caregivers recorded episodes and duration of illness.

Results showed that 91 children were absent one...

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