Even if you make them wash their hands more than Lady Macbeth, chances are kids will catch colds. On the bright side, more research suggests probiotics can help them feel better faster.
Last year, a study published in the Journal of Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety found that a common strain of probiotics, Streptococcus salivarius, fought the illnesses streptococcal and viral pharyngontonsilitis--the dreaded lousy sore throat that seems guaranteed to make its way around classrooms every winter. More recently, researchers in the Ukraine found that different probiotic strains may shorten the acute respiratory infection period in children.
In a randomized, double-blind, controlled study 225 healthy children ages 3 to 12 were given either a placebo or a probiotic blend containing 5 billion colony forming units (CFU) of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12. The placebo and the probiotics were administered to the kids on the first day a member of their household showed signs of a cold.
The children who took the probiotics were sick, on average, two days fewer than those who received the placebo. Their illness was less severe as well.