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Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 results in a greater proportion of healthy days and a lower percentage of academically stressed students reporting a day of cold/flu: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

  • 2015-01-21
  • British Journal of Nutrition 113(3)
    • B. Langkamp-Henken
    • C. Rowe
    • A. Ford
    • M. Christman
    • C. Nieves
    • Lauren Khouri
    • Gretchen J. Specht
    • S. Girard
    • Samuel J. Spaiser
    • W. Dahl

Abstract

Acute psychological stress is positively associated with a cold/flu. The present randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the effect of three potentially probiotic bacteria on the proportion of healthy days over a 6-week period in academically stressed undergraduate students (n 581) who received Lactobacillus helveticus R0052, Bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis R0033, Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 or placebo. On each day, participants recorded the intensity (scale: 0 = not experiencing to 3 = very intense) for nine cold/flu symptoms, and a sum of symptom intensity >6 was designated as a day of cold/flu. B. bifidum resulted in a greater proportion of healthy days than placebo (P≤ 0·05). The percentage of participants reporting ≥ 1 d of cold/flu during the 6-week intervention period was significantly lower with B. bifidum than with placebo (P< 0·05). There were no effects of B. infantis or L. helveticus compared with placebo on either outcome. A predictive model accounted for influential characteristics and their interactions on daily reporting of cold/flu episodes. The proportion of participants reporting a cold on any given day was lower at weeks 2 and 3 with B. bifidum and B. infantis than with placebo for the average level of stress and the most commonly reported number of hours of sleep. Daily intake of bifidobacteria provides benefit related to cold/flu outcomes during acute stress.

Keywords: Lactobacillus helveticus.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium bifidumIncreased Proportion of Healthy DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidumReduced Incidence of Cold/Flu DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum HA-132Reduced Cold SymptomsBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium bifidum MAK53B66BImproved Proportion of Healthy DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum MAK53B66BReduced Cold and Flu IncidenceBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum SD-5857Improved Proportion of Healthy DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum SD-5857Reduced Cold SymptomsBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium bifidum SD-6575Improved Proportion of Healthy DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum SD-6575Reduced Cold and Flu IncidenceBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum SD-6576Improved Proportion of Healthy DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum SD-6576Reduced Incidence of Cold/Flu DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum VPro 51Improved Proportion of Healthy DaysBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum VPro 51Reduced Cold and Flu IncidenceBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium bifidum VPro 51Reduced Cold SymptomsBeneficial
Small

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