The ProChild Study

Probiotics and vitamin C for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool: a randomised controlled pilot study

SUMMARY

This pilot study investigated the efficacy of a probiotic consortium (Lab4) in combination with vitamin C in the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool facilities.
The Lab4 probiotics in combination with a low dose of vitamin C significantly reduced the incidence (by 33%) and duration (by 49%) of colds and coughs in children 3 to 6 years old.
The incidence of absence from preschool was significantly reduced by 30%.

Aim

This randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study investigated the efficacy of Lab4 probiotics with vitamin C in significantly reducing the symptoms of coughs and colds in young children, who are the most susceptible age group.

Method

Results

  • 49% significant reduction in the duration of total symptoms of coughs and colds in Group 2 compared to Group 1 (Fig 1, *P<0.05).
  • 33% significant reduction in the incidence of cough and cold symptoms in children taking the Lab4 probiotics and Vitamin C (Fig 2, *P<0.05).
  • Significant reduction in the use of cough and cold medicine in the group taking the Lab4 probiotics and Vitamin C (Fig 3, *P<0.05).
  • 24.1% of children in Group 1 received oral antibiotics compared to only 14.3% of children in Group 2 (Fig 4).
  • 30% significant reduction in the incidence of absenteeism from school in children taking the Lab4 probiotics and Vitamin C (P=0.007). The number of days with absence due to coughs and colds alone were virtually halved in children taking the Lab4 probiotics and Vitamin C (Fig 5, 14.2 days in Group 1 vs 7.5 days in Group 2).

  • The number of visits to the GP for any reason was reduced by 43% with the use of Lab4 probiotics and Vitamin C (Fig 6).
  • Conclusion

    Lab4 probiotics in combination with vitamin C significantly reduced the incidence and duration of both coughs and colds and absenteeism from school.

    Reference

    Garaiova I et al 2015. Probiotics and vitamin C for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool: a randomised controlled pilot study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 69: 373-379
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