The ProChild-2 Study

Probiotics with vitamin C for the prevention of upper respiratory tract symptoms in children aged 3-10 years: randomized controlled trial

SUMMARY

  • The second long-term double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effect of Lab4 probiotics in combination with vitamin C in the prevention of coughs and colds in children attending school.
  • The Lab4 probiotics in combination with low dose of vitamin C significantly reduced the incidence of coughing and sore throats in 3 to 10 years old children.
  • The incidence of absence from school was significantly reduced by 16%.
  • The number of visits to the G.P was significantly reduced by 19%
  • The antibiotic usage was significantly reduced by 27%.
  • Aim

    This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessed the impact of the Lab4 probiotic with low dose of vitamin C combination on the prevention of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms and absenteeism in children aged 3 to 10 years.

    Method

    Results

    URTI symptoms

    • 16% significant reduction in the incidence of coughing in Group 2 compared to Group 1 (Fig 1, *P<0.05).
    • 20% significant reduction in the incidence of sore throats in Group 2 compared to Group 1 (Fig 1, *P<0.05).
    • Only 5.8% children in Group 2 had all five URTI symptoms on one day compared to 18.8% children in Group 1 (P<0.05). URTI symptoms included cough, sore throat, sneezing, runny/blocked nose.
    • 79% significant reduction in the incidence of episodes with all five URTI symptoms on one day (Fig 2, *P<0.0001)

    Absenteeism

    • 16% significant reduction in the incidence of absenteeism from preschool/school in Group 2 compared to Group 1 (Fig 3, *P<0.05).

    Paediatric physician’s visit and antibiotic usage

  • Over the 6-month study period, the number of visits to the G.P for any reason was significantly reduced by 19% (Fig 4, *P<0.05)
  • Significant reduction in antibiotic use by 27% in Group 2 compared to Group 1 (Fig 4, *P<0.05).
  • Improvement in intestinal health

  • Significant improvement in the ‘normal’ stool consistency in Group 2 compared to Group 1 (Fig 5, *P<0.0001).
  • Significant reduction in the incidence of watery and hard stools episodes in Group 2 (Fig 5, *P<0.0001).
  • Conclusion

    Lab4 probiotics in combination with low dose of vitamin C reduce the incidence of coughing, sore throats together with absence from school and antibiotic use.
    To our knowledge, this is the first time two probiotic studies (ProChild and ProChild-2) with the same intervention for same duration showed the beneficial effect in the management of URTIs in children attending school.

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