A handful of health-conscious friends of mine were surprised to learn that I take a probiotic to help not just my digestion but also my overall immune system.
Most of us know that probiotics can help ease bloating and gas, treat diarrhea and support the health of our entire gastrointestinal tract. But there are a number of studies that also show probiotics decreasing the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. This really is not surprising since 80% of our immune system actually works in our gut. Most recently an article was published in the journal Pediatrics which studied 326 children who took a combination of 2 probiotics (L. acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis) or placebo for 6-months. The children who took probiotics had less fever, coughing and runny nose than the placebo group.