April/May 2013 (vol. 09/6)

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Research Plus

Probiotics to prevent common cold

Probiotics (live microorganisms taken as health supplements) have previously been suggested as having a protective effect against upper respiratory tract infection – or common cold – a major cause of short-term sickness absence. This systematic review identified 10 randomised controlled trials, reported in seven articles meeting inclusion criteria (total of 2,894 participants). Evidence quality was high. Probiotics did not have a statistically significant effect on preventing common cold (relative risk = 0.92; 95% CI 0.85–1.00), though the authors do not rule out a ‘borderline preventive effect’. There were no reported side effects.


Korean Journal of Family Medicine; 2013; 34: 2–10. http://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.4082/kjfm.2013.34.1.2


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2013 (vol. 09/6) pp17