Probiotics for colds and flu is based on the simple principle that good microorganisms defeat bad ones. This has sometimes proven better than most over-the-counter medicine. In the colds and flu season, probiotics can shorten the duration and lessen symptoms.
- Studies show that consuming fermented dairy containing Lactobacillus casei daily reduces the risk of common infections in stressed individuals such as shift workers.
- Research on the mechanisms of probiotics shows that they tune the immune system thereby reducing the severity of colds and other respiratory conditions.
It seems that people consuming probiotics have fewer colds and don’t need antibiotics as often. It makes it a simple, cost effective strategy.
How probiotics for colds work
Did you know that your stomach controls most of the immune system? Around 80% of the immune system is dependent on the health or the gut. It, therefore, makes sense that probiotics are effective at warding off cold and flu viruses.
- A good way to improve the gut microflora is y consuming probiotics daily; fermented vegetables, yogurt or a high-quality supplement.
- Avoiding sugar helps because it feeds bad gut bacteria and can weaken the immune system
- Limit consumption of processed foods and grains; replace it with healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, olives, olive oil, butter, eggs, and nuts.
Natural bacteria help boost the immune system, reducing the risk of colds and flu.
Probiotics for children
Children can also benefit from probiotics for colds and flu. In fact, the mother’s breast milk is extremely nutritious and contains several hundred different strains of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria are involved in developing the baby’s gut and immune system.
In one study, 3-5-year-old children were divided into two groups: one group consumed a single bacteria strain, the second group a combination of probiotic bacteria. Both groups took this twice a day during six months. The result?
- Fever was reduced by 53% for the first group, 73% for the second
- Coughing decreased by 41% for the first group, 62% for the second
- Runny noses were reduced by 28% for the first group, 59% for the second.
- Use of antibiotics decreased by 68% for the first group, 84% for the second. This is indeed a major improvement in itself since antibiotics are greatly overused in children. Antibiotics also destroy your gut flora.
Children consuming probiotics need less antibiotics and have fewer sick days from school.
I’ve have worked for years in Eastern Europe where many families consume fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and fermented vegetables on a daily basis. Many consume fermented food with every meal. This can have a profound effect on children.
Some studies show that on the average, children in some Eastern European countries show a lower rate of allergies and other health problems than children in western cultures that don’t consume probiotic foods. This is most likely due to the effect beneficial bacteria has on the immune system.
Consume fermented foods
Probiotics for colds is only one aspect. Consuming fermented vegetables, yogurt, and other similar foods is a good habit. Try fermenting at home using a culture starter. This way you might prepare a product that contains trillions of probiotic bacteria. One serving is equal to an entire bottle of a probiotic supplement!
- For a quick start, get a powerful probiotic supplement. There are even good-tasting supplements designed for children.
- Learn to make fermented vegetables, yogurt or kefir at home. This is a simple, yet effective strategy.
Probiotics for colds and flu seem to work best when fermented food is consumed daily. In the cold and flu season, it might be good to increase the amount consumed, ideally several times a day.