A study of Croatian children attending daycare saw half of them given probiotics and the other half a placebo - after three months those taking probiotics had a lower risk of respiratory tract infections and experienced less time unwell when infected.

Swedish researchers also conducted a study on 272 adults and found that the group using probiotics experienced the milder cold and flu symptoms and less time infected with a virus.

It also found cases of the cold and flu among participants those who had taken probiotics averaged 6.2 days compared to the 8.2 days those taking a placebo experienced.

As consultant gastroenterologist and UNSW Professor of Medicine Emad El-Omar explains, the gut microbiome's primary role is to educate our immune system about our environment.

The lion's share of our immune system - around two-thirds of all immune cells – is concentrated in digestive system which is why UNSW’s Microbiome Research Centre is exploring how the gut microbiome’s make-up affects immune responses and changes with various disease progression.

Source: Dispensaries and NSW Health

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