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Did you know that Probiotics can rescue you from the Cold and Flu Virus?

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How Probiotics Can Rescue You From The Cold And Flu Virus

These articles originally appeared on My Beauty Blog

With the winter months upon us, colds and flu are just around the corner.

Probiotics can help your colds and flu by boosting the immune system. Most of the studies investigating the benefit of probiotics used specific strains of probiotics.

Evidently not all “beneficial bacteria” are helpful for preventing and/or treating cold and the flu.

Since the gut is the gateway to the body, it serves as a physical barrier against pathogens, toxins and undigested food particles.

Therefore, most of the immune system is directed to preserve the gut barrier and quickly address any breach from there. To this end, a healthy gut flora is essential to a functional immune system.

When probiotics restore the gut flora, they allow the immune system to fully recover and combat the pathogens and toxins in systemic circulation. However, probiotics do more than that. They increase the production of immunoglobulins and specialized immune cells such as T lymphocytes and NK (Natural Killer) cells.

Gut Flora

Besides increasing the production and release of immune cells, probiotics also enhance the activities of these cells.

Studies have confirmed that probiotics improve phagocytosis (This is the ability that white blood cells have to engulf and destroy cold and influenza viruses.

Photo of phagocytosis

Can the beneficial effects of probiotics on the immune system translate to shorter cold and flu episodes? According to the results of multiple studies, probiotics are also most effective against cold and flu in children.

The evidence is rather strong that probiotics reduce both the duration and severity of colds and the flu.

In addition, probiotics can improve immune response to flu vaccines. This is especially important because flu shots are the primary preventative intervention recommended every flu season, especially to those of us who are over 50.

Every year, more and more people choose to get vaccinated against influenza viruses and yet every year, more people come down with the cold and the flu virus. One reason for this outcome is because the vaccine does not trigger significant response from the immune system to confer full protection on the immunized.

However, reports show that those who take probiotics along with flu vaccines are far less likely to catch a cold or come down with the flu.

How can probiotics improve the efficacy of flu shots? By boosting the immune system.

Probiotics can increase the production of specific antibodies that combat antigens produced by cold and flu viruses. Therefore, these beneficial microbes can help the immune system quickly and efficiently respond to viral challenge and protect the body against subsequent viral infections.

Lastly, the anti-inflammatory property of probiotics also make them useful for relieving cold and flu symptoms.

Various research results showed that those who took probiotics had fewer sick days and fewer cold symptoms than those who did not. In addition, the results showed that probiotics enhanced the activities of immune cells such as monocytes, leucocytes and the lymphocytes, cytotoxic T suppressor cells or CD8+ and T helper cells or CD4+.

In conclusion, the researchers believed that a good probiotic  is effective in boosting the immune system and reducing both the duration and severity of cold symptoms.

Do vitamins and minerals improve the efficacy of probiotics?

An interpretation of results of a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics has indicated that vitamins and minerals likely enhance the efficiency of probiotics.

I recommend only products  that I personally have found to be particularly effective. The probiotic that I recommend  is a actually a Synbiotic. A Synbiotic is a combination of probiotic bacteria and prebiotic fibres. The advantage of a synbiotic is that it contains the prebiotic which provides the nutrition for the probiotic to grow more quickly to do its work in the gut as it does not have to rely on what we eat. It has been developed by an Australian, Dr John Ellerman, a Microbiology and Biochemistry graduate from Sydney University.

This Probiotic  and the multivitamins are available from Modere, a company that markets only chemical free products.

Iris Windsor

Iris is a unique mix of retailer, teacher and chef. Iris started her career as a high school teacher in home economics and science.
Along with a passion for teaching, Iris has some other unique skills including being a trade qualified chef, patisserier, chocolatier and a registered Wilton cake decorating trainer.

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