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Probiotics and Respiratory Health

Respiratory health has been a hot topic around the globe for the last few months. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone, especially those who are immune-compromised, to wear facemask and even face shields in some countries.

As you continue to wait for things to return to some normality, remind yourself that there are steps you can take today to protect your lungs and improve your respiratory health. The first step, of course, should be to continue washing your hands, wearing a face mask, avoiding crowds, and observe proper social distancing. Furthermore, exercise is a great way to improve respiratory health. Exercise strengthens both your lungs and heart. It increases your body's ability to deliver oxygen to the bloodstream and increasing the number of activities you can perform without becoming short of breath. Another way, it hasn’t been discussed much is to take probiotics supplements.


Probiotics and respiratory health among children


Among the most common health problems seen in day-to-day health care are respiratory tract infections (RTIs). Colds and flu-like symptoms are caused by bacteria and viruses. Children are most prone to catching these infections because their immune systems are immature. Additionally, their risk is higher since they are exposed to an environment such as schools where illnesses can easily spread and put them at risk. While most RTIs in children go away on their own, they remain the most common reason for kids to visit the doctor and for them to be prescribed antibiotics.


Probiotics do not just benefit gut health, but also the respiratory system. Increasing evidence has shown that taking probiotic supplements with L. rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium may help support healthy respiratory functions. Also, it may help reduce the incidence and duration of colds and flu in infants and children.

Children who consume probiotics every day for three months experience fewer respiratory tract infections. Additionally, they experienced symptoms for a shorter period.


Probiotics and respiratory health among adults


Studies on the effects of probiotics on respiratory health are relatively new. But some studies have already shown that probiotics can provide health benefits, especially in preventing the onset of respiratory illnesses and infections among adults.

  1. casei for example, was found to significantly reduce upper respiratory tract infections. Among other strains with respiratory benefits includes:
  • fermentum: Reduces the duration and severity of respiratory illnesses.
  • breve: Has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in promoting respiratory health. It is also beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of chronic asthma in adults.
  • lactis: It has the potential in reducing the severity and incidence of respiratory diseases.

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