New study results; Taking daily Ecologic® Performance may help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections in athletes
Dietary supplements containing probiotics can modify the population of the gut microbiota and may provide a practical means of enhancing gut and systemic immune function. In a previous study, Lamprecht and colleagues found that adequate probiotic supplementation with Ecologic Performance, could improve and low-grade inflammation in men under sustained exercise stress.
The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of Ecologic® Performance on the incidence of URTI and modulation of tryptophan-kynurenine metabolism (which plays a role in the control of immune responses) after exhaustive exercise in trained athletes during three months of winter training. The researchers hypothesized that daily supplementation with probiotics is beneficial in reducing the incidence of URTI in athletes during training periods in winter and is associated with modulation of the tryptophan-kynurenine metabolic pathways.
Thirty-three highly trained individuals were randomly assigned to the probiotic or placebo group using double blind procedures. The groups received either the multispecies probiotic formulation Ecologic® Performance (1×1010 CFU/gram) or placebo once per day for 12 weeks. Immune system markers were determined at baseline and after 12 weeks, both at rest and immediately after exercise. Participants completed a daily diary to identify any infectious symptoms.
Before supplementation, 10 subjects in the placebo group and 12 subjects in the probiotic group experienced one or more URTI symptoms over the prior three months. After 12 weeks of treatment, 11 subjects on placebo and 5 subjects on probiotics experience one or more URTI symptoms during the study period. The proportion of subjects who experienced one or more URTI symptoms during the study period was 2.2-fold higher in the placebo group than in the probiotics group (placebo 0.79, probiotics 0.35; p=0.016).
Taking together, probiotic supplementation on a daily basis enhance resistance to URTI in athletes and offer thus a potential interventions strategy during heavy exercise training periods, especially in the winter months.