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Probiotics Help Runners Stay Healthy
By Drs. Neal and Nicole Barry

runEndurance runners' strenuous training can erode their immunity and make them more vulnerable to catching colds, but a daily dose of "good" bacteria could bring their immune systems back up to speed, as published in the February 2008 edition of the  British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study found that runners who took probiotics averaged 30 days of respiratory symptoms during the course of the study, compared to 72 days for those on placebo.

"Probiotics primarily work by providing good bacteria in the gut to maintain a healthy balance in the digestive tract and stimulating the immune system," Pyne noted. "In effect, probiotics top up the beneficial bacteria in the gut to improve the balance between good and bad bacteria."

While probiotics clearly benefit a wide range of individuals, including recreational athletes as well as elite competitors, they can't replace "a healthy, well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and good hygiene," Pyne said. To get the most out of probiotic supplements and foods, which can degrade over time, "consumers should purchase products and supplements from reputable manufacturers and ensure that use-by-dates are adhered to," he added.

SOURCE: British Journal of Sports Medicine, February 13, 2008.


In This Issue:
Back Pain Facts and Statistics
Dr. Nicole’s Kids Corner: Exercise Good Judgment While Enjoying the Outdoors with Baby
Probiotics Help Runners Stay Healthy
Eggplant Salad

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