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Effect of a probiotics supplementation on respiratory infections and immune and hormonal parameters during intense military training.

Author(s): Tiollier E, Chennaoui M, Gomez-Merino D, Drogou C, Filaire E, Guezennec CY

Affiliation(s): IMASSA, Departement Physiologie, BP 73, 91223 Bretigny-sur-Orge, France.

Publication date & source: 2007-09, Mil Med., 172(9):1006-11.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

This study examined the effect of a probiotics supplementation on respiratory tract infection (RTI) and immune and hormonal changes during the French Commando training (3-week training followed by a 5-day combat course). Cadets (21 +/- 0.4 years) received either a probiotics (n = 24) or a placebo (n = 23) supplementation over the training period. We found no difference in the RTI incidence between groups but a significantly greater proportion of rhinopharyngitis in the probiotic group (p < 0.05). Among immune parameters, the major finding was an immunoglobulin A decrease after the combat course only in the placebo group (p < 0.01), but the difference between the two groups was not significant. A greater increase in dehydroepiandrostane sulfate was observed in the probiotics group after the combat course (p < 0.05). This study suggested that the benefits of a probiotics supplementation in a multistressor environment relied mainly on its capacity to prevent the infection to spread throughout the respiratory tract.

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