There may be a new way to fight the irritating symptoms of the flu. New research suggests that probiotics, or good bacteria, can have a preventive effect when it comes to fighting the seasonal flu virus. Researchers found that treating toddlers and kindergarteners twice a day with a combination of two common probiotics resulted in the children missing fewer days of school or childcare due to the flu. They had significantly reduced cases of fever, coughing, and runny nose when compared to kids who received a placebo. A high percentage of our immune cells are associated with our stomach. Boosting the immune system by supplementing the existing bacterial defenses in our guts makes sense. With a stronger immune system, the body is more capable of fighting off infections and can reduce the length and severity of flu symptoms. The practice of incorporating probiotics into foods has just begun to gain awareness in the US, most notably with probiotic yogurt. However, getting the flu vaccine is still the single most important step families can take to prevent the flu.
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