In this new study, a strain of probiotic bacteria, when ingested for 16 weeks, led to an increase in salivary IgA (an immunoglobulin, which is secreted in mucous membranes, and protects pathogens from invading and infecting). This led to a corresponding decrease in URTI as well as a decrease in the severity of symptoms if they did get sick.
While it's been known for quite some time that probiotics improve the immune system and its response, this gives us insight into one of the possible mechanisms of action.
Source: Probiotics reduce incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in athletes
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