Probiotics in sports nutrition? Lallemand’s Lafti L10 studied for immune support in athletes

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

A double-blind, placebo controlled study on elite athletes found that the dairy-derived Lactobacillus helveticus Lafti L10 by Lallemand Health Soultions can be a beneficial supplement for the reduction of upper respiratory tract infections.

The study​, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, ​was presented at the IPA World Congress + Probiota Americas 2016​ by Dr. Stéphanie-Anne Girard, Clinical Program Manager at Canada-based Lallemand health Solutions.

According to Girard, the study is a follow-up from another one in 2006​ that looked at the effects of Lafti L10 in fatigued athletes or healthy athletes, which took a pilot approach on seeing the mechanism of Lafti L10 on the immunity on athletes.

The recent study, published in the beginning of the year, looked at the effect of the same probiotic in elite athletes who train for most of the year. “They found clinical outcomes that were very significant,” ​she told NutraIngredients-USA. “[They] found a significant decreasein the duration of the symptom.”

In addition, the study observed a significant reduction in the number of symptoms, and a significant reduction in the number of infected days. They didn’t see an effect on the occurrence of flu and cold symptoms, but Girard said that was expected, as most probiotics usually affect existing symptoms by decreasing it.

A future in sports nutrition

Multiple studies have been conducted and published on an increased risk​ of upper respiratory tract infection in athletes. In 2009, researchers from the University of Porto published study in the British Medical Bulletin​ saying that “athletes, when compared with lesser active individuals, experience higher rate of URTI after training and competitions,”​ while in non-athletes, “increasing physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of URTI.”

“It’s an interest that’s growing for sure,” ​Girard says about probiotics among athletes. “I do believe a lot of athletes are already purchasing probiotics on the market—but there is definitely a need and interest for athletes, coaches, and sports organizations.”

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