Probiotic

Probiotics are living microorganisms claimed to provide health benefits when consumed.

Our evidence based analysis features 23 unique references to scientific papers.


Research analysis by and verified by the Examine.com Research Team. Last updated on Jun 15, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers regarding Probiotic

Q: Your probiotic may be lying to you

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Q: I get by with a little help from my friends: probiotics and depression

Read full answer to "I get by with a little help from my friends: probiotics and depression"


Q: Can you boost your flu shot with prebiotics and probiotics?

A: Flu season is here, and flu vaccine efficacy may be low this year compared to last. But there could be a way to boost that efficacy: probiotics and/or prebiotics. A recent paper summarized the results of nine trials, and found promising results, although there is much yet to be learned.

Read full answer to "Can you boost your flu shot with prebiotics and probiotics?"


Q: Do probiotics improve quality of life in seasonal allergies?

Read full answer to "Do probiotics improve quality of life in seasonal allergies?"


Scientific Support & Reference Citations

Via HEM and FAQ:

  1. Zost SJ, et al. Contemporary H3N2 influenza viruses have a glycosylation site that alters binding of antibodies elicited by egg-adapted vaccine strains. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2017)
  2. Brydak LB, et al. Immune response to influenza vaccination in an elderly population. J Clin Immunol. (2003)
  3. Mutsch M, et al. Use of the inactivated intranasal influenza vaccine and the risk of Bell's palsy in Switzerland. N Engl J Med. (2004)
  4. Frei R, Akdis M, O'Mahony L. Prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics, and the immune system: experimental data and clinical evidence. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. (2015)
  5. Vos AP, et al. Dietary supplementation of neutral and acidic oligosaccharides enhances Th1-dependent vaccination responses in mice. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. (2007)
  6. Vos AP, et al. Specific prebiotic oligosaccharides modulate the early phase of a murine vaccination response. Int Immunopharmacol. (2010)
  7. Maidens C, et al. Modulation of vaccine response by concomitant probiotic administration. Br J Clin Pharmacol. (2013)
  8. Lomax AR, et al. Inulin-Type β2-1 Fructans have Some Effect on the Antibody Response to Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Healthy Middle-Aged Humans. Front Immunol. (2015)
  9. Boge T, et al. A probiotic fermented dairy drink improves antibody response to influenza vaccination in the elderly in two randomised controlled trials. Vaccine. (2009)
  10. Van Puyenbroeck K, et al. Efficacy of daily intake of Lactobacillus casei Shirota on respiratory symptoms and influenza vaccination immune response: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy elderly nursing home residents. Am J Clin Nutr. (2012)
  11. Bunout D, et al. Effects of prebiotics on the immune response to vaccination in the elderly. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. (2002)
  12. Liberati A, et al. The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate healthcare interventions: explanation and elaboration. BMJ. (2009)
  13. Hobson D, et al. The role of serum haemagglutination-inhibiting antibody in protection against challenge infection with influenza A2 and B viruses. J Hyg (Lond). (1972)
  14. Labella AM, Merel SE. Influenza. Med Clin North Am. (2013)
  15. Rambaut A, et al. The genomic and epidemiological dynamics of human influenza A virus. Nature. (2008)
  16. van de Sandt CE, et al. Influenza B viruses: not to be discounted. Future Microbiol. (2015)
  17. Morens DM, Taubenberger JK, Fauci AS. The persistent legacy of the 1918 influenza virus. N Engl J Med. (2009)
  18. Namba K, et al. Effects of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 administration on influenza infection, influenza vaccine antibody titer, and cell-mediated immunity in the elderly. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. (2010)
  19. Kotani Y, et al. Oral intake of Lactobacillus pentosus strain b240 accelerates salivary immunoglobulin A secretion in the elderly: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Immun Ageing. (2010)
  20. Oelschlaeger TA. Mechanisms of probiotic actions - A review. Int J Med Microbiol. (2010)
  21. Strasser B, et al. Probiotic Supplements Beneficially Affect Tryptophan-Kynurenine Metabolism and Reduce the Incidence of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Trained Athletes: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients. (2016)
  22. Hao Q, Dong BR, Wu T. Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2015)
  23. Rerksuppaphol S, Rerksuppaphol L. Randomized controlled trial of probiotics to reduce common cold in schoolchildren. Pediatr Int. (2012)